Mr. Bouhaïk, an independent filmmaker based in France, brought us the intriguing “Max“, awarded ISA Bronze Best Sound Design and also two honorable mentions: Best Mystery Short and Best Sci-Fi Short. A no-budget short film done almost by only one person, besides the actors.
Learn more about Mr. Bouhaïk and the challenges he faced to portrait the strange phenomena that have occurred following the fire of the Institute of Biomedical Research of the Armies. “Max” tells her version of the facts.
ISA: What made you decide to make this film?
mr. Bouhaïk: Fan of Geroge Romero, I wanted to pay him a small tribute in the form of my story. I wanted to talk about denial, the ability of the brain to reject the intolerable against a background of a chemical disaster.
ISA: What budget did you have and how did it affect the production?
MB: My budget was very small, I spent $ 150 and used my hardware (GH4 Lumix). I thought about the locations and the kind of directing I was able to do with the means I had: an apartment with a beautiful view on a tenth floor. I filmed some segments on the exterior, also did the music and sound environments before working with the actors to get them into the mood of the film more easily.
ISA: How long was the shooting and which were the main challenges on the set?
MB: For the scenes outside, I took more than a year to have beautiful images. For indoor scenes with actors, it took 3 days. The biggest challenge for me was to be alone behind the camera to make the film and editing and design the sound, everything by myself alone.
ISA: Besides the explicit story you tell, what did you want to tell to the audience with “Max”?
MB: This is my first film with 6 actors and of such a long runtime. Before, I did 4 small short films with mainly my son and me as actors. I hope that people who watch “Max” don’t become bored and also that the end of the film can let the viewer decide which part of Max’s story is real and is fictional.
ISA: What impact do you expect to have with “Max”?
MB: Reach a maximum audience and find partners for my next project.
ISA: Are you happy with the final result or would you change something?
MB: If I had more means, I would have liked a good calibration of the image and a master of the sound and having an outside eye on my film would surely be a good thing.
ISA: What are your overall career goals and what’s next?
MB: I am already thinking of a new film but this time if I have to find some money and a film crew to concentrate on the making of the film. I do not think about a career in filmmaking but in the joy and the pleasure of doing this.
ISA: What meant for you, as a French filmmaker, to be awarded in Independent Shorts Awards?
MB: For me, I still have to work a lot to be able to achieve the best ISA awards. So, I’m really honored for having participated in the festival and see you soon.
Some facts about mr. Bouhaïk:
Musician from an early age, passionate about sound and cinema. He joined the ENSATT Son technician section and then follows the curriculum of Xenakis “Computer Music and composition.”. In 1990, he worked for several years in the theater (creation of soundtrack). Seven years later, began a career as a composer and sound engineer in music (producing several albums, soundtracks, etc). In 2008, he turned to video editing and made several recordings and montage for various companies. In 2016, he directed his first short films and cinematographic workshops.
Some facts about “Max”:
“For this story, I wanted to let the viewer define the part of reality and the part of fiction in the denial of “Max”. I did “Max” with a budget near zero. Technical aspects: I’ve done everything and composed the music with the help of Jacques Guilbert with the Armenian flute and worked makeup with Swan FX, a young woman who just left the college.”
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