Quinton Jhovonne Mack was raised in South Florida. He received his bachelor's degree from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida and his film degree from the International Academy of Film and Television. He is based out of Miami, Florida. He won the "Silver Ace Award" for superior filmmaking at the 2012 Las Vegas Film Festival for his directorial debut film "Hidden Agendas", also recipient of the "Diamond Award" in 2012 from the California Film Awards. In 2014 he won the "Award of Merit'' for best shorts competition for co-producing the short film "Waking up Dead" In 2017 "Waking Up Dead" was also an official selection for the PBS "Film-Maker Project". Quinton also has worked on film projects in Shanghai, China Toronto, Canada and Tenerife, Spain. Quinton has garnered over 22 professional accolades, achievements and milestones in his 15 years in the industry.
1. Your film is entered in our Best Director Award. What is your
film about? (Experimental)
Thank You for this acknowledgment and privilege. AFTER THE PIANO is an EXPERIMENTAL feature film centering on a young bi-racial young man named Lance who teeters between following the alcoholic, destructive and dysfunctional path of his parents or achieving the success that his musical talents deserve while taking care of his grandmother and going to a mysterious treatment addiction center which can lead to his redemption or destruction. Lance is a microcosm of a lot of young people in America who are trying to overcome their obstacles from a broken home while also trying to find their own identity and purpose in life.
2. What are your ambitions with your project?
My ambition with this project was to really spotlight kids coming from broken homes in America as well as worldwide. Lance is a very relatable character, that I think a lot of young talented men trying to overcome negative trauma and unfortunate circumstances can look at as a symbol of relatability. I networked and aligned with a lot of classical music and piano instructors, non profit organizations to try to bring more awareness to our youth in inner cities about encouraging more youth to partake in diverse avenues of creative outlets,trades,etiquette and technical skill sets.
3. How was the shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?
The shooting was amazing from top to bottom. I had the pleasure of working with a phenomenal group of actors and production crew. Johnathan Bezanis and his little brother Christopher Bezianis were brilliant in their portray of the lead character Lance. Johnathan (BEZI) is an amazing actor and had the entire script memorized. This set the tone for the rest of the filming, as Connell Spain, Olga Bespalenko, Mierya Kilmon, Celine Alva, Anna Bogomazova,Jennifer Gasca etc all gave strong on screen performances. Our production team worked extremely hard behind the scenes, Ina Jitari, Ronald Kaplan, Henry Lacruz, Hamdy Adel, Leonardo Lopez, Alberto Zorrilla, Lisandro Vasquez Miralles etc. We utilized the amazing weather and climate of Sunny South Florida to really maximize our film shoots and locations. I was surprised the most by the performance of Christopher Bezianins playing the role of (young lance) . It was his first acting role and he was a complete natural onscreen. He has a lot of natural ability and "scene awareness" as I like to say. He has a bright future ahead of him.
4. For what target group is your film?
Great question, the target group is diverse and transparent, in general we wanted to put a spotlight on disadvantaged and displaced young men growing up in unstable and challenging households and social environments in America and worldwide to encourage and show there's always light at the end of the tunnel. I was blessed to have two hard working parents, my mother being from Baltimore Maryland, and my father from Manning,South Carolina that instilled a strong work ethic and values in me at a young age that's put an emphasis on me to try to uplift and encourage this generation and future generations of young people to reach their goals and dreams.
5. Why should distributors buy your film?
After The Piano is a multi-layered story with a lot of room to expand and evolve into a multitude of other avenues that has elements that everyone from any walk of life in society can relate too or grasp. There is also a lot of MYSTERY and UNEXPECTED TWISTS and TURNS within this franchise that would be appealing long term.
6. How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?
The premise and foundation for my films has always been allegorical. I categorize myself as an ALLEGORICAL FILM DIRECTOR and CINEMATIC CURATOR. There are underlying elements and components in this film that are left up to the viewer to decipher and internalize. The viewer can drag and drop their own experience and POV into multiple elements of the story plot and feel at home and relate to what the characters in the film are going through in real time while also interpreting the different algorithms and paradoxes within the storyline.
7. Why did you decide to become a filmmaker?
One of my main reasons for getting into the film industry was STANLEY KUBRICK. I connected with his work at a young age and I have shaped most of my paradigm and foundation as a film director, writer and editor on the principals and ideology of Kubrick. He is one of the few people I wished I would have the pleasure of sitting down with and chatting over a cup of coffee so I could pick his brain. He was truly ahead of his time.
8. Who is your greatest role model?
My parents and grandparents. I take pride in my last name and heritage of where I came from. They have inspired me to always have a good work ethic and always work hard while staying humble and grounded in life. They are mentioned in the ending credits of the film.
9. Which movies are your favorites? Why?
A lot of the early Kubrick films, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, BARRY LYNDON, 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY, THE SHINING, EYES WIDE SHUT. These films shaped who I would eventually evolve into as a director and the nuances, precision and technical attention that went into these works was revolutionary, Outside of Kubrick's films, I'm a huge fan of A COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, A BRONX TALE, PURPLE RAIN, ATL, ABOVE THE RIM and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE,THE HOLY MOUNTAIN, ROSEMARY'S BABY, THE WICKER MAN, CASINO, GOODFELLAS to name a few.
10. Where do you look for inspiration for your films?
My inspiration is purely what moves and inspires me within that time of space when I'm going through a curation process. I explore all ends of the creative universe and spectrum when I'm brainstorming new projects to commence.
11. Which topics interest you the most?
Anything that has an allegorical meaning and underlying purpose aside from the traditional story plot. I try to make films that a viewer can watch 10 years from now and still find little elements and intricacies that they missed previous times they watched the film. It's always exciting to discover new elements in film that you watched previous times prior and didn't catch.
12. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The birth of my son, Tyler Patrick Mack is the proudest moment in my life. I dedicated AFTER THE PIANO to him. Aside from AFTER THE PIANO getting positive accolades, acknowledgment and reviews, My new film that just released entitled DEPARTURE MESSAGES is an Egyptian movie, filmed in its entirety in the beautiful country of Egypt. My publicist did some research and cross referencing and discovered I'm one of the few AMERICAN DIRECTORS of my heritage if not the first to film, direct, produce and edit a film made in Egypt. I feel it was a monumental and historic feat that I'm proud to say that maybe 10-20 years from now, the impact of this will have been cultural, iconic and prevalent in the world of Cinema and beyond to future filmmakers. It's a great feat achieved by our team, myself, Hamdy Adel, Hamed Adel and many others.
13. What do you consider most important about filming?
The attention to visual detail, aesthetics, acoustics and the art of storytelling is essential in the filmmaking process and normally makes the difference between a great film and a good film.
14. Which film technique do you consider the best?
I cater too and have a high regard for a lot of different techniques to name a few CROSS-CUTTING, UTILIZATION OF LONG AND ESTABLISHING SHOTS, PROPER BLOCKING TECHNIQUES, SCENE TRANSITION, BIRD EYES SHOT, MASTERING THE 180 RULE, QUADRANT TECHNIQUES, MOOD BOARDS AND MASTERING THE CLOSE UP SHOT. It's so many and hard for me to narrow it down to just one, but I would have to say MASTERING THE 180 RULE.
15. How would you rate current filmmaking?
The current state of filmmaking is to what I would compare to the California Gold Rush of the mid 1800's as technology and social media has evened the playing field in the world of independent film and has allowed a new hybrid breed of filmmakers to emerge globally. Previously you had to have access to expensive cameras and equipment to be able to make a decent fillm and make a dent in the industry. Now a 16 year old with an IPHONE can make just as good a movie as someone with expensive equipment with all the bells and whistles. It's more of a balanced playing field then in previous decades past and we are seeing a renaissance of new and innovative films emerging across the globe.
16. What can make you angry in a movie?
Not a lot makes me upset in a movie, I think each film created is that director's piece of visual art thru their eyes as they want the story to be conveyed. I try to keep a level of transparency and neutrality in that regard when viewing and engaging movie content. The old rule is that there is always an audience for every film that's made.
17. Who supports you in your film career?
My film support team is composed mainly of my film business partners and close friends in Egypt, as well as other creative and like minded acquaintances in London, Spain and Canada. I'm thankful for my small inner circle of creatives. Makes the journey all that much more exciting.
18. What are the reactions of your surroundings to your film?
The reactions have been well received and humbling. After The Piano has surprisingly developed a strong international following of support and great feedback. I hope to garner more of that same energy state side in the coming months. Overall it's been a great experience and a testament to the cast and crew of After The Piano.
19. Have you already visited any of the prestigious film festivals?
Unfortunately I haven't because of the COVID and pandemic crisis that has affected us all worldwide over the last year. As things are slowly getting back to normal, I'm looking forward to getting back on the film circuit in the coming months, traveling to the festivals domestically and internationally and doing some press and media to maximize my film projects and support others in the film community worldwide.
20. What are your next projects?
My new film that just released May 4th 2021 entitled DEPARTURE MESSAGES. My production team is extremely excited about this project and we are preparing an extensive and innovative campaign to market and promote the film worldwide. It's based on a true story and was very rewarding to see this film come full circle. I will definitely share this project with BFA. I always appreciate you guy's feedback and support of my film projects and allowing me the platform. Cheers!