05/27/2016 02:28 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Interview: Robert Hawk


For over 30 years, Bob Hawk has been involved in the independent film industry, either producing, advising, researching, or acting. He has been best known for his involvement in films such as "Chasing Amy", "Clerks", and the Oscar winning documentary, "The Times of Harvey Milk"

He has served on the Advisory Selection Committee of "The Sundance Film Festival", and founded San Francisco's Film Arts Festival as well, and has recently released his own film, "Film Hawk", an independent film about his life.

"Film Hawk" received enchanting reviews this January at "The Sundance Film Festival", and I was privileged to have the opportunity to have a very enlightening conversation with the openly out film maker.

Your film was premiered at "The Sundance Film Festival", this January, how did it do?

It was very well received. Audiences embraced it, they were great. I have been in the Independent Film scene for over 30 years now. There are a lot of people who know me, but also there were a lot of people who weren't even born when I began. They related to it too. I had young people come up to me and tell me that the film spoke to them. I am 78 years old. I'm a Jersey boy who became interested in New York Theatre, about the time I began acting on stage. I was acting because it was an opportunity for me to appear in front of the community without stuttering. The more I went to New York, I met more and more actors who could not make it. I knew I didn't have the personality to pursue an acting career. As a College major I had made the decision to focus on back stage. In 1976 I saw my first Independent Film as a work in progress, and I became interested, and by 1983 I was exclusively involved in Independent Films. It was then I went to work as a print media archivist for " The Times of Harvey Milk".

One of my favorite movies.

That was the first film I ever worked on. It is one of the classic documentaries.

What is it that you do mostly in the film industry now?

I am primarily a consultant to independent film makers. I occasionally produce when I'm passionate about a project. My producing career began with Kevin Smith in the film "Clerks". I discovered "Clerks". I passed the word along and the rest was history. I also was involved as a full time consultant, for the whole process, from the first draft of "Chasing Amy". I earned my first screen credit as a producer on "Chasing Amy". The films on my website are the films I believed in and could make the time to be hands on.

So basically all of this is in your film?

This is the history of the film so far. "Film Hawk", which was years in the making, premiered at Sundance in January.

Is there any advice that you can share with all the Independent Film makers out there?

I'm asked "how do you measure success". In independent film, it's rarely about making a killing financially. But, many independent films are successful because they have a long ancillary life. They affect people's lives. Success to me is, has the film reached people, and has if affected them?

Visit Bob Hawk on Social media
Twitter: bobhawkdoc
Facebook: Film.Hawk-5175094149592