5 min read

Interview With Pastiche Film Director Shivaan Makker

Shivaan Makker
Anubhav Chakraborty

February 25, 2022 5 min read

Movie : Pastiche

Director : Shivaan Makker

Shivaan Makker also goes by Sullivan McGuffin. He is from New Jersey, but lives in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts in 2015. His biggest influences are Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, David Cronenberg, and Fritz Lang. Shivaan, or Sullivan, loves to write thrillers and make anything with suspense. 


Shivaan Makker                            Shivaan Makker



1. Sir, I would like to know about your love for movies. What is the significance of movies in your life? 


The love for movies came straight from my father. At an early age, he taught me that films and their stories can enlighten us when we are at our worst, and show us some sort of hope. 


2.Would you suggest us a few of your favourite movies? A list of movies you feel everyone must watch.


Everyone should watch A Fish Called Wanda by Charles Chricton. Just because I know it is guaranteed to make the audience laugh. Or if you have the stomach for it, William Friedkin’s The Exorcist! That is an all around great film. 


3.What is your definition of Pastiche? Do you see it as some sort of inspiration? Where would you place the word keeping in mind your movie? 


My definition of Pastiche is a copy or an imitation of something. I saw people getting inspired by movies to carry out crimes like life imitates art. A big example would be Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers. People would get inspired by such films to carry out violent crimes as portrayed in films. This is inevitable from happening, so we must be aware of it. 


4.The storytelling was indeed fascinating. Can you tell us how you came up with such a unique plot?


I wanted the film to have a metaphysical component to it. I wanted the villains to not only feel real, but to make them exist outside of the film. This is where their personal goals come into play. They want to be famous for the crimes they commit and will do anything for fame. 


5.There is a sense of parody in the movie. The accident with the knife, the violence, even the angry old man screaming appear caricaturish. Was this intentionally done?


This was inspiration taken directly from Mr. Hitchcock. I seasoned the very tense scenes with elements of dark humour to release tension. 


6.The metatheatrical elements in the movie make it more interesting. The references and scenes of The silence of the lambs, A clockwork Orange, One flew over the cuckoo’s Nest were impeccably used. Could you tell us something more about this?


This was to show the audience how much movies mean to the villains. Their parents can’t see that, no matter how hard the villains try to express their love for movies. 


The violence never appeared abhorrent. It reminded me of the scenes in the movies of Quentin Tarantino. Also the eccentricity of the invaders often appeared funny and fearsome at the same point of time. Tell us something about creating these eccentric characters.


I was inspired by real life serial killers and their modus operandi. While I was doing my research for the characters, I found out that criminals also face obstacles in the most perfect of plans. I found that to be funny, but threatening, because they are here to do harm. 


7.There is a perpetual voyeuristic gaze in the movie. At times in the form of characters and at times in the form of viewers. What was the thought behind this? 


I caught a peeper at my window once. Needless to say, I have been putting my blinds down ever since. I guess you can say I am slightly paranoid. 


8.The movie is about movies and how the obsession of being a part of these films push certain promising individuals towards extreme outcomes. Was the thought always present at the back of your head while you were devising the plot?


Yes, so as I mentioned that I took inspiration from real life. One of these instances was surrounded around the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting as the perpetrator was inspired by the Dark Knight and the Joker. I also took inspiration from the Columbine Massacre, since many people idolise the two shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.


Please tell us something about the performances. It was important for all the characters to execute the job perfectly , the victors and the victims to make the movie an entertaining watch. 


It was hard to do in the beginning since we never rehearsed, but once everybody got into the atmosphere, the performances began to flow like water. To a degree, some takes where screaming matches. The actors did their own stunts which were great. They also did take a beating as you can clearly see in the film. Luckily no one had any bruises or cuts!

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