interviews Shay Revolver


Today we share with you part 15 in the ‘ interviews’ series. Constant Hoogenbosch interviews Shay Revolver.

What is it that appeals to you about the short film?                                                The thing that I love about short film as a format is that it allows you to work on your filmmaking as a whole. It gives you the freedom to try new things and experiment. You can really find out who you are as a filmmaker, see what you need to work on and build your style up organically. It’s also a fun way to see if an idea that you have rattling around in your head as a feature has legs and could be a decent feature. You can see what works and what doesn’t. Plus there’s an added bonus of being able to shot with very little time in some cases, so you can usually find people to help you and depending on your script you can shoot it with a one person crew and make sure that you’re always shooting.

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What qualities do you believe make a good short film?                                              I think that a good story, an interesting subject and not trying to cram too much into one short are the best qualities for a short film to have.

To what extent is making short films a stepping stone to making feature films?    A short film is a huge stepping stone if you want to make features, it gets your work out there so you can attract a good cast, crew and investors. It also allows you to work out the story links and work on character development , you can create a short film as a long form trailer to show what your vision is for a full feature.

What is the most challenging aspect of making short films?                                   For me the biggest challenges are keeping it simple and deciding when I can be an army of one in terms of crew versus when I need to bring in an extra hand.

Do you have a preference to a certain genre?                                                              I tend to make action filled dramas with an edge. I also take extra care to make sure that my films have a strong female lead character with her own agency and story.

What do you like most when making a short film – writing the script – directing – camera?                                                                                                                         I love it all. There’s something about having this idea and getting  it down on the page, then hearing it being read out loud by actors for the first time, getting workshopped and  taking on a life of its own.  Then getting to actually make it and seeing it come to life. It’s like watching your kid grow up and every screening is like watching your kid hit their milestones. I really do love the whole thing, even the moment when it’s all done and thinking about what to shoot or write next.

Do you work with a script – where do you get the inspiration from?                          I work with a script but, I like to get actor input after I think that it’s finished. The table read is where is gets its legs, the actors throw out their ideas and we incorporate them into our shooting script and then, I throw new ideas out on set to make the script more of what I envisioned. I get my inspiration from everything, the news, dreams, an interesting conversation I heard or had. The world is my inspiration and I try to show its truth and     sometimes a warped  lensed look at it.

Do you leave room for improvisation?                                                                          I always leave room for improv, collaboration is the best part. I don’t want my actors to just play pretend, I want them to become the character and if they feel their character wouldn’t say or do something that is in the script , then I want them to change it.

Did you receive funding for your project?                                                                For the most part, I self fund my work with other jobs. But, I seem to have a lot to say lately so, I am considering crowdfunding for my next short series after the one I am working on now. It’s a good time to be a filmmaker and, it is easier to get money for shorts, luckily there are companies like Seed & Spark to aid in the efforts of now only crowdfunding for shorts but, also the distribution.

How did you go about assembling a film crew and actors?                                        I have been fairly lucky, some actors and crew people that I have worked with in the past are usually up for working with me again because they like my style. I often write things for actors after meeting them and when that’s not the case I search online, with an open mind to changing genders of certain characters or waiting until someone I really want to work with on a particular short is available. When it comes to crew, I search online depending on the scope of the project and try to use an all female crew. If I can’t find a crew, I shoot it myself especially when it’s a small cast and an intimate cinema verite style project.

What did you use to edit the film?                                                                                I use Adobe Premiere of Cyberlink. They seem to be the most intuitive for me and I like the clean look of the screen while I am editing.

What camera did you shoot on?                                                                              Depends on the project. For most projects I use a canon T6i. The short film series I am shooting now , I’m using an iPad mini 4 , with an iographer case and a variety of lenses, including a moondog. I’m fascinated by the simplicity of it and how unobtrusive that the whole set up can be even with the microboom pole & mic , tripod , glider and the lights. It also allows for easier setups and the ability to shoot in a more run & gun style giving a bit of neorealism to the whole film.

Could you name one or two filmmakers that you consider great influences?           I can name the four biggest ones, Julie Dash, Lexi Alexander, David Fincher & Quentin Tarrantino.

What are you working on next? Do you already have a new project in mind?       Right now I’m working on a series of five 15 minute shorts and five 2 minute shorts. I’m also going to be rebooting my web series. Hopefully , these will lead up to me being able to shoot a feature this year.

What advice would you give to other short filmmakers?                                        Just shoot. There’s no excuses anymore, with a set of lenses you can use your smart phone. If you have a small scale story that you think needs to be told, or you just want to make a film, go out and make it. Quit waiting for permission!

Thank you Shay!

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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