Fashion News Live’s Angie Andera sits down with filmmaker BJ Formento to discuss his latest film with wife Richeille.
Filmmaking duo BJ and Richeille Formento will be showcasing their film, “Legend of Jolene” at the La Jolla International Film Festival in July.
Tell me a bit about the inspiration behind the film. What made you want to tell this story?
We met Azlin and was inspired by her story; from when she was kicked out of her home in China, Texas, her plans to make it to Tinsel Town but ended up in Hollywood Florida . . . We love the narrative in our photography and thought it would be a natural progression to make a short film.
Can you describe your favorite scene in the film and/ or your favorite memory making it?
The shark scene: it was pouring rain and I had been carrying this shark head (mold from an 18 footer) and we were shooting a lovely 1950’s hotel that has since become a drug den/brothel!
What kind of equipment did you use to make the film?
How long did it take to film everything?
1 day of shooting.
Where can people go to learn more about the film?
What do you hope audiences take away after watching your film?
A good feeling. Inspiration. Love for photography and cinema.
What’s harder: getting started on a film or bringing it to completion?
Nothing is hard.
What is the one mistake most filmmakers make, regardless of experience?
I see a lot of amazing films and even the established filmmakers have to step back and let a really good editor do his or her magic.
How has filmmaking evolved since you first started? Any surprises?
We were always narrative photographers with that “cinematic” quality to our works. Evolving to filmmaking was a very natural progression.
What advice do you have for any young/aspiring directors who want to get started?
Learn about the history of film. Emulate your heroes until your signature voice comes through. Keep the door open for the creative spirit to keep flowing. In other words, don’t stop working ever.
How do you know when your story is finished and when it’s time to walk away?
BEHIND THE CAMERA:
When inspiration is waning, what do you do to come up with fresh and original ideas?
Reading, meditating, music, museums, cinema, art books, and long walks.
What/who were some of your major influences when you first started out?
Hitchcock and Kubrick.
Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways besides filmmaking?
Photography, singing, and playing guitar. Richeille loves to garden and make dresses. We love to travel.
What is your favorite part of your job? What is the most challenging part?
Favorite is creating something from nothing. Challenging is raising funds.
What’s next for you? How would you like to see your career evolve?
Working on the screenplay for our first feature film.
What do you wake up looking forward to?
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS:
Art school dropout. Richeille has a degree from Central St. Martins.
3-5 most important skills needed to be a filmmaker:
Creativity, control, courage, leadership, sense of humor, and respect.
My top 3-5 favorite films are:
“Rear Window”, “The Shining”, “Godfather”, “Citizen Kane”, “Cinema Paradiso”, and “Life is Beautiful”.