How does it feel to be revisiting your hometown to show two films selected for the George Lindsey Film Festival? It’s pretty special. I shot most of The Mourning Hills in the Shoals area, so being able to show it at my hometown festival feels right. I’m equally excited about showing Hollis Treasures because the subject of the film, Tim Hollis, was a panel guest at the Lindsey Film Fest in 2010, so I suppose it’s a bit of a homecoming for him and that film too.
What made you choose Japan’s Aokigahara or “The Suicide Forest” as the inspiration for the setting of “The Mourning Hills”? With a story as simple as The Mourning Hills, I felt that the environment needed to be as much of a character as the human characters. It’s such a fascinating, terrifying, and heartbreaking place, and I thought that fictionalizing it in the American South would give the movie a unique color.
What did you think about Tim Hollis’ museum the first time you saw it? I was overwhelmed when I first saw Tim Hollis’ museum. There were some things in his collection that I completely forgot I had, as well as things that reminded me of childhood trips to places that I forgot I had visited. It’s a nice place to visit if you want to tear up a little.
What is the creative process like for you? How to you become inspired to direct a film? Movies inspire me, so I try to watch as many possible. Real life is inspiring, so going out and experiencing things is quite important for the process. I wouldn’t say that it’s easy for me to just sit down and start writing. I usually come up with garbage that way. So, I suppose the creative process begins with some kind of experience, or hearing about someone else’s experience, and THEN I can sit down to write. As far as the process goes when directing, I keep things collaborative with my cast and creative department. We bounce ideas off of one another, and often times it’s during a take that a new idea will pop up. It’s a little loose, and sometimes chaotic, but it seems to work for me.
"The Mourning Hills" is screening at 8pm, Thursday, March 3, and "Hollis Treasures" is screening at 5:30pm, Friday, March 4. Both films are screening at The Mane Room.