Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
BT: I’ve always had a fascination with movies, both watching and creating. The medium of motion picture is the ultimate form of expression and storytelling. There’s something about the journey one makes when creating a film that excites me. I feel as if I only exist when I’m working on a film. Every aspect of the process (writing, producing, directing, filming, editing, etc.) is rewarding, exhilarating, and addicting. My hunger for film is insatiable.
Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
BT: Short Term was my first short film. It came from a script I’d written a few years back, so we decided dust it off, and produce it as practice; to make good use of our summer. Visually, I tried my best to emulate Fincher’s style, even though the style I’d usually take inspiration from is more similar to Iñárritu. Our wonderful lead, Mary Jenifer Mitchell, suggested we enter it to the EFP! It hasn’t been screened anywhere else, and my plans for it will probably not continue past this event!
Q: What else are you working on?
BT: My second short film, Counter Clockwise, recently won the CU Boulder Grillo Award for best film. I’m currently writing my third short film, while producing and doing cinematography for a friend’s new project. My team and I will be creating new short films every two months (at least) for the foreseeable future.
Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
BT: My favorite aspect of any film is character. If the story sucks but the characters are good, there is still hope for an interesting film. If the story is great but the characters suck, what’s the point in following the story? Story is widely hailed as king, but it’s important to remember that the narrative should come from the characters, and not use the characters to serve the story. My favorite technical aspect of filmmaking is the motivated “long take”. It creates the very sense of immersion and intensity that I love about films. Some of my favorite films include No Country for Old Men, Her, Inglorious Basterds, Frances Ha, Breathe, Children of Men, Victoria, and Birdman. These films either incorporate the “long take” well, or have fantastic characters.
Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
BT: My company’s website is www.definitionindigoproductions.com – all our upcoming projects and events can be found there. You can also find us on Vimeo, either under Bruce Tetsuya, or Definition Indigo.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
BT: I’m so glad we found this organization, thank you from all of us at Definition Indigo for featuring our film!
“Short Term” screens at the February 2017 Emerging Filmmakers Project.