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Hate This Films earns approval, seeks growth - INTERVIEW

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

For most participants in Buffalo’s 48-Hour Film Project, the two-day span is strewn with tension, sleeplessness, IVs of caffeine and regular quarreling. That’s simply not Hate This Films’ approach.

“We were working on like three other projects at the time [of the event],” said Jeordan Hill, the local film company’s production sound mixer.

David Flanagan (a versatile member of Hate This Films) has always liked to do the [48-Hour Film Project], and we wanted to help him out. The process is usually hot, exhausting and people get mad at each other, so we decided to do something funny and relax this year.”

Here’s Hate This Films’ finished product—remember, it was created entirely within 48 hours—and pay special attention to the award-winning music, deemed the best of the 18 competing groups.

To take the next step as an organization—and to purchase more equipment, fix existing equipment and rent venues for shooting, more specifically—Hate This Films has scheduled a beer blast from 9 p.m. to midnight on Friday at Flattery’s Irish Pub, 1130 Orchard Park Rd., West Seneca.

$20 gets you unlimited drinks and the chance to enjoy Red Hands, a visiting band from Pittsburgh.

In an interview last week, Hill detailed the film company’s birth in late 2010, emphasizing that director-photographer David Jackson and assistant director-designer Melissa Gebhardt pioneered, persevered and progressed as a small group that’s steadily grown from three to the current cast of 10 to 12 people.

If there’s a unifying trait of the young core, it’s the slogan found on the homepage of their website: “We represent the young talent of Buffalo with a conviction to build where others abandon.”

The group—which is now split into various departments and specialties—approaches Hate This Films as a second full-time job done mostly remotely, as members work 9-5 jobs ranging from Buffalo Sabres graphic designer, Say What Communications media director, wedding photographers, retail employees and coffee shop workers.

“It’s not rare for us to work nine-hour days at our other job and then spend the next seven hours shooting,” Hill relayed.

The title “Hate This Films,” while a little tongue-in-cheek, also reflects the sentiment that aspiring filmmakers feel about the industry, which—like disc jockeys—has become so saturated due to the availability of video camera technology.

David Jackson, Jason Harris

“Everyone is a critic, and people like to be critics before they’ve done it themselves,” Hill admitted. “It’s easy to think you’re really good, but you may just be a big fish in a small pond (in comparison to massive, much more advanced markets like Hollywood).”

While Friday’s event will allow Jackson, Gebhardt, Flanagan, Hill and co. to unwind and interact with their supporters—“we’re big fans of building a grassroots audience instead of sitting behind a computer,” Hill explained—bigger plans dwell in the chute.

Hate This Films has at least one film in pre-production and two in post-production, Hill hinted, adding to their existing portfolio of 14 short productions.

Due to the short human attention span—which is becoming scarily shorter and shorter—Hill prefers the group’s films to range between five and 10 minutes. Hill highlights the success of 5-Second Films and Red Giant Productions as brands that Hate This Films tracks regularly.

It’s no secret that Hate This Films needs funds to continue to grow, but the members are optimistic about the future of Buffalo’s industry of filmmakers.

“I think in a few years we’ll be closer to [thriving film cities like] Wilmington and Atlanta,” Hill predicted, “and then hopefully close in on New York City and Los Angeles soon after.”

“Like” Hate This Films on Facebook and follow them on Twitter (@HateThisFilms).

(Photos courtesy of Robin David Brown, who shot photos at the 48-Hour Film Project this year—see the full gallery).

TAGGED: 48-hour film project, filmmaking, hate this films, jeordan hill, melissa gebhardt, shades of assumption

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