The makers of 'Akoma' have advice for indie filmmakers Part 1

We spoke with the winners of the 2016 Film Challenge Detroit


What did your first few attempts look like?

Alex: “Shaky and too long!"

What was the first movie or actor you remember being inspired by? 

Alex: “Believe it or not 'Saw' has been a huge inspiration. Not only the film, but the story about two filmmaking students with a screenplay, who had no luck producing it in Australia, but are now powerhouses in Hollywood. James Wan is now directing the upcoming 'Aquaman' film."

Lucie: "I was in my last year of college at U of M Flint studying nursing when I saw, 'A Patch of Blue' with Sidney Poitier and Elizabeth Hartman. It was the only movie I watched and then immediately watched again. It changed the course of my life that day as film school came along not long after, and it remains my all-time favorite film and go to inspiration when I am in a creative funk. It is simply beautiful in every way."   

At what point did it turn from a hobby to a full-blown passion?

Alex: “I think it’s still very much a hobby, though we are constantly working towards breaking into the more business oriented aspect of filmmaking. It became a full blown passion once I had began creating with my best friend at the time, and now my wife."

Lucie: "When I started film school I knew the first day filmmaking was going to become my passion. Creating with Alex is the most passionate experience each and every time. We always come up with something better together than we ever imagine separately. It is a thrilling partnership." 

Was there ever a time you thought you might just give up on filmmaking? How did you overcome it?

Alex: “There’s always a little bit of back and forth between what makes us a living, and what ignites us. As long as filmmaking ignites me I will continue to do it, but it’s always a reminder to never stop creating and being persistent and open to learning.  Knowing that it WILL pay off as long as you continue to do it is what keeps me on track."

Lucie: "Coming from a place where I already have a steady 'day job' and 4 year degree, I have never felt like giving up on filmmaking. It gives me life when everything else drains me. That isn't to say it isn't incredibly challenging and draining in its own way. But, it is a passion I cannot imagine myself without." 

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you were struggling/just starting out?

Alex: “I would tell myself to see everything through. I used to abandon a project if I could begin to see where I had not quite delivered, but there may have been more I needed to learn in seeing the project through."

Lucie: "Keep creating. Don't be so hard on yourself. Take your time. Spielberg wasn't built in one film! Learn your lessons and apply them to each new project. Tell the stories you want to tell. If it is important to you, it will be to someone else and you never know who needs to see your film. Art is a powerful tool in facilitating thought and healing. And most importantly, never give up!" 

Great characters make a great story. If you’ve got a story you want to tell, now is the time to enter Film Challenge Detroit 2018!

It’s Local 4’s film competition that takes the best film makers from all over the area, showcases their work, and awards the best films fabulous prizes. From cameras, to cash, to a trip for 4 to the Sundance Film Festival.

Check out FilmChallengeDetroit.com to see last year’s entries, peep the rules, and enter your masterpiece, and keep it turned to Local 4 all summer long for more information!