After being widely praised for his film Love of Siam four years ago, Chukiat “Madiew” Sakveerakul talks about why he takes such long breaks between films, how losing his father has shaped him, and what inspired his new movie, Home, in theaters April 19.
Watching TV shows and tons of movies as a kid made me fall in love with this kind of stuff.
Making movies is magical. It’s an art that never gets boring. It’s not like painting where you have to show your work in an exhibition.
Making movies these days is much easier than before. You make them and then you can screen them anywhere.
New generations should be warned, they can’t just churn out material, just because it’s easy. They need to think first.
Making movies is an art, but there is also a science to it. And that you have to study.
The things that make you different from others are your creativity, patience and endurance.
I make movies to touch people. They may laugh or cry, but in the end, it’s nice to know that your message may help them.
I’d be so proud to know if my audience was thinking about my movie during difficult times and found themselves better able to cope as a result.
I experienced a crisis during the time that I dropped out of the movie scene. My parents both got cancer. It was such a shock having them both sick at the same time.
Crippling fear made me lose my inspiration, I didn’t want to lose them. This is why I only did small projects like Lud See Lud or 4 Romance.
Then I realized being stressed out is just a waste of time. Something like sickness can’t be controlled. All you can do is come to terms with the reality of the situation. I finally lost my father.
Losing a loved one has shaped me. If you have things that you want to do, do them. Tell those closest to you how much you love them. I was lucky to at least have two good years with my dad before he passed away.
Death isn’t something romantic. And it’s not a joke. When you truly face it, you have to understand that a part of your life is gone.
All these experiences influenced my comeback and the focus of my new movie. It’s all about good memories in life.
I chose to shoot in Chiang Mai because it’s my hometown. All my childhood memories are there.
I love to create with new, talented people. I love working with people who are smart and have ambition. Working with someone who’s just a good looking face but has no potential to create their own work is really no fun.
When I’m fed up with entertainment, and just want to take a break from my work, I don’t have a lot of options. I don’t want to go to the movies because I make movies, and I don’t want to listen to songs, because I compose them. The only option left is to travel.
I love the sea and remote mountains. I can cut myself off from the city and turn off my phone for a few days.
Money means nothing in those places. You don’t have to act posh or consume things in order to look good in other people’s eyes.
Being with nature makes you know yourself better. And helping others can create inspiration.
I love talking to strangers. It’s very fulfilling. My life doesn’t seem to provide me with many difficult or interesting topic to discuss, but other people’s lives are so interesting.
You need to separate your feelings at work and at home. Otherwise your life is going to be a mess.
It’s beautiful to be different. If we all thought the same things, how could we really call ourselves a democracy?
I am really a geek. I always produce a system that allows me to work with others as effectively as possible—a program on our phones or emails. It really saves time.
I made my first movie [Pisaj, 2004] at 22, everyone was older than me back then.
You need to be steadfast and have a clear vision to gain credibility.
Don’t listen to bad comments and never stray from your own inner voice.