Jeff Hann’s documentary, The Coffee Man, will be playing at this year’s inaugural Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, and is shaping up to be one of the most fascinating films of the festival. We got the chance to talk to Jeff and ask him about his experiences as a filmmaker and her thoughts on navigating the world of independent filmmaking.
What first got you interested in filmmaking?
I’ve always been into creative storytelling and after picking a camera up whilst traveling abroad I got into documentary film and wanting to explore it more.
When did you decide to pursue a career in the industry?
I decided I wanted to be a filmmaker around 4 years ago and bought a Canon 7d and started studying and SAE in Melbourne.
What are some of your main influences, both in style and content?
I’m a bit of a camera nerd and love watching great cinematography and interesting characters within doco film. Phillip Bloom is an interesting D.O.P to watch and follow and I love great story-telling, especially good documentary.
What element of filmmaking do you enjoy the most?
I love being out in the field and being in a situation where you’re filming and the story you’re telling could have multiple outcomes. Observational Documentary film is so exciting as your script can only go so far without the events having taken place. Pre-empting the future and running and gunning I find the most enjoyable and rewarding working alongside passionate people.
What are some of the bigger hurdles you’ve had to face in filmmaking, either on a particular film or in a broader sense?
This is our first feature film so there has been many hurdles throughout the process. We were threatened legally by a company overseas with our original name of the film, so we had to get a lawyer involved and then change our name of the film.
What do you think makes a great film?
The story is the most important thing. However, determination and passion to see the film project through is a must. Also a good eye for detail and having the right people on board the project.
Do you think success in short film translates to success in feature filmmaking?
I think making short films is good practice before embarking on a feature length.
We all make loads of mistakes and its good to get some of them out of the way before a feature film.
Do you engage in social media as part of the filmmaking process? Do you think social media platforms are becoming a bigger part of filmmaking?
Yes definitely, social media is very important. Creating a buzz and also talking to your audience directly is important and I’ve done this with my mentors through reaching out to them through social media. It’s a must to talk to your audience.
What’s on the horizon?
Very excited about getting our film The Coffee Man out in the world and showing the coffee industry and the world this film. For Roland (producer ) and I this last two years have been consumed by this project
Do you have any advice for anyone who wants a career in filmmaking?
Find the aspect of film making you have a passion for and focus on this.
Find passionate and determined people to work with that work with well.
Watch a lot of movies and talk about why you like them and dislike them with people.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Tickets available: http://www.moshtix.com.au/mdff
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