CYRUS KOWSARI – THE COLOR OF CHRISTMAS
Posted by Vivek on October 31, 2013 | No Comments
The Color of Christmas has been doing very well in the North American festival circuit. Here we talk to the director of this Short Film, Cyrus Kowsari, on how he pulled off so much in so little.
Talk about the process of making the film, as a student ?
Making this picture while being in film school was an absolutely amazing experience. I have to be honest, I got very lucky. As a student in the directing program, I was assigned producers at random who were in the producing program. The producers were Brian Bell and Pasqual Gutierrez. I had never met either of these guys but both turned out to be incredibly hard working, incredibly talented, and tremendously creative collaborators. Mr. Kyle Dykes, the director of photography was also a very important piece to this equation. So, in a sense, I hit the jackpot with the individuals that I got to work with in brining this movie to life. We faced a lot of challenges as students mostly because the film called for grand scale and as students we were on an extremely tight — nearly nonexistent budget. We were all so passionate though and accordingly and we were able to find ways to create the scale that we needed through sheer willpower.
What is the film about?
The film is about a lot of things to be honest. As it’s core, it’s a moral dilemma for Walter Whitfield (played by Nathan Lucas). His four year old daughter asks Santa for a popular children’s doll for Christmas. She only wants the WHITE version of the doll though, and specifically writes to Santa that she does not want the BLACK version of the doll. Walter is in an incredibly difficult position because if he gets her the white doll he inadvertently supports her bizarre racism but if he gets her a black doll he fails to deliver his daughter the Christmas she wants. Throughout the film he struggles to navigate this tricky and delicate scenario.
Any global influences that are visible in the film?
Christmas is just as big of a character in this movie as anything or anyone else. Christmas in particular is a holiday with such a specific look and sound. It’s an incredibly far reaching and global holiday and I believe that makes this film instantly accessible to people all over the world. What’s more is that this movie is very much about being a parent. Parents, no matter where they are in this world, often deal with similar problems when raising their children.
So with this small budget, how did things get made?
We were able to get a pig production (like CBS Backlot, Snow, etc) on a very tight budget. Then we had to go through some of the methods and strategies implored to get the most out of what we had and also that taught us how to get stuff, we normally would not be able to afford