When it comes to any project, it is key to find a new way of approaching it — different than anything you have seen before. (Well at least that’s the goal). We recently had a chance to talk with Stephen Schuster who was able to accomplish something unique in his latest piece. Below is an excerpt of the interview.
Kessler University (KU): Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Stephen Schuster (SS): My name is Stephen Schuster. I am a commercial and music video director based out of Los Angeles, CA. I have a passion for filmmaking and a motivation to constantly be progressing and trying new things in regards to it. And I love fast cars and metal. One day it would be nice to combine those three I would say.
KU: Tell me a little about the project.
SS: The Revolver Golden God’s Awards was a project that I worked with Jamie Slomski at Bombastic, Inc out of New York on – we actually co-directed. Revolver had some great ideas that Jamie and I elaborated on and tried to work a visual narrative into – basically a message at the end of days. We had a fairly small budget to work with but Bombastic flew me out to NY and then Jamie and I hopped on a plane to go to Scotland and shoot at this old haunted castle. It was absolutely amazing the scenery and way of life there and at one point found ourselves on the Isle of Arran in a rental car absolutely destroying the car in a off road environment that i really do not think we were supposed to be in. You know that feeling of when you relate your situation to a movie – well I felt I was in a sequel to Wolf Creek or Hostel at various points of the trip. Pretty crazy but the experience was unbelievable.
KU: You’ve created very unique pieces with a very distinct style. What was your concept behind these films?
SS: I think we basically proposed “Blair Witch in the hills of Scotland” and with Marilyn Manson providing the soundtrack – it is not hard to evoke a certain feeling or intensity. While trying to maintain an almost first person point of view of the end of days and the potential journey one might seek to deliver a message, we were able to really utilize our surroundings – old house foundations, moss covered stone, and thick detritus. The environment gave us so much to work with. Honestly, we could have been there easily another week and still only scratched the surface of some unbelievable shooting opportunities.
KU: I love how you used the Kessler gear to help tell your story. What was it like using the gear?
SS: We toted a load of gear over to Scotland. Canon 5Diis, GoPros, and of course the Kessler Cineslider, Hercules Head, Revolution Head, and Oracle controllers. I love the Cineslider with the Oracle as it allows me to shoot specific shots that are super easy to track and with the time-frame Bombastic had to turn around the project, it was absolutely necessary. I also used the Cineslider to shoot a lot of the plates for the awards categories as we wanted to take advantage of the beautiful landscapes and history that the location had to offer us. For the most part, set up is easy and I know a lot of us are looking forward to the new Kwik Release System you all have coming out to really take advantage of the quickness of setting up the shot.
KU: What’s next from you?
SS: I am currently in pre-production on a film noir short called “Distraction” and trying to raise money through Kickstarter to fund it (http://kck.st/NfgIEF). It’s about a writer who embarks on a work weekend with his muse who ultimately becomes his greatest distraction. Pulled together an amazing cast and crew and will be shooting with multiple RED Epics, master primes, and some key Kessler gear in order to repeat certain camera movements. Writing a feature script off of a music video I pitched awhile back and have a potential feature documentary and some other small projects hovering.
If you would like to see more from Stephen, check out his website.