Film Courage: Can you share five lessons that will help someone be a better filmmaker right now?
Matt Eskandari, Writer/Director/Producer: Five lessons that will make you a better filmmaker right now:
1. Trust trust your actors. Actors are always going to come in there to elevate the material and create better work for you. Always trust your actors.
2. Don’t get so trapped by your vision that you’re so focused and you can’t listen to other’s ideas or people because that will limit what you can get.
Eskandari immigrated to the United States as a child with his family, following the Iranian revolution. He is an alumnus of the University of Southern California, and would direct several award-winning shorts; including “The Taking” (Screamfest Award for Best Student Short). The film propelled him to nationwide exposure when he was chosen by Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett; from a pool of 12,000 candidates, to participate in the Fox filmmaker competition ‘On the Lot.’
Matt would go on to make his feature directorial debut with the psychological thriller “Victim.” The controversial work was distributed by Ifc Films for theatrical release and hailed by Ain’t it Cool News as, “a thinking man’s Saw” and “both original and disturbing.” Eskandari’s next feature, “The Gauntlet,” starring international stars Bai Ling and Dustin Nguyen was produced and shot entirely in China. It was one of the first China/US co-productions recognized by the Beijing Film Bureau and after a successful worldwide festival run was distributed as “Game of Assassins” by Lionsgate Studios.
Matt’s third feature, the self-contained swimming pool thriller “12 Feet Deep,” starring Tobin Bell and Alexandra Park was praised by critics as, “a tensely directed hidden gem that will leave you struggling to breathe,” and has gone on to become the single top selling title for MarVista – having amassed a record 40 million trailer views in its first months release.
Coming from a unique cultural perspective and honing his directorial craft in genre films, Eskandari is ready to use his distinct voice to embark into a further exploration of human nature and delve into the relevant fears and themes of our modern day world.
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