Interview with Filmmaker Rashad Haughton (HALF SAMURAI)

HALF SAMURAI, 11min., Japan
Directed by Rashad Haughton
A mysterious drifter wanders into a bar owned by a psychopathic yakuza gang on Halloween night.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?
I am a huge fan of Kozure Ookami (Lone Wolf and Cub) and the thematic parallels between the Hollywood Western and the Japanese samurai film. I wanted to shoot a cinematic love letter to them both, while at the same time, creating an original world and mythology.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
The idea had been gestating in my mind for years but the full execution took about a year and some change.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Genre-bending experience.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The dog.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
University screenwriting class. I knew that in order to make sure what I imagined ended up on screen,
I had to direct as well as write.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
I’ve seen too many multiple times to answer that accurately. Some of my favorite films which I always go back to before creating a piece would be – Aliens, Barry Lyndon, The Hustler, A Patch of Blue and The Professional.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I think you guys are nailing it with the innovation of audience feedback. Keep leaning into interactivity more as you develop this idea.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

10. What is your favorite meal?

11. What is next for you? A new film?
The feature length version of Half Samurai.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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