Interview with Best Film Winner Hayden Yates

1.      What was your first conscious memory you’d be making films at some point in your life?
For me, making films was always a dream of mine since I was a young boy in France. I have always been fascinated by the visual language of photography and motion picture, and how it can communicate, inform, and entertain the world we live in.
2.      Why did you want to tell this particular story?
This story is about being a foreigner in both the country one settles in (America) and the land you left to come here as a young man (Iceland). It is also about growing old, and the choices you make in life as you approach the end of life. It’s about the creative process, which is about failure and success and failure and success. Without failure, there is little chance for anything to succeed, as long as you don’t give up on your quest for finding it meaningful. Its also about finding joy in what you do, whether its work or play.
3.      Where was it made?
Filming began in 2007 near the little town of Fredericksburg, in the Hill Country of Texas, and also in Iceland, in all of the places where Jóhann was influenced as a young boy.
4.      Who contributed the most to the success of your film?
Two people... Jóhann was the most influencial person that inspired to tell this story, and to this day, we remain very close as friends. My co-producer and editor, Vishwanand Shetti, who came in to the film project around midway, and gave me the courage to continue, and also fell in love with the project.
5.      If you could give advice to a filmmaker hesitating on picking up a camera to tell their story, what would it be?
Don’t! We hesitate simply because it’s something new, something different, something we’ve never done before. That’s an opportunity. Tell your story!
6.      What films or filmmakers most influenced your work?
The works of Frederick Wiseman (High School), David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia), Wim Wenders (Pina), Godfrey Reggio (Koyaanisqatsi) and Werner Herzog (Into the Abyss, Fitzcarraldo, Grizzly Man).
7.      What’s your next project going to be?
About the undersea world.
8.      Your acceptance speech for this film, what would you like to let people know about the film, about you, or about those who helped you in your journey?
I would, of course, like to acknowledge all of the individuals who have supported us through 11 yearrs of this project, especially my own family and close friends. Without their support, both financial and otherwise, this film would never have been possible.
9.      What camera and editing system did you make this film with?
The film was mostly shot (98%)t with the Nikon D7000. The first camera used in making this film, was a small camcorder that I had purchased over 12 years ago, the Canon Optura, a great versatile little camera. Other cameras used were the Canon 7D, Panasonic HPX 170.
10.    Have you ever tried Pinnacle products or tried online distribution?  (They are both sponsors, Pinnacle and FilmHub, so it’s helpful to hear from you about this kind of information.)
No, I am sorry, I have not. The film was completely edited on Final Cut 7. With regards to distribution, we are in negotiations with rep at the moment, who seems very interested and confident that our film will do well.

cinematography reel:
education and production:

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