Pull Focus: Michael Collins

Director Michael Collins is the founder of Thoughtful Robot, a production company based in New York City committed to crafting compelling social justice films that galvanize change. Collins’ first documentary feature film “Give Up Tomorrow” is about a boy wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the Philippines.

Collins answered questions regarding the film’s structural elements, character arcs, creative content, and social impact. His responses are both astute and practical for aspiring filmmakers to follow. Watch the interview unfold and check out the film’s website for more information.

In his own words, Director Michael Collins discusses what “Give Up Tomorrow” is about:

Collins states his motivation for making the film:

Shifting from life in America to life in the Phillipines was a huge change. Collins expands on his emotional state during this transitional period:

Collins elaborates on his first impression of Paco:

Collins talks about the decision to bring a camera into the prison and how it was accomplished:

Collins discusses what is was like meeting Mrs. Chiong:

Collins talks about how he portrayed Mrs. Chiong in the film and why he took that approach:

Collins explains the sensitivity of Mrs. Chion’s character; her complexity of being a grieving mother who had also made some bad decisions:

Collins discusses the legal system in the Philippines:

Collins speaks about the new advances in the legal system:

Collins talks about why this story isn’t specific to the Philippines, but rather how relatable and universal the issue is globally:

Collins answers “what it’s like to know he’s made a huge impact on the Pilipino people”:

Collins discusses his decision to use documentary film apart from any other medium to tell Paco’s story:

Collins talks about the film’s screenings in Manila and Cebu:

Collins describes the press’ reaction to the film, in particular toward Mrs. Chiong, after the screening in the Phillipines:

Collins chats about the film’s U.S. screenings and upcoming schedule:

Collins answers “what it means to have his film be part of the Human Rights Film Series at the Center”:

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Kelsey Marsh, Angeli Gabriel, Bryan Bello