Thursday, May 9, 2013

Interview: "Hooked" with Stuart Howe

Today we have a great interview with a film-maker that those of you in Australia should take note of. The reason being is that Stuart Howe was able to capture a true Korean story on film, and yet he is not Korean.  We are currently running our annual KOFFIA Short Film Comp, which offers up to $6,000 worth of cash and prizes, so Aussie based filmmakers should take note of Stuart's answers to help you make a little masterpiece that takes the top prize! 

Stuart Howe's great drama "Hooked" screened at Cinema on the Park on May 9th. It's an award winning film that has screened at many film festivals worldwide and we are delighted to have its Australian premiere. Read below for Stuart's follow up interview!

1. How did you get into the film industry / Why did you get in to filmmaking?
I started in the industry in 2003 when I co-founded my own production company Studio 163 and worked across various corporate and commercial projects. In 2008 I went to China where I was producing and directing some Travel shows and Travel Documentaries for an American/Chinese Broadcaster. 

My passion however has always been in cinema and in 2011 I decided to move away from TV and into Film. At the time Korea was booming in cinema with their domestic movies having more popularity then foreign imports, I knew then that to succeed in Korea would open doors elsewhere. 

2. What/Who inspires you as an artist?
As an artist my inspiration comes from everything around me. I have been fortunate enough to have travelled all over the world and have been exposed to many cultures, and different ways of thinking. Some of my favourite directors would be, Zhang Yimou, Wong KarWai, and Robert Rodriguez. There are other directors of course I am hugely interested in but as an Independent filmmaker I think I can learn a lot from them. 

3. Can you tell us more about your film? What made you want to tell such a story?
HOOKED tells the story of a man in pain whose trying to hold on to a feeling of love. It's a universal story. Being in Korea I didn’t want to shoot the usual short film that we often see between a Korean and a foreign boyfriend/girlfriend. I wanted something, which would be a little controversial. Ever since I saw ‘Requiem for a Dream’ this downward spiral of how drugs can affect a life has kind of stuck with me. Sometimes it’s not so black and white, and this is what I wanted to explore. In Korea people fail to acknowledge that drugs exist in their society and I wanted to show something different. What’s right and wrong isn’t always so clear. 

4. Are you excited to have an Australian Premiere at Cinema on the Park Korean Film Night? How do you think the Australian audience will respond to the film?
I am very excited. In fact I wish I could be there to enjoy the night and answer any questions personally. (How about a plane ticket?) I have received good reviews around the globe so I will be interested to see how it is received in Australia. I think Korean cinema is up and coming and to be part of this is a great feeling. I actually learned Korean especially for this movie, which was another challenge for me. 

5. What’s next for you? Do you have a project/study/work planned?
I actually just finished my second short, A DAY IN 1951. “During the Korean War, an injured British officer is separated from his surviving company and rescued by an emotionally unstable Korean youth. In the isolation of the countryside, the two form a friendly bond until the British soldier makes a misstep that triggers an unexpected reaction in his companion.” 

I actually made this as a pilot for a feature film I am developing. All I need to do now is find a producer to attach to the project and raise some finance. I also have another short in development that will be high concept with a view to turning this into a feature. Anybody that’s a filmmaker all knows it’s not easy to get a project from script-to-screen, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. 

6. How can people in Australia follow you? Eg. Twitter/Blog/Website/Vimeo?
If people want to follow my work and see my new projects they can visit my website or send me an email; . I also have a twitter page @thoughts2uk and will soon start an RSS feed. I’m always looking to reach out and connect with other filmmakers and see what working opportunities there are. Anybody can drop me a line. I’m usually pretty good at replying. 

Thanks to Stuart for his time and we look forward to seeing his new film A Day in 1951 sometime in the near future! For more about Cinema on the Park please see here

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