My Q&A interview with Desmond Devenish of “Misfortune”, premiering June 10th at Dances With Films! I was so impressed when I heard that he sold his house in the ever notoriously cool Silverlake, Los Angeles. Only truly passionate filmmakers would go out on a limb like that, and these are the ones to keep an eye on!
Joanna: What motivated you to produce Misfortune? And where did the inspiration come from?
Desmond Devenish: It was a result of the deluge of greed and betrayal I had encountered when I came into some money, years back.
The trailer is amazing quality! How did you produce and create this film?
DD: Thank you! I have to give a shout out to City Room Creative for that awesome assembly. They’re a true force, and just an awesome group to work with.
In a nut shell, I sold my house to make this movie.
Is this your first feature film?
Has this premiered anywhere else already, or is this the first time?
DD: It world premiered in India at the Jaipur International Film Festival, where it won the Yellow Rose award.
What would you change about the present day film/movie industry if you could?
DD: This has become a major mission of mine, is that there is not an effective and supportive conduit amongst established producers and aspirant filmmakers, the ones who are not equipped with the necessary contacts, finances and distribution avenues. Industry connections are kept way too close to the hip. I’ve encountered this even with close friends of mine. The reality is as I see it, if there was more sharing and abundance, with less cynicism, politics and fear; the tidal wave effect and work itself would transcend to a level that would blow people away. Most importantly, it would positively empower us, as inhabitants of this planet.
Crowdfunding has been a considerable solution to lack of financial sourcing, but still, there are far too many talented artists I know of, that could use more guidance and facility to get their films produced, and ultimately seen by the public. These artists with something valuable to offer, are so important to helping society and we should be making it as easy as we can for them, not more challenging. I’m very confident that this is changing for the better and as I establish myself more, is a commensurate responsibility of mine. It’s what Gunnison Galaxy is all about; an empowering collective to raise each other up, instead of competing with one another.
What would you not change about the present day film/movie industry?
DD: Nothing. I believe we should always be changing. We have a lot more growing to do. Most everyone loves films, even grumpy people, people that feel disenfranchised, people who feel unloved, uncared for and unrecognized. We as artists and business makers, have a serviceable obligation to act more like a family than a sports team. It may sound pollyannaish, but if it can happen on set when everyone comes together to make magic happen, then it can happen off set as well.
What is your greatest passion within filmmaking, is it directing, or screenwriting, or editing, etc.. ?
DD: All of the above. One of the most rewarding experiences for me, is feeling like you may have given inspiration or a useful way of seeing things to someone, if not yourself.
Film festivals are hard to get into. What would you have done if you didn’t get into a film festival?
DD: They are, but every part of making a film, I find challenging. If the film would not have been accepted into any festivals, I would then have positioned it into movie theaters independently, which is what I have already been doing.
We are surrounded by naysayers. It’s infectious and can easily fill us full of doubt. If however, you believe in yourself, associate with likeminded others, have a polished product and can mange to keep moving forward, it is all possible.
What’s next for you?
DD: I associate produced on a wonderful documentary about the virtuoso American jazz vocalist, Gregory Porter. It will begin its festival circuit this autumn. That, and expect some hard hitting goods from some fresh new talent.
What is your ultimate goal with this film?
Desmond Devenish: Strong theatrical and home video, and to expeditiously get the next project underway.
Thank you Desmond for the behind the scenes on Misfortune!! It is premiering at Dances With Films on Friday, June 10th, 9pm at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.