Hola! Hope you guys are having a great week… Now you know how much we love movies so we wanted to share with you our exclusive interview with Alex Kahuam! He has a new film coming out on VOD in September of this year and here’s the interview with our Editor Brandi Garcia to let you know all about it!
VarietyLifestyle: Hello Alex! Welcome to Variety Lifestyle! I saw that you recently got back from the Cannes Film Festival. How was that experience? And was it your first time?
Alex: Hi there! The first time I went to Cannes was in 2014. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to be there 2 more times. It was a great experience the first time. Getting to know the festival where the best filmmakers in the world travel to show their films. I can’t describe how amazing the film festival is. Only great things to say about it.
VarietyLifestyle: Did you meet anyone out there that has either inspired you or that you might work with in the future?
Alex: Yes I did meet filmmakers that have inspired me throughout my career. That’s the beauty of Cannes, you are in the festival meeting filmmakers from all around the world and then during the night you go to parties, and these parties you get to know the filmmakers that have inspired you for years. It’s awesome.
VarietyLifestyle: So you have this film that you are about to release called “So, you want to be a gangsta?” What is the premise of it and what will audience members walk away with after having watched this film?
Alex: The film is black comedy film about 3 friends who get kidnapped by an organize crime. One of them Victor, a white red head Mexican is being held with 2 other prisoners. One a Japanese man who doesn’t speak any english at all and a mysterious man who doesn’t talk much. They will have to find a way out and escape.
I think they will enjoy the film and they will like to see more when the movie ends.
VarietyLifestyle: There is a lot of action, fighting, shooting and blood in the film (according to the preview that I watched) I read somewhere that you actually did all of those special effects in the actual filming and not in post-production. Why is that?
Alex: Yes, we did use squibs and fire flares on set. Sometimes when you leave to many things for post-production it feels fake. I like to keep it real. I’m old school when it comes to special effects on set. I rather make my audience feel it rather than for them to be thinking “Oh that didn’t look real, they did that on post”. We worked with great stunt men and pyrotechnicians. Actors got really excited and they did great.
VarietyLifestyle: Initially this was a short film. Was the process of turning it into a feature film difficult? How different is this film from the short?
Alex: Creative wise I wouldn’t say it was hard, funny thing is, it was an accident. Originally I wanted to make a remake of another film I did in the past called “Escondida” (currently I’m developing the remake here in LA) but by page 25 I realized it was going to be “So, you want to be a gangster?” feature film. The feeling of it I would say it’s the same, if you watch the short film and then the feature you would notice similar things with the dialogue, story line, shooting style, editing and characters. I did followed the same style.
VarietyLifestyle: Did you use the same actors for this project? How did you cast them?
Alex: Some were the same actors others were different. The main CAST “John Paul Medrano” (Victor) and “Shane Warren” (Woody) both actors appear in both, short film and feature film. The rest I either work with them previously or they auditioned for the film. “Luis Quintana” (Mr.H) We worked together in a short film called “What’s in the case?” before the film.
VarietyLifestyle: You are relatively young as far as directing goes and we applaud all that you have done thus far. What advice would you have for young people who are interested in getting into film?
Alex: Thank you I appreciate that. I would tell them to shoot a lot of short films at the beginning and to try to be as creative as possible all the time. When I started I started to use things I knew I could use . If I knew that some family or friends that owned certain things I would be able to use. For example if a friend owned a coffee shop, I would write a script inside a coffee shop. I knew I would be able to shoot over there. Also I would say never give up it’s a tough business but everything is possible. Don’t quit keep moving forward and every time try to make projects that they will be a challenge for you, don’t try to make easy thing, do things you and your crew will be proud of. Shoot for the stars and you’ll get there.
VarietyLifestyle: Fast forward 10 years. Where would you like to see yourself. What projects would you like to have worked on.
Alex: I would say I’ll be making different films in the sense of I would shoot personal films and entertaining films. I like the idea of having a balance in life. And for me my films are the same I always like to keep a balance all the time.
VarietyLifestyle: What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far in film-making?
Alex: The better the pre-production the better the film it will be. Don’t rush things, plan ahead of time, don’t leave things to the last minute. A very important thing in production is to be organized by all means. Aside of directing/writing I’m also a producer and I like to have my cast and crew happy. Remember is all about teamwork.
VarietyLifestyle: Being multi-cultural as you are, Mexican-born, Lebanese background… do you think that gives you an advantage in your career field?
Alex: Yes, I would say the more background that you have the more stories you’ll be able to tell. I come from a 3rd generation of a Lebanese family who arrived to Mexico city. I feel proud of where I come from and thanks to all these things I’m able to write a lot of things. I’ve met a lot filmmakers from all around the world and it’s very interesting to listen to their point of view. The more culture and diversity the more rich you are as an artist.
VarietyLifestyle: You seem to have a theme of kidnapping in your films… In the future, would you like to continue on in a specific film genre or would you like to explore other options?
Alex: I’m always open to new things. I wanted to talk about kidnapping because I thought I needed to talk about that at the time and to spread a message for young people. Every year I live different things, and I’m influenced by my day by day life, that’s the best inspiration I have. I would love to make all kind of movies.
VarietyLifestyle: What’s next for Alex Kahuam? How can people follow you on social media or contact you?
Alex: I’m currently working on 3 films but the one I’m focusing more is a serious film. I can’t say much about it but I can tell you that I’m already developing the movie along with other producers. The script is finished. I’m really excited for this one. They can follow me on my Instragam: Alex Kahuam
VarietyLifestyle: Here at VarietyLifestyle we like to say that variety is the spice of life… if you could be any spice, which one would you be and why? 😉
Alex: I think I would be “Mint” I like fresh and smooth things hehe
VarietyLifestyle: Lol! Thanks so much for joining us Alex and we wish you all the best with your future endeavors!
You can follow Alex on social media @AlexKahuam.
Click here for Alex’s Bio to find out more about him and his background: Alex Kahuam Bio