Interview with Filmmaker Brent Black (I’VE MADE CONTACT)

Directed by Brent Black, Mike Gallegos
I’ve Made Contact explores a fictional world within the Sci-Fi lore and culture of the late 1980s. The short film/music video combo is based on true UFO sightings and the witnesses involved. It is told through the fictional lyrics found in the song I’ve Made Contact by the rock and roll band Strange Imperial.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?
I come from a background in music and I’ve even performed in an opening band for Dickdale before he passed away so I’ve always had this dream to make a really fun music video for a rock band.One day, a friend of mine, Mario Lopez from Strange Imperial came along and asked if I would be interested in directing a music video and I just jumped on the opportunity without any hesitation whatsoever. When we spoke about the concept I got even more hyped because I’ve always loved UFO conspiracy theories.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
We started talking about the concept in early 2022 and we finished editing right before the end of the year. A few hiccups and pauses happened in between but towards the end, I was putting in 18 hour days in the editing bay.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Bob Lazar

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
When we shot the desert scenes, we originally rented a Camero which I drove to the film set and Google Maps took us on a wrong turn onto a dirt road. We ended up getting stuck in some sand and stranded in the middle of the desert for more than half of that shoot day before AAA showed up. Luckily, Mike Gallegos, the co-director and our cinematographer, Trevor Hollander were there to pick up all the pieces, along with the rest of the crew who absolutely killed it.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I just thought it was so rad to see complete strangers giving such detailed and positive feedback for someone they’ve never met in their lives, it gave me hope for humanity.

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I was probably in the second grade when I started messing around with cameras and trying to convince my friends that we would make it to Hollywood if we made a film together.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
I think I’ve watched The Big Lebowski more times than I can count on my hands and toes.

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 any way to authentically connect with people who have similar interests is the best thing anyone can do to further their career whether that be an in person social event or an online community.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
FilmFreeway was great and super easy to use. Highly recommend to anyone wanting to dive into the film festival circuit. Just don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

10. What is your favorite meal?
First thing that comes to mind is Costco’s pizza but I’ll eat an entire bucket of fettuccine alfredo if no one stops me.

11. What is next for you? A new film?
I recently relocated to Oahu with my family so I’m in a bit of a transitional period as far as filmmaking. I’ve had a lot of ideas floating around in my head from a potential surfing lifestyle YouTube channel to pursuing a full time career in aerial cinematography but I’m just kind of going with the flow for now.

By matthewtoffolo

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

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