Independent filmmaking is increasingly getting popular as more and more people are making entry into the world of entertainment. Many are using indie films to raise awareness of important issues. Today, we are chatting with a young independent filmmaker who is graduating from Full Sail University in Florida. Meet Elia Hoover, director of America Divided, a short but thought-provoking documentary about the major crises the nation currently faces.
Please tell a little about your background, age, education, current work, and any award/recognition you have won?
Well I went to school at Wahkiakum High School in Washington State. After a 4-year enlistment in the U.S. Air Force, I took some classes at The New York Film Academy in California and transferred to Full Sail where I am now getting my bachelor’s in film, set to graduate at the end of September. I have as of now won honorable mention for the month of April with my doc short America Divided at The American Golden Picture International Film Festival in Jacksonville and have worked on numerous projects with my classmates and on the side.
Was filmmaking always a passion of yours or you chose it recently?
Film has always been a passion of mine ever since I saw Coppola’s The Black Stallion, and Lucas’s Star Wars. I knew then and there making movies for a living is what I wanted to do with my life. But also, I have to give credit to my mom Felicity Kimberly Hoover for telling me I should be my own boss, and I thought absolutely. So I started making films for fun with my friend Mitchell Vik and I have to say it is a great experience knowing that you can provide an audience or a group of people with a sense of amazement by telling an interesting story and either educating them or sending them off on an adventure far away.
Is your short documentary ‘America Divided’ your first film to be presented on the big screen?
It is. As I just mentioned I did smaller films with my friend Mitchell Vik, like short western films in Washington State, but I have also done PA work on a music video here in Florida that is in post-production along with grip work in school labs and student short films including a non-student feature film that featured William Forsyth, soon to be released in the fall or winter, called 9 Windows. The main thing I want is to get a job in either film or broadcast journalism after school since I have taken journalism classes too and provide audiences with truth and good family fun in either Christian films or fantasy-action-adventure films like Indiana Jones or The Lord of the Rings.
We know there are many controversial issues on which the country is divided. Have you thought of discussing more of them in your films in future?
If needed, absolutely. We have a country that we are fortunate to live in and we need to bring out into the open the issues we all face. Inflation is one of them; now we are have rising gas prices everywhere along with an increased housing market with rising interest rates. When we see a problem, it is our duty and our responsibility to bring forth such issues, and find solutions for ourselves and for our neighbors.
Do you only like to direct movies or are there aspects of filmmaking that also interest you?
I love directing and writing a movie most but if that does not cross my path, I am willing to do anything from Grip, Boom, PA, Sound. If you need something done and I know how to do it, I am your man. My Father Mark Hoover, who served in the Coast Guard for 30 years, has taught me a good work ethic and to understand work is work; fun time comes later.
What are your three most favorite genres in which you would like to make your own films? And what movies in each genre you have come to love over the years?
Action Adventure, Fantasy, and Mystery Dramas. Raiders of the Lost Ark, National Treasure to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug to mystery dramas like Nolan’s The Prestige to Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners, which in my mind is one of the best unknown movies there is, reason being I like seeing new worlds or mysteries that entice you to want to find the answer to any given story.
And what are your thoughts on independent filmmaking? What does it achieve that mainstream film business does not?
I think independent filmmaking is essential today and a must going forward. We have a narrative today, sad to say, where you can’t even talk about things without the fear of being heckled by somebody, or if you talk about something, you could be fired and blacklisted from the movie industry. We have to maintain freedom of speech instead of freedom of what I want to hear and provide job security no matter what political affiliation you have. Because if we do not discuss said topics or issues then we cannot find the solution to any given problem.
Tell briefly about your current film projects?
As of right now, I have written a 10 page screenplay called Dead Men Walking that I would love to adapt into a short film. The problem is the locations of what I am looking for. I welcome onboard anyone interested in producing it so we could make it into a reality. I am also looking to help as an assistant a fellow student’s film project, if he gets chosen to direct a school project that I wrote in the future, pending the teacher’s approval.
Do you have a website where readers may learn more about your work?
Thank you for participating in this chat.
Thank you and may god bless you.