AN INTERVIEW WITH Andrew Bystrom, PRODUCER & DIRECTOR


As a filmmaker, please introduce yourself and let us know why you became a filmmaker?

Hello, I am Andy Bystrom and “Too Good to be Forgotten” is my first film. I blame my dad for me becoming a filmmaker. 

 My dad, John Bystrom (deceased) served on a Navy Patrol Craft during WWII. He left me an archive of his Navy adventures that included 40

minutes of WWII footage, photographs, letters and more. So in April of 2019 I went from zero film experience to making this film. 

 I am 63 years old and I just had to tell this 80 year old war story.


What are the films or people that had impacts on you and deeply inspired you to become a filmmaker?

I didn’t plan on being a filmmaker; I just wanted to tell my Dad’s story and these Patrol Craft veterans’ stories. 

 These Sailors’ motivated me to share their war stories before they were forgotten.  

What movie do you like best and why?

I like movies with a good story except horror (too scary). 

 The films that have had the biggest impact on my film are “M” and “The Passion of Joan of Arc”. Both are silent films but it is amazing how much emotion they convey to their audience. 

 My Dad’s footage is all silent. 

 These silent movies inspired me to add a silent movie into my film,

“The Order of Neptune”. This movie has Neptune, tradition, pirates and love. It was created from a 2 minute section of my dad’s film footage. My dad played the executioner pirate and I think he’s Neptune too. 

 I know my dad would be proud of me for finishing his silent movie.


For you what was the biggest lesson you had to learn?

People do not see your movie as you do. 

 What you think is great might be just so-so for other people. 

 You have to become a better story teller so your audience can understand your film’s vision.  I know I am becoming better at this as I mature as a filmmaker and continue to lengthen my film.


What part of the filmmaking is the hardest part?

Film making is really hard. It is tough to stay motivated when it demands so much time, thought, skill and money to move a film forward. You really have to want to do it and have a strong support system….Thank you Honey (wife, Rose).


What keeps you inspired to continue film making?

I always loved telling stories especially over a few beers. In filmmaking you share your story with a broader audience. In documentary filmmaking the story gets deeper the more you look at it. 

 Who would have guessed that my dad was so cool when he was in

his early 20s? Good stories should be shared.


The most important part is distributing the film. What did you do so far for distributing all your films?

I am new to this with limited budget (self-funded). My plan is to improve the film until someone likes it enough to pay me and 

show the film to a broad audience. I test my film’s appeal by entering it into many film festivals and see if it gets selected. 

 I got rejected over 10 times before I improved/doubled the length of my film and got selected to a film festival. 

 By attending film festivals I got to see other filmmakers/films/competition which I used to improve my film and marketing. 

 Film festivals are also a lot of fun! Recently, I improved/doubled my film again to create a more complete story at 20 minutes. 

 Since August 2020 my film has been selected into several film festivals along with being notification that my film was 

the “July winner for the Best Short Documentary” at the 

"American Golden Picture International Film Festival"

 I feel that I am going in the right direction, but have a long way to go.

What are your filmmaking goals?

I plan to grow my film to about 45 minutes (1 hour show). I have to act quickly for the WWII generation is dying. 

 I have already had a Patrol Craft D-Day veteran pass away before I got the opportunity to interview him. 

 I love hearing their sea stories and adding them to my film.


What is your next project?

I was raised in Honolulu, HI. My dad’s WWII footage includes 9 minutes of Hawaii. He also took some great photographs. I want to do a documentary film on Honolulu during WWII. The 80th anniversary of the start of WWII is next year and I might be able to find

some Hawaii partners. I will need a lot of help for to complete this film project. 


GOOD LUCK Andrew

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