Herrings won Best Web Series - Jury Award Award in the 4th Season of MP Film Award Keith Chamberlain Director & Writer of the Film Herrings agree to interview with us.
Keith Chamberlain is an award-winning filmmaker whose projects have screened at numerous festivals including Golden Door International Film Festival, Seoul Web Fest and Côte d'Azur Webfest. He has earned awards for his short films “The Friend of My Friend is Apparently Not My Friend”, “The Burning Tree”, currently on Amazon Prime Video and the web series, “Herrings”. Keith is also a producer on the upcoming documentary, “The Flying Greek” and he also co-stars in the upcoming horror comedy, "Batshit", premiering later this year.
About the Film: Synopsis: Herrings Film Synopsis:
Herrings is a dramatic thriller about two men who use the internet to disguise their clients’ digital footprint, which allows those clients to hide in plain sight.
What was your drive behind making this film?
About four years ago, I came across an article about a skip tracer who became a skip maker by using the internet to hide his clients’ digital footprint and thought it would make a great series. However, I was working on other projects and I forgot about it until 2015. Once I decided to make this my next project, it took me 2 years to break the story and another to cast the right actors. Once everything came together, the first episode took about 3 days to make. Now, here’s a little bit of trivia, the first episode was originally a sizzle reel that I was going use to pitch Herrings as an hour-long show. However, when that fell through, I thought the story was too compelling to abandon and thus I adapted it as a short form web-series.
How you feel when you are awarded with the MP FILM AWARD Award?
It was an incredible feeling, especially seeing the calibur of previous winners.
Can you tell us about the greatest moment during shooting this film?
Forming a camaraderie with my cast and seeing their excitement in the project. This show created a lot of bonds that have last long since the show's conclusion.
How rigorously did you stick to the script while shooting?
I would say I stuck 95% to the scripts for each episode with the rest either being improved by the actors or scenes that were either cut or changed due to location issues.
Where there any onset problems During the filming of the film & how did you deal with it?
A lot of the episodes are made based on the availability of the actors. There was a 16-month gap between Season 1 and 2, several of the actors are either no longer in the area, no longer acting or have moved on to other projects. There was also the matter of recasting certain roles and eliminating others that proved very challenging. Also, for Season 2, I had a definite end date of production and that, at times, conflicted with several of the actors, which is why some characters and their storylines are featured more than others. Trust me, there was a LOT of rewriting involved. In regards to money, while many of the cast and crew were fine working for free, I decided not to go that route for Season 2. This was one of the main factors for the 16-month gap as I wanted to pay my actors more than gas money for Season 2. Even though the budget for Season 2 is larger than Season 1, it was still relatively low and I was upfront about the budget with every D.P and Sound Mixer that I contacted. There were a few no’s but surprisingly there were quite a few yes’s. At the end of the day though, it all comes down to sheer will and a lot of faith.
Do you have any advice for young filmmaker out there? Or like yourself?
Don't let your gear (or lack thereof) your location and your experience, deter you from pursuing a career in filmmaking. If you have a story you want to tell, tell it and above all else, never compromise your vision.
Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?
Not as much as it used to be. Not with YouTube shows like Film Riot, Indy Mogul, Film Courage and numerous filmmaking accounts on social media. However I still think going to a film institute exposes aspiring filmmakers to classic and foreign films that may not learn about on their own.
Which film has inspired you the most?
I would say Sicario has had the most influence on me in the last five years.
Which particular film maker has influenced you the most?
Oddly enough, John Carpenter.
Which book would you love to make a film out of one day?
Final Girls by Riley Sager
If you got the opportunity to go back in time & change something in any particular movie of yours, then which movie & what changes will you opt for?
Probably my short film, "The Burning Tree". I didn't get nearly as much B-Roll of the two main characters and I would change the location of the police station as I filmed those scenes in a yoga studio and in one shot you can clearly see floral wallpaper behind one of the police officers!
If you were to shoot the film again, what would you do differently?
As much as I love my cast, I would eliminate several characters as they take away from the main plot.
What is your greatest achievement till date?
Having my work find and resonate with an audience, there’s no better feeling, in my opinion. Some filmmakers want name recognition, but I would much rather have my work recognized.
How do you pick yourself up after a failed film?
By reminding myself tomorrow is a new day and that sometimes the greatest lessons are learned from our failures.
Where our viewers can catch you (share your social media)?
Both seasons of Herrings are currently streaming on IFT Network TV, iftnetworktv.com, a new online streaming platform that features Best in Class Award Winning Indie Films, New Theater Productions, Musicals, Original Shows and Web Series. You can also follow the show on Instagram at Herrings_Series and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HerringsSeries
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