Interview with Akshat Goyal


Today we share with you part 8 in the ‘ interviews’ series. Constant Hoogenbosch interviews Akshat Goyal.

If you are a filmmaker and want to participate in an interview for also, please contact We like to hear from you!

What is it that appeals to you about the short film?

I find that short film appealing due to its unique challenges. Generally speaking, your film is going to be complete in the same amount of time that a feature-length film has to hook the audience. The time restriction poses an interesting opportunity to the filmmaker, and really forces them to think outside of the box.

What qualities do you believe make a good short film?

Brevity and impact. It’s important to keep the film short and sweet, and also to have a big enough impact that it remains memorable to the viewer. If it’s a comedy, make it something outrageously funny so the viewer laughs about it later. If it’s a drama, force them to think.

To what extent is making short films a stepping stone to making feature films?

There’s a lot to be learned from the short form that can prepare you for making feature films. You have to think about what the most important parts of the narrative are, and cut accordingly when editing. The short film forces you to cut as small as possible, which is great practice for a feature film when there’s a lot more substance to think about and edit.

What is the most challenging aspect of making short films?

Definitely the time restriction. You have to fit a full narrative in a short time span, and it really pushes to think creatively about how to pull it off. But as I said earlier, that’s what I find appealing about the work.

Do you have a preference to a certain genre?

Most of my experience is with the comedy genre, but as I’ve developed more as a writer my stories have begun drifting more into the thriller and drama genres. Really, I’d say I don’t have a preference, and that I pick the genre based on what works best for the narrative.

What do you like most when making a short film – writing the script – directing – camera?

It’s difficult for me to answer this question; what I love about filmmaking is the entire process of taking an idea from conceptualization to its final form as a complete film. If I had to choose I would say writing the script, as that can be the part of the process where your imagination can run unhindered.

Do you work with a script – where do you get the inspiration from?

I prepare either a full script or a shot list for every project, depending on what it entails. For my first short film, “A Terrible Day to Tango,” we used just a shot list over a script as there was minimal dialogue. I tend to draw inspiration from past experiences, and my reflections on them. Sometimes I run my memories of events through hypothetical situations (ex. how would things have gone differently if I said this, or if someone had reacted this way?), and a script is born from that.

Do you leave room for improvisation?

It depends on the project. For “A Terrible Day to Tango” I did not allow any improvisation due to the tight restrictions imposed by the shot list in order to synchronize the visuals with the background music. However, improvisation can certainly improve a film, and I have found in other projects that my actors have provided insight that was missing from my scripts.

Did you receive funding for your project?

I do not receive any funding for my projects at this time. All my gear was purchased with savings or provided by supportive family members. The cast and crew are all friends of mine participating for the joy of filming and for the prospect of future endeavors.

How did you go about assembling a film crew and actors?

As mentioned in my previous answer, the crew and actors are all friends of mine from college.

What did you use to edit the film?

Cyberlink PowerDirector

What camera did you shoot on?

I use a Canon 7D DSLR camera for filming my projects.

Could you name one or two filmmakers that you consider great influences?

The most influential filmmakers for me would be Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan. They are both amazing at telling human stories whilst incorporating grand themes and complex philosophies of life.

What are you working on next? Do you already have a new project in mind?

We just completed another short film named “Stranger to Stranger” which is now live on YouTube. We have several projects in the works, one of which is a ten episode web-series entering pre-production very soon.

What advice would you give to other short filmmakers?

Challenge yourself. Short films are an amazing way to demonstrate your creativity and skill. Challenge yourself to go above and beyond with your films, and the work will show.

Thank you for the interview Akshat.

If you are a filmmaker and want to participate in an interview for also, please contact We like to hear from you!


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