INTERVIEW: Walter Mirkšs, Chapters [FILM OCTOBER]

This month is all about celebrating the Talent of up and coming film makers. Our first interview of the of the month comes from a Director who is currently studying in Utah. Walter Mirkšs, originally from Latvia, has previously trained as an actor and in recent years has decided to take his creative talent behind the camera. We caught up with Mr Mirkšs to find out more about his up and coming project, Chapters. In part 2 of his interview we discuss more about his up and coming project and the future of film.

Tell us about your funding project for chapters?
Well, as a smaller scale production, we have limited financial resources. So in order for us to up the production value (get better cameras, pay our actors, buy props, rent better equipment etc.) we approach the general public and invite them to join our team by either contributing with usable goods – equipment, locations etc, – or to contribute financially.

People always think that that means we’re expecting them to donate a 100$ or more, which is not true. Even a 5$ donation buys a lunch for one of our crew / cast members and is already a fantastic help, which we genuinely appreciate. Of course there is the option of contributing 300$ or more and becoming our executive producer with official title and appearance in the credits, along with your own IMDB page. Sweet huh?

If you could work with anyone living or dead who would it be and why?

– Wes Anderson. I would love to learn the secrets behind his amazing storytelling abilities and see the way he prepares for his movies. The man’s a genius.

With new technology such as virtual reality, 360 video and 6D cinemas challenging the Norm for films where do you see the industry going and how do you think they are going to embrace these?
– I honestly believe (and hope) that once hitting a certain point, which is coming pretty soon, cinematic experience will move backwards and return to its standards. A great example for that is 3D movies, that kinda sparked for a couple of years and everyone was making them (or screening their movies in 3D) and now they’ve died out and you

rarely see a 3D movie anymore.

I believe the same fate awaits both 360 video experiences and 6D cinema. After all, the classic versions of things are very often the best. Or as people say – ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’.

If there was only one film you had to watch for your entire life what would it be and why?
– The Lord of The Rings trilogy. That’s an easy one. Why? Because it’s one of the best storytelling examples in cinema, and no matter how often I watch it, I always find something new in it.

Describe how you go about bringing an idea to life?
– I go through three steps. Step number one – an idea is randomly (normally) born within my big head. I carry this idea around with me for a while (with ‘Chapters’ it took me almost a year and a half) slowly growing extra layers to it, until it’s pretty much a short story in my head. At this point it is getting too heavy for me to keep it in my mind so I go to step two – writing a script.

Most of the times it doesn’t take me that long to write down the first draft, because of the fact that this specific story has been circulating my brain for so long. After that I work on re-writes with other filmmakers until the story is polished and I’m happy with it. Cue step three – getting a crew and cast together and turning this script into a short film / video. Easily my favorite part. Being on set is just one of the coolest places to be.

In a lot of your short films you embrace the fact that you are from Latvia – what is the film and television industry like over there and is there any plans for you to make the next big style such as Nordic noirs etc

– Latvia has a lot of resources in the film industry except but one – money. So as much as I would love to spend my career in Latvia making feature films there, it would be very, very hard to find the necessary financing for these visions to come true. However, I am currently in process of possibly getting funding for a short film that’s based on Latvian folklore and mythology to be produced and filmed in Latvia next summer, which would be an awesome first step for me as a local director. So fingers crossed!

What is your favourite genre and why?
– I wouldn’t say I have a favorite. I pretty much enjoy the entire spectrum. Except for one genre that my gentle viking heart can’t deal with – horror. I’m just too jumpy for that.

What would you like to see the film industry do next?
– Create a wage cap for actors. Honestly, if a movie has a budget of 30 million dollars and 15 million of that amount goes to actors salaries, there’s something seriously wrong with the industry. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all about the ability of making a living with what you love and fair pay, but it seems like some of the salaries are unjustifiably high these days and very often the hard working crew members (who do all the grunt work) earn very moderate salaries compared to that.

So I’d say if there was a strict rule that actors combined salaries can’t extend 20-30% of the movies total budget, that would be a good place to start

In three words why should people donate to chapters
– Money buys stuff. (and we need stuff)

If people want to find out more where can they find out more information online?
– I always love talking to people. So they can always just message me on Facebook or send me an e-mail and I would be thrilled to chat and show my work and share my stories. Hell, if you’re around, I’ll even share a drink with you!

To find out more about Chapters and Walter then follow the link by

Click here

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