We were recently lucky enough to get the chance to sit down and grab a coffee with Max Strand, the filmmaker behind Goodbye Honey. We had a great time chatting to Max about how he got into filmmaking, working with Todd Rawiszer and the virtual film festival experience.
How are you?
I’m good thanks! I’m excited about returning to normalcy… And getting back into the theatre!
That’s good to hear.
How have you been managing through the pandemic?
All in all I can’t complain. So many people went through such incredible hardship this year. Of course this year has been filled with a lot of negatives but I am grateful that I got to watch a lot of great movies with my close friends and family.
I think the past year has really highlighted what is important.
How did you get into filmmaking?
I knew early in high school that I wanted to go to college for film production. It always fascinated me and I always day dreamed in movies. Once at school, I met Todd freshmen year. From there, we’ve been making movies together ever since. It’s exciting to have a relationship like that, that encourages creative conversation and projects.
Yep it sure is great to have someone to bounce ideas off.
What was the inspiration behind Goodbye Honey?
Todd and I always had the dream to make a feature film. It was after we saw the movie ‘Good Time’ in theatres that we looked at each other and said, lets make a movie like that! From there we decided to try to make a movie that was just non-stop, a movie that kept you at the edge of your seat the entire time.
You have definitely managed to do that.
How was it filming your first feature?
It was the best. It was the hardest thing I have ever done and the most fun. We had such an amazing cast and crew that not only worked their butts off but also had a great time doing it. Just thinking about the experience makes me tired, but I can’t wait to do it again.
That’s good to hear.
How does making a feature film compare to making short films?
It’s a marathon versus a sprint. It’s been years since Todd and I first put pen to paper for Goodbye Honey and every day since we have tried to take one small step forward to make it happen.
Do you feel as though you learned a lot from the feature?
Na…PSYCH! I’ve learned SO much. I could go on forever about how much I learned. Instead of trying to list every single thing, which would take days to write, I’ll say that I am very excited to put everything I learned into the next project!!! There is no better teacher than experience.
That’s great. And you are right, nothing beats experience!
How did you get to know your co-writer Todd Rawiszer?
Todd and I have been making movies together for over ten years. We met freshmen year of college and have been creative partners ever since!
You have managed to get a fantastic cast involved. How was casting for the movie?
Thank you! They are all so amazing! We auditioned different roles over the course of a year actually. Todd and I were so eager to shoot that we cast three of the roles well over a year before we were ready. That being said, for each role the moment the actor walked into the room we knew it was their part. Pam just had such an amazing ability to be both a bad-ass and maternal, Paul was perfect because he balanced being a normal guy and a monster and Jules just had an X-factor that brought Phoebe to a level I didn’t know was possible.
Sounds like the actors were very well suited to their roles.
Is there anything you would have done differently now you have the experience under your belt?
There are always things that could be different, but I wouldn’t change anything about the journey or the final product. I learned so much, had such an amazing time and met so many incredible and talented people, AND I couldn’t be prouder of the 96 mins you see on screen.
Well you couldn’t ask for more than that.
How was filming during the pandemic?
Luckily we just did some post work during the pandemic. That was of course hard and more time consuming but we figured it out. We just had to keep sending notes back and forth to our editor, our sound designers, and our colorist.
The film screened all over the US. How did you find the film festival experience?
It was great. It would have been amazing if we got to attend the festivals in person but it was still great attending them virtually. So proud of all the fantastic festivals that we got to play. They all did a great job adjusting to the pandemic.
The film festivals have gone above and beyond during the pandemic. Although attending in person has been limited I think they have done an amazing job of keeping the festival circuit going.
The film took home a number of awards. How did that feel?
It made me feel very proud. Just so cool that not only people watched the movie, but also enjoyed it!
Any advice you could if to filmmakers reading?
Write what you can shoot! And be passionate and persistent.
When Todd and I first wrote the script we knew all we needed were a couple actors, a camera and a truck. Even if that was all we ended up having we were prepared to shoot the movie.
Secondly, making a movie is a long, long process and you have to be your own champion. There could have been a thousand reasons through out the journey that we could have stopped but everyday we tried to just take one small step closer to our go of making the film.
Thanks. That is some great advice for our readers.
Have you got any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
Nothing to officially announce but I have something brewing!
What does the future hold for Max Strand?
A lot of time with friends and family now that we are (hopefully) coming out of this pandemic! And I’ll always be trying to make movies.
Well thank you so much for taking time to talk to us Max, we really appreciate it. Make the most of your friends and family and we will be looking forward to your next project, hopefully it isn’t too far away!
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