Your film The Inside became Finalist our film festival. How was
the film inspired?
Film was inspired by place where I study because a lot of young people around me claim that their lives were meaningless. However, I think that there are a lot of reasons for them to be happy. Next, I put my experienced emotions in the short movie "The Inside" such as mental overload, new friendship, hatred in the family. The only real thing is a bad mark from physics. I was also inspired by the work of people who screened the film only with a point of view shot. Therefore, I have decided to portray Daniel's memories in the point of view shots to distinguish the time of the story and emphasize the flashback moment.
Tell us about your background and when did you decide to become a filmmaker?
My name is Benjamín Haverla, I live in Martin, Slovakia. I have been studying Information and Digital Technologies studies for four years at Private Secondary Technical School in Poprad founded by the Tatra Academy n. o. I am especially interested in filmmaking. I love video editing, creating VFX, writing new stories, and bringing them to the screen. I also like working with people because without them beautiful works of art could not be created. My way to filmmaking was strange. When I was young I played a lot of computer games. Later at the age of 12, I suffered from epilepsy and I had to stop playing computer games. I lost something that I loved. But after a bad period of my life, my mum brought the first iPad 4 to our family. I was curious and I found there the app iMovie. iMovie was my first video editing software. So this is the point where my film career started. At the age of 12. I asked my friends to cooperate and we created a lot of film series, however as we were little they were not that professional. Later, thanks to my teacher I became successful in film competitions for youth and children in Slovakia. As an actor, I cooperated on advertising for an ISIC company in Slovakia.
Films that inspired you to become a filmmaker?
When I was young, films that inspired me were The Hobbit directed by Peter Jackson and Robin Hood directed by Ridley Scott. As a child, I admired how they could bring unrealistic things or characters to reality. These films gave me the desire to do the same. Later I realized that movie is not only about the visual effects. In my opinion, it is also about a strong story. Story with a deep meaning. So later, films that inspired me to become a filmmaker are Schindler's list directed by Steven Spielberg, Forrest Gump directed by Robert Zemeckis, Silence directed by Martin Scorsese, Avatar and Titanic directed by James Cameron.
Who is your biggest influence?
Well, I think it is Peter Jackson. I like his films The Hobbit and The Lord of the rings very much. Thanks to the internet I know that Peter Jackson made his first film as a child on an 8mm camera he had got from his parents. From the beginning, he did film directing, screenwriting, creating camera shots and tricks. I was surprised by his story. Mainly his film career. I also started as a 12-year-old child. My first camera was an iPad 4 and I was also doing film directing, screenwriting, creating camera shots and tricks. I hope that once I will create some fantasy feature film with a message.
Do you have a favorite genre to work in? Why is it your favorite?
Now I don't have a favourite genre to work in because I love fantasy and this genre is difficult for a film budget. However, I created some short fantasy projects. Unfortunately I finished named Magical Flute which was sent to a film competition in Slovakia. I always have unrealistic stories and characters in my head. And I like to bring them to the screen a lot. So that is the reason why I like the fantasy genre. Now I am working with any genre which is realistic for the film budget.
What's your all-time favorite movie and why?
My all-time favourite movie is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I love this story by J.R.R Tolkien and this movie has very nice parts created by visual effects. The characters are depicted wonderfully both mentally and visually and I also like singing scenes there.
If you could work with anyone in the world, who would that person be?
I think it would be Peter Jackson again. He has a lot of experience. Maybe I could learn a lot during the project.
The one person who has truly believed in you throughout your career.
In my opinion, it is my friend Róbert Hanuliak. He supported me from the very beginning. And he is helping me also now. Whenever I need his help with a film project, he comes and I think he has always believed in me.
What was the most important lesson you had to learn as filmmaker?
The most important lesson for me was to stop creating stories that were unrealistic for the film budget.
What keeps you motivated?
I love filmmaking so this keeps me motivated. When I have some film project I always felt great after finishing any of my film projects.
How has your style evolved?
First, my main focus was to create good video editing and effects. Later I realized that good story and good actors are as important as perfect visual editing to create a good movie. So then I learned from YouTube how to write a short film. After that, I read a lot of books about filmmaking and how to work with actors, how important is lighting, what is the 180-degree rule in film. I am trying to apply all the knowledge and experience from books and videos in my work.
On set, the most important thing is…
To have a screenplay, storyboard, notes, and be prepared. The organization is difficult so you have to be prepared. Also, you have to be focused on every detail. But don't be strictly stuck to your screenplay. Sometimes anything may happen while working and it might be even better than your screenplay. But of course, it depends on the situation.
The project(s) you're most proud of…
I am most proud of my film project The Inside. It is the latest short movie which I have created. I can see progress if comparing to my previous projects. The funny thing is that The Inside is my first movie which I have sent to other countries. Thanks to you and other film festivals I've got positive feedback and I want to keep improving and creating new films.
The most challenging project you worked on. And why?
The most challenging project that I worked on was a Magical Flute. I worked on that project for one year. We filmed that with iPhone 6s Plus in the winter. It was cold outside and mobile sometimes turned off. But we did it! The next big deal was visual effects. But we did it again! Magical Flute is 20 minutes long.
What are your short term and long term career goals?
My short term career goal is to enter a film university and study film directing of feature films and my long term career goal is to direct feature films and work for film production.
Your next projects?
I am working on 3 projects. I finished screenplays and storyboards. The first project will have the biggest cast in my whole life and the second project will be about true friendship at the period of coronavirus. But I think that my third project has the biggest chance to succeed. The third project will be about love between a boy and a girl, about today/this generation and old generation. Half of the scenes was filmed on a green screen. It's because it's going to be an unusual short movie.