BLIND FAITH, 26min., USA, Drama
Directed by Bruce Hickey
A homeless man, hoping to see his estranged son for Christmas is forced to steal a priceless copy of the Blind Faith album signed by Eric Clapton and The Beatles from a beautiful black blind woman, who ends up changing his life.
Interview with filmmaker Bruce Hickey
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I wanted to make a film that reflected what is going in in our culture with homeless people, and the deep divisions we see now between the "have and have nots". And what was really most important to me, to have my lead character face a moral issue, be forced to make a hard choice, but in the end it, by making the right moral brings him what he seeks.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
It took about nine months.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Lack of money and shooting time. I used my savings from being on unemployment insurance to pay for it all. It was a hard choice to make. Money for food and rent or a film. I was close to giving up on being a film director, but the voice inside me pushed back when I met a homeless man who wasn't giving up. If homeless man was hanging on, I had to do the same.
I couldn't afford a line producer, so I was running around getting set dressing, craft services, booking crew, finding props, when I should have been just being the director.
I'm in LA, and it might seem like it be easy here to make a film, but it's far from the truth. Locations are expensive. You are competing with location managers who offer people big bucks for locations for commercials, films and series. Also, finding a crew you can afford. Also losing crew members the night before your shoot.
One the eve of our first shooting day the DP backed out, and, along with him I lost the gaffer and all his gear. I had everything set. Locations, set, rest of the crew. I scrabbled like hell, and finally found a DP I liked, but he wasn't free for another week. So, I had to sweet talk the actors, crew and locations back a week. With a small budget everything is a struggle.
Then, there was shooting the film knowing you had so little time in each location and issues happened with actors' performances, crew members who didn't perform well, and lots sound problems shooting EXT shots in West Hollywood.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
That really touched me. Hearing from them the story elements that I was striving to make it work, had indeed played and moved them. This was a special gift. Thanks.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
For me it was after I had been a professional actor for a few years and felt I had a whole vision I needed to see realized and that was more important to me than being in front of a camera.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
I'd say, Casablanca, with All About Eve a close second. It's because they replay them so often on TMC and are so entertaining to me.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I'd say more interaction with the festival, as you provided with the feedback video.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
FilmFreeway is wonderful, and if you have a problem, you email support and they get right on it.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Grilled salmon, veggies, and brown rice.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
Getting my feature projects made!
Director Biography - Bruce Hickey
Bruce Hickey is an award-winning playwright and film director. His career started as an actor, playing Danny Zuko, in the original cast of GREASE in Chicago. He shifted his focus to directing, and he wrote and directed his play, ALL I WANT, based on his experiences as a caseworker. The play ran for two years at The Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, winning Jeff Awards for Best Play and Best Director. Moving to LA, he directed theater, a feature film, and wrote network TV movies. He wrote, directed, and produced, BLINDSIDED BY LOVE, which won seven film festivals, and his feature script, BLOOD TATTOO, has won two festivals in 2022 for Best Unproduced Script.
Blind Faith was inspired by a homeless man I met in 2020 in Los Angeles who almost gave up hope, but the love of a woman who had faith in him gave him a second chance. His moral strength inspired me not to give up on my dreams as a filmmaker, so I used what was left in my savings to produce this film. He reminded me that behind each nameless, homeless person we pass on the street is a human being with dreams. He met a beautiful blind woman who helped heal his wounded soul. Their romance inspired this tagline -- Love Without a First Sight.
Gloria El-Achkar - producer
Logan Martin - Charlie
Gloria El-Achkar - Lina
Jay Krymis - Raff