HISCOX FILMMAKER Q&A: HOT AIR
What inspired you to come up with the idea for the film? Why did you want to tell this story?
In the year before we started working on Hot Air, my filmmaking partner, Jeremy Goldstein, and I both lost our fathers, so for us diving into a father-son story felt right. My wife was pregnant during production and I became a father myself while editing the film, and so, in the end, I really related with both the father and the son equally, which was a really cool evolution for me and I think had an affect on how I approached the story.
How do you relate to your characters or subjects?
The father character of Major is one of those love ’em but hate ’em kind of guys, and I love him more than a hate him. He’s a guy that’s made a lot of messes during the course of his life, and he’s finally learning to own up to his mistakes. And coming to terms with the opportunities he’s missed. I think anybody who’s lived a few years can relate to that. For the son character, having lost my own father, I know what it’s like to want that
Man in your life.
What aspect of the story changed the most during writing and production?
DEFINITELY the opening. We couldn’t figure it out for the life of us. It literally took two years of brain-wringing to get to where it is now. Which left about twenty minutes of story on the cutting room floor.
What was the most courageous decision you or your crew made during production?
Just to make the movie period. For everyone involved, movies take a lot out of you and demand you perform at your best in crazy conditions. Because the bar is so high for success and you don’t have the money to do anything the easiest way, it’s takes every bit of blood sweat and tears from cast and crew to give yourself a chance at making a good film.
Were there any risks that you faced during production and how did you find a way to embrace them?
It felt like everything, every day was a risk. I think more than anything else, the only way forward is perseverance. For every flat tire, we just drove on the rims until we got to the other side.
What influenced the visual style of the film?
Crazy Heart and 500 Days of Summer were films we referenced when composing the look (I swear it never occurred to me that my love interest’s name was the same as a movie I was referencing, totally oblivious). We wanted something that could allow a weathered and lived in quality for the father’s world, while also allowing for an innocent freshness for the son.
What risks did you take to tell your story?
You just risk telling a bad story and feeling stupid in front of everyone you know.
How would you encourage others to tell their story or manage through the process of screen writing or film producing?
Work on your story tirelessly. Have incredibly high standards for yourself and be honest about when you’ve truly met them. Because it will undoubtedly be the strength of the script that you’ll rely on to carry you through everything else.