Shoot! director, Christophe Perie, talks about his short film Citizen Hero and his influences.
Given the PlayStation stimulus word Create, Christophe scripted and directed Citizen Hero - a story about a man blessed with superhuman powers and the desire to do good, who finds that helping others is not always as easy as it seems - with help from Jan Kounen as Executive Producer.
Why did you want to become a director?
When I was an artistic director I worked with Rémy Belvaux [Man Bites Dog] and he was my real mentor. One night we were drinking some beers [laughs] and he told me, "Christophe you should be a director, you have the superpowers to be a director [laughs] and you should direct movies." I think I was a good artistic director for commercials, but it was not for me because I had made a lot of commercials and I wanted to make movies as a director.
What are your major influences?
I like English independent cinema in the US, I like movies that tell a story about large events, which are movies not only by directors but by auteurs. I like the auteur when they have the capability to tell stories to a large audience. I like directors like Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze, this kind of directors, I like their ambition. I'm not very interested in directing Hollywood movies, but I would like to work one day with Americans but in the independent side of American cinema.
Are there particularly themes you're drawn to?
I try to put a little something of myself in each story that I write. That is the case with Citizen Hero and Cuisine Americaine [Christophe's first short film], but I am not very interested in making too personal a movie like French directors, it is not my interest. I like to tell personal stories but I don't forget that there is an audience, so I think of them when I write.
For Citizen Hero the idea came from a Belgium writer Tomas Gunzig, he has written a story about Spider-Man which inspired me to write my story. I wrote this story with a part of my own experiences, the relationship between the superhero and his mother comes from a real relationship, this is part of my story here.
What is your short film Citizen Hero about?
Citizen Hero is about a man who has a superhero costume, but this man has no powers, he is just a normal guy and we will discover in the story that he will not need to wear the costume to have superpowers and be a hero in real life, through his relationship with his mother.
His mother requires care and during the story we he will realise that the most important things in this life are to care for her and be near her.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to get into film making?
The most important thing for me to be a director is to have the freedom to write stories without thinking about marketing, about box office... The stories have to come from you. I think today, anyone can make a movie and you can show your movie on the Internet on YouTube, so the most important thing is not the equipment or your technical capabilities it is your ability to write and direct a story from the heart.
What is the most valuable thing you've learnt as a director?
You have to be sincere. You can make movies if you're a sincere person, if you write your story with sincerity.
Download Citizen Hero, as well as interviews and a behind the scenes video by signing into PlayStation Store on your PlayStation 3 or PSP.