John Haddad was the first place winner of the Smovies previous competition #WhyILoveUAE. The talented filmmaker won, yet again…and came second place with his funny, intelligent film “Just One Spot.”
“I’m a 25 year old aspiring filmmaker. I was born in Abu Dhabi and have lived here my entire life. I started getting into filming when I was 16 years old. I always had these ideas about making short ‘funny’ clips during high school days using my phone and editing on a basic software like windows movie maker. After graduating from high school, I started assisting in producing short films with a friend as a hobby using an SLR camera. A couple of years later I decided to develop my skills using DSLR cameras and only recently have I been active by filming my own short films.
“I first learned about ‘The Smovies’ through friends who joined the competition. I saw their work on social media platforms and ever since then I decided to give it a shot by creating my own films. The concept and title of “Just One Spot” was based on an actual event that my friend (the actor in the film) and I experienced. Only a couple of weeks before the Smovies deadline, Faisal and I were desperately looking for parking in the tourist club area. After almost an hour of driving in circles, it occurred to us how much of a serious problem this was. At that time we wished we could find ‘just one spot’ to carry on with our evening and from that, we were inspired to make this film.
“Throughout the years I have only had the chance to work/produce other short films, but never to film or direct them. So last year I was inspired to submit my own short film to the #WhyILoveUAE’ Smovies competition in December, making it the first competition I officially submitted a work as a director, and I won 1st place.
“The moment my name was called up on stage, all the joy and the adrenaline and the nervousness just kicked in at the same time! It isn’t the kind of emotion one feels every day. I was very humbled by this beautiful opportunity. It was such a fantastic experience. My family and friends were really really happy and excited for me, it was such a relief to know that I was able to entertain the audience with the film and at the same time connect with them.
“I would really like to encourage all aspiring filmmakers, be it an amateur or professional, to give this competition a shot. It is such a fantastic yet a challenging experience to make a 1 minute short film. Even if we sometimes think we know it all, you will still learn so much about yourself and of your capabilities. With their participation, it helps motivate and inspire other filmmakers to join, just as I was inspired by others. It really helps widen your imagination to come up with new ideas and explore other skills that you wish to acquire.
“Last but not least, the most important thing for those who want to make a Smovie out there, is don’t forget to HAVE FUN. Have fun, keep it simple, and enjoy the experience :)”
Connect : Facebook/ John Haddad