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Victoria Film Festival 2013 Interview - JACKHAMMER director Mike Hanus

Jackhammer - At Victoria Film Fest!
by Jason Whyte

"One of the hottest independent comedies to be released in 2013! Come and take a journey into the world of Jackhammer. A roller coaster ride of non stop jokes and witty dialogue set in a kalideoscopic world of colourful fun." Director Mike Hanus on "Jackhammer" which has its world premiere at the 2013 Victoria Film Festival.

Is this your first film at the Victoria Film Festival? Tell me about your festival experience, and if you plan to attend Victoria for the filmís screenings.

This is my first film at VFF and I am super excited about doing our world premiere in the city that helped make this movie a reality. We have come full circle and this city is a massive part of it.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background, and what led you to the industry.

Great question! I kind of did it backwards. I lived in Vancouver and always wanted to get involved in film but it wasnít until I moved to Victoria and started having fun in life that I took my first acting classes. I then started going to auditions in Vancouver and landed some roles here and there. Once I realized that the roles cast in Vancouver were mostly small and hardly comedic, I decided to make my own movie. Three years later here I am, premiering at the Victoria Film Festival.

How did this whole project come together?

With a lot of discipline and drive! It has been an amazing experience and journey but a very involved process. I had met Guy Christie (who plays the character Julius in the film) on the set of another movie and thought he was incredibly talented. I contacted him and after reading the script he agreed. We cast the film and started shooting in August 09. I brought on some of my actors as writers and we created comedic magic together.

My writing team consisted of Guy Christie, Dunan MacLellan, Jason Burkart, Silvana Azurdia and Julian Paul. The "Jackhammer" family consistently grew and the city of Victoria joined in to help us bring something to the world stage. Half way through our production we brought on McKinley Hlady as producer and a list of amazing cast and crew.

Please tell me about the technical side of the film; your relation to the filmís cinematographer, what the film was shot on and why it was decided to be photographed this way.

This project has been filmed digitally. It has been a huge cost advantage since we have gone back and re-shot many scenes which would have broke the budget. Jackhammer has two amazing cinematographers, Jerry Kott and Daniel Carruthers. They worked amazing as a team and as well by themselves. I was really blessed to have them both.

Out of the entire production, what was the most difficult aspect of making this film? Also, what was your favorite moment?

The production was incredibly hard because it lasted so long. We shot for two years. Itís all worth it now though and when I got to start working with some of my favourite Hollywood actors it became surreal and magic.

Who would you say your biggest inspirations are in the film world? Did you have any direct inspirations from filmmakers for this film in particular?

My heroes are Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler & Will Ferrell.

If you could offer some advice to someone who wanted to make movies, what nuggets of wisdom would you offer?

Follow your dreams. If you are serious about making a film and want to do a good job then get organized, focused and surround yourself with great people. Understand that it will be a journey of hard work and discipline especially if you are trying to stretch your budget. But know this; if you are willing to do what others arenít in order to progress your project in a positive way then you have a massive advantage over others. Enjoy the journey and be in the moment. Donít look forward to being completed the whole time. Enjoy the friendships and connections you make.

What would you do or say to someone who is talking, texting or being disruptive during a movie?

That depends if they are doing it during the screening of "Jackhammer"!

And finally, what is the single greatest movie that you have seen at a film festival?

I have just recently started enjoying film festivals so I donít have a lot of screenings under my belt but I would say ďDefendorĒ with Woody Harrelson which I saw at Whistler Film Festival in 2009!

This is one of the many films playing at this yearís Victoria Film Festival. For showtimes and further information visit

Be sure to follow instant happenings of the festival and updates on my Twitter @jasonwhyte!

Jason Whyte,

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originally posted: 02/02/13 05:17:42
last updated: 02/02/13 05:18:18
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