Presenting more than 200 films from around the world, the 13th annual Tallgrass Film Festival also showcases homegrown Wichita talent as well. For day two of our preview coverage we spoke with artist Wade Hampton about his newest film "Francis: The Fists of God" and it's upcoming debut at Tallgrass.
Please introduce yourself and any history of previous films shown at Tallgrass.
My name is Wade Hampton and I'm an artist living happily in Wichita, Kansas. I first had a short film screened at Tallgrass when my little film group Art Brut Film competed in the first year of Down to the Wire where we were lucky enough to win the Audience Award. So that film "Pants" screened before one of the feature films. And a following year another one of our Down to the Wire films screened in a special shorts program with other DTTW films.
Describe your film showing this year at Tallgrass.
"Francis: The Fists of God" is the 2nd in Art Brut Film's series "Better Know a Psycho" where we showcase a fictional person who may or may not be stark raving mad. Francis Stringer is a man who believes we all should live by a set of rules that God has dictated and by not following these set of rules one should expect God's immediate judgement.
From what I understand you worked directly with Andy Matlock who plays your lead character in the film. What was it like to strip down to a skeleton crew and work so intimately?
The "Better Know a Psycho" series is about a psycho essentially reading their manifesto of sorts. So I prefer to be the director/writer/shooter/editor so I can have control over these little films to make them as personal as I want them to be. I like the idea that they come off that maybe these psychos are being interviewed or maybe they are making these manifesto film themselves. I leave that up to the viewer. I really enjoy that it's mostly just myself and the actor making these. And Andy and I know each other so well that I know exactly what I can get out of him. We laughed our asses off and had such a blast making Francis: The Fists of God that hopefully that comes through in the final film. Plus Andy did all the music for "Francis", so he's very much my collaborator as well.
Tallgrass gives filmmakers an excellent opportunity to have their films played in front of a live audience. Have you learned anything specifically from sitting amongst your audience?
You definitely learn what works and what doesn't work about you films very quickly. It's nerve-wracking as hell to watch your films with an audience but there are few things better than hearing an audience truly enjoy your film. As an artist who likes to work in a lot of different mediums, filmmaking provides the most satisfaction when my entire vision comes together.
List three films you plan on catching this year at Tallgrass.
The World of Hanako (Crime, Drama, Mystery)
Take Me to the River (Drama)
Wait Until Dark (Late Night Shorts Program)
Watch the trailer for Wade's film "Francis: The Fists of God" below.
To learn more about the Tallgrass Film Festival visit their website at tallgrassfilmfest.com