As an aspiring film-maker, I’m always pleased to see as to what my peers get up to, and what sort of success they are able to achieve in the profession of film-making. One such peer is a fellow film making student – Kevin Bisbangian – who recently completed and premiered his own short film – Broken Wings – about the struggles of a former Libyan PoW.
Having been nominated for a number of awards at film festivals around the world, Broken Wings clearly demonstrates Kevin Bisbangian’s ability as a film-maker, and whilst the short film does suffer from problems in terms of pacing and sound, it also goes some way towards showcasing what Mr Bisbangian is capable of, and what we can expect to see in future.
What is Broken Wings about, and what inspired you to make the movie?
A Libyan political prisoner has been tortured during his five year prison sentence. He has returned to London to start a new life and hopefully regain the affections of his ex-girlfriend.
The Libyan regime is trying to stop him from writing a book about his ordeal at prison, and the new life style in London is not as easy as he expected, plus he does not know whom to trust… Being a political prisoner has caused him lots of stress and anxiety.
What inspired me was the critical political situation in most of the countries in the Middle East.
What sort of publicity has Broken Wings received within the film industry, and what has the reaction been like from filmgoers?
Being nominated at Madrid Film Festival for 5 different categories has had a great impact and already some of the actors in my film have had great offers from other directors and film makers.
What is your background in film-making?
Before Broken Wings I had made a documentary about China as well as a short video about a major credit cards.
What happened to the supposed “Q and A” session at the end of the movie screening at the Tricycle Cinema?
There was no plan regarding the Q & A but that was an obvious mistake by the Cinema assuming that there would be one.
How difficult was it for you to arrange a screening for Broken Wings at the Tricycle Cinema, and has Broken Wings been picked up for cinema and/or DVD distribution?
I was very lucky because the duty manager whom I dealt with was extremely helpful and the program manager is planning to watch the film and decide if they want to screen it or not although my plan is not to have a public screening so I can submit it to other film festivals.
At the present time, Broken Wings has been submitted to three major film festivals: Madrid, Toronto and Los Angeles Film Festival and we are negotiating with one of the Asian film buyers.
For me personally, I think Broken Wings could have benefited from a tighter script and sharper editing. What do you think were the primary weaknesses of the film, and how do you think you could have improved upon the film further?
I think before judging any short film, including Broken Wings, we have to make sure we are not comparing them with feature movies. During the making of Broken Wings I watched about 300 short films from different parts of the world and it took me a long time to appreciate how different short films are from long feature movies. I think the major weakness was the fact that we were not able to test the film on the big cinema screen during the production of our film.
I had great feedback from 95% of the people who watched it at the premiere and about 5% didn’t get my point of views or didn’t like certain scenes.
What prompted the choice of soundtrack, and what was your motivation for choosing the songs which you did?
I had done sound Engineering for 3 years before making this film and some people think I am very selective about the choice of the music. Most of the songs were written by a great Spanish musician who is a close friend of mine.
How long did it take to shoot the film, and how long was the editing process?
Making the entire film from start to End took about less than a year, filming only weekends.
You edited the film using Final Cut. For you, what advantages did the use of Final Cut have over more consumer oriented editing packages like Sony Vegas? Do you think you could have used consumer packages like Sony Vegas instead?
Sony Vegas is a good editing Software with lots of limitations, Final cut is great with lots of extra tools.
What was the total budget for the movie, and how did you go about funding it?
If you don’t mind I Prefer not to discuss the budget as it makes me upset to think about it but I discovered that making a film is the quickest way for getting poor 🙂
How big was your film crew and how did you find the necessary staff and actors to help shoot your movie?
The film crew included 7 people and most of my actors were from my Method acting and Stanislavski ou classes.
Do you have any more film projects in the pipeline?
I have started a documentary about a great french artist and I expect to finish it before June.
My Company is also starting a feature comedy called ‘French Kiss’ in April, as well as two short films called ‘Lady in Red’ and ‘Bad Boys’ before September.
What tips would you give to aspiring film makers?
Try to enjoy what you do and never take yourself too seriously