Interview with Director/Producer Shawn Keyz based in London
What inspired you to get into the movie industry?
There wasn’t a specific thing that inspired me, I love all aspects of it, from post to pre-production. There’s so much to learn, whichever field of the industry that you work in. Filmmaking is a powerful art form which combines all other arts together, it gives you the power to create and tell your own story. I’m inspired every time I meet new filmmakers, it also offers me the opportunity to travel and collaborate with amazing people.
How long have you been a Director for and did you take any specific training to become one?
I’ve been directing for roughly six years now but have been taking it seriously in the last three years. I studied film production for two years but most of what I learnt was self-thought and having good mentors on my journey.
When did you realize you wanted to become a director/editor.
It just happened, I can’t recall a specific time in my life when I realized this is what I wanted to do. Growing up I’ve always been a creative person and I guess it was already written that this would be one of my fulfilling purpose in life.
Was there any director/editor who work influenced you the most?
Hype Williams, he directed a lot of dope music videos.
What role have film festivals played in your life so far?
Film festivals have played a significant role in my life, it has helped a lot with opening new doors for me. If you are an up and coming filmmaker, you should always consider entering your film into one or more festivals.
What’s the most challenging part of making a film?
In my experience, it varies, as Murphy’s law states “If anything can go wrong it will” so it’s always best to be prepared as much as you can for any obstacles that may occur in pre or post-production. For example, once you’re in the editing stages, you might realize that you are missing shots and need to go back for pick-ups or re-shoots. Even the most experienced directors have been faced with this problem. A lot of people think filmmaking is easy because they’ve seen a lot of films but nothing could be further from the truth, it takes hard work, passion and a lot of blood sweat and tears to create something magical.
Was it hard to finance your first feature /short film?
No, the budget was under £1000 ($1,330) which I had saved for the film plus I had an exceptional team of filmmakers and actors/actresses that helped me every step of the way to make my film a reality, without them it wouldn’t be possible. Money is always essential but never underestimate the power of a good team, I will always be grateful for the help and support that they gave me.
What’s one of the proudest moments in your career?
One of my proudest moments is when I was featured in my university magazine for winning first prize for best documentary film and first prize for best editing at their film festival.
What’s your favorite movie and actor/actress of all-time?
I have a few actors that I like but one of the best, in my opinion, is Denzel Washington.
Since you’re located in London, have you ever made any films in the United States or had any released here? If not would you be open to the idea?
No, I haven’t made any films in the United States as yet but one of my goals is to collaborate with other filmmakers there, I’m always open to new ideas and projects.
Any upcoming films you’re working on now?
Yes, I’m currently in pre-production and building a team for a script that I’m working on and I’m also the Director of Photography for a new series that will be out by the end of this year.
Is there anything you would like people to know about you?
Apart from being a filmmaker, I’m also a music producer/engineer and will be releasing an E.P in the near future.
Please let everyone know how you can be reached (twitter, IG, FB, websites, etc)?
You can me on Instagram @iamshawnkeyz or @kreatingdreams and my website http://www.kreatingdreams.com. Also Check out my short film “DIVIDED” on YouTube.