I recently had the chance to interview Writer/ Director Jamison M. LoCascio about their new anthology film 7×7, which depicts a series of disasters and dark moments and the tales of survival and hope which exist within them. In this interview we discuss, the human spirit, hopefulness and the genuine sense of panic that comes about when you think you might miss your train.I hope you enjoy.
What was the thought behind making this film?
JML: We had done 8-12 years of short film work and we were starting to see a striking similarity between the headlines of today and the work we had done years ago. We realize that sometimes the short film format can be limited so we decided to bring them together into one feature length (82 minute) collection called 7×7, the unifying element being the human condition or connection between these characters in crisis.
What was the message you wanted to get across?
JML: Each film has its own message but mainly it was to try to tell a truthful story about normal people in difficult and sometimes unbelievable circumstances.
When focusing on such dark events how do you manage tone to not have the film feel bleak or depressing?
JML: It is ultimately up to you as a filmmaker to leave people satisfied and entertained, in the end every single audience member sees the story differently so you cannot hope to have everyone on the same page. The idea then is to try to tell a story that feels satisfying from start to finish for you as the filmmaker and people will join the camp of supporting that feeling or not.
Your film suggests that even in the darkest of times there is always some form of hope, do you agree with that and would you describe this film as fundamentally optimistic?
JML: I think there is always a sense of hope in our films though sometimes it is harder to define but we feel that is true to life.
How did you decide on the anthology approach?
JML: It was the hard work of many people over 12 years, these short films specifically needed to be further seen. Now, with a company called FILM HUB, who encouraged us to make 7×7, they had that new opportunity to be seen by people-so we delivered them!
Do you have any funny stories from production?
JML: There are tons but the best one is probably on “Track 3” the entire shoot was done in between people rushing to their trains and with announcements coming over the loudspeaker- every 20 minutes or less! Wow! Some people out of focus in the background look like they are panicking due to the scripted Pandemic in the film but the true story…they were just late for their trains!
What is your favorite moment from the film?
JML: The resolution at the end of Midnight Catch is an important moment in the movie and my favorite in some ways because it was my first film and it is the last film in this anthology. I am proud it was chosen to be there in that final position after all the years since I have made and learned to make better films. It was kind of like the producers had decided that I was on “the right track” all along and in the filmmaking business of insanity and uncertainty, those little things add up to be positive moments for you as a filmmaker.
8. Future plans/ what comes next for you?
JML: We are already working on a new feature film screenplay in the horror genre and Adam Ambrosio and myself are about to release a book called “The Script is Not Enough” about how we made our first four feature films and the lessons new filmmakers can take from them, I hope it can help somebody!
9. Do you have any words for aspiring filmmakers who might be reading this?
JML: Stay with it and don’t get too caught up on one “big” movie idea, it is easier to wait too long and fail this way. Instead, make as many films as possible and learn from each one, even if you fail along the way, people will admire your courage to persist onwards in your craft. After that, people will graciously lend you a hand and want to be a part of your momentum forward, making that process easier and ultimately closer to what you originally wanted it to be. One day, suddenly your body of work becomes “valuable” or maybe even “inspiring” to some as tough, painful, and slow as it may be, but really your expectations mainly need adjustment, always be grateful you have the opportunity to make any film ever, it is a rare gift and I’ve decided to never lose sight of that fact myself. The truth is that you can always take a blank page and write/finance/shoot/deliver a feature film that is well within anyone’s budget – just look at things differently, don’t worry about Hollywood’s rules but instead make the best films you can with the hand you’ve been given. Study the craft, study films you love, try to find the joy in every bit of it because it is at the end of the day, it is very challenging but worthwhile in the end. It is important to remember that no one will hand you anything. You must go out and create the films you want to make and see for yourself, you need to find a way to make your films come into existence or develop the kinds of films that can be more easily made, stop worrying about how you are perceived in terms of budget, cast, etc and instead – make the best damn film you can. People will notice this type of passionate work much more so, you can feel a person’s passion for something translate to their results, I believe especially in filmmaking.
If you would like to check out 7X7 for yourself it is currently out now on Tubi https://tubitv.com/movies/722406/7×7
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