Sarah Hudson, how did you get inspired to become a filmmaker?
I’ve always been into art, but at a certain point I fell completely in love with film as a medium. We experience films differently than other art forms: we spend time with them, we connect with them, and they become part of our lives. I love film for that. I also love how film is a relatively new medium compared to writing, painting, etc. Today, with the rise of the internet and the accessibility of the medium, film is changing again. It’s an exciting time to be a filmmaker!
What is your favorite part about the short film form?
A good short film is like a good poem: you can pack a lot of meaning into a short time period. My favorite short films have stuck with me as much as my favorite feature films – and many of them I’ve seen more times.
Who were the people that supported the making of this film?
Actors: Stephanie Schneider & Brendan Riggs Music: Billy the Kid Crew: Jerry Tai (Still Photographer, Location Sound, PA), Kyla Plewes (Location Sound), Katherine Leanne Nielsen (PA), Keenan Tims (PA) I wrote, directed, produced, shot, edited, and did the sound design on this film. My family has always been a pillar of support. They’ve sat through many rough cuts and always provided honest feedback. Huge shout out to them!
What resources do you use as a filmmaker? Music, locations, props, editing, crew, etc.
I made Found back in 2009, and while I’ve grown a lot as a filmmaker since then, the film still reflects how I work and my style. Everything in Found was accessible to me as a film student – I shot the film in my apartment and my neighborhood, I made the film with my friends, and I shot the film on a friend’s camera. While I may work with a larger variety of people, places, and equipment today, I still think in this kind of economic, resourceful manner with my filmmaking. One big change since Found is that I’ve been collaborating much more with my sister, Rachel Hudson, who is a totally awesome person and filmmaker in her own right. You can follow her on Twitter & Instagram at @RachelHproject
What is your next project?
One of our last films, Butterfly, won Best Music Film in the 2015 Fusion Doc Challenge and will be screened through Fusion both online and on TV this year. Keep an eye out for it! Other than that, I’m developing a few features and short films. You should probably just follow me on Twitter to stay up to date: @studiooptica
The independent film business is a difficult one. What keeps you motivated? Where do you see the industry going in the future?
I love seeing a project you’ve sweat and bled over play in front of an audience, be it large or small. This is my motivation – getting these stories and experiences out into the world, where it can find its audience and affect them. This is the most rewarding thing to me about filmmaking. We are involved in the film industry during a time of transition. Film is more accessible, and also the landscape is more saturated. It’s easier to get your work out there but harder to get eyes on your work. I believe that, moving towards the future, curating films and getting them to their audience is more important than ever before. That’s what I really love about The Audience Awards – it gives films and filmmakers a platform!
Which filmmakers, artists or individuals have most influenced your work?
I like many filmmakers/artists/individuals. I’ll just start listing them: Wong Kar Wai, Andrei Tarkovsky, Haruki Murakami, David Lynch, Agnes Varda, Jan Svankmajer, Werner Herzog, Edward Hopper, Jean Luc Godard, Charles Schultz, John Waters, Elaine May, Hayao Miyazaki, Frida Kahlo, etc. I’m really inspired by film history, animation, visual art, and life in general.
What advice would you give new filmmakers?
Make films. No excuses. Take every opportunity you can to share your work and get it in front of an audience. Value both your own labor and the labor of others. Support your friends. Get as much sleep as you can whenever you can.
Follow me on Twitter at @studiooptica and on Instagram at @studio.optica
Check out the filmmaker Sarah Hudson’s website here.
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