Please introduce yourself first and tell us which one of your works is Volkov Origin?
Hello, my name is George Dibble. I own Elysium Productions, a video production company in the Washington D.C. area. I’m also the Director for the upcoming feature film, Volkov Origin.
Please tell us what inspired you into the world of filmmaking?
I’ve always been drawn to the arts. I performed in a tour band in my early 20’s and got heavily into the music production side of things. So, having already used several NLAE’s, once the doors opened into the video production side of things, I already had years of experience navigating those systems. Specifically, what got me into filmmaking was shooting summer videos of my kids growing up. As soon as I ingested that media and started editing, the same passion I had for audio production, sparked for me with video.
How much patience is required in this field?
A Lot! Just thinking back to when I first started purchasing good equipment, how much patience was needed to simply learn my own gear. I wanted to master each thing to the best of my ability, so that took time. Once I got comfortable in my own shoes, then I started putting myself out there. Making short films, or doing small gigs for clients. That’s when I truly realized the magnitude of how many moving parts are required and how important each of them is to a project/film. Each of those processes like lighting, or set design take time. And finally, you’ll always have the process of learning from your own mistakes, which will NEVER go away, lol! And that’s a good thing. No matter how much time and patience it takes, improving on your own skills is something everybody should strive to do.
What is the best way for you to cast actors? Is it interviewing or spending time with the actor to understand his/her characteristics?
Personally, I think it’s beneficial to get to know the actors. Spending time with them, learning their personalities, looking into their other projects, and diving deeper into their potential roles within our own projects helps both parties. Everyone’s personality and comfort levels are different, especially when it comes to working with someone for the first time. The quicker you can break the ice, the easier it will be when it comes time to work together.
Please talk a little about Volkov Origin. What were the difficulties and advantages of writing a screenplay as a group? How long did your preproduction take?
Volkov Origin is a psychological thriller based around the mind of a man who’s found himself imprisoned for murders he committed as a child. Writing is ultimately one of the most important elements of any production. Honestly, nothing moves forward until that’s done. Writing a screenplay or script with a group has its advantages as well as difficulties. On one hand, you have several minds working together to make this product amazing. The ability to come up with an idea and then have others go even farther with it is an amazing experience. You can’t think of everything on your own, so working with multiple writers is the best way to have a thorough, well thought out screenplay. The difficult part can be when you disagree on something. Not everyone will like your idea. You become emotionally invested in these stories, and It can be hard to accept your idea won’t be used. Preproduction for Volkov Origin took between 3-4 months.
How important is the role of editing while making a film?
As an editor myself, it’s another key element which can make or break a film. Knowing how to pace your film and when and where to cut so things feel natural, even the process of ingesting and organizing media correctly is important. Coloring, that in and of itself was a huge learning curve for me and is still something I’m learning today.
Which actor, according to you, is all-time best actor? And what actors would you like to work with in the history of cinema?
Phew, this is a loaded question, lol! Honestly, if I had to pick one actor, I would say Daniel Day-Lewis. The amount of effort he put towards not only picking the right films to be in, but the amount of concentration and devotion he puts into each character goes above and beyond. I find it truly captivating to watch his performances.
What advice would you give to someone starting a career in filmmaking?
Never stop learning and being inquisitive. Learn as much as you can from each department on set and on your own time. This will make you well rounded and understand the importance of each element. Trust those around you and start working with people who have the same passion, drive, and ambition that you do. Finally, always be humble. Diva mentalities only go far in your own head.
What difficulties did you have while making Volkov Origin?
Like many others, our production found itself smack in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. We only had 2 months of production before we were shut down for close to 7 months. Then in 2021, my twelve-year-old son suffered a stroke. Needing to shut down production to take care of him was the only thing to do. And honestly, there were times where I thought I would have to back out of the project. He’s the strongest kid I know and thankfully he fought to get through it and after another 7 months on hold, we were able to not only resume production, but get to the finish line.
What are the films you admire – that you have found to be profound? What films have moved you in an entertaining way?
Shawshank Redemption will remain my number one film. Every element from casting, acting, cinematography, and storyline checked off all the boxes for me. There’s a reason why almost 30 years after its release, you can find it being run on marathons on cable.
The Covid-19 crisis has disrupted the global film industry. What are the challenges and opportunities for the film industry beyond the pandemic?
I think it’s opened doors for smaller productions in several ways. One, having less people on set has allowed them to move forward while larger ones remained shut down. That in turn has allowed these projects to get completed, and with there being a lack of content out there because of the pandemic, there’s more visibility from people like distributors and investors. There’s also been a massive shift in the past decade or so with technology and the ability for filmmakers to get their hands on better cinema gear that falls in their price range. It wasn’t too long ago that you would have to rent a cinema gear, where now, it’s much more obtainable to own.
Please tell us about your upcoming projects.
Without spilling too much information, we have three fully written scripts waiting for our team to narrow down to one. Having just finished Volkov Origin and signing a distribution deal, we’ll be looking to move onto the next project very shortly.