Monday, October 30th, 2006
Filmmaker Michael Arbouet from Hempstead, Long Island, has created a number of short films including Upon the Gates of Hell, New York Minute and Falling as well as co-directing a film called Cross the Line. He describes his films as “dark and gritty” but says he would really like to try his hand at a comedy. His greatest strength as a filmmaker is his ability to tell a visual story.
Like most people Michael’s age, he says he got interested in filmmaking “when I saw the film Star Wars but what really got me interested in directing was watching Alfred Hitchcock films.”
How did Michael learn film making? “I think I taught myself,” he says, “I admire and emulate Robert Rodriguez. What people don’t realize is that a good filmmaker is an excellent story teller. If you can tell a good story you can be an excellent filmmaker.” Michael recommends the Robert Rodriguez book Rebel Without a Crew.
Michael’s first short was the film Upon the Gates of Hell which, he says, “is about how the media makes icons out of criminals and forgets a crime was committed. My second short which has gotten a lot of attention is New York Minute; this film, which is only four minutes long, deals with a man who comes home to find his wife missing and a note stating that he must go to the rooftop of his apartment and kill the mayor who is going to be passing by in a minute. The third short is a film I made called Falling which deals with the emotions and feelings we have when we fall in and out of love. Finally the feature is a film I co-directed called Cross the Line—your basic action police drama/suspense flick. Plus I produced a film called Serial which has won a couple of festival awards which deals with the media and how it affects the people around them. The twist in this film is that they are dealing with a serial killer who likes to be in the spotlight.”
Michael says that the film festival experience “teaches you how to sell your film. This is important and one of those things that they don’t teach you at film school. When I first got into film festivals I thought ‘the right people’ would see my film and just want to buy it. It doesn’t work that way. Like everything else in this world. You have to sell yourself and sell your film.”
Michael also advises filmmakers, “Write first. Write a lot of screenplays before you try and make a film and start out doing shorts. They don’t cause as much as a feature and when you work on a short film it forces you to be creative in a short amount of time.”
If you would like to learn more about any of Michael’s films you can visit his website at www.arbopictures.com.