Local Filmmaker Gus Péwé Kickstarts New Short Film.
A story about bears on bicycles and haunted food.
“It’s about death, the fear of darkness, and the void. It’s about broken hearts. It’s about lonely ghosts. It’s about bears riding bikes. It’s a love song.” describes Gus Péwé on his new short film. His new film project is accepting funding on kickstarter through April 6th.
Here is a little about Gus and what keeps him making films.
Jacksonopolis: When did you start making films?
Gus: Even before I knew how to write, I would dictate to my dad my ideas for a sequel to Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, and I would do storyboard-esque drawings of scenes from Small Soldiers on the back of restaurant placemats. At one point I remember wanting to be a film projectionist, and I also wanted to be a Special FX because I really loved the prosthetic and animatronic stuff in Men in Black and Godzilla movies. So I think filmmaking has always been what I wanted to do.
I started making movies with my cousin when I was in the 5th grade with our camcorder. We would do ‘stunt’ videos where he would pretend to jump out the second story of a barn, and we’d cut and use a dummy dressed like him.
During my junior year of high school I made, what I always call my “first significant short film,” The Three Vivid Dreams. I entered it in The Future of Cinema International Film Festival, hosted by Interlochen Arts Academy, and won Best Narrative Film. Part of the prize was tuition money to go to high school at Interlochen, so I spent my senior year there and got my high school diploma as a Motion Picture Arts major. That was the first real affirmation that this might be something I could do professionally.
Jacksonopolis: Where are you from?
Gus: I’ve lived in Horton, MI for about ten years now. I lived in Naples, FL for about ten years before that, but I was born near Portland, OR.
Jacksonopolis: What style of films do you make?
Gus: I always have a hard time coming up with a helpful answer when people ask what kind of movies I make. I asked a professor of mine what he thought, and he wasn’t exactly sure, and he had a PhD in Film Studies! I think I ride the line between Narrative and Experimental film. The term “Magic Realism” might apply to everything I’ve done. I wouldn’t be upset if someone said my movies are Magic Realism.
Jacksonopolis: What types of stories do you like to tell with films?
Gus: Almost all the stories I tell involve outer space, dreams, and lost love.
Jacksonopolis: What kind of gear do you use in the film making process?
Gus: All the short films I’ve done have been shot digitally. Both the last movie I made, The Big West, and the next one I’m about to do, Same Ghost Every Night, were shot on a Canon T2i. I’ve used everything from a Canon Powershot, to the Canon XH-A1, to the Canon 5D. (I think I might be partial to Canon.)
Jacksonopolis: Who inspires you to make films?
Gus: I always say that Werner Herzog is my favorite director. I really like his approach to filmmaking. He did a movie called Fitzcarraldo, and in the movie the title character takes a steamboat up and over a mountain. To achieve this Herzog and his crew pulled an actual steamboat up an actual mountain. There’s a documentary about the making of Fitzcarraldo, called Burden of Dreams. As a filmmaker, or anybody really, you watch that, and suddenly any problem you’re facing seems so minor compared to the problems that arose when making that movie. His drive is incredible and inspiring.
Jacksonopolis: Are you looking for people to work with you in the film making process (crew or talent)?
Gus: Absolutely. Until The Big West, I was basically a one-man show. Now my producer-friend, Robert Hoxie, and I both work to organize everything. But even still, we constantly think that we could use some help.
I have been very fortunate to work with the dedicated actors that I have thus far. I’ll always try to think of a role for someone who really wants to be involved.
Jacksonopolis: Where would you like your career to take you and what kind of projects would you like to work on in the future?
Gus: I would love to make a feature length film, and then keep making them. I want to write and direct professionally.
Here is his description of the upcoming short film.
Gas Péwé’s website: www.guspewe.com