Guaxuma qualified to be considered for the 2020 Academy Awards
Desolate Soul & The Lingering Ghost
Genre: Psychological Horror
Date: December 31 2019
Director: Michael Angel Loayza Jr.
Producer: Michael Angel Loayza Jr.
Writer: Michael Angel Loayza Jr.
Cinematographer: Michael Angel Loayza Jr.
Production Company: LowWiseZah Studios
Case Study: Desolate Soul & The Lingering Ghost
indieactivity : What is your film about?
Michael Angel Loayza Jr. : The story stems from my own heartache and the betrayal of someone, who at the time was the love of my life. I had to find meaning in what I was going through, so I did anything and everything I could to make peace with the experience, to make sense of my suffering; from being a published poet and philosopher and first and foremost a filmmaker/performer, I’m fortunate enough to have all of these means of different but akin artistic expressions to continually develop as a human being and an artist – though both are one in the same.
The film follows Clyde French, a struggling writer; his girlfriend abruptly leaves him without explanation and he’s then haunted by the memory of her and his own solitude along with their shared memories – simply the fear of being alone is the horror aspect of this metaphorical love-thriller-drama-mystery. But it doesn’t stop there, things don’t add up and he begins to investigate thus leading to the truth as to why Basil (his girlfriend) left him, as well as clarity to what the root of the matter is.
It’s tough, life, love; it’s beautiful but it definitely has its defeats and ugly sides, making it truly bittersweet. Our job, as the artist, is to interrupt our individual experience and find meaning in it, therefore exuding to all and connecting to all while remaining consciously and a productively selfish individual. Compassion is innate when this task is taken up wholeheartedly.
indieactivity : Tell us about the festival run, marketing and sales?
Michael Angel Loayza Jr. : The film has been submitted to quite a few festivals but I haven’t heard back yet. And due to the world ending, “it’ll be a little while until we find out,” as their Cornona-induced emails recently stated. This film is a piece of my heart and soul, and being behind literally everything, creating the project from a piece of lined paper to turning it into a multidimensional reality, it’s the most gratifying and truly rewarding feat. I even composed the original score, and I’ll do that for the rest of my future films.
Director: Michael Angel Loayza Jr.
Producers: Michael Angel Loayza Jr.
Cinematographer: Michael Angel Loayza Jr.
Budget: 0 dollars (Literally)
Production: LowWiseZah Studios
Shooting Format: 4K 24fps, DSLR Panasonic Lumix G85
Screening Format: 4K DVD, BLU RAY
indieactivity : Give the full Official Synopsis for your film?
Michael Angel Loayza Jr. : A struggling author battles heartache in the midst of his ex-girlfriend’s disappearance. Not only does Basil (his girlfriend) abruptly leave him but she also, shortly after, ends up going missing; this doesn’t sit well with Clyde, so he does anything he can, from questioning the local detective to investigating her last whereabouts and even questioning her mother (who has much disdain for him), in order to find out why – and boy, does he bite off more than he can chew.
indieactivity : Development & Financing?
Michael Angel Loayza Jr. : this is a placeholder text, that indicates that the content for this template must be placed between this block, to allow the article hold a firm structure and also kill time for the writer or editor.
indieactivity : this is a placeholder text, for the interview question?
Michael Angel Loayza Jr. : I wrote and created the film from the ground up and as usual it is self-financed. I’m fortunate enough to have established relationships with talented actors that believe in me and vice versa. So, I work on a bartering system in the sense that anything they need, such as reel editing, headshots, audition help, ANYTHING, I will always attempt to do my best in helping them. It started as heartache, my ex leaving was beyond a mystery, I wrote it out in order to grieve and within a month of the breakup I started production of the movie to keep from staring out the window to nothingness. Life is a mystery and so is love – but meaning and truth can be found whatever that may be. This is embedded within this screenplay and even more so in the film itself.
indieactivity : Production?
Michael Angel Loayza Jr. : I tend to work very efficiently. I write logically and map out locations that are close in proximity in order to make scheduling and shooting simplified. It was about 30 days of (mostly) leisure shooting, but mind you, many of these days were literally only me, the camera, and mic. I wrote scenes heavily focused around my character in order to not just showcase my talents as an actor and my hunger to perform, but in order to not have to worry about scheduling other actors and having to wait upon other people. When you write, direct, act in, do the camera work, sound and lighting, you have to write and think of locations and the number of characters in the scene, to make the process run as smooth as possible.
But this also shouldn’t stunt the writing itself, this just means write within the capabilities of budget and locations (this can be corrected in post-editing, meaning writing). My breakup happened in mid-June, two weeks later after depressing poems and philosophical essays I wrote the screenplay within a week and then started to breakdown the script, talk to my acting peers and then started getting their schedule as well. I then casted some new faces, and wrapped the film in September. I had the first rough edit in November or so, and then I re-edited and kept doing so, having about 5 different Final Cuts and making minute changes (mostly audio), and then I decided last minute to compose the original score because it’s something I always wanted to do and that was the final thing to put to the movie about 2 weeks to the final FINAL CUT.
After rewatching and editing the movie so many times (especially my breakup scene), watching the scenes over and over, hours and hours a day for months on end, I did have a bit of a breakdown afterwards and even during – it was hard for me to separate myself from the film because it was the last piece tying me to her, to our broken relationship. This film became my partner because it helped me survive and find meaning during desolate times – I even went as far as becoming overly anal and fixated upon foolish things, such as audio bumps that I thought were there but really weren’t . It was tough, man. But purposeful beauty came out of it.
indieactivity : Festival Preparation & Strategy?
Michael Angel Loayza Jr. : I don’t create for festivals – I create for myself and in my belief this exudes to all. I create as an artist first and foremost. I believe all will follow when the time is right – but the work must be put in – there must be structure. Also, I stalk people on IMDB Pro and use the established connections that I have in order to email out and “solicit” my film, in order to get financing in the future and to get new representation and such. So I’m doing good PR if I’m in this interview with Indie Activity – I’m super grateful for it.
indieactivity : The Release?
Michael Angel Loayza Jr. : I had a showing at my home with the talent and friends as well as released it to YouTube.
indieactivity : Advice from the Filmmaker?
Michael Angel Loayza Jr. : Create for yourself and no one else – our individual experience is so engaging because it is shared collectively which creates a paradoxical scenario of individualism exuding to all by staying true to the artist’s perception and interpretation of one’s own experience. There’s nothing more beautiful than making someone laugh or cry, but this means so much more when the engaged emotion comes from your blood, sweat and tears; when it comes from a thorough observation, an opinion, an experience – this is true comedy and true tragedy; this is life.
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