No Mas, a film directed by Stephen Michael Kelly, has a debated storyline. It is about the husband-wife relationship.
The beginning of the film is extremely serene with beautiful drone shot footage. It starts with an immensely soothing view. It then proceeds with the day today scene of the husband and wife in the kitchen with a conversation about last night and then the wife asking for divorce.
The story talks about the typical yet crucial issues between a husband and a wife. The short is exquisitely portrayed with a happy ending, it’s mainly about the common problems between husband and wife.
The picture quality of the entire film is flawless. The angle of the camera is perfectly set and the lighting is aptly chosen. We got totally immersed in the film. Both the actors were seamlessly blending into the character and were really in it. It actually did not feel like acting, it felt so realistic and the actors could successfully convey the intended feelings.
We are excited to have the chance to interview Stephen, it is our great pleasure. We sincerely appreciate the time he took to address the questions, and all that it would entail.
Couple struggles with infidelity and the possibility of divorce.
Stephen, let’s start with the questions.
1. What made you decide on making a film on this particular issue? Do you think it is important to address this issue?
I wanted to do something that involves conflict between a husband and wife and how they handle it. I wanted to show infidelity and how it leads to resentment and how it can ultimately to divorce. As an actor I like to do pieces where you have conflict and how you handle them. Show range, versatility and vulnerability.
2. Is this your first film ever?
This is my first short. Share your experience about making this film. I had just finished a play, Lilies of the Field, in Los Angeles and met Laura Olivier. I had this idea in my head about doing a couple drama scene, pitched it to her and the rest is history. Started to write it, rehearsed it and filmed it. Also, how was your experience in directing and producing the film as well as being an actor in your own film? SInce I wrote it I could separate myself when I saw the raw footage. I didn’t see myself on the screen,I saw the character. I had never directed but you have to learn on the fly sometimes and that is what happened. I literally just did it as it came. At the last minute the set changed from a kitchen table scene to us standing in the kitchen. We literally worked it out on the fly in terms of blocking. Being stage actors you have to be able to go live and adapt. We pulled it off.
3. How long have you been writing scripts?
I started writing screenplays over 20 years ago. I wrote some demo reels a few years back and No Mas is my first short. Which one do you enjoy the most, making films or writing scripts? Why? I would say making films because you get to see the project visually. I’m more of an actor who has had a few ideas and turned them into either a screenplay or short.
4. Why did you name the film “No Mas”?
My wife in the short is Argentine so I thought of “no more” being in Spanish as she tells me when I get home she wants a divorce.
5. What do you think is the quality of a great actor in creating the best performances?
When they “feel” it. As a stage actor you work hard to memorize your lines, but when you get to the point when you are doing a scene and can actually hear what the other actor is saying as opposed to just keying off his/her last few words to start your dialogue. Also, when in a scene something happens organically. In No Mas, Laura cries during one of the monologues. I did not write that into the script. We were shooting it and it just happened. I responded by wiping the tear from her face.
6. Stephen, you being a Writer, Filmmaker and a Director, what do you think are the common skills?
Seeing things visually. When I write it, I see it in my head.
7. A special piece of advice from Stephen Michael Kelly, for a Writer, for a Director and for an Actor?
Be humble, watch and learn. Don’t do something on camera/stage just because you can. Sometimes subtle is better.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Would you continue making films?
I will continue to make films and also be a working actor.
9. Do you have any upcoming project(s)? Can you please tell us about that?
I have a comedy short coming up that I wrote as well as a crime interrogation drama. I’d also like to work on getting one of my screenplays produced.
10. Would you like to add something which we may have missed?
I am passionate and driven. Everyone has a different path. I just keep going.
We are ecstatic to have you to discuss No Mas. Thank you for connecting with us with such wonderful work. We believe your film will reach heights in the near future. You are an excellent filmmaker altogether.
On a personal note, we really feel grateful talking to you, we hope you liked it too. Thank you again. Stay connected with the MDIFF Community, because we value you and your work!
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