Exclusive Interview with Stephen Wise- Filmmaker
NY Glam: What projects are you currently working on?
I am working on developing two feature films. The first is a suspense thriller called Paradigm. The script won Best Feature Screenplay at the Orlando Film Festival, was a Finalist in the Page Turners Screenplays contest in Santa Monica, CA, and was a Semi-Finalist in the Screenplay Festival in Sherman Oaks, CA. My company, Reality Check Entertainment, has teamed up with Miles Entertainment to produce it. The second is a fantasy/horror anthology film called The Magic Hour that’s in the same vein as The Twilight Zone.
NY Glam: What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?
To me, if a film can transport me into its own world, then it’s successful. Obviously, a great film is able to pull together a compelling story, engaging characters, and have quality technical skill such as cinematography, production design, and music. But if a movie can fully immerse me into itself then I can overlook some flaws and go along for the ride. A lot of Tim Burton’s movies are like this.
NY Glam: As a screenwriter, what is the most important aspect of building a character?
When I write characters, I try to make them as real as can be. Do they seem like living human beings? Do their personalities leap off the page? Can an actor take what I wrote and bring it to life in an interesting way? Is the dialogue specific to each character? Do the characters have layers and different aspects to them that shine through in different situations? Character building is one of the toughest aspect of writing for many people, but my rule of thumb is whether or not I personally want to spend time with them.
NY Glam: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?
My favorite project so far is my most recent short film, “Sur’vi”, which I wrote and directed. We had an amazing team involved with the film, both on screen and behind the scenes. I am happy that it’s had the opportunity to be screened in nine countries and been honored with over a dozen awards, many of which were for my cast and crew. I hope to work with them again soon.
My second favorite was for a project that actually never went into production. It was a screenplay that I co-wrote with Lee Shapiro for a proposed Batman movie for Warner Bros called Batman DarKnight. The writing of it was really fun and I’m proud of the final script even though WB ultimately decided to go a different direction. However, in recent years it got a lot of buzz online and was named one of the best unproduced Batman screenplays by IFC.
For third place, I’d say I enjoyed the experience I had working as a background performer on Jurassic World. While I absolutely can’t take any credit (or blame, depending on how you feel about that film), the experience I had for the nine days I spent on it was extraordinary. I learned so much about film production during that time that I was able to apply to other projects.
NY Glam: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?
I enjoy photography as a way of relaxing, and editing the photos is a great way of playing around with creativity without being beholden to any predetermined restrictions, whether dictated by myself or by a client or producer.
NY Glam: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking?
If you want to make films, then get out there and make them. There are a lot of various careers in production, from motion pictures to commercials to YouTube videos…not all of which pay a whole lot. But get on a set, get to know people, and be hard-working and courteous. You can learn skills as you go, but no one is going to hire you if they don’t know you and you don’t make a good impression.
NY Glam: What can we expect from you in 2020?
I expect to go into production with the feature film Paradigm in 2020, so be on the look out for news about it.
NY Glam: Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more? …social media…website
Here are some links to Facebook pages and websites where you can learn more about me and my projects.
www.realitychechent.com, www.stephenjwise.com, www.survifilm.com