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Comic Sans: An Interview with Don Sill

Tell us about yourself. What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

I’ve always been a storyteller and always loved the art of storytelling. So everything, from writing, acting, producing and directing a project as a means to properly tell my story, is something I’ve always wanted to do and something I’ve always loved.

Talk about your last work. What are some of the challenges you faced during production?

The biggest challenge, at this Independent level, was time and money. We needed to shoot at a comedy club/bar location for three days, and I also needed to secure a film crew and actors for those days with an extremely low budget.

What makes you want to tell stories? In other words, what are the themes/issues you want to incorporate into your work?

I love the human spirit and love to tell stories that we can all relate to. I feel we all identify in some way to every character and every characteristic. I like to show that as much as we are all different, we are indeed very much the same.

Most of my work centers around stand-up comedians. I always view the comedian as the truth teller. Whether said is jest or matter-of-fact, the comedian is usually the one with the mirror pointed at the audience. The comedian is very important in our society and using a comedian as my protagonist helps me unravel a truth and vulnerability in a way that feels comfortable and fun.

Please tell us about your vision and your method of approaching a new project?

Usually while I am driving alone is when ideas will pop in my head. It can be a character, a situation or even dialog that will emerge. Then I’ll play off those thoughts and often times that can spark an entire storyline.

Who are your filmmaking influencers? What are the films that were influential for you?

I am heavily influenced by so many great filmmakers. But, I would say John Hughes has always been one of my biggest influences. I love his style and voice and how he truly captures the human spirit in all of his work. His genius is truly in his characters and how we, the audience, fall in love with them no matter how flawed they may be.

How do you think the industry is changing? How has COVID affected independent filmmaking/creation?

I think in the beginning of COVID it certainly effected everything. But, as we move forward and learn to deal with this virus, I feel it has become somewhat of a non-factor

What advice would you give to aspiring artists? What are some of the things they must follow/avoid?

My best advice is to always follow your heart. Create something that you believe in and that you love. Create characters that mean something to you. Because if you’re truthful to yourself your audience will feel that. It will transcend through the work.

Director Don Sill

Do you think films/stories can bring about a change in the world?

Yes, I do believe that film/stories can change the world. I think oftentimes films can touch on subjects that many people were not aware of. And can then bring that subject to light and create empathy and awareness and knowledge. We’ve seen that in so many great movies.

What do you think people like to watch these days? Has the pandemic changed people's taste?

I think people are always drawn to a compelling story with complex yet simple characters. I don’t think the pandemic has changed or altered peoples taste in films.

Please tell us about your upcoming projects.

I am working on a short film called LIFE OF A FLY about an eldery comedian. I am very excited about this project and still in the scripting stage.


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