Talks & Interviews — August 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Ray Karwel: Every time I didn’t work the camera, something was missing (exclusive)

Ray Karwel interviewWhen a first-time director makes a film that quickly gets into the spotlight and even wins an award, this is probably the best stimulus a hungry filmmaker could have.

Ray Karwel managed to do just that with just his low-buget feature film “Time Again” (read review here).

Having only $125,000 at his disposal, Karwel wrote the story himself, edited the film, and did director’s work as well.

As a result, the film won the “Award of Merit” award, and also had five more nominations, one of which was Action on Film Award.

Karwel spoke to BZFilm in an interview, telling how it all got started.

“My friends and I started making films on the school playground when we still in grade school. My dad bought me a Super 8 sound camera when I was in high school and I made my first short in the basement of our house,” Karwel recalled.

Karwel admits that at the time he was ready to graduate, he was actually looking for film schools, but his mother convinced him to go to college, and study engineering.

“She said there was always time for film school after I graduated college,” Karwel said. “So like a good boy I followed my mom’s advice, graduated and got a “real” job.”

Karwel adds that he was never truly happy working an 8-hour job, and always found a way to escape by going to the movies.

“I did this for many years until my wife, Carla, pulled me out of my slump and told me we are packing up and moving to California and I was going to pursue my passion for filmmaking,” Karwel told BZFilm.

Prior to directing “Time Again”, Karwel mostly worked as an assistant editor on some well-known movies, among which were Jean-Claude Van Damme’s “The Hard Corps”, Steven Seagal’s “Pistol Whipped”, as well as horror film “Wicked Little Things”, and “The Death and Life of Bobby Z” with Paul Walker and Lawrence Fishburne.

“I was never the editor, only the editor’s assistant. An assistant editor is a very technical position where you work long hours getting all of the shots that were filmed ready for the editor so that he can cut the movie together,” Karwel explained, adding that there is really no room for any creativity.

“Spending a lot of time around editing equipment, really helped me get to know how to operate it,” he says.

Having all that experience behind his back, Karwel seemed to have no problems editing “Time Again” by himself.

“It was my first feature as an editor,” Karwel said. “Honestly, editing is really not my favorite craft and I would rather let that to someone else.”

“I had wear the editing hat as well due to budgetary and other constraints,” Karwel admits.

Speaking of how he got the idea of making “Time Again”, Karwel confessed that it was a dream that pushed him towards writing a script and making the film afterwards.

“Time Again is an old school over the top tribute to 80’s action films. I woke up one day and I had this idea in my head, so I quickly wrote it down and then over the course of a year I developed multiple drafts until I was satisfied I had a shooting script,” Karwel says.

Karwel also revealed a few of the things he could have done differently, while working on “Time Again”.

“One thing I’ll do on my next feature is work the camera more,” he said. “Every time I didn’t work the camera I felt like I was missing something.”

“When you work the camera you’re right there next to the actors and you can give them a quick adjustment and keep the camera rolling,” Karwel explained.

Speaking of his next feature movies, Karwel seems to have a few more tricks up his sleeve, which he does not want to reveal, just yet.

“I am writing another action script that takes place in Cuba,” Karwel said. “I can tell you that I have several scripts in development and I am always working on perfecting my craft.”

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