Q&A with the filmmakers of 'Hazy'

BFF spoke to director Jonny Magowan and writers Michael Shaw, Ethan Baird & Harvey Reid. Hazy is an official selection for the 2020 festival.

What was the inspiration behind making this film?

The discussion around mental health, particularly in young men, is an issue we were always keen to explore. The idea of men speaking about their feelings has always been held as somewhat of a taboo subject, and this gave us the inspiration to tell a story of three boys - three friends - who quite literally do not speak to each other, despite clearly needing help and support.

What did you learn from the experience making the film?

Having previously only acted in film, the prospect of writing and producing one from scratch was at once appealing and daunting. We learned a lot from writing the script, what works and doesn’t work, and how to let the story develop as your idea grows. It also become apparent just how much of a team effort the filmmaking process is, and that when everybody pulls their weight, you can create exceptional work even on a shoestring budget.

How has the film been received?

Those who have seen the film, or parts of the film, have reacted very positively. It immediately begins a discussion about the subject matter and encourages talking about mental health, which is exactly what we set out for the film to do.

What do you love the most about the filmmaking process?

When it’s your first instance of writing a script that is being put to screen, seeing it come to life on set is a really special feeling, as you watch the scenes that have been replaying in your head nonstop for months become a reality. This was particularly the case during the nightclub shoot, which was a fantastic day on set.

When you have a powerful message/attitude to communicate, Film is one of the greatest, most free forms of expression you can have.

What is your advice to filmmakers making their debut short film?

Just do it. Your film won’t get made unless you get a team together and go out to make the very best short film you have in you. You can only learn from the experience and come out a better filmmaker.

What are you up to next?

We have never stopped writing, and are currently working on a feature film script, amongst a range of other ideas that we can put to stage and screen in the near future.