Maia Absberg talks about her film TrichotilloMAIA, a finalist in our 2018 mini shorts category
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION BEHIND THE FILM?
This was a disorder I was battling for the past 12 years. For the longest time I thought I was alone and crazy for pulling my own hair, but as soon as I looked it up online, I realized it was a disorder that affected millions of people around the world. The film was mainly visual, and I wanted the images to relay the pain and futility one feels when dealing with mental disorders.
WHO IS YOUR INSPIRATION?
In terms of this film, my inspiration was David Wojnarowicz, who is an American artist that used multiple mediums to express himself. One particular controversial short silent film he made, A Fire in My Belly, was so confronting and painful to watch that it stayed with me on a subconscious level till this day. In one of the scenes in the film, David actually sews his mouth shut. At the time I watched that I found it hard to relate to or understand. When wanting to make this film, I didn't have any film as a point of reference. This film was mainly a personal expression - hence why I felt very vulnerable doing it. I think after shooting the film, I now can resonate with David's feelings of frustration, pain, and the vulnerability of putting myself out there.
DID YOU COME ACROSS MAJOR HURDLES DURING THE FILM MAKING PROCESS?
The main hurdle was dealing with the fear of actually making the film. Everything beyond that point was okay, but the actual fear of making the film almost made me not do it.
MOST MEMORABLE "ON-SET" MOMENT:
In one of the scenes, we had an hourglass placed in the fireplace, we were all freaking out as to what would happen when it heats it up and whether it would explore in our faces. After a certain point, there was a scary sound of the glass heating up and we all panicked (I may have screamed) and the hero of the day was Ian, who was gaffer, and like a true boss, put on a glove and put his hand in to grab the hourglass. Needless to say, the glove was kind of burnt but luckily he was okay and nobody was hurt. Oh, the things we do for art.
WHAT ADVISE DO YOU HAVE FOR ASPIRING ARTISTS AND FILM MAKERS?
If you feel like you have a story to tell, one that needs to be heard, don't let anything stop you from telling it, whether that's via directing, writing, or acting. Don't sweat the technical stuff, just make sure you're rock solid with the story and what your message is exactly. The heart of the story is the most important thing - I cannot stress that enough.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FUTURE PROJECTS IN THE WORKS?
A webseries and a feature film that I've been working on for a while. Check out Absberg Productions on Facebook to stay updated with my future projects.