Thursday, December 30, 2010

Take 5 with "Shock"

Chris Spears, Director of "Shock"
As we gear up for the Oxford Film Festival 2011 to be held at the Malco Studio Theater on Feb. 10-13, 2011, we thought we might introduce you to some of the people behind the movies we can't wait to show you.

Meet Take 5 filmmaker, Chris Spear, director of "Shock" playing Friday, Feb. 11 at 10 p.m. in the late night block. For the full schedule and description of the films, visit

Q. 1: In 140 characters or less, describe your movie and why someone should see it.

A: It's 100% Mississippi-made. It's just four glorious minutes. And there's vampires.

Q. 2: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in getting the film made?

A: I learned that the true role of the director is 1.) to ensure he has the best possible people working for him in all the other crew roles, and 2.) then tune out all those great crew members during filming to focus on getting the best performances from his actors. That's the trust the director has to put in his crew and that his actors have to put in him.

The best part was probably that first call of "Action!" on the first shot of the first day. I couldn't believe I was actually standing on set, script and notes in hand, watching a formerly imaginary concept of mine come to life.

Q. 3: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?

A: After some nifty school projects in high school, I chose to attend Millsaps College in Jackson in part for their burgeoning film studies program. The internship opportunities there were terrific, including local production companies and the Mississippi Film Office. Those led to more internships, some with big-budget Hollywood features filming in New Orleans, my hometown.

After college, I gradually shifted into commercial television production in Jackson, and then on to the administration side of film festivals. By this time I was confident and eager to try my own hand at an original film, and "Shock" was born.

Q. 4: What's your dream distribution plan for the film?

A: Simply that it makes the rounds of film festivals in the region and brings me along for the ride. I've already learned so much from this film, a project that was really always intended as just a "toe in the water" of filmmaking, I'm perfectly happy touring the South while taking notes and meeting other filmmakers.

Q. 5: What does the future hold in store for your film and for you?

I've relocated to a larger film market recently and am once again making contacts. There's a great little story from an old anthology introduced by Alfred Hitchcock I'd love to film next.

I imagine "Shock" will keep chugging through 2011. If they try to foist the Palme d'Or on me for it, I won't turn them down. It's been a great deal of fun just to watch the film go.

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