The first-ever Melrose Film Festival will be held Saturday, September 15 in the Melrose Center at the Orlando Public Library. For this showcase of short films, the Melrose Center received 2,800 submissions from all over the world and curated them to 58. The films will be presented in 30 minutes sessions interspersed with featured speakers and panel discussions.
Among the films selected is a submission from New York City called The Hobbyist. A cautionary tale of sorts, the eight-and-a-half-minute short begins with a man looking for an undetectable poison, for reasons to be determined. In advance of the festival, we asked the producer of this dark tale questions about the project, his career, and the importance of events such as the Melrose Film Festival.
Scottie Campbell: How did The Hobbyist come about as a project?
David Maire: Our short film is director George Vatistas’ thesis project for his graduate studies at the School of Visual Arts, of which I am an alumnus. The film is an adaptation of a 1961 short story by Fredric Brown, who George is a huge fan of, and even adapted his previous short film on another work of his.
S.C.: What was the biggest challenge in making The Hobbyist?
D.M.: Finding aesthetically viable location options that were within our budget was by far and large the most time consuming and energy exhaustive aspect of this project. Everything else fell into place fairly well, including casting and hiring crew. We were also fortunate enough to have most of our equipment package be provided by the university.
S.C.: You’ve worked in many aspects of film & television production, including in front of the camera. What’s your favorite?
D.M.: The creativity and leadership liberties directing affords me are very enjoyable, but I’m not sure I have a favorite; each position has its benefits and drawbacks. With regards to producing, my attention to detail comes in handy for micromanaging the minutiae, but can quickly become tiresome. I enjoy acting quite a bit despite not being formally trained, but I’ve never actively pushed myself to go out to audition for projects that I wasn’t already involved with.
S.C. : How long have you had your own production company?
D.M.: Going on 7 years—we founded the banner after earning our B.A.s from NYU: Tisch School of the Arts for the purpose of labeling our various creative videos projects.
S.C.: AireBedd is a fun name. How did you come up with it?
D.M.: I appreciate that; my grandfather thinks it sounds like the name of a porn production company. The name is an amalgamation of my co-founding partner Mikey and I’s last names – Beddome and Maire respectively. Mikey is currently producing and starring in a thriller/horror short titled What’s In the Woods that will soon be going into production. Check out the project’s successfully funded Seed & Spark campaign for more information: https://www.seedandspark.com/fund/whats-in-the-woods
S.C.: Why did you decide to submit to the Melrose Film Festival (MFF)?
D.M.: The principle reason had to be the incredibly low submission cost! Sadly, this is always a huge factor when deciding which festivals to submit to and which to pass on as most filmmakers fail to adequately budget for the festival circuit and their resources have generally been depleted by the time the project is ready to be sent out.
S.C.: How important are film festivals like this for filmmakers?
D.M.: This is very subjective, and I believe it depends wholly on the individual project, festival, and the goals the filmmakers have set out for their circuit run. Overall though, festivals like MFF, which bring indie cinema to new audiences and showcase upcoming artists, greatly behoove and validate our efforts and visions.
S.C.: What do you hope for in having The Hobbyist screened at MFF?
D.M.: To be recognized as emerging artists, and be honored with a nomination or two.
S.C.: Will you be attending MFF? If so, is there anything you want to make sure to see or do while in Orlando?
D.M.: Regretfully I will not be able to attend due to scheduling conflicts with a new Netflix feature film I am working on until next month. I am however trying to visit Orlando at the end of October and look forward to dining at Kres Chophouse again!
For more information on the Melrose Film Festival, visit the Melrose Center website.
|D. M. Night Maire is an alumnus of NYU: Tisch School of the Arts, earning his B.A. with honors in Film & T.V. with a focus on Directing, and Minors in Psychology and Producing for Film & T.V. This native Alpine’s passion for directing led him to pursue a Masters in Directing at the School of Visual Arts under famed music video and commercial director Bob Giraldi. David co-founded AireBedd, a banner under which he’s garnered hundreds of laurels and awards for his various short films and music videos, and produced content for Moët Hennessy, Louis Vuitton, Red Bull and the Leslie-Lohman Museum, amongst others.|