Creator and actor Andrew C. Fisher chatted about his independent film project “THANATOS” and the digital age
How was your experience in “THANATOS”?
As I consider this question, I go on a roller coaster ride emotionally. It was both invigorating and exhausting. It was stressful, but because the stress led to something meaningful it felt worthwhile and manageable.
Acting and directing is tough because I have to keep switching my brain back and forth. As director, I think about how the setup’s going to look and how it’s going to fit into the edit, then I do my best to forget all that and focus on the circumstances and what I want as an actor. It’s tricky. I love doing both of those things, though. Acting and directing are part of a small group of experiences that make me feel most alive.
Editing was a bit of a slow start, because I had to get a new computer. It’s interesting: The digitizing of filmmaking has made the cost go way down, but it’s also put us at the mercy of the tech companies. I don’t know how often they had to update their Moviolas, but it seems like my editing friends and I have to get new computers about every three years.
Once I had the updated hardware, editing went pretty well. I enjoy the editing process. It’s not as exciting as production but it’s also not as stressful.
What was it like working on a production that is female-led?
When I first came into this world, I entered the female-led home of a single mother. As an adult, I often found myself in female-led occupations. In most of my teaching jobs, the administrators have been women. When working on set, my favorite ADs have been women.
In terms of the production team on Thanatos, I honestly didn’t give it much thought at all. But as I now psychoanalyze myself because of the question… I’m thinking perhaps I am most comfortable working with strong women.
How did it feel to host screenings in Austin, Texas, and NYC?
Austin was the first screening and it was where we shot Thanatos, so it was very exciting. It was in a big theater and we had a great turnout. NYC was also very exciting – because it’s NYC! It was a smaller screening, but again, we had a great turnout.
The response from both audiences was very enthusiastic, so that was encouraging. It was also great to see how it played. I was very happy that the humor worked and that people seemed engaged throughout the piece.
What do your plans for the future include?
I was just discussing that with my female-led team! I’m open to it being a feature or a television series. I have more experience writing features, so as a writer that’s where I lean. But I can also see the incredible potential in a series set in the kink world where the characters are polyamorous. The potential for conflict is endless!
We’re currently putting together materials to prepare for any opportunities that arise.
Then of course we’ll be releasing the web series online soon. We are waiting to find out about at least one more screening, but we want to get it online as soon as possible.
Which actors would you like to someday work with as your dream acting partners?
Willem Dafoe is one of my favorites, and he seems like a generous actor. I think Viola Davis would make me better just because she’s so good… Julianne Moore, as well. Issa Rae is a hero of mine, so that would be a thrill.
Adam Driver always seems very connected with his acting partners. I could go on and on, but ultimately I’m just guessing, because my dream acting partner would be anyone I have great chemistry with. That’s when acting is the most exciting and fulfilling.
How does it feel to be an actor in the digital age? (Now with streaming and technology being so prevalent)
Well, it’s nice because you can develop an audience for very little money – truly grassroots. I’m really grateful for that. I’m not trying to get on a soapbox or anything, but the entertainment industry is populated by people who started with lots of resources.
Any stories you hear to the contrary are anomalies, not the rule. In my case, I’ve been able to build a body of work with the money I’ve saved from fairly low income jobs, and I’ve been lucky enough to get a tiny bit of attention.
What would you like to tell our readers about “THANATOS”? (what’s the one thing you want them to get out of it)
It’s a love story. I hope that people would recognize that, even if the circumstances are not familiar to them, even if they come in with biases against bdsm or polyamory. It’s a story about two people who fall in love, who are trying to navigate the world in a healthy, positive way.
To learn more about Andrew C. Fisher, check out his IMDb page.