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The cinematographer Jay Keitel and I, decided that, for this story, it’s more interesting be close-up and be intimate with their thoughts and their emotions, rather than to take a step back and shoot it more thriller-style, to see two criminals objectively in the landscape. I don’t respond to landscapes. I respond to faces.
Was making the film cathartic? You hinted as much at SXSW, but also joked that you didn’t want to treat the Q&A like a big therapy session.
I made the film at a very extreme period in my life. I could just talk in circles about the meaning is but the truth is, when I wrote it, it was just this emotional burst and things made sense to me in an emotional way but not a logical way. It’s based off a nightmare I had, so already that sort of visceral basis for the film is in there already. It follows a story, because my nightmare was somehow, magically, very linear.
You know, I thought it would be much more cathartic than it ended up being. I’ve become very aware especially during Q&As of how personal it is and where I’m willing to be completely honest and where I want to keep things to myself. The film is cutting open a lot of veins for me. When I answer questions, I’m as secretive about my own personal demons as I am with the plot publicly.
More and more people are going to start taking the leap and self-releasing, building that in to their preproduction plans. But you need to have it in your head when you begin the film so you can start marketing it immediately. It takes a whole lot of time to get that going.
It’s such a strange landscape right now in terms of the life of an independent film. People aren’t just going to the movies as much anymore, even big Hollywood movies. Which is why I love the Rooftop Films series. It gets people to come out and enjoy independent films. I think things are going to start moving in that direction, toward live screenings and event-oriented settings. Rooftop is doing exactly what is good for independent films.
Seems like outdoor independent screening series are gaining traction in several cities. It’s almost like the return of drive-in movies.
On a rooftop in New York City, there’s a sense of community you wouldn’t get in a dark theater. Like a drive in, it feels special. It’s more fun.