Your project takes a part in our festival. What is your project about?
Yes, it's submitted here and it's an independent short film which is call "Where Did The Love Go" (2022) it's about a woman who suddenly goes missing and the local police have no idea of her whereabouts. Their attention soon turns to a pair of out-of-town suspects, who were involved in the killing of three women a year ago. This storyline was originally written as a feature film but due to Covid-19 I had to shorten it as we all were unsure that the country (Denmark) will go on lockdown again, because we were filming in 2021. I and my team are excited to see what the audiences think of this independent short film "Where Did The Love Go" (2022).
First Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWkuZELPnEg
What were your requirements for actors to take a part of your film?
Actors who could act who brought the expressions out in the scenes which were needed. Most important was the serial killer character Tony Dolberg played by Dennis Doggy who needed to change personalities from being a psychopath to a vulnerable person as he comes from a broken home. All the other actors (characters) played there parts very well as well. I as a writer, director & producer am very happy with working with them all.
Final Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy86tXAmgIY
How did you communicate with the cameraman?
I was the cameraman so, there were no communications needed. The only communication I had was in my head and on paper with the storyboards I had made by hands. IMDB Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14979336/reference/
What locations did you choose for your project? And why?
I used two different bars. One, "Stalden Pool & Sportsbar" and the other "Little London - English Pub & Pool" in Esbjerg, Denmark. I used "Stalden" for the scenes with the serial killers Tony Dolberg (Dennis Doggy) & Tommy Jørgensen (Jimmi Andersen) because it's a big place so, I and my team got permission to film there. The second "Little London" which I used for the scenes with the detective Alexa Nielsen (Christina Simonia Staarup) because I didn't want Alexa to be in the office all the time. Originally the scenes were written where she was sitting in her squad car near the Esbjerg harbour. A huge thank you to both of the bar owners for letting me and my team use their place. I used my parents old house as well, one room was for the interrogation where we see Alexa (Christina), Tony (Dennis) and his lawyer Lars Johannsen (Mikkel Aarestrup). The dining room was used to have the date scene between Tony (Dennis) and his victim slash date Vibeke Kortegaard (Simone Henriksen) My room was used to see Tony (Dennis) and the garage was used to have the kidnapping scenes between Tony (Dennis) & Vibeke (Simone). I used my workplace area at the television station "Tv-Glad Esbjerg" as well. My office room was turned into Alexa's (Christina) office room where we see Simone's (Vibeke) friend Karla Davidsen (Christina Deleuran) and another room as the psychologist Marianne Sørensen (Jeanet Rostgaard Hansen) office where we see Tony (Dennis) trying to get help. Outside the workplace, we see the informant Michael Damgaard (Simon Dam Christiansen) and Alexa (Christina) talking. We also got permission to film in the basement of my dad's workplace as well where we see Tony (Dennis) and Lars (Mikkel) - I will not go into details what happen in that scene. I filmed at all these places because they were in my area of filming and also cheap as I didn't have to pay anything. I only had to add the names in the ending credits as a thank you. Which I and my team are extremely thankful for. Special thanks to my parents for providing food and drinks. Also, a huge thanks to my mom for being the boom operator as well.
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/Where2021DidThe.LoveGo
Why should distributors buy your film?
I think because it has a good storyline, music and acting. I think when audience and distributors will see it, they will relate to many things which happens in real life. I plan to create a feature film in the same storyline so, if distributors or any Hollywood film companies are ready to produce it I would happily write a screenplay but otherwise I will produce it the indie way.
What expression elements did you use in your project? How would you characterize your work?
I used a 4k professional camera (JVC-GYHM200E), at the time of filming I didn't have a strong MacBook to edit 4k footage. So, I set the settings to 1080p 24. Frames and filmed the whole short film and edited it in Final Cut Pro X. I created the colour-grading at the end when I knew the whole short film was finished. It has about two or three colours and the brightness is also slightly deemed down. I believe that the story matters first and the technical expects came afterword's but they are also important to tell a unique stories like mine. It's hard to characterise my own work so, I will let the audience decide.
At what festivals have you had success? Has the film already premiered? If so, where?
It is submitted to many festivals which take place next year (2023) but this year (2022) It has received two selections so far. First is at the "Shockfest Film Festival" (Las Vegas) where it will screen online for three months and second is at the "Love & Hope International Film Festival" (Barcelona) where it will screen in front of the Spanish and international audiences. It has also received a semi-finalist at the "Iconic Images Film Festival" (Lithuania) where only finalists screened and I wasn't lucky there but semi-finalist was great as well. Let's see what happen further in 2023 and in the future.
What motivated you to become a filmmaker?
I am an award-winning indie filmmaker so, it's all the awards I have won that is my motivation. Hahaha. Just kidding. Honestly, I wanted to be a policeman when I was young but due to a rare-genetic disease (AAA-Syndrome) that will never happen because I am not physically strong due to the disease. Since I was young, I saw lots of movies with my dad and we still do so, from a young age it was a dream to make films and it motivated me to tell fictional stories surrounding law enforcement. I love telling stories, it's in my blood and veins.
Which movies are your favorites? And why?
Many, if I name them all the list will be long and will never end this interview. Haha. Jokes on side, to name a few "Taxi Driver" (1976) "Goodfellas" (1990) "The Godfather" (1972) "The Dark Knight" (2008) "Shorta" (2022) "Druk" (2022) and more. You ask why are they my favourite, it's because of their storylines, acting, music and direction.
What topics do you like to deal with in your work?
It depends on which story I want to write, it's not fixed so, it's hard to say. I feel like I am good at telling crime stories, love-dramas and serial killer stories like now in "Where Did The Love Go" At some point, I love to write a horror and comedy films or drama-series.
What genre do you like to shoot and why?
At this moment crime, drama and romance because I feel that I am getting better at it film by film. I have had success with these genres so, I want to continue but I am again open to other genres like horror and comedy as well because they are difficult to write and direct and I want to take on the challenge someday.
What project would you like to shoot one day, what would it be about?
One day, I hope to turn all my short films into feature length Hollywood films or series because we haven't seen stories like that on the big screen in Hollywood or on network streaming like HBO, Netflix, Paramount+.
How has COVID affected your film life?
After the lockdown finished and all the things have fully opened again in Denmark it's been easy to film. I can't really say if it has affected my film life or not.
What do you do if you're not thinking about a movie? What are your hobbies?
If I am not thinking about film, then I watch films & series all day long. Haha - no, no, that would be crazy. Well, I love watching sports, ice hockey, soccer and handball so, when the season is on, I always see sports in the city Esbjerg. I also love playing backgammon with my best friend Nadja who plays Jessica in my short film series Jessica. I also love to travel the world, hangout with friends and be with my family.
Jessica: Part Two link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThCis9xqyG0
What projects do you plan to shoot in the future?
I am currently writing my debut Danish feature film, it's about a lesbian couple one is a cop and the other is a psychologist. Sorry, I won't go into more details as I want the audience to be surprised of the storyline and twists. It's a crime-drama, love story, action-thriller and LGBT film. I am not from the LGBT community but one of the lead actresses her daughter is and threw them I have done research to write the film. Time to time I get help if I am stuck on something regarding the characters. The film will being shooting next year (2023) and I plan to finish it by 2024. If it turns out excellent then I will submit it at the major film festivals like Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Zurich international Film Festivals. I also want to submit it for the Oscars but that is just a dream. I do pray one-day I will receive an Oscar and Golden Globe. If not, I will keep making films, no matter what because I love it. Other than the feature film I plan to end my "Jessica" series short films with the third and last part in the storyline after finishing the feature film.
Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/b.productions.dk/?hl=en
Bilal Hussain is an award-winning indie filmmaker, he has been making short films for eleven year's (present) He is a Pakistani-Canadian citizen, who lives in Esbjerg, Denmark and works at a local television station "Tv-Glad Esbjerg" as a reporter, anchor, cameraman & segment editor. Besides work and filmmaking, he has written two crime-fiction books, he has also been a film judge at the "Tokyo Lift-Off Sessions", "Box Short Film Festival", "Istanbul Kisa Golden Film Festival" & now at the "Thessaloniki Free Short Film Festival". Bilal is now writing his debut Danish feature film, which will begin shooting next year (2023) in Esbjerg, Denmark.