Back to selection


With his features Modern Love is Automatic and Vacation!, filmmaker Zach Clark has caught our eye at Filmmaker. In this interview with Lauren Wissot, he discusses his refreshing aesthetic, which looks towards the stylized melodramas of Douglas Sirk and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, ’60s beach party flicks, and ’80s new-wave porn like Cafe Flesh. And, he does this on a tiny budgets. In Wissot’s interview he explains:

Luckily, I have talented friends who have been willing to work for no money. I also like making movies in places that aren’t big hubs of film production, which keeps costs down, so a small crew coming into a business for a few hours is a novelty and not a nuisance. It also helps to work fast. We shot most of Vacation! in two weeks. If we’d shot any longer, I don’t know that we’d have been able to do it. We shot Modern Love on weekends over the course of six months. Both of these schedules were necessities of the budget. I also don’t shoot that much coverage, or that many takes, which helps move things along.

At the end of that piece, Clark teased an upcoming “Christmas movie,” and now Clark is on Kickstarter raising money for its production. Here’s text from the Kickstarter page:

It’s Christmastime in northern Virginia and pretty, unassuming 32-year-old real-estate-agent Suzanne Barrington is doing swell: she just sold a house to a nice polyamorous couple; her weatherman husband Jeff scored a new job in Hawaii; and her favorite holiday is quickly approaching.

One early December evening, she returns home late from a Christmas shopping spree to find Jeff shot dead in their living room – a robbery gone bad. Even worse, a former colleague confesses a secret at the funeral: there was another woman. Her name’s Fantasia and she’s an “exotic dancer” who’s ten years younger than Suzanne.

Lost and depressed, Suzanne finds her way to the Crystal City Lounge to confront the girl in question. In their grief, the two form an awkward but life-changing friendship. Pushing away the ghosts of Christmas present, Suzanne falls into Fantasia’s fast, wreckless world. Dance parties! Substances! Shoplifting! Her erratic flirts with danger push her old acquaintances further and further away. But it’s too late, Suzanne is hooked. Or is she?

WHITE REINDEER takes on thirty-as-the-new-twenty and shows a suburban Virginia where sleaze and sadness may float on the surface, but hope and compassion aren’t too far away either.

I love messed up Christmas movies, so this is one I’ll be looking forward to. Check out Clark’s Kickstarter page, and consider contributing to his campaign.

© 2016 Filmmaker Magazine
All Rights Reserved
A Publication of IPF