Shal is the writer/director/editor of
Q: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into filmmaking.
I'm from Minneapolis, and I got into filming when I first picked up my neighbor's heavy-ass VHS camcorder. Since then I've been hooked.
Q: Who or what inspires you in your craft?
My friends, great filmmakers currently working, authors, etc. etc.! A few people I absolutely love: Robert Bresson, Kazuo Koike, Gene Wolfe, Ursula K. LeGuin
"Filmmaking for me has always been about shifting the hearts and minds of others"
Q: Tell us about your film, what its themes mean to you and what you hope others take away from it.
Hapa is obviously a very personal film to me. It's an exploration of identity and the search for self, and it combines everything I love in filmmaking: stop-motion animation, exotic locations, vaguely pretentious voice-over, science fiction. There are many themes I'm playing with - the most obvious one being duality - but I wanted as much as possible to show some progression and growth over the course of the six or so minutes, because if your character isn't learning anything then why are we watching them? The biggest thing I hoped for was for people watching this to have an emotional reaction and to think about themselves and the people in their family that they loved in a different light. Filmmaking for me has always been about shifting the hearts and minds of others, and with Hapa I want people to think more deeply about who they are and where they come from and, most importantly, feel empowered to CHANGE who they are.
Q: What's next for you?
I'm in pre-production on my original sci-fi series right now called "The Park," and pitching on many movies and shows.