MIFS: Where did the idea for the film come from?
"The Best Present" was inspired by a fabulously fun, foreign film called "Rare Exports" which had a unique look at Father Christmas. I wanted to create my own story that played with the classic concepts of American Christmas. I also wanted to create a film that was heartfelt yet had just the right amount of dark comedy to make it fun and bizarre.
MIFS: How much did the project change from concept to final edit?
The final edit of the movie is very close to the way I initially envisioned the film and storyboarding helped in that process. Many filmmakers do not work with storyboards but I find them to be very effective when you are considering the limited time donated by your cast and crew. I particularly enjoy the 'reveal' with the crane shot.
MIFS:Where there any challenges during production?
As always, productions run into many difficulties. For me the most difficult aspect of getting my films made is organizing my cast and crew. Some of the shots in the film were shot and performed by myself and a tripod. I also made some strong color choices in pre-production that gave me little trouble in editing. I punched the reds and greens to enhance the holiday feel. I could still spend significant hours experimenting with the color but you have to reach a point where you decide 'that's enough'.
MIFS: With the film completed, what has been the most rewarding thing about the whole experience?
There is great reward in seeing your story actuated! But seeing your film with an audience AND having the audience react in the right places is possibly the greatest reward. Also I don't envision myself EVER growing my beard out that long again and this film is a great way to document just how much of a hobo I had become for that role.
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