Yuthlert Sippapak is a controversial figure thanks to his outspoken nature and out-of-the-box thinking apparent in such daring, unconventional films as Killer Tattoo (Muepuen Lok Prachan), Buppah Ratree, and, most recently, Ghost Station. Some critics complain that his movies are too commercial; others say that he’s just plain crazy.

You’ll either love or hate my movies. Usually, there’s no in-between.

Stay away from the theater if you don’t like my directing style. I never compromise to please anyone but myself. When it comes to making films, I want to do what I like and have fun doing it.

I get bored very easily. That’s why I keep changing movie genres. That’s the trick to keeping myself motivated.

The best thing about filming Ghost Station was that we got to laugh every day. It was my first comedy feature, even though comedy has been a part of previous films like Tattoo Killer and Sai Lor Fah.

You can’t tell someone to be funny. I didn’t “direct” Ple and Hoy. I gave them the script and let them act it out for me. If it was funny and the whole crew laughed, we moved on to the next scene. If not, we shot whatever takes were needed until we felt it was right.

To make people laugh throughout the whole film is the most difficult thing in making a comedy. There are many kinds of comedy, from witty wordplay to brainless slapstick, and what makes one person laugh his heart out might not raise even a smile in someone else.

Every movie is a “market movie.” Whenever you put something up on sale and people have to pay for it, that’s merchandise. Whenever you screen your film in theaters, selling it to moviegoers, that film is a “market movie.” Arty or mainstream, the only difference is the size of the market.

I love sci-fi films. Too bad I haven’t had a chance to make one yet. My favorite directors are those who can turn overflowing imaginations into reality on screen, like James Cameron and George Lucas. I also like Stanley Kubrick because he achieved a balance between mainstream and art-house filmmaking.

A director needs to find his own signature trademark, the unique style that distinguishes him from others. Some might consider me blunt, crazy or eccentric, but that’s because I want to present something different, something that is me.

Be yourself—that’s my rule of thumb. Many directors have flopped because they present what they think audiences want. Listen to yourself and don’t try to be someone you’re not.

Making films is my hobby. I don’t want to consider it a full-time job or else the fun will be gone.

It’s good to see Thai films warmly welcomed. Many popular Thai films like Tom Yum Goong and Saeb Sanit Sid Sai Nah were a lot more successful than big budget Hollywood films here. Previously, it was almost impossible for a local film to reach B100 million in ticket sales. Now that’s quite feasible.

The greatest teacher of all is experience. I don’t usually take or give advice. We all have different ways of thinking, different backgrounds, and different lifestyles. So advice from others may not be directly applicable to you and your problems. It’s better to learn by doing.

My next project is a political satire called Manud Fai Chai (literally, Mr. Flashlight). I think we’ve all had enough of political nonsense. The film is in production right now and is going to mirror the effects of our system of democracy on society.

Now I’m just a cog in the film industry machine.

Eventually I’ll be replaced, so my future plan is to run a resort on Koh Tao. Of course, I’d like to be one of those with power over the system, say the owner of a theater chain or a big production house. But a resort on Koh Tao seems a more realistic dream.

I’m just a regular director whose work reflects who I am. What you see is what you get. That’s it. I’m not complicated.


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