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Bay for Blood: An Interview with Harry Waldman

Please tell us about the projects you worked on before making “Bay For Blood”.  How did you start, and how did you learn to make films? 

I have loved to watch films since I was really young. Some of my earliest memories involve me watching movies when I was just a couple years old. While I have loved watching films forever, I was always someone who was a bit too "practical" when it came to my career, despite the fact that my Dad had been a successful artist since I was young. I assumed that you were supposed to graduate college and then work at a job that you weren't passionate about in order to pay the bills. The thought really depressed me, so I tried not to think about it too often and focused on my hobbies, which included watching movies, playing video games, sports, listening to music and hanging out with friends. 

I studied business in college, which did ultimately teach me how to be a good leader as a film director/producer, but the actual content didn't interest me much. I assumed that I would get some business marketing job out of college that I wouldn't really be passionate about. I started to have these fantasies about finding myself working a marketing gig on a film production during my junior year of college, and while the fantasy excited me, it also depressed me because it didn't seem realistic considering my situation. 

During my second semester of my senior year of college, shortly after watching "The Social Network", which is one of my favorite films of all time, and which I believe had an influence on what I have written below, I had a dream that I was going to a prestigious film school, taking various filmmaking courses, collaborating with other students to work on film projects, etc. Near the end of the dream, I met a psychic who told me that one of my closest friends (Inspired by Mark Zuckerberg stabbing Eduardo Saverin in the back) would steal my film idea, but despite this awful fact, I would become a successful filmmaker. 

While I believe that I get along pretty well with most people, I can be a vengeful person if I feel that I was wronged. What truly shocked me about this dream was that I was so excited about the prospect of being a successful filmmaker, that it completely overshadowed my distress over having my film idea stolen by my best friend. 

Suddenly, I woke up, jumped out of my bed, grabbed my backpack and jacket and ran to the front door of my apartment, getting ready to go to one of my "film classes". Then, I realized that it was 12:10 p.m. on a Saturday; that I had just been at a bar the previous night with friends; and that I wasn't a film student at a prestigious film school, but a marketing student at a business school; and I would graduate college and find some job that I hated; and that would be the rest of my life...this was the single most depressing moment of my entire life. 

I stared at my bedroom wall in horror for about 20 minutes and then a lightbulb suddenly popped on inside my head. I told myself, "So you finally figured out your passion as you're graduating college. That's unfortunate, but you're still only 21 years old. You have plenty of time". So, I immediately came up with a plan for my filmmaking career. I would

graduate college with my business marketing degree and find a decent paying job in business after college during the day while pursuing my filmmaking career during the evenings and weekends. This plan launched the beginning of my exciting filmmaking journey, from watching youtube videos on filmmaking and working as a production assistant on film sets while working in Insurance to pay the bills to being able to direct and produce my own films as my main passion, while working for a post-production company, handling video editing and video ingest. 

Tell us about “Bay For Blood”.  How do you describe it? 

Like my first short film, “Enter the Room”, “Bay For Blood” is very personal to me.  It is loosely based on a rough relationship that I had with a childhood “friend”, who didn’t like me very much and seemed to enjoy watching me suffer.  While I am very different from James, I took my darkest thoughts that have come from times in my life in which I wasn’t in a great state of mind and injected them into his character.  

He is deeply flawed, insecure and even crazy at times, but I put in a lot of effort to at least allow my audience to see where he was coming from, even if his actions are disturbing.  In a sense, “Bay For Blood” is a revenge fantasy, but I wanted to emphasize the fact that James made the wrong decision in getting revenge on Rob, even if he was wronged in the past.  

Please tell us about your favorite filmmakers. 

-Christopher Nolan is the first film director who I specifically followed from my childhood. I initially watched one of his older films, “Memento” at a friend's house in 7th grade. It was actually his parents' recommendation, and I was a rebellious kid, so I was skeptical. Though, I was quickly proven wrong, and while I was confused by the twist ending, I was also very intrigued and immediately wanted to watch it again. I forgot about the film for some time, and about two years later, I stumbled into it at a Blockbuster. I became so obsessed with the movie that I watched it 5 nights in a row, learning something new every time as Christopher Nolan dropped so many Easter eggs throughout the film. In general, I really prefer to watch new films and I often get tired of repetition, but "Memento" is one of the few films that I can revisit over and over without ever becoming even slightly bored with it. Due to the ingenious plot structuring, smart script, incredibly complex characters and insane twist ending, "Memento" is the first film that I became obsessed with and is still my favorite film to this day. When I saw “Batman Begins” in theaters a few years later, I was blown away by the darker, more serious tone that the film went with and saw Christopher’s name in the credits as the director shortly after the film ended. That was the moment that I learned of the influence that a director can have on a film and have followed Nolan closely ever since. 

There are so many other directors who I follow, but I would say that some of the others who have definitely had an influence on my work include Danny Boyle, David Fincher, Gaspar Noe, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, Akira Kurosawa, John Carpenter, Satoshi Kon, Michael Mann, Brian De Palma, Alex Garland, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. 

If you were given a good budget, what would be your ideal project? 

My dream project is an animated film idea I have (I am obsessed with animated films and hope to consistently make them in the future) that involves a young adult (based on myself) who is going crazy because of being locked up in his apartment due to COVID. All of his personality types and emotions (Influenced by "Inside Out") work together through a handful of intense and intimidating trials in order to get his mood up and prevent him from doing anything drastic. (Throughout the film, he contemplates committing suicide, and they do everything in their power to prevent this from happening).

Describe how you would ensure that production is on schedule. What steps would you take? 

-I cannot stress enough the importance of staying on schedule and it starts with the leader of the project.  I have a pretty intense screening process to weed out those who aren’t serious.  While I hate ever letting anyone on the team go and always try to be as professional as possible, I let my team know from Day 1 that no-shows without any advance notice won’t be acceptable on the project, barring an emergency.  

And most important, I am always the first one to show up and the last to leave.  I send many emails with as much detailed information as possible.  I believe that leading by example is so important, and because of this, I have had very few issues with people that I have hired for my productions. 

What Was the hardest part of making “Bay For Blood”. 

The biggest challenge on “Bay For Blood” was dealing with the space that we shot in.  My Production Manager was kind enough to let us shoot the film in his apartment, and it’s a nice place, but there wasn’t a ton of space to set up the camera, lights and sound, especially in the bedroom, which contains some of the most important scenes of the film.  

Because of this fact, setting up lights took longer than initially anticipated and on one of our shoot days, we ran a bit behind schedule.  Fortunately, my Gaffer Dru did a fantastic job of keeping us on schedule for the most part, despite the lack of space to set up lights and we were able to finish the shoot on time.  Overall, I am very happy with how the lighting looks in the final product, particularly for the bedroom scenes.

Director Harry Waldman

Please tell us about your upcoming projects. 

I made my first feature film, "The Corridor Crossing" relatively recently, and am currently color correcting it.  I hope to hire a composer for that film in the near future. I have another short film, "Enter the Room" that is in the later stages of its film festival run. And I also have a short film, “In the Backseat” that has just about finished its festival run.  Once those two festival runs are complete, I hope to begin to plan distribution for both films. I have also just outlined the narrative for my next feature film, “Incautious”, and hope to begin writing the script in the near future.


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