Director, writer and actor Aaron Mak, sat down with NY Elite Magazine to talk about the making of Cynation’s Go Louie Go Music Video and his upcoming projects. Award-winning Director Aaron Mak is the founder of CEO of Melbourne Film Studio, based in Australia. He is currently working on the documentary “Rise: From Independence to Immortality”.
NY Elite: What projects are you currently working on?
Aaron Mak: At the moment, I’m working on a documentary about the making of our very first music video. It’s about determination despite adversity, and the coming together of several independent artists to make something awesome. We named the documentary “Rise: From Independence to Immortality”.
NY Elite: What is the new film/play about?
Aaron Mak: The recent music video/short film was Cynation’s Go Louie Go: Official Music Video (2018). It is largely an action-packed, parkour-filled, guitar nerd-fest of an MV, but once again – the spectacle aims to convey a subtler message about certain issues in society.
NY Elite: What is different about being in the director’s chair with this project?
Aaron Mak: Making a comparison to my previous project, Cynation’s Dancing Devil MV (2018), there was substantially more movement involved this project. Both for the scenes, where the actors were practically sprinting the whole time; and for the film’s logistics, having to walk across Melbourne city to each shoot location.
NY Elite: Which actors stand out and why are they perfect for the role?
Aaron Mak: Sam Carter – who plays the main character, Louie – has been a huge part of bringing the “edge of your seat” moments to the music video, due to his incredibly nimble abilities, and his easy-going professionalism.
The members of Cynation are, simply put – irreplaceable. You can’t substitute that kind of skill and energy. Might I add, they sprinted around Melbourne city for about 7 hours to make this MV.
NY Elite: Who are the film’s stars?
Aaron Mak: As mentioned previously, I have to give kudos to Sam Carter and the boys of Cynation (Josh Mak, Simon Lai, Andrew Teo). However, I’d say the film’s stars include the ones out of the frame that help make each frame of this MV a success. Special thanks to Nathan Silva and Ethan Vivier – the super-crew – and to Andrew Li of Sky Music for letting the boys play with the guitars like kids.
NY Elite: What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?
Aaron Mak: I feel like there are generally three criteria to assess what you consider a great film – it should make you feel, it should make you think, and it should be an honest expression of the mind(s) behind it, or else it loses authenticity. To me, a great film should be a balanced culmination of these three criteria.
NY Elite: As a screenwriter, what is the most important aspect of building a character?
Aaron Mak: I’d say it depends on the type of character, but I’d say some form of complexity makes characters engaging; something about them that earns your curiosity or interest in them. The complexity can be written in psychologically or allegorically – or both.
NY Elite: What scripts have you written so far?
Aaron Mak: I’ve written scripts for both the Dancing Devil MV and the Go Louie GO MV of the music videos (co-written with Josh Mak), as well as my original short films, such as House Sitting (2016), Coffee Run (2016) and Cynical Annihilation: Pandora’s Box (2016).
NY Elite: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?
Aaron Mak: Number 1 has to be the Go Louie Go MV, simply because it was the most exciting project I’ve ever done before, and I say this with regard to everyone’s average BPM.
Number 2 is the Dancing Devil MV, because, being my first proper project, I was growing increasingly nervous in the days leading up to it. But then… we actually pulled it off – and that pay-off was really quite a magnificent feeling.
Number 3 would be my horror short film, House Sitting, which was my first original short film. Well, you know what they say – you never forget your first.
NY Elite: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?
Aaron Mak: I’ve really found a penchant for photography – namely because the principles of mise-en-scene carry across from film, and since the camera’s primary function is for photography. I’m more inclined to taking photos of natural and urban landscapes, animals, architecture and food.
NY Elite: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking?
Aaron Mak: Balance your approach to this career as both the filmmaker with a vision, and the industry-component with knowledge of your industry – research and practice. I’d place emphasis on the latter especially when starting out, because there’s no better teacher than your own mistakes and successes.
NY Elite: Any plans to direct another movie?
Aaron Mak: I’m always looking for the next project to get started on. Cynation’s Anthem of the Damned MV is currently in development and is looking to go into production later this year. Once again, we aim to raise the bar with this next MV, so stay tuned.
Beyond that, we’re looking forward to going on tour next year, and taking our comedic lifestyle/travel web-series – Cynation Goes to (2017– ) – international!
NY Elite: NY Elite: What can we expect from you in 2018?
Aaron Mak: We will release the documentary, Rise: From Independence to Immortality later this year, and shortly after that, we intend to begin production on Cynation’s Anthem of the Damned MV. Additionally, we’re routinely releasing episodes for our web-series, Cynation Goes to as well as other smaller projects.