This week we were able to catch up with one of our alumni from the July 5-Week Filmmaking Workshop. Filmmaker Keith Azoubel is already out there shooting good stuff and moving forward with his career based on skills he learned here at SFSDF. Keith is a big fan of film noir and he was recently chosen to shoot a promo for the upcoming film noir film festival here in San Francisco, NOIR CITY.
How did you get the gig?
After I did my short film “The Goodnight Motel” for the SFSDF 5-week program last summer. I showed my short on a film noir message board just to get feedback and such. I got a message from film noir historian Eddie Muller who really liked the way my short film was shot and lit and wanted to know if I like to shoot the promo for his annual film festival, Noir City. Of course, I took the gig since I love film noir and I’ve always wanted to shoot in a bar. Eddie planned to have the promo done for last year’s film festival but had some problems getting it done. He already had a one page script and an actress ready to go, it was just up to me to get a crew together, equipment, draw out a storyboard and write out a shot list.
Challenges faced in shooting/casting/editing?
Casting wasn’t a problem since Eddie Muller already had the leading lady and himself to play, we added a role for a bartender a week before shooting. As for shooting, we try to keep it simple, of course I would’ve liked to have different angles and such but we wanted to get it done within 3 to 4 hours, which we did. It was just a matter of getting it done quickly but having as much as I wanted. I’m pretty happy the way it came out. Eddie had a friend edit the trailer, they had some problems getting it transfered onto his computer but figured it out so it all came together.
How did SFSDF help you?
Well for starters, the short film I did there last summer helped me get the gig. I was able to use the skills I learned at the school to make the best looking promo I can. I met people there who I worked really well with who I was able to have be my crew again for the trailer. I was able to use the school’s equipment, too.
Is this your first big opportunity?
I would say so, the fact that Eddie Muller is a known film historian who’s written a few books on film noir and knows a few celebrities such as Sean Penn and crime writer James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia). So to have him give me this opportunity is big for me. Also the trailer is going to be shown at the Castro Theater in front of over a thousand people is really great. To think something I directed is going to be shown to that many people is an amazing thought. The trailer was recently mentioned in the SFGate and lives on the homepage of the Noir City website.
What other projects do you have in the works?
At the moment I’m writing some short films, some for the SFSDF 1-Year Digital Filmmaking program and afterwards shorts I want to write and direct to get in film festivals.
Full cast/crew list
Alycia Tumlin – The Woman
Bill Arney – The Bartender
Eddie Muller – The Man
Keith Azoubel (5-Week Filmmaking Workshop)- Director
Brandon Hamilton – (Class 3, 1-Year Digital Filmmaking Program)- Director of Photography
Judy Zimbelman (Class 10, 1-Year Digital Filmmaking Program) – Assistant Director
Bill Ulleseit (Class 10 1-Year Digital Filmmaking Program) – Lighting
Ian D. Thomas – Sound
Scott Koué – Boom Mic
Filmed at Tosca Cafe.