Introducing Mary Horan, Fusion Doc Challenge filmmaker

May 9, 2015

Was this your first Doc Challenge? What has been your favorite part about Fusion Doc Challenge?

This was my first time participating in the Doc Challenge – my favorite part of participating in this challenge was working and collaborating with my co-director/cinematographer Zach Mehrbach for five days in order to complete the film.

How did you take the theme for the 2014 Doc Challenge “I have a bad feeling about this,” and use it into your film?

Honestly, it was very serendipitous how Zach and I ended up choosing the artists that we did, to serve the theme “I have a bad feeling about this.” Zach and I spent a good few hours the first day of the challenge reaching out to artists in Chicago but we weren’t getting a lot of responses or availability. Finally two artists who shared a studio space responded to our messages. So, by default they ended up being the artists we did a documentary on. The fact that their artwork as New Media artists, was that of causing intentional glitches and manipulating binary code, was purely luck.

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Mary Horan

Moment of Glitch filmmaker Mary Horan

I’m a curious person by nature and being a doc filmmaker allows me to meet people I admire and who intrigue me. Being a documentary filmmaker gives me the chance to see these people’s lives first hand and to be able to tell their stories.

What is your favorite part about the short film form?

I think I enjoy making short films because it really tests your ability to tell a story within a matter of minutes. I also like the challenge to keep people engaged throughout that short amount of time.

Who were the people that supported the making of this film?

My co-director/cinematographer Zach Mehrbach was the number one supporter in making this film, followed by my editor Jon Vogel who laid the foundation of the film in the editing process.

What resources do you use as a filmmaker? Music, locations, props, editing, crew, etc.

I have been really taken with Adobe Suites and their creative cloud feature.

What is your next project?

The next project that I am working on is about Hispanic street food vendors in Chicago and the fight to legalize their abilities to sell prepared foods in the city.

The independent film business is growing. What keeps you motivated? Where do you see the industry going in the future?

What keeps me motivated to be a documentary filmmaker is the fact that there are so many stories out there that haven’t been told yet. I see the industry going more and more online as more people continue to view films on their computers vs. in theaters.

Which filmmakers, artists or individuals have most influenced your work?

Erroll Morris.

What advice would you give new filmmakers?

It’s all about the story– don’t get bogged down on not having the latest and greatest cameras out there. Even if you need to start by using the video camera on your phone, just make sure you capture the story. And don’t forget to ask for help. Filmmaking is collaborative, you could do it all yourself but it’s much easier working with others so you can focus on the story you want to tell.

View Mary Horan’s film “Moment of Glitch” competing in the Fusion Doc Challenge, and follow her career with The Audience Awards.

The Audience Awards is film’s social network connecting audiences to films, filmmakers, film schools and film festivals. The Audience Awards hosts short film competitions where the audience chooses the best films.


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