Guiness is good
08/06/13 21:58 Filed in: Interview
A still from Christopher Guiness' short film Captain T&T
Q: Your films seem to spend a lot of time at ground level. Does this represent a directorial decision or an effort to offer an underrepresented perspective?
CG: In Pothound it was to take you into the world of the dog, to see things from her perspective. I fell in love with the aesthetic though, so it's very present in Captain T&T.
It's intimate yet somewhat voyeuristic, the ant on the floor to the fly on the wall.
Q: Your protagonists are unlikely, but heroic nonetheless. Do you have a particular perspective on the decision to be heroic and the impulses that govern it?
CG: It's the choice to transfer compassion into action. Not necessarily to be selfless but to be considerate and act upon it. Is it innate, is it learned, situational.? All, none? This question is going to make my small brain explode.
Q: Your scenarios offer a vision of a world that's increasingly nostalgic. Do you think that today's young people, raised on computers and iPads will relate to your stories of childhood or are they targeted at adults?
CG: Yeah the nostalgic elements are targeted at adults. I try to take my viewer back to a more innocent, less complicated time.
Short films on the whole are a hard sell for Generation Z though, maybe some will appreciate them, but MMOTPG's and first person shooters are way cooler by comparison for the younger generation to care about anything else.
Q: Dogs are full scale characters in your films. What should we understand about you in noticing this?
CG: Dogs are great friends and I want to represent them in an endearing manner. Plus when you are working with small budgets you have to use every resource that is available to you, and I just happen to have some really smart, talented pups who work for chow.
Q: What's up with the cartoon interludes?
CG: They're great to create scenes my non-Hollywood budget don't allow. Plus I like the stylistic approach.
Q: Are you concerned that there might be racial concerns about the villains in your new film?
CG: Oh you mean because they are black? Nah, I cast two kids who could act their butts off. They had to deliver in the little time they had on screen. Wayne and especially Rizario were great to work with.
Q: What do you hope that viewers take from your short films?
CG: Hopefully, they don't want their 10 minutes back first! Then a little smile in the corner of their mouth would suffice.
Q: There's a powerful hope for change in your films. What, in a perfect world, if your films could flip a switch in the viewer's mind, what would that be?
CG: Be nicer. Be kinder. Be a better person. Be the hero of your life. So in any situation think to yourself what will a hero do?
He wouldn't pelt that stray dog rummaging through garbage.
He wouldn't harass the girl passing on the street and ask her to have his first born.
And he'd help that old woman take her groceries home a la the David Wears photo.
Small everyday things like that.
Or if you want to go further, get that rescue puppy from the pound if you were thinking about getting a dog, spaying and neutering the ones you already have.
Or donate books and art supplies to the Summer Heroes Foundation if you able to do so.
Lastly, parents should give their kids a break, support their endeavours and stop worrying if they will fail.
Neil Degrasse Tyson when speaking about children said something along the lines of "We spend the first year of their life teaching them to walk and talk, then the rest of their lives telling them to sit down and shut up."
Let little De Shaun draw on the wall, let chubby Cindy take dance if she wants to. Kids are naturally curious and want to try everything. We should let them, providing it's not hazardous to their health. How can someone figure out who they really are if someone else is making all the decisions for them?
Q: Is that really PM 1? I think you got me with that shot.
CG: No, it's a Kalloo's rental. Anyone who wants to kick it like the PM for a day, give them a call.
There's even a bar in the car.
Q: What did it cost to produce the film?
CG: Thirty something thousand, all of which went to the actors, various props, travel, catering and acquiring music. Thankfully we got some tunes complimentary. Kernal Roberts, the Amars/Nastee X and Mr. Winston "Gypsy" Peters, thank you.
Related: My Click Here story for the Sunday Arts Magzine on Captain T&T