Interview with director Aku Savolainen

  • Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking is your way of telling stories?

I started photography as a hobby in 2010 and I was also interested in cinematography, started studying it and realized that filmmaking is my way to tell stories to people.

  • Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?

Not necessarily, there are successful self-taught film directors in the world. You have to do a lot of work for it and believe in yourself.

  • Is it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either?

I´ve only made one movie and I learned a lot with it, so I would say it´s harder to get started

  • What was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on your film? How did that lesson happen?

By going in to the discomfort zone, you develop a lot, for me it was acting a small role in this movie.

  • What were the production realities from casting through editing that you had to accommodate? How did you navigate those compromises or surprises and still end up with a cohesive film?

I would say the money was so little available that´s why I could not hire any professional actors. I believe that I had chosen the right people in the movie even though they were amateurs and well they do in the movie, I´m proud of them.

  • What was the hardest artistic choice you made in the making of a film, at any stage in production?

Colors, particly color grading

You are a collaborator. How have you discovered members of your team and how do you keep the relationship with them strong?

My wife told me that her sister is a talented writer so I got a great scriptwriter and few great actors for the movie. We are already planning a new movie together and we stay in touch almost every day.

  • What do audiences want? And is it the filmmaker’s role to worry about that?

Be yourself and make your movie a good story, so audience will like it.

  • What role have film festivals played in your life so far? Why are they necessary? How do you get the most out of them?

They are important, so you will gain appereciation, visibility and self-confidence for future projects. I think by taking part in many different festivals you get the most out of them.

  • Do you believe that a filmmaker should be original and fresh or he/she should stick to classic but safe cinema style?

I think that filmmaker should have his own style, but it is important to take inspiration from others to develope yourself as filmmaker.