Interview with Thodoris Vournas about the crowdfunding of his upcoming film “The Collector”

     |    Monday February 5th, 2018

Director Thodoris Vournas is right now preparing his new short feature titled “The Collector”.

At the centre of the plot is Alexis, a serial killer who kills his victims in order to acquire their traits and skills. When meeting a person he finds exciting, he absorbs the character totally and afterwards kills the one who inspired him so much… In other words, he becomes a better person – piece by piece with every further murder! Angelos, an aspiring writer, is obsessed with Alexis and his cruel crimes. He’s trying to analyze the killer’s personality to write the perfect story.

“The Collector” is the seventh short film by Thodoris Vournas, the cast consists of Katerina Vaimaki, Dimitris Liakopoulos, Michalis Economou, Nephele Papaderos and Chris Raney.

The production is financed by crowdfunding- anyone who would like to support the work of the young filmmakers can do so via PayPal at thodoris.vournas@gmail.com. Further information is available on the official page of the film on Facebook.

Thodoris, how would you describe your new film in five words?

An alternative method for self-improvement!

How did the basic idea come about?

“The Collector” is based on a story that Katerina Weimaki told me for the first time about two years ago. At that time we were working on some other projects and she started to tell me that she was working on a promising idea. One day this project got a name and was introduced to me with the words: “… they will love it, more than anything we have done so far and we can realise our own fantasies…” I began to like that idea! Katerina wanted to tell a story about all the characteristics we see in other people around us every day and how we try to adapt them. We also wanted to develop a story customized on our actor Dimitris Liakopoulos as a central figure- we had worked with Dimitris in the past and it was time to start something new!

A modern-day nightmare, a morally humiliated anti-hero wrestling with his own personality? Or a psychologically erotic thriller? What can we expect?

I will focus on moral and criminal responsibility. Can there even be an absolution? Our film wants to show a world where the characters, even the most morbid ones, want to be the best. Our conclusion is that we take something for ourselves from all the people and relationships we have in our lives. And the “Collector’s” path sums up in the recognition that there are many ways to do this.

At what stage is production currently at?

We are currently doing the last rehearsals with the actors. We have found the locations where our story will take place and soon, at the beginning of October, we will start to shoot.

Assassins, collectors of objects and human traits. What inspired you for creating your protagonist?

His willingness to become the best possible version of himself. He has one goal in mind and is focused on analyzing the best qualities of all people in his environment.

Dimitris Liakopoulos, Michalis Economou, Nefeli Papatherou, Christos Kapenis: all young and talented newcomers. Which of their qualities convinced you?

Their talent for sure! Their interest, their experience and fundamental: how they reacted positively to our ideas and script.

You have worked with different authors for the scripts of your films, but you never wrote them yourself. Do you believe in the strict division of roles between director and screenwriter?

I don’t think that’s a rule I strictly follow. It has to do with what works best for every director whenever he is completely free in his work. For me it is very practical to work with a screenwriter, I like this giving and taking. In order to exchange thoughts, ideas and opinions, one can show mutual visions, collect impressions and try again to achieve the best possible result.

How does your second collaboration with Katerina Weimaki work?

I already produced a short film with Katerina in 2012, “The Other Bank”. In the following years we developed some ideas and I have the feeling that “The Collector” is the first of many that we are going to work on in the future. We work hand-in-hand and she is wonderfully able to tell me her visions. Thanks to Katerina’s work, during our first collaboration I have learned that on set, the job of the director really is where I belong. Working with such a wonderful scriptwriter is just so much fun!

Your career so far has been made up of work for both cinema and theatre. Did your staging of “Maneuver” this year in Theater 104, with Chris Raney, Alexander Ntavri, George Koskorello and Alexandra Hasani, contribute to a common basis for the work on “The Collector”?

Much of my work over the past few years has been associated with characters who are looking for the best and most complete version of themselves to deal with the obstacles or themes which define their personalities. These are the stories that interest me in cinema and theatre alike.

How difficult is it for you as a filmmaker to finish “The Collector”?

It’s a challenge. But if the material develops its own magic, you can draw wonderful energy from that to work on the project!

What is your goal with the crowdfunding campaign?

In particular, we want to use the money for post-production so that we can achieve the best possible result, with the partners we want to have on-board.

Collecting money for a short film – is this also a kind of test whether a similar procedure would work for a future feature film?

In the past we have had good experiences with long-term campaigns, this time it is a bit more direct and discreet. We have drawn attention to ourselves, said that we exist and what we intend to do.

With the help of crowdfunding we can improve the final result and take it as a support for the scenery we want to create. We cordially invite everyone to support us and become part of this project!

This article was first released on 14/09/2017 by cinepivates.gr – a wonderful blog about Greek and international cinema.We gladfully appreciate the authorization for this reprint.