A. It’s not hard to become a filmmaker. At some point, you have to realize — especially in a small village, with no technology and no computers — it’s probably not very good for you to become a filmmaker. But also the main reason is because you may have to pay people, as I can attest.
And you also have to realize that if you’re in my position, you’re just like another person. There’s no point in paying an expensive photographer to take pictures of you or whatever. But that’s a situation I’ve worked out myself. I would like to make my films at home. I work as a taxi driver in a small town, and once the sun goes down, I am off to shoot.
Q. Did you ever plan on becoming a director?
A. No. In my life, I’ve always been a photographer. I was a professional photographer in my early days, then I began studying with the great master — Carl M. Hagen, a teacher of fine art, and I have the feeling that he will be with me forever, like a mentor. But after that, I didn’t have a problem making the leap. I had a good background and I knew how to shoot, and that was all. Then I decided to go into the world of filmmaking.
Q. What about the role of your grandfather at the studio?
A. He was a big influence — not only in the way of his shooting but in how he acted, how he walked and the way he spoke. In his day, he was someone who could act, but I think, in my mind, he is more a gentleman. As a boy, he’d help me get used to my role as a photographer. We spent a lot of time together — I would ask him questions, which is how I started acting. And I would also ask him what he’d like me to shoot. And after that, we had a few discussions and I found I was able to act on those questions that he would tell me. And then I got used to my role at the studio. And it was a nice, kind way of knowing that someone else, who used to talk to me, always had my back. If I ever needed advice, I wanted him around.
Q. What’s next for you?
A. I plan to shoot in Hong Kong for a few more months, on projects to develop my own photography style. I will also take
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