Interview with director Jonathan Mordechay

Jonathan Mordechay starts Hi’s directing career in a music video in 2002. He became one of the most important directors in Israel and he made more than 100 music videos to most leading artist and bands in Israel. Naturally, Jonathan directed also lots of commercials and digital content.

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

I’m not sure but I used to live next to a movie theatre in a small town and it always feels like magic for me. Sins than movies became one of my favorite aspects in life. I used to do some other jobs but there was someday I saw some short film which some kids made and than Idecide to make my dream as a filmmaker come true.

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

Studying at film school surely helps a lot but as a filmmaker, you have to be first a storyteller. Film its just one of the ways to tell a story but for me, it’s the best way.

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

It’s hard to start and hard to keep going, Making movies it’s hard work although nowadays it’s much easier than before. Available gear, lots of talented team and many internet channels opportunities help you create the film you and also sent him to the big world to watch.

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

How did that lesson happen? The lesson I learned is that in a ship there’s only one captain. You, as a director, need to take your ship to safe shore. You the only man who is responsible for the 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?

It wasn’t simple but I had a very good producer. Our biggest problem was to cast the baby. In ISRAEL your not allowed to shoot enfant before age 1 but we kinda band it. At the end, the baby was perfect on set and we all fell in love with him.

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

Well, it happens all the time in each production. Losing that actor or the location fell in the last moment till you need to wait for editing 4 months. Creating movies it’s about to take the right decision in a very small range space.

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

As a director you gain same crew members along the way. They now they can trust you and you know that they will do the best for you, but you all there for just one reason: making movies.

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

As a filmmaker, the ONLY thing you should worry about is the audience, otherwise, you can make films for your own use. As a filmmaker you have to find your unique voice but also to communicate with the audience. This people gave you the most important resource: time. So you better use it wisely.

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

Film festival are the tool for young filmmaker (and not only) to spread the word about his/her new movie. I’m so happy that there are so many film festivals around the world, this festival are the stage for new voices and new film lover that can find there movies like no other places.

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

It’s really depends on the personality of the filmmaker. One thing I’m sure about, the filmmaker should be what he is. Try to look at yourself who you are and what and how you want to say things. Well, it’s a process so take your time and don’t forget to enjoy the road.