Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Brooklyn's Best Young Filmmakers

Posted By on Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Page 4 of 10

Farihah Zaman Jeff Reichert Remote Area Medical
Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman, Directors of Remote Area Medical

What neighborhood do you live in?
Jeff and I—who are partners-in-crime in addition to being filmmaking partners—live in a basement apartment in “Fake Park Slope,” not to be confused with South Slope. Fake Park Slope is north of the park, near the Barclays Center, on the borders of both Fort Greene and Prospect Heights. The confluence gives the neighborhood a slightly hodgepodge character, which we love. Jeff rented the place from a sweet but firm elementary school teacher who hasn’t raised the rent or renewed his lease in six years, which makes it both easy and unappealing to leave the place; I moved in after we got married.

Does living in Brooklyn affect the work you make?
I hadn’t quite made the connection before, but we took a really communal, collaborative approach to making Remote Area Medical that does mirror the dynamic of our Brooklyn circles. The nature of the shoot meant we needed six camera crews, each manned by a cinematographer who had to be quite independent a lot of the time, and all 20 of the crew stayed in a vacation rental house in beautiful small town Tennesse. Jeff’s cousin came down to make “family” supper every night so our team could get a home-cooked meal and recuperate from the emotional traumas of the day. Later, when we started editing and saw how many people in the film talked about the importance of community in their region of Appalachia, we realized we expressed those same values in a way, drawing on our community to make this film.

What's the "film community" like in Brooklyn right now?
Having worked on the industry side for a few years, we are relatively new to the filmmaking community but are loving diving in—sometimes literally, since hotel pools are one of the best perks of being on the festival circuit. Ironically, most of the Brooklyn filmmakers we’ve become acquainted with we’ve met outside of Brooklyn, in the midst of various film festival activities, which feels a bit like summer camp and makes everyone bond very quickly. I have to say they are a consistently exciting, adventurous, supportive, hilarious bunch.

What film that's not your own are you most excited about at the festival?
There are a few films that we have been on the festival circuit with and haven’t gotten a chance to see yet, like It Felt Like Love and After Tiller, and we are also super excited to see Computer Chess. When we talk to people who’ve seen it, the mere mention of the title brings a smile of sheer delight to their faces. I want to see the movie that makes that face happen with such consistency. I also love that they used vintage camera technology, which Jeff and I collect. We just scored an old 80s video camera at a New Jersey flea market near where Jeff’s parents live that shoots to VHS tape and is probably not too unlike what the Computer Chess folks used. We’re thinking we can use it to shoot fake karaoke videos in Prospect Park.

What's your favorite movie theater in Brooklyn?
No joke, BAM. Not only do they have fantastic repertory programming and a beautiful old building, they are a ten minute walk from our apartment. We had our first Valentine’s Day date there actually, to see The Awful Truth, and it was magical. We’re also both partial to the Court Street theater for those times you want a rowdy viewing experience, like a horror or an action movie.

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