Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Take 5 Interview w/ Lessons Learned creators Kalima Young & AJ Hyde!

Kalima Young and Aj Hyde are independent film making, professional adventuring superheroes; able to bend probability, time & space to get the job done. Recently they've conducted controlled experiments in telepathic exchange (so as to abolish clunky cellular devices) and love to cook up a mean Sunday Dinner to replenish themselves during/after intense sessions of editing. They excel in GLBTQ cinema and are based in Baltimore, Hon!

Kubla Khan Productions' latest feature, Lessons Learned, premieres Friday, July 10, 2009 at Creative Alliance. Lessons Learned is a psychological thriller about a rash of killings in Mt. Vernon and troubled journalist who doesn't know if he is the killer or the next victim. Check it out at: www.lessonslearnedfilm.net.

1. What’s the last movie you loved and what was the last movie you hated?

Star Trek (2009) was definitely the most recent film that we absolutely loved. Being Trekkies, it was really amazing to watch this new incarnation of familiar characters and storyline. The casting was perfect, performances on point, the story engaged us immediately from the prologue, all the music, special effects... it was just a totally solid piece of Hollywood science fiction. Four very enthusiastic thumbs way up.

Last movie we hated collectively? Hostel. Or the remake of Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes. Complete nonsense. We're both horror fans and this new Super Gore, Torture Porn schtick with contemporary horror filmmakers is both extremely distasteful and disappointing. We want to be scared and thrilled, not grossed the fuck out. There's a difference there, a definitive line, and we feel the scare should come from the plight, not the blood (and guts and brains and intestines, and spinal cords and severed genitalia...) itself.

2. What’s your guilty pleasure movie or TV show?

Aj: Heheh, Sailormoon. I know every season inside and out and three ways backwards from Sunday. It can be extra cute, and sometimes girlie, and sometimes very ridiculous... but the messages are true and I dig every bit of it. I mean, the mythologies alone are worth it. Ancient rulers of Planetary Kingdoms fighting evil 1000 years later on present day Earth? haha, yeah, nuff said.

Kalima: Bubble Boy is the bomb leather. I frakin love that movie to death and its stupid as all get out. The premise is classic and the characters are great. I also love the bubble itself. You just can't beat, "Oh, you're not a singing group, you're a cult!" I sometimes want to join the Bright and Shiny cult myself these days.

3. How’d you get into filmmaking?

Kalima: I used to want to be an MTV VJ but when I got to college I liked making videos more than imitating Kurt Loder. So I kept at it. I love film and film making because of the collective creative output of good people working for a common purpose. That shit gets addictive.

Aj: I met Kalima. :D

4. What’s your fave piece of gear?

Aj: I think I'm gonna have to go with our camera. We really wouldn't be doing much film making at all without it. It's pretty essential.

Kalima: I have a mad toss up between our G5 (gillian) and our new Jib arm. What a sexy beast that thing is. We didn't have it set up completely for Lessons Learned (Premiers July 10, 2009 at the Creative Alliance) but we are going to break that puppy out for our new film, This War. I'm gonna ride that jib like a Harley on a rough piece of road.

5. What’s the one thing you’d warn a new filmmaker NOT to do on their first film?

Kalima: Don't throw your budget to the wind. Make a budget, stick to it and try to get as many things for free as possible. Also- never let your cast and crew starve. EVER.

Aj: The number one bit of advice I could offer, which also happens to be something to keep in mind if one finds themselves hitchhiking across the galaxy: Don't Panic. Shit happens, people don't show up, it rains during an outside shoot, you realize you didn't schedule enough time for any given shoot... Don't Panic. One of the most significant lessons I've learned as a filmmaker is that of flexibility. To think quickly and on my toes and to always, always keep a level head. Perspective and clarity of thought, even during a 15hour shoot on the hottest day in the middle of summer is key. Don't. Panic.

Jaimes also caught up with Kalima at the MD Film Fest to chat about filmmaking, Baltimore, and fake blood:

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