"The Laughing Man" (excerpt from short film)

Diego Hallivis

Unaffiliated

1) What was your first professionally directed work and when was it?
I just finished postproduction for my first properly funded feature film called Curvature, which was shot about a year ago. I’m now in the process of submitting it to festivals and finding distribution.

2) How did you get into directing? 
I knew from a young age that I wanted to become a director. I got my start in the industry as an editor for different advertising companies, while simultaneously shooting my own spec commercials and short films to build a reel. Then I started developing screenplays and trying to get them financed, while experiencing the challenge of having investors believe in a first time director.  Luckily, two of the short films I did went viral on YouTube and that allowed investors and people in the industry to get an idea of my work, which then led to me directing Curvature.

3) What is your most recent project? 
My most recent project is a full-length feature film I just completed called Curvature. It is a time-travel, sci-fi drama about an engineer who travels back in time to stop herself from committing a murder.  I would describe it as a mind-bending, time-travel drama in the vein of Timecrimes and Looper. Curvature examines the difficulty of letting go, while asking how much you would risk to do what you believed was right.

It stars Lyndsey Fonseca (Nikita) Linda Hamilton (Terminator), Glenn Morshower (Bloodline, Transformers), Alex Lanipekun (Homeland) and Zach Avery.

This project was an incredible experience to shoot and I cannot wait to show it to the world!

4) What is the best part of being a director? 
What I like most about directing is having the ability to build any world I envision that allows me to tell a story.  I enjoy collaborating with a variety of people that are on each project to specifically help bring to life the vision that I have. The creative process is something I greatly enjoy and I still get a thrill of being on set, however I also think one of the most rewarding parts of the job is seeing the project completed and knowing that all of the countless hours of hard work and an enormous amount of dedication was all worth it.

5) What is the worst part of being a director? 
As a director, often times you will be forced to make creative compromises that you don’t always agree with.  Whether making your project more marketable for a specific audience, cutting out scenes, etc., the downside of this is that no one will know you were forced to make these decisions and that these adjustments don’t always reflect your vision.

6) What is your current career focus: commercials & branded content, TV, movies? Do you plan to specialize in a particular genre—comedy, drama, visual effects, etc.? 
I love telling stories and feel I have such a wide interest in genres that I am striving to create, so to me film and TV are my primary focus. To tell a story that speaks to me and is a technical challenge to pull off is what drives me.

8) Who is your favorite director and why? 
I look up to certain directors for a multitude of reasons, so it’s hard to name only one that I admire. For style and sensibility, David Fincher, Steven Spielberg and Christopher Nolan are the filmmakers whose films I have endlessly studied.  These directors can say so much within a single frame and their directing style is what I relate to the most when I approach storytelling.  In addition, Alejando Gonzalez Inarritu and Alfonso Cuaron have been strong inspirations for me as a Mexican filmmaker, as they tackle emotional stories with an ambitious technical approach, something I see my style of filmmaking leaning towards. When it comes to originality and creativity, Guillermo del Toro and Edgar Wright are the directors that I enjoy watching projects from.

9) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite television/online program? Your favorite commercial or branded content? 
There are so many incredible films and TV shows, it is always so hard to narrow it down to just one favorite.  The two movies I tend to lean towards naming as my favorites would be Fight Club and Children of Men. I have watched them countless times and every time I do, I see them with different eyes and find something new to admire and enjoy.  My favorite TV shows would have to be Breaking Bad and Dexter, two shows that raise the bar in TV making with the common antihero approach theme. For branded content, I like a BMW short by Tony Scott called Beat the Devil—it is just pure madness and fun.

10) Tell us about your background (i.e. where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
I grew up in Mexico City and moved to Florida at the age of 12. The films Amores Perros and Y Tu Mama Tambien are what sparked my interest of getting into filmmaking, more specifically directing.  I graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Film Studies and while attending school, I interned at production companies working as a PA, eventually getting hired as an assistant director.  I moved to Los Angeles and continued in the industry, working on projects as a freelance editor, while directing my own shorts/specs on the side, so I could learn as much as possible about the director’s role. Moving to Los Angeles was an eye-opening experience for me because it really is the city with the most opportunities to become the director that I want to be, but it is also the most competitive and I’m loving the challenge.