By Ryan Marshall
The purpose of these interviews is to celebrate the efforts and ambitions of those who are about to embark on the grueling yet wholly rewarding cinematic journey that is SMCC’s annual Maine Mayhem Film Festival, and to shed some much-needed light on the school’s budding community of visual artists.
For this issue, I spoke with Ness Hutchins, a close friend and creative colleague, to discuss her experience with the Maine Mayhem process this past spring:
Ryan Marshall: Who are you and what do you do in the local film industry (or what do you aspire to do)?
Ness Hutchins: I’m Ness Hutchins and I’ve worked as a PA, art department, and an assistant director in the local film industry. I aspire to direct films of my own in the (near) future.
RM: Have you been involved with Maine Mayhem in the past? If so, tell me about your experiences.
NH: I directed my own psychedelic horror short for the 2017 Maine Mayhem cycle, and I’ll be assistant directing Breanna Penney’s “42 Atwood Lane” in the 2018 Maine Mayhem cycle. From my experience I’d say Maine “Mayhem” isn’t a misnomer. It’s a very rigorous two-semester-long project. If someone is serious about working in the industry after their SMCC education, I’d highly recommend directing your own short film. Mayhem taught me so much more than just what you can learn in a classroom alone.
RM: What are some of your most significant influences, cinematic and otherwise?
NH: I love anything surreal. French New Wave is a favorite genre of mine because of the play with editing structure. I highly recommend “Hiroshima Mon Amour,” directed by Alain Resnais. Ingmar Bergman is also a big inspiration for me. He really knows how to play with contrast and subvert expectations. I love the short films of Maya Deren and Stan Brakhage as well. Both challenge film’s visual conventions in a way I find very exciting. I’m more interested in compelling visuals and characters than plot.
RM: After having gone through the Mayhem process, what are your plans for the future?
NH: Post-Mayhem 2017, I assistant directed Mackenzie Bartlett’s Damnationland film “BAPTISM.” I have some other things up my sleeve in the coming months as well.