Most filmmakers tend to gravitate towards creating either fictional narrative projects or documentary fact-based films. Once in a while, a filmmaker might stretch outside of their comfort zone and work in another type of filmmaking.
Enter rising Hong Kong female filmmaker Wis Petter
, who has been successfully jumping back and forth since landing in Hollywood. For her, they’re both about telling a strong story.
Currently, the writer/producer/director is prepping her latest narrative short film THE DONOR
, set in the underground world of the organ black market. She recently premiered the docu-short STEP BY STEP
, about an aspiring hip-hop dancer pursuing his dream.
As a producer, Wis has teamed up with director Marco A Diaz to produce several acclaimed short films, including the award-winning documentary A PLACE FOR LIDIA; and the narrative films LET HER GO and the upcoming ABUELO.
I recently caught up with Wis Petter to ask a few questions:
Tell us about your goals as a Director.
WIS: I want to direct films that the audience will be fully absorbed in and forget they are sitting in front of the screen. I feel that to inspire them to question or think the reasons behind the plot is one of the goals I am seeking to achieve. In some way they should be left with continuing thoughts about my work so that it makes a deeper impression on them.
What first attracts you to a project?
WIS: A thought provoking story is one of the most important factors to ensure I am fully engaged. A strong will to share the story will push me to embark on a project. I want to not only achieve my goals as a filmmaker but enjoy the creative process as it transpires.
Do you find it challenging to jump from documentary to narrative projects – and then back again?
WIS: I find documentaries are more time-consuming as we may have no control of what characters will say or do. Narrative films allow more creativity to achieve the director’s vision. They are so different but I enjoy the changes and want to create something different every time. I would say that each project presents unique challenges but with experience and creativity I focus to overcome them.
Is your approach to telling the story the same or different for each style?
WIS: I consider each project individually and approach it differently. I believe filmmaking and storytelling is creative therefore there is no one way to tell different stories. This is one of the things that attracted me to this industry as there are no rights or wrongs just different ways to approach the story.
Any interesting stories from the set of your latest film STEP BY STEP you can share with us?
WIS: We almost had a car accident while we were filming. Luckily we were all fine and unharmed. Later our sound recordist lost our sound footage as his car was stolen. So we had to use the backup sound footage which is not ideal but at the end we did our best. The key is to expect the unexpected and always try to think on your feet.
What are you currently working on?
WIS: I’m currently working on a film called THE DONOR which sets in Israel. It’s about an elderly Israeli Jewish man experiences heart failure. His last resort is the organ black market to find a suitable heart. He is introduced to a Palestinian terrorist suspect, as a potential donor. The film addresses many controversial issues and this is one of the reasons I was interested to bring this to the audience’s attention.
And, now just for fun:
Who’s your favorite director?
WIS: There are so many talented directors and I don’t have a favorite one. I like Ang Lee, Wong Kar-wai, Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott..
What film from the past do you wish you could have directed?
WIS: Munich. I like the story setting and wish I could have directed such a serious heavy story.
Favorite movie or TV show from your childhood.
WIS: A 90s Japanese cartoon called ‘My Daddy Long Legs’ was my childhood favorite.
Tell us one thing that would surprise our readers to learn about you.
WIS: Before I started my filmmaking career, I was a private investigator.
How can fans keep up with you?
WIS: People can follow my Facebook, Instagram or see my latest updates on link