"In a fascist America, a history student must choose to speak out or remain silent during a government purge of so-called nonpersons, or "fakes."
Andrew Taylor was born on November 4th, 1998 in St. Paul, Minnesota. His family later moved to the small town of Prescott, Wisconsin, where his love of reading gradually transformed into a passion for storytelling.
Andrew attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he was a member of Northwestern Sketch Television and worked on dozens of film sets including "Fake," his directorial debut.
Andrew currently resides in the Seattle area as an active participant in its independent filmmaking scene.
How did you start making films and what was the first film project you worked on?
I started making video projects in elementary school with my friends. We took every group project we could possibly make a video out of and made a video out of it. Then in college, I got the opportunity to work on over fifty legitimate film sets, and learnedhow the professional industry works in the process.
What was the inspiration behind the making of your film?
"Fake" was inspired by a number of things, and the story itself iintended as a dystopian allegory of our times. A lie told often enough becomes the truth, and "Fake" presents a world where an outlandish claim -that 1 in 20 people are in fact fake, "nonpersons" contributingto a decline in society- gradually becomes accepted by the general public as a natural fact.
What is the most challenging aspect of being an independent filmmaker in the film industry?
It's definitely challenging at times to network and find the right people to work with, whether they be crew or talent. There are a lot of people out there willing to participate in low-budget indie projects for exposure and experience, but it requires diligence and patience to build a filmmaking team from scratch. In making "Fake," I was lucky enough to have many talented friends helping me create the piece -all pro bono with the exception of premiere party expenses,
coffee, and the like.
How difficult is it to fund indie short films?
Funding indie short films is all about networking and finding accessible, quality gear, whether by renting or borrowing. We crowdfunded a bit for "Fake," but the bulk of the support came out of
my own savings and from a few individual donors I'm familiar with on a personal level. I think the trick is finding a way to create a story that requires only a small budget, and then working from there.
Please name three of your most favorite directors. How have they been influential in your work?
This is a hard question because I love so many directors and so many different kinds of movies. I think the top "three" who have influenced me most on a personal level would have to be Paul Thomas Anderson, David Fincher, and the Coen Brothers, but that's just my feeling at this moment. My favorite movie is Children of Men by Alfonso Cuarón, so I truly don't know. As for how they've influenced me, I definitely take after PTA's "do it yourself" indie approach and
I really love his writing, but I'd say my visual style is more in line with Fincher and the Coens, if only because I haven't gotten to shoot anamorphic yet and Fincher famously hates that. I definitely had Fincher's dark, gritty style in mind when making "Fake," for sure.
How did your film go into production and how did you finalize the cast and the crew?
I just decided to make a short! I submitted a draft of "Fake" to a few school-affiliated grants and had it roundly rejected, so I simplified the story to work with a budget under a thousand dollars,
reached out to some friends like Rachel Fimbianti, Jack Fay, and Desireé Applewhite to help, and borrowed some equipment. I cast actors I met around Northwestern for the younger roles and reached out through Backstage for the adult parts. About a hundred actors auditioned, and I was able to select some really talented people!
How was the film received by your audience and film festivals and what is your plan for further distribution of the film?
I was a little nervous in releasing "Fake" as my rookie effort because it's intentionally pretty ambiguous and 15 minutes is reasonably long for a short, but the response has been great! It's
gotten into several festivals with the largest one being the Montreal Independent Film Festival, and people have responded to me directly about how they found it thoughtful and admired the technical quality! It's been really cool to hear peoples' interpretations of the ending, and of the broader themes of the piece, as well. I've put the project online on my new Youtube channel and I'll be marketing it further from
What do you recommend to other filmmakers regarding the making and the distribution of independent short films?
There was a time when I was the only person interested in making "Fake," and it would have been easy to give up, but I worked at it and was ultimately able to find a whole team willing to support my idea. Thirty people helped in one form or another to make "Fake" and all I had to do was reach out. So I'll say: create a story that can be accomplished with limited means and throw your heart at it. People will respond. If it's good, great! If not, it's still the best learning experience you'll ever have.
What is your next film project and what are you currently working on?
I learned so much from making "Fake" and I've been anxious to follow it up for over a year now. At this moment, I'm in pre-production on a horror short called "Etiam" that can be filmed under Covid restrictions. I'm incredibly excited about the crew we've got, the talent we've cast, and the quality of the story, and we'll be shooting this summer. Beyond that, I have a comedy written about the romantic misadventures of a college clarinet student that'll be do-able whenever it's legal to film a party scene again!
Why do you make films?
I make films for two reasons: 1. I love the work and can't picture myself doing anything else except for maybe physics and 2. I think storytelling is the single most important part of our culture. It's everything, and this is my avenue through which to contribute to the "bigger picture." It really means a lot to me that "Fake" has been received well so far, and I can't wait to top it!