Talk with William Eubank (SBIFF, 2015)

Reviewed by Furkan Altunkaynak. Viewed at SBIFF 2015.

We had talk with director of the movie The Signal William Eubank. In this talk not only we learn about his pass work, and his struggle to come where he is now but also his tips for people who are interested in the filmmaking.

He said for people who are interested in getting into making this art form, specially in a low budget movie, you always need to think about elements that you have for the marketing side of the movies.

He used to work in Panavision before his first movie Love takes his lot of time. After quitting from Panavision, he manage to get his movie half done until his executive producer Thomas DeLonge said no more. So he was left with a space station on his parents garden. His grandmother gave him some money to finish up his project. After getting some footage done he send them to Thomas and Thomas agreed to pay his grand mother’s money back. That’s how he managed to finis up his first film.

He went to CAA agency for his movie The Signal and agency accepted helping him with his budget. They said to him that he can either wait for the proper amount of money for the movie or they can provide him 3 million dollars right away. He quickly said, 3 million dollars is enough for him. It took 4-5 months to get ready then 21 days of shooting for the movie The Signal.

Animated series always amazed him by their exact total run time. He likes to draw storyboard for his entire movie like a comic. Because his all shoots are super calculated this way there are some side effect that appeared. Like having everything draw before, limits the creativity in the set, or camera being stable all the time, never shifting forward or backwards, always either tilts or pans.

To be precise like the cartoon animations he likes, that he turned his drawings in animated format to see the edit and how log every single shoot needed to take. He said he looking up to Alfred Hitchcock about that.

In his First movie named love, He used slow motion in the war scene so it looked bigger. Smart decision made by him minimized the shoot to only few seconds that needed to shoot. The shoot looked gigantic even thought shoot for only few seconds.

When we ask him the question “How do you support yourself?” He said that you can still do this and be running out of money. 2 months before this movie release he was hungry and his girlfriend was buying his stuff. With some Music videos he did some money before. He said, “There are some bad times when you will starve”

Who is getting casted is important, if his casts know what they need to doing in the set, everything runs greater, he says. Otherwise it’s wasting other’s time and power.

To Manage the moment on the set he uses his notes remind himself what they have to do which part of the movie they are at. This is the most important part of a movie for him, “Creating that portrait of the real life.” All that struggle is for that specific moment, and He says often time, not only he can forget but the actors can too or worst don’t even know what is going on in the moment of the film. Forgetting object or changing stuff that happens front of the camera at the finish product is nothing compare to this for him.

For the most important departments of the movie, he points out the cinematography and set design. In his first movie, even in the first few takes he says he was thing about how the lighting is going to be. For him, finding people who love what they doing, people that he can rely on is so important. Like David Lanzenberg; David made him sit for days and nights to get every thing right in place. This was weird for him to begin with because he is a cinematographer himself. But he realized how important to have a conversation about every single shoot. He says he didn’t think about he needed to talk about shoots since they are been all drew as a comic. And he expected just to go to set waiting for him say “Action”. But to achieve that he says you have to really sit down and draw everything again and let people know what is it that you trying to achieve by that drawing or lighting set-up. That was his first time working with a real professional cinematographer.




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