“OFF DUTY” — FINAL DISPATCH FROM INDEPENDENT FILM WEEK
Goodfellas. I can almost always watch it. Don’t know how many times I have seen it. Scorsese was attracted to Little Italy’s urban grittiness. But he knows that idolizing these figures never works. Joe Pesci scenes are always great. But I never inspired to be Pesci or anything like that. Lessons learned from Goodfellas…try to treat everyone with respect and don’t talk too much.
-Richard, Taxi Dispatcher
So IFP’s Independent Film Week came and went and what do I have to show for it?
Taking lessons from Richard I tried to treat people with respect, but I definitely talked too much. I also had great meetings with broadcasters (BBC, DR), sales agents (Films Transit, Louise Rosen), and film festival programmers (Berlin, Film Forum). But what this year’s market reinforced to me was that making films is a wonderful thing to do.
There were many passionate and driven people who are creating unique projects. I am especially excited about David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s finest work to date Girl Model, where they imbed themselves in the lives of Russian teenagers seeking modeling careers in Japan. It is also their fifth film in five years, God bless that couple! Another project that tickled my fancy was Jason Osder’s Let the Fire Burn about the Philadelphia police dropping two pounds of C-4 explosives on an anti-establishments group’s house and letting the entire block burn down. Bess Kargman’s First Position is an entertaining film about children ballerinas that is exquisitely shot by Nick Higgins.
A select few films each year will make money and win accolades, but most of us make films because we do not want to be insurance salesmen. The music producer Steve Albini and member of the band Big Black fervidly explains why he has to make music.
“I would shoot myself in the face if I didn’t have some way to blow off steam. And because I don’t like sports, and because I don’t like disco dancing, and because I don’t take drugs, and because I don’t drink, and I don’t beat my head into the floor, and I don’t have a wife to beat, I have Big Black. “
Is Albini being extreme? Probably, but this quote demonstrates his raw enthusiasm for making music and trust me when I say that David, Ashley, Jean, and myself are out there in the middle of winter in Siberia or the slums of India because we have have a never ending thirst for knowledge and exploration that would not be fulfilled any other way. However after we thaw from the cold our aspirations are simple and our dreams are summed up concisely by Jack Handey, which is to “make a movie that makes people laugh and makes people cry, and then makes them leave the theater in a quick and orderly manner so that others may come in.”
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