Aden Wexberg wrote and directed the 60 second short titled “Helen”, a film featured in the 2016 Filminute Competition. The film touches on the subject of suicide, but leaves the takeaway message up to the viewer. Wexberg has also directed several short films, including Exes, Dreams and Nightmares, and Ovid’s Giving Tree. Check out his Q&A:
Tell us about yourself:
I was born and raised in Cleveland, OH and studied film at UT Austin. All of my films have been derived directly from my own or family members’ experiences. There’s so much to explore there.
What message were you trying to tell with your short film?
I try not to send a message with my work — I prefer trying to create flesh-and-blood characters and then just record the result with the camera. The goal is to understand, I think. I don’t want to judge my characters, or have the audience evaluate their actions. I just want us to see them for who they are.
It’s so important because that’s how you really get to know and care for people (and characters). And once you’re involved, really truly involved, THAT’S when advocacy and support and action – the “message” stuff – can occur. When it’s internally motivated.
Why is it important for filmmakers to tell stories with messages like yours?
The message is just, “Know people.” And that’s important to do because it’s a form of genuine respect to capture who characters really are. That’s something that is much easier to do with film than in real life, as movies present private moments very publicly. I find it far less powerful – and as a result, less moving and less motivating – to create exaggerated or over-simplified versions of people.
I’m living in LA now, working in post-production on the new “Ghost in the Shell” movie. After that, it’s going to be well past time to make another personal project.
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