#8: Meet SHANT HAMASSIAN

16 10 2009

Film: SPACEMAN ON EARTH

SHANT HAMASSIAN, writer/director/producer

In 1950s America, a little green alien frames a superhero, Spaceman, as a communist. Spaceman must fight his way through car chases, shoot outs, jet packs, and monster fights to prove his innocence!

Screening: Saturday Oct 24th, 4:45pm, Emerging Stars: Filmmakers on the Edge program

1. Tell us a little about yourself and where you have lived, highlighting any major cultural identities that define, influence or challenge you in your life

I grew up in Calabasas.  Although I am Armenian, and attended an Armenian school my entire life, my identity is primarily American influenced.  Most Armenians tend to not know I’m Armenian until they find out my name. It’s a fun game to play.

2. How did you come to be a filmmaker, and where/how did you learn the “craft” of filmmaking?

My background was in Illustration (drawing and painting) at Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena.  Halfway through school, I realized I didn’t have the temperament to be just an illustrator, so I applied those skills to filmmaking.  The craft of filmmaking comes primarily from doing it yourself, or observing people on other sets.

3. What prompted the idea for your film and how did it evolve?

I wanted to make a film that had no limitations, budget wise.  That means it can take place, anytime, anywhere, and have as much overblown actions scenes as possible.  That’s the beauty of the digital age. Anyone can shoot a film on blue/green screen and do the effects themselves as I did, for 5 months, in my bedroom.  The idea for the film came in mind during a class I took at Art Center.  We were discussing the communist witch hunts in the 50’s.  I thought to myself, “What if a superhero was framed as a communist?”  The story evolved from there.

4. What is your single favorite line from your film?

“Oh, my girlish tantrums!”

5. What movies would you say have transformed or changed the way you see the world?

When I saw Evil Dead 2 at age 16, I knew that filmmaking was a definitely possible for a future career.  Sam Raimi was ahead of his time.

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One response

19 10 2009
Gitty Rahbar

We are so proud of you.
Go Shant!

Gitty & Nick

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