Interview by Andreea Boyer // Edited by Chris Charles of Idol Features
Filmmaker Mark Mos has had his films featured at festivals in major cities all around the US and Europe. As an event organizer, Mark has organized film premiers for some heavyweight Hollywood productions such as Gladiator, Mission Impossible 2, and Gone in 60 seconds, just to name just a few. He is the founder the Los Angeles Sunset Film Festival and the chief organizer of the LA Cinefest, the 2019 edition of which is scheduled for January 26th.
Andreea: Mr. Mos, what has been your motivation and inspiration to become a successful owner of film festivals?
Mark: My motivation is creating a space for talented filmmakers and promoting original work.
Andreea: Which moments in your film festival career had an important impact for you and why?
Mark: Important are the awards. I can see smiles on their (the filmmakers) faces. I know they are waiting for the moment to be recognized. I just give them joy and energy to create something new in the future.
Andreea: Can you see a significant progress in the work by the young filmmakers ?
Mark: I do not see progress. I can observe ONE filmmaker and tell you If I see progress or not. Each filmmaker is unique. They do experiments. Some films are better, some of them are not. The same filmmaker can do a good film, but a new one does not have to be better, it’s just different.
Andreea: Which film genres are the most popular at the moment?
Mark: Dramas are very popular.
Andreea: What advice can you give young filmmakers who are also affected by the recent increased issue of finding the right audience?
Mark: It’s not easy to find an audience these days. The first seconds of your work are very important. Not minutes, seconds. If you don’t catch the attention of your viewer, he or she will jump to another film, video, or whatever else is available to them. We can’t tell you how to craft your work. You are the artist. You are the builder, you are the master of your work. But we will tell you what is annoying, when we need to evaluate 100 films per day. Using credits at the beginning of your film. So many names, thank you notes for your crew, family, other people. I was watching ROMA the other day and I got mad, because I see so many names. I want to see a film. Well, some of the directors like to use credits at the beginning. Do audiences like it? Maybe. I do not. Solution? Make two versions of your film. One to please people who helped you create your film, and second version for film festivals and audiences in the theater. Start your film from an actual film. Choose best of the best scene from your film, show it at the beginning. Something that will catch the viewer’s attention. The first few seconds of your film are crucial. Imagine we have hundreds of films for evaluation. Now, we need to watch all those company logos, motion graphic logos (sometimes 30-60 seconds long), credits, thank you notes, tons of laurels where the film was already screened…and where is the film? The film starts a few minutes later. This is just frustrating. This is a red flag. We have really got enough. After all, the film is not that good anyway. Ugh. But hey, you are the artist. Nobody will tell you how to produce your film. Listen to your inner voice and do your work your way. I do not guarantee that we will accept your work if you listen to what I just said. Maybe the acting is bad, maybe the story is not that original. There are so many factors. In your film, there needs to be something unique. Uniqueness is a key. Be the audience, ask yourself what you want to see, not what you want to show.
Thank you, Mr. Mark Mos. We wish you continued success.