Interview with Filmmaker Dustin Hendrix (ENGLISH BREAKFAST)

ENGLISH BREAKFAST, 9min., USA, Dark Comedy
Directed by Dustin Hendrix
Claire and Shaun, a newlywed couple, stay at the critically-acclaimed Miss Talbot’s Bed and Breakfast. Before long, Claire starts to realize that this bed and breakfast isn’t quite as charming as it initially appears to be.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

In 2017 my wife and I stayed at an Airbnb for the first time, and I found the concept strangely fascinating: sleeping in a random stranger’s house. At the time I thought, what if the owner was not who they seemed to be, and wanted to murder us after we fell asleep? The idea stuck with me, and finally in 2019 I decided it was time to explore this idea. So essentially, this film is a product of my overactive imagination.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

From beginning to end, this film took around six years to complete. Originally we planned to film it in fall of 2019, but due to time constraints we decided to shoot for March of 2020. That led to a whole other matter of complications.

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

Darkly funny.

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

The biggest obstacle was the covid-19 pandemic. The initial shoot was divided into two weekends, and we were successful at completing the first weekend. Right after this is when covid cases in Michigan started skyrocketing, and we had to postpone production for over a year. We also had to find a different location than the one we used originally, which provided its own set of challenges.

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

It was amazing hearing everyone’s reaction to our film, the elements they picked up on, and the way they interpreted them. It filled me with a sense of joy, but also relief that we accomplished what we set out to do.

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

When I was a kid I became fascinated with my grandpa’s camcorder. I picked it up and shot dozens of cheesy, silly films and fake commercials with my friends and family. In a way it felt like I was destined to be behind a camera.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

My favorite film of all time, which is Shaun of the Dead. I’ve seen it easily over a hundred times.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

Getting to see and hear the audience’s personal reactions to our film is not only extremely satisfying, but also very beneficial to understanding how a filmgoer responds to your work and the way they interpret your story. Offering options to personally interact with the audience and answer questions would be very beneficial.

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

I think it’s an amazing resource, and makes it super easy to submit your films to festivals. I also love how easy it is to find festivals that fit the category of your film.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Korean barbecue with all the sides.

11. What is next for you? A new film?

Right now we’re in post-production for our next film, Camp Solstice, which is a psychological horror film set at a campground in the winter. I’m also writing a kid’s book series that’s a loving tribute to Goosebumps, which is one of my biggest influences. I’m basically always juggling multiple projects. I have so many stories I want to tell!


By matthewtoffolo

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

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