Interview conducted by Leeds Beckett University Business School student, Georgia Dossis. Leeds Beckett Universities Northern Film School is the official education partner of the Harrogate Film Festival.
Tell me about the journey of making the film
It was my graduation film, we wanted to explore the situations where people were given a second chance. We tried to take into consideration of what the greatest regret of human beings is. In the course of the journey we found the main thing being tarot cards.
If you read them in different directions they mean different things. It’s the same, in no matter what the situation, if it’s bad it’s more of your perspective and how you see things. There are thousands of translations we wanted to explore that idea.
The challenge was to create a reality world and a fantasy world in a relatively low budget.
It’s always difficult to do, we tried a lot of things with the actors and the cinematographers were amazing.
We did a lot of testing to see how we can mash the two worlds and also the sound design. That’s the most difficult part.
Where did your inspiration come from? Do you read tarot cards yourself?
No I don’t, but because I’m from Hong Kong, it is a place of multiculture superstition beliefs. Fortune telling is also a big part of Chinese culture, so most of us want to know our future, so we tried to bring in some of the things that we thought were kind of interesting or intriguing.
I remember when I was discussing the idea with my other screen writer, also from Hong Kong and she suggested to look into the idea of tarot cards and studied the meaning of every one.
We found the hangman has a double meaning, one visually is a man being hanged but if you turn it upside it means the wisdom being gained by a painful way. So that’s the meaning that we hide.
I was amazed when I was in Utah and one of the audience came to me and asked me if I knew the meaning of the card and I was so happy that people could see the idea that we harboured.
How do you feel that The Hanged Man has been received?
I think a lot of film makers realise that making a film is very hard. Even though you might think the story is simple and the set is very simple, making a film is not easy at all. Lighting must be natural, acting must be good and the story on point, simple is the most difficult thing to do.
So were all trying to do it, we are very supported with positive and constructive comments especially between each other.
It’s also good to know the production environment around the world.
Is this your first time at the Harrogate Film Festival?
It is and it’s my first time in Harrogate. The architecture is very beautiful, very Victorian, I don’t know if that’s the vibe but it’s beautiful.
It’s also very professionally run festival, Adam is as a director of it is really great and I really hope to come back again next year! I’ve felt very welcome.
In your film, the higher being asks your protagonist, if he could go back and change something about his life would he, so my question is the same to you if you could would you anything?
In the film, a lot of people ask me that question, to be honest I won’t because I love it as it is. It’s kind of like your own baby, day by day you understand it’s not perfect, of course they have flaws but you wouldn’t change the decision.
Journalism Student, Leeds Beckett University