Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Take 5 with "Illumination"

Michael Williams, director
As we gear up for the Oxford Film Festival 2012 to be held at the Malco Studio Theater on Feb. 9-12, 2012 and also at the Lyric Theater on Saturday, Feb. 11 as part of the Oxford Music Festival line-up where we will show music films, videos and a panel on music + film, we thought we might introduce you to some of the people behind the movies we can't wait to show you. For the full schedule and description of the films, visit www.oxfordfilmfest.com.

Meet Take 5 filmmaker, Michael Williams, writer, producer, director and cinematographer for “Illumination,” a Mississippi short narrative film.

Q. 1: In 140 characters or less, describe your movie and why someone should see it.
A: "Illumination" is a short sci-fi, drama about a man on a journey towards redemption under extraordinary circumstances. Made entirely in Mississippi with an all MS cast and a majority MS crew and inspired by the early works of Steven Spielberg, the film ambitiously tackles a film with layers of meaning grounded in a simple story of one man's personal journey for redemption. 

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

A: On all of my past films, I never had much (if any) funding and very limited resources, so early on, I learned the lesson of doing a lot with a little. In the case of "Illumination", we actually had a small budget and more resources than I had ever had on a production of mine. However, the budget and resources were still limited for the scale of film we were trying to produce. So once again, I had to learn to do a lot with a little and be even more creative and resourceful to accomplish what we needed with the film. With "Illumination" and my 2 prior films, I was told it wasn't possible to produce them with what resources I had and still have a quality film. One of the best parts of getting "Illumination" made was collecting a talented and passionate group of friends that I love working with to bring this ambitious film to life. Making a film is always enjoyable when you're making it with a cast and crew you love.

Q. 3: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?
A: I started making short films in 2004 while in high school, and I consistently made short films throughout college. Since graduating from The University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in film in 2009, I have continued to make short films and screen them at festivals while also running a video and photography business in West Point, MS (Shendopen Productions). I have also been working regionally in the film industry, primarily as a camera assistant, since 2007 and continue to work regionally as a camera assistant, camera operator, and director of photography. 

Q. 4: What's your dream distribution plan for the film?
A: For "Illumination", I hope that it has a successful festival rum throughout 2012 and can help open doors and create great networking opportunities for everyone involved with it. 

Q. 5: What does the future hold in store for your film and for you?
A: The film will hopefully continue to screen at festivals over the next year. For me, I plan to continue to build my small business and hopefully get more and more work in the film as the industry in this region continues to grow and ultimately work full time as a director of photography. I also am in the early stages of developing my first feature film which I hope to shoot in 2012 or 2013.

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