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Interviews: City, State Filmmakers Talk Short Films at Chicago International Film Festival

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StarBenjamin Kegan, Director of “After Christmas”

Benjamin Kegan
Benjamin Kegan at the Chicago International Film Festival, Oct. 16th, 2012
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for HollywoodChicago.com

HollywoodChicago.com: In a few sentences, describe your film and more importantly what it means to you.

Benjamin Kegan: It’s a short film about a twentysomething kid who is home for the holidays, the holidays are over and maybe he wants to move back home. It’s about the comfort of returning home, how it wears on your parents and how it can be indulgent. Personally to me, it’s about how the relationship with your parents change in that particular point in your life. The tables turn a bit, my relationship has gotten closer with my parents, but I also realized I can’t get away with some of the things that I had done when I was younger.

HollywoodChicago.com: How do you think it represents the generation that is – as we keep hearing on the news lately – letting go of their parental and home relationships and striking out into the world themselves?

Kegan: It’s hard for many people. The generation that I am a part of graduated from college at a time when it was much more difficult to get a job, so that’s a big part of it, so the comfort of the nest becomes so much more appealing. Plus so many of us were raised in nostalgia, so there is a tendency to cling to the past. We need to get over it. [laughs]

HollywoodChicago.com: When you talk about your love of filmmaking or film in general, what do you talk about primarily?

Kegan: What is fun about film is that it is extremely collaborative. You have this idea as a director and writer as to where you want to go, but you can’t control everything. It’s about bringing in the cinematographers, the actors, producers which bring in the ideas. Then you step back and see how much better and more interesting than what you initially came up with, even in the rehearsal process for the actors. Their rapport turned up the humor in the piece, that’s the direction we went into. It’s about discovery.

HollywoodChicago.com: Finally, in the film that influences you the most as a director, what is your favorite scene and why?

Kegan: For this film, we look at Woody Allen’s dramatic films, ‘Interiors’ was actually huge. We wanted the lighting, the feeling of home and niceness, we wanted to capture it. We thought that Allen really knows how to capture a home warmly, so we went with that.

StarBrad Bischoff, Director of “Where the Buffalo Roam”

To find out where HollywoodChicago first met Brad Bischoff, click here.

Brad Bischoff
Brad Bischoff at the Chicago International Film Festival, Oct. 16th, 2012
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for HollywoodChicago.com

HollywoodChicago.com: In a few sentences, describe your film and more importantly what it means to you.

Brad Bischoff: It’s a very personal film for me. I grew up in the safety of the suburbs, with my brothers Wesley and Tyler. Tyler was in the film, and we have connected in a way where we’ve become each other’s best friends. It got to the point were we would run around the suburbs, with a backpack, just to explore and feel alive. So Ty and I, when I moved out, that this kind of exploration wouldn’t happen again, because he was moving on as well. I have a hard time living in these moments, knowing that they will not happen again. So I told Ty that we needed to make a film, we need to capture this relationship. It’s a film about a beautiful moment in time, before we all went our separate ways.

HollywoodChicago.com: You said in the Q&A that you are also a person who has a hard time facing change. When did that worldview alter for you?

Bischoff: It was after a break-up, and when I was moving to the city. It was the first time that I had no choice. I got the apartment, I started living in it and that doesn’t mean that everything is okay, but I was comfortable living in that change.

HollywoodChicago.com: What plan in pre-production do you like to use – storyboards, shot lists or do you just like to seat-of-the-pants your films?

Bischoff: For previous films, I approached it differently than ‘Where the Buffalo Roam.’ This one was very improvisational. We had a script, but as soon we started filming we threw it away. We filmed it in wide takes, to take our time with it, and with the camera being far away we could forget about everything around us, and live as brothers. Ty had never acted before. My producer, Bob Zegler, was there with us for every rehearsal, and the idea was to make Ty comfortable being in front of a camera. So the most important thing in pre-production became the rehearsal process, between my brother and I. It’s easy to be brothers, but once you start acting in a film as brothers, it can be terrible and terrific at the same time.

HollywoodChicago.com: When you talk about your love of filmmaking or film in general, what do you talk about primarily?

Bischoff: To give you an example of this, I was madly in love with my high school sweetheart and in the film you see me carrying a backpack, which was filled with everything that reminded me of that love. And Ty keeps telling me to take it off, take it off. But you can’t sometimes, that’s how love feels.

HollywoodChicago.com: Finally, in the film that influences you the most as a director, what is your favorite scene and why?

Bischoff: He was here tonight, Malik Bader, the director of ‘Street Thief.’ It blew me away. This film changed my life, inspired me to approach film in the way I do. Then I saw him here tonight, and I met him for the first time. It was a really good moment.

The 48th Chicago International Film Festival wraps up on October 25th, 2012. For more information and to purchase tickets, click on ChicagoFilmFestival.com

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Senior Staff Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2012 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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