Check out the full interview with Peter below...
This was one of my experimental films “The Reporter from Ocoee with Love”. I had lots of mini stories, but I did not know how to combine them. I love going outdoors and one of my favorite places is Ocoee Tennessee where I am going rafting from time to time. Some of the stories are true, but I wanted to add a comedy and mystery into my stories. One day I sit down at combine all stories together and it resulted the film “The Reporter from Ocoee with Love”.
I was born in the capital city Sofia of Bulgaria but grew up in small city called Petrich that is border between former Macedonia and Greece, it was a great place going fishing, hiking, and dreaming …
However, I do not have a great youth, my mother died when I was 10 years old, my father divorced and he showed up later when I were 25 years old. I grew up in old house and small apartment with my grandparents. I did not have a clear idea what I want to be in life till 25 years old, but I love working with computers than people. I do not have access to any cameras at that time only to camera that my grandmother bought for me was “Smena Symbol”.
This is not 5 sentences answer, it is more of an episode for my next series, let me explain like that. When I was younger, I asked my grandparents, I want to be a banker, you cannot we are not from the rich class, I want to be a fashion model, you cannot you are not handsome enough, I want to be a gangster, you cannot you don’t know how to hold a pistol. We have a caste system like in the movie “Divergent, 2014” and I consider myself a divergent because I do not fit in any profession that were available at this time.
I do not like to compare myself with other filmmakers, when I am starting a project, I know what I want and how to finish it.
I have lots of knowledge and experience in my life that I could say that my life is like a movie. One disadvantage is that I had too much stories and materials and I have difficulty to combine them together like a whole story with great opening, developing the characters and perfect ending!
Also, I was struggle with self-confidence at young age and I still do, this is why I tried to do different things, like stand-up comedy to proof to myself that I can do almost anything that I dreamed of.
All the times they told me you can’t, and I did what I can’t, producing crazy short films.
Inspired by the famous youtuber Casey Neistat “Do What You can’t”.
I watched an old movie that a reporter will go in different places in the world and tell a story about that place and I really want to be that reporter, and now I can fulfill that dream with my new series The Reporter Chronicles.
One of my favorite directors are Robert Rodriguez who create his first film El Mariachi with limited resources, I watched the movie several times and it is great story telling and wonderful cinematic experience. He wrote the book Rebel without a Crew, and I can relate to some of his experience because as an indie film maker I am one-person camera.
Another one is Michael Bay who directed The Island (2005) with the lead actors Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor’s and the movie is amazing I watched at least 35 times and I love it.
Once you are on the film set, we are filming immediately and we are going to take several takes and film 25 pages dialogue in one day, these are my words not Michael Bay.
My other influential director is Keith Smith he is a local film director in Atlanta Georgia, Usa. We filmed a short film in August this year and he is amazing great energy, and he can turn any bad situation into positive one. He was able to put to cast the actors in a few weeks 2 lead actors and 5 kids, and we had an issue with the location 3 days before the filming and he booked another one. I asked him: did ask for permission to film on that location? He replied: If I asked for permission any time I won’t be where I am today, get all your equipment and we are starting at 3:00pm, and don’t be late. And we filmed the movie and I believe it will be a huge success.
There are many films that I watched several times, and they are my favorites like ‘After the Sunset’ 2004 with Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson.
“Obvilion” 2013 where Tom Cruise plays Jack Harper he needs to finish his mission, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko as Julia and I am seeing lots of similarity of where today’s world is going.
“Stargate Atlantis” the series with Joe Flanigan, Jason Momoa, Torri Higginson but most interesting is “John Carter” – 2012 by Walt Disney. I really love the story telling, the acting, the effects, and how they can go back and forward in order to support the story.
Also, one of the short experimental films that I did a year ago called The Secret Project 53 which I directed.
I wanted to tell my story via film making all the time, because my life is like a movie, being in Bulgaria in my small town Petrich, then moving to the capital city of Sofia, having the opportunity to be a gangster in my home town and I turned down because I love computers and Visual Basic. Later met my wife and got lucky to arrive in Atlanta in my thirties and now I can create films for fun and entertainment. Is that not a great story for film, I know it is boring, I came in America with $1 dollar did not know English and became a filmmaker, it is not how it happen, but I will tell you when the time is right! At this moment I will enjoy myself of telling my crazy stories!
There were many challenges that I faced; one is finding the right actors who will be able to commit to the role. Another is finding the right locations or building the set in the studio. The most important is the audio, many times I did the filming and when I got to the editing part found out the audio is not very good, and I need to go back and asked the actors to re-record the audio.
In other words, with any project there are challenges, and this is part of being an indie film maker, I need to be able to adapt and overcome any obstacles and keep filming, do not stop because something is preventing you of finishing you film project.
As unknown indie film maker it is not easy to cast actors and some of the actors that already agreed to be part of my film canceled few days of the filming and I need to re-cast and accommodate the script to the new actors. There is always challenges with the locations, for example I was filming in the nowhere in the filed in 125 F degree, I need to have a background footage and suddenly five cars drove next to me. Two of the cars were a police car, I was filming in private property and got lucky that got away without fine or worst going to jail.
In other words, I have the idea how the film should be in my mind and when I start filming it I realize that something is missing … but this is part of the film maker reality you just keep going and never stop dreaming!
Is there an audience I did not think that way, because I made the film for myself. Well I got very constructive review from the audience in most times they told me we did not get you point, you movie is useless even they say it is not good at all.
However, I got few positive reviews and endorsement that I am thankful!
This is the main goal but define what is original or what is normal. Do you want all the films to have the same concept as CSI: Miami, basically you have a murder and then investigation … It is a great series and wonderful cast.
I think the film makers should bring unconventional stories even experimental films and also they should create films for audience. However, you should not limit yourself to what the audience desire or want, in some case you should create something that audience does not expected or surprise them with you crazy, strange film!
I am not quite sure this is a lot of talking here and it can turn in a long conversation. For me the festival does not make an important role. Because you are going to give me a festival laurel and picture of the award it is look stupid, but I love it. The problem I see here I won an award how this award can be verified. Is the festival being online or they actually screen the film in the theater, I mean the official selection not just the winner in the competition, it has so many other questions…
The festival are great tool to promote you film, and I can get the most with creating an article about my film, or if I have chance to go on site in the festival set a booth and give my film in DVDs or streaming link in Vimeo or other platform.
I am working on my new film project “The Reporter from Chattanooga with Love” that I filmed back in December.
Thank you for this inspiring interview and for taking the time to honestly answer all the questions. The BIA team wishes you great success with your next projects!