Movie-making like joining circus: 'Hitch' director

Los Angeles-based screenwriter and director Andy Tennant, known for making films like "Hitch" and "Fools Gold", says movie-making is a crazy business, but not boring.

Sunday, October 21, 2012 | 4:15:27 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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director Andy Tennant

Los Angeles-based screenwriter and director Andy Tennant, known for making films like "Hitch" and "Fools Gold", says movie-making is a crazy business, but not boring.

"You have to be a little crazy and insane to get into this business. Anything to do with the movie-making business is like running away and joining a circus. It is thrilling, crazy, and rewarding, but I assure you it is never boring because it is not like a normal job," Tennant told IANS.

"So, if you have that passion and commitment, filmmaking is the only thing that you can possibly do in life ... run after it, hop on the train because it is going to be the time of your life," he added.

The 52-year-old began his career by directing hit television shows such as "The Wonder Years" and "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" and later went on to strike gold at the box office with films such as "Hitch", "Fools Gold", "Anna and the King" and "The Bounty Hunter".

To succeed in showbiz, being focused is important, he suggests.

"Keeping your eye on the ball when there are so many other things going around you is the biggest challenge. And you are supposed to be the calm centre of the storm. So, my advice to all the filmmakers is keep calm and carry on with it," he said.

Tennant is the jury president for the International Competition for the First Feature Films of Directors at the 14th Mumbai Film Festival, which is taking place here.

For the first time he is part of the jury of any film festival and said: "This is the first time ever that I am part of a jury. I am having a ball. I have been going for dinners, watching films, seeing people and meeting them. I have been meeting quite a lot of Mumbaikars and having my own unique experience."

"The closest I have ever been to a festival is when 'Hitch' closed the Berlin Film Festival, which was a fun experience. I have never been to Cannes, although I wanted to, I have been to Toronto once and now I am here in Mumbai," he said sipping a coffee.

Talking about the kind of exposure independent films get at such festivals, he said: "At least in my country the business is changing so much. There is much less support for original content. As a movie lover, I find myself relying more and more on independent films. For me, it is like going back to the filmmakers in 1970s, who were allowed to make these kind of films for the studios but that is not the case anymore.

"Word of mouth is the engine that drives the success of a movie. At festivals like this or any other festivals, where people get to see such movies, it is great and when some says, 'Hey this is a really good movie', it is invaluable."

Films are now becoming more and more global and Tennant hopes it continues the same way.

"Culturally, the film business is becoming far more global regardless of the fact whether it is an Indian, Chinese or Japanese film. For me, filmmaking is one of the purest ways of conveying ideas and everything about our culture. So I hope the market opens to all kinds of films and content," he said.

Tennant will also conduct the 'master class' at the festival.

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