Monday, February 19th, 2007
Many actors begin their careers only to find that they are more drawn to producing a film than actually starring in one, but Filmmaker Peter Hearn was different. Even though he pursued an education in acting, he always knew he wanted to make films.
“I didn’t go to film school,” said Hearn who lives in Hampshire, England. “I went to acting school instead, but made my feelings of wanting to write/direct perfectly known from the word go. I wanted to train as an actor to know how actors worked.”
Ten years later, Hearn can boast of two feature films and numerous shorts. “The first film I made was a terrible short thriller called ‘Waiting For Dawn.’ It was so corny.” Hearn went on to produce his first feature film, “Appleseed Lake,” which is a black and white Western comedy. His most recent feature, “Cross-Eyed Waltz,” is a skewed comedy based around a fantastical news network and its dubious Mayor.
While most of Hearn’s films fall into the comedy genre, he does not like to be pigeonholed into any genre. He has written thrillers, horrors, and dramas. He draws his inspirations from directors such as The Coens, Jim Jarmusch, Jeunet and Caro, Hayao Miyazaki, Terry Zwigoff, Terry Gillian, Tim Burton, Spielberg’s early films, and Joe Dante.
“I would say my filmmaking technique is constantly evolving,” said Hearn. “I am always willing to try something new, and I don’t like to make the same film twice. The biggest mistake I’ve made whilst making a film is to wear too many hats, but at the same time I have been burned by delegating jobs too.”
Hearn said that both of his features had a short pre-production period: four and two months respectively. Shooting the films didn’t take long either, only about two weeks for his first film “Appleseed Lake,” with the editing taking nearly six months. The timeline for “Cross-Eyed Watlz” was a bit longer with shooting, editing, and molding accounting for the better part of a year.
“Both features were ultimately self-funded on credit cards and kindly loan providers after the initial funding fell through for both,” said Hearn. “I had a start date set for both features and wasn’t about to be put off by a lack of funding. I’m of the mindset to get the film shot no matter what, even if it means going through some heartache along the way.”
And what is Hearn’s advice for filmmaking hopefuls? “Write an interesting script, something that you’d want to see (not a gangster flick please!), grab a camera, grab some actors (not just your friends because they probably suck), and do it. Make the film. Don’t use the old excuse of waiting for funding or you’ll never get it off the ground. Work your backside off and you’ll be making films before you know it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be a filmmaker. Anyone that says that is wrong.”
To learn more about Hearn and his films go to www.crosseyedwaltz.com.