An Interview With Dillon Fuhrman

We interviewed Dillon Fuhrman about his latest script called Charlie Horowitz. Charlie Horowitz is a horror script about the revenge of a teen who comes back to life to bring justice after he was brutally murdered.

What draws you to filmmaking and the cinematic language?

I guess what draws me to filmmaking, and in this case the cinematic language, is the collaborative aspect. You not only work with the actors in helping them bring out the best in their performance, but you also work with the crew, whether they are screenwriters, producers, sound designers, lighting designers, etc., in order for the production of a film to be completed on time, and also you want to have fun as well because filmmaking is a really fun medium to work in.


Do you believe in film schools or does making a film teach you more than film school?

That's a good question. It depends on the filmmaker; if they want to learn from someone who has or had worked in the film industry, and is teaching at a film school, that is certainly one option. However, if the filmmaker feels confident in their filmmaking abilities, and is ready to make their first film, good for them because a lot of filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, and Paul Thomas Anderson went that route and became really big success stories as a result.


What makes cinema stand out more than the arts for you?

What I like about cinema is seeing the pictures of a film move, and when I mean move, I mean you go from one location to another with one of the characters in the film as your guide whereas art, you see the painting for a few minutes and you physically move to the next painting without anyone to lead you.


Did you choose a certain directing style for making this film based on the script?

Not really because my script is unproduced. However, once my script does get picked up, I hope to work with the cast before we start filming in order to help them understand who their characters are, and the relationship they have with other characters, and to work with the crew so we can storyboard ideas on how scenes should be shot and what kind of lighting would be most effective for the mood of the scene, but since this is a horror film, expect the lighting to match the dread and terror of scenes that call for it.


How did you choose the cast and the crew of your film?

Since my script is unproduced, there are certain actors I have written in mind for the roles. An example I can give is Robert Downey Jr. as Lucifer. He's played the hero since Iron Man, so I thought I would surprise the audience with his villanous turn as the devil himself because Downey can play a really great villain, and I don't think the modern day audience is aware of that fact.


Think of it as how the audience was surprised at Denzel Washington's performance in Training Day; not many people were prepared for how Denzel portrayed Alonzo Harris: dark, villainous, and evil to the core, but yet there's a certain likeability to the character. And that's how I imagined Lucifer to be: charismatic, sinister, but there's a certain likeability even though he's the villain.


How did you fund your film and what were some of the challenges of making this film?

Because my script is unproduced, I hope to acquire the funds from a movie studio, whoever picks up Charlie Horowitz and its two written sequels, so we can make the jump from script to screen. There were challenges, however, when I was writing the first film's script; when I wrote the very first draft, there were some aspects of the script I liked, and there were some aspects I didn't like.


So, taking a page out of F. Scott Fitzgerald, I rewrote the script numerous times, and it took three years to get it to the finish line. Of course, I had help from my screenwriting professor and classmates, and they were very instrumental in the final and completed draft of the script.


Do you consider yourself an indie filmmaker and what would most be the most difficult thing about being an independent artist?

I guess I would consider myself an independent filmmaker because I'm self-promoting my script on social media and word-of-mouth to my co-workers, friends, family members, etc. There are some drawbacks to being an independent filmmaker, however, like trying to find the one person who believes in your filmmaking (but in my case, screenwriting) abilities and the potential of seeing your film/script make it to the big screen.


What is the distribution plan for your film?

To remedy the situation of trying to find the one person who believes in my script seeing the big screen, I submitted my script to various film festivals like Creepy Tree Film Festival, Hollywood Blood Horror Fest, Fright Night Film Fest, Shockfest and so on, and so far Charlie Horowitz has acquired 17 official selections, won four awards, was a finalist for five different film festivals, and was a semi-finalist for two different film festivals.


But I didn't stop there, I showcased the other two chapters in the Charlie Horowitz trilogy to the same film festivals and are winning some awards, or being finalists or semi-finalists. I figured if I showcase all three films' scripts and win certain awards, the movie studios, crossing my fingers, would take notice and be interested in reading the scripts from the trilogy and offer to make them.


What is your cinematic goal in life and what would you like to achieve as a filmmaker?

My cinematic goal in life is to make movies based on the genres I grew up with, like action, horror, comedy, etc., and I would love to earn recognition as someone who never gave up on their dream of being a filmmaker, I always wanted to be a filmmaker since I was a little kid, no matter what hardships I faced acheiving that goal.


What kind of impact would your film have in the world and who is your audience?

Even though it's a horror film, it tackles some real-life subject matters, like bullying and how someone becomes psychologically tormented by the constant bullying, they would snap and become what they despise as well as doing things that are against their nature, like my eponymous character making a pact with the devil in exchange for revenge against those who tormented him, and that is why my audience are those who not only love a good horror film, but also for those who have been bullied and those who did the bullying.

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