Steven Thai is an aspiring Asian-American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He is currently attending The University of Colorado Boulder declared in film studies and film productions. He found a love for filmmaking when he made a video about his high school's Make-A-Wish child to help raise money. He hopes to change the lives of people by telling his story through his films and make a name for himself. It was our pleasure to interview him regarding his latest film called Safe.
How did you start making films and what was the first film project you worked on?
I started making films after realizing what an impact film can be to someone's life. When you are encapsulated by a film's story, you escape into the story world. My first film project was a short I made called "My Escape," a short film depicting the influence that passion, such as dancing, has on the lives of us all, allowing individuals an outlet for working through societal pressures and obstacles.
What genre of filmmaking fascinates you as a filmmaker and why?
I find that I'm drawn to dark psychological thrillers, or drama films because you are able to explore a character through their darkest time and see the reality that some people just go through hell and back in life.
What is the most challenging aspect of being an independent filmmaker in the film industry?
It would definitely be getting your name out in the film industry as a respected filmmaker.
It's a struggle. Getting others to see that your story is worth investing is probably as difficult as getting your name out in the film industry.
How difficult is it to fund indie films?
My three favorite directors would have to be Martin Scorsese, Damien Chazelle, and Christopher Nolan. All three director's bodies of work speak for themselves. From Goodfellas to La La Land to Inception, all these directors have mastered visual storytelling and are able to tell a compelling story.
Please name three of your most favorite directors. How have they been influential in your work?
The main inspiration for Safe came from the idea that I wanted a character to get the back hand from life and see what a character would do when he is faced with a defining moment. Production for Safe started a year in advance from the screenplay, because I knew that I wanted a solid story before filming started.
What inspired you to work on Safe and how did the film go into production?
I found my cast from a local Facebook Casting Group. On set, I didn't have a Director of Photography so I had to take up the role as Cinematopher and It was kind of hectic.
How did you find the cast and the crew of the film? Tell us more about the production of the film and working on the set of the film to create this feature.
Nevertheless, Istill found time to work with everyone on set and allow the actors to do what they do best. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to tell my story.
What do you recommend to other filmmakers regarding the distribution of independent feature films?
We live in a world where you are able to use the power of social media to promote yourself and. your film. I would recommend distributing through Vimeo or YouTube, someone will see the film and it's better than not having the film ever seen.
What is your next film project and what are you currently working on?
The next project I'm working on will be filmed in January and released sometime in the beginning of next year. The short is about a young, musically gifted girl auditioning for a prestigious music program while struggling with her mother's pragmatic expectations.
Why do you make films?
I make films hoping to inspire others just like how my heros inspired me with their beautifully crafted films.