Filmmaker Spotlight

Emir Skalonja: A Bloody Good Filmmaker

  FAME: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Emir: I film because I love it. It's that simple. I'm not trying to change the world or revolutionize film industry. I just do it because I cannot imagine myself doing anything else. (Well, maybe write) I mainly focus on dark matter film, filled with gore, suffering etc. I love films dealing with zombies as well as supernatural. In my films, I use a lot of practical effects and makeup. I work with Krystal Shenk with whom I've partnered up recently to our special effects. I do occasionally branch off into other genres. Recently we completed a feature length film, Jericho, written by Krystal and myself, and it is a neo noire action film about revenge, (think of Deathwish). The 3 films I am most proud of are The Plague, The Plague 2 and Jericho. I love being on sets, and surrounding myself with people who share the same passions. I make friends with everyone. Helps keep the experience positive.

FAME: What was your inspiration for your short film, "Rules?"

Emir: Inspiration for RULES was an idea I had with my friend Devon, to do a short collection themed "women killing men." It never happened but we did film RULES, after Devon told me she wrote a short story years ago about a woman who recounts a story her mother told her about being cautious on her way home from bars. It's basically women taking control and turning the tables on the men.

  FAME: What was the most rewarding experience in creating your film?

Emir: The most rewarding part about RULES is that it turned out exactly how I wanted it. It was very mysterious and cold, and I was very happy with that. Also, that I branched off into making film devoid of gore for once.

FAME: What do you want people do take away from watching 'Rules?'

Emir: I hope audience walks away understanding the point of view of the film. It puts a woman in charge, and she does basically what men are stereotyped to do to women in films. The tables can always turn. It's a simple story, but with a lesson.

FAME: What have you learned from making "Rules" that might be of value to aspiring filmmakers?

Emir: What I learned from making this film is to take my time while deciding and framing the shots. I used to rush everything but that is because I always want to get to the good stuff FAST. I think my ability to put the story from paper onto video improved. So, always take your time. If something doesn't feel right, it probably ISN'T right so it doesn't hurt to go back and redo it. I loved working with my friend Devon, and working with someone who can bounce ideas with you is important. Those are the best people to surround yourselves with.

FAME: Any other films of yours our readers can check out? What about upcoming projects?

Emir: I am currently in post production of our action film Jericho, starring Will Nemi and Michael O'Hear, and in September, we are doing a post apocalyptic film about cannibalism.

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