Back to selection

SLAMDANCE DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER INTERVIEWS: STEVE CLARK, MIKE LANDRY, AND CARLOS VELASQUEZ, FROST

by
in Filmmaking
on Jan 18, 2008


Sat, Jan 19th, 8:30pm
Wed, Jan 23rd, 10am

Interview by Brandon Harris

Jack Frost’s playboy lifestyle in New York City is rocked by the news that his childhood love is engaged. Jack plunges into whiskey and self-destruction. until his eleven-year-old neighbor, Sophie, an unlikely mother figure, leads Jack back into himself, and out of the nostalgia and excess that consumed him.

Interview with Steve Clark

Where were you when you heard you’d been accepted to Slamdance and how did you react?
I was in my apartment in NYC about to take a shower, when I picked up the phone, and one of our producers told me, “Congrats, I think we got into Slamdance.” I said, “Great . . . but what does that mean: you think? Did we get in?” And he said, “Well, I’ll forward you the email,” which was not the introductory congratulatory email, but a request for all these materials. We all read it a few times. I called up Slamdance and they said they had spoken to one of our producers and told him we’d been accepted, but that producer assured us he hadn’t spoken to anyone. We thought maybe we’d been confused with another film . . . but after a few more sheepish calls to Sarah Diamond, we understood we’d been accepted. Then there was much jumping around.

Tell us about the genesis of the script? What drew you to the story?
I wrote the script with my friend Thomas Moffett who worked with me for years at The Paris Review. We wanted to write a script about a guy who seemed to have everything, but really didn’t. To start in what many perceive as a superficial world, and to find the glowing real thing underneath. More than anything it was the human way the people in the script connected to each other that made this interesting.

How were you able to find financing for the project?
The producers begged, borrowed and stole.

What debt does the film owe to other films or filmmakers provided some influence?
The film probably owes more to other films and filmmakers than I could list here. But we were not trying to emulate a style or anyone in particular. We wanted to tell an authentic story that combined breathing room – that European slowness – with a few of those American comic spikes. We wanted to see that combination.

What relevance does the Jack Frost tale have for us today?
It may or may not have relevance. That depends on who is watching and how they feel about it. If it moves them or is something that they remember in the next day or the next year, then it will have had some relevance for them.

What were your biggest challenges when constructing the film in post-production?
Getting the movie to move at the beginning. That had mostly to do with fiddling with the order of the scenes in the editing room.

Any other projects in the pipeline?
Well, I’ve written five other screenplays . . . And after Slamdance, I am turning off my phone and writing another one right away . . . So yes, I hope so . . .

Interview with Mike Landry and Carlos Velasquez

Where were you when you heard you’d been accepted to Slamdance and how did you react?
We were in the production office of our new film, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead. It was like crazy time in pre production when you are trying to keep it together by answering 20 phone calls, 20 emails and 20 texts all at the same time and one of them was from Slamdance. We were pretty stoked to have our first feature in such a badass festival.

Tell us about the genesis of the script? What drew you to the story?
We were excited about doing a film about an international playboy in Manhattan and all that lifestyle entails. Sure, we thought it would be fun with the women and the nightclubs but the dark side of the character really sealed the deal. Sometimes you want to see the guy who has everything trying to figure out how his life got so fucked up and Jack’s life is nothing if not that.

How were you able to find financing for the project?
Mainly begging. Just kidding. Steve, Carlos and I went out and raised the money ourselves because we didn’t want to have to compromise the film by caving into investors who like to extract their pound of flesh for their investment.

What debt does the film owe to other films or filmmakers provided some influence?
Frost owes a debt to the seminal films of the seventies like Manhattan that are beautiful, funny and sad at the same time. Steve was adamant about it not being to heavily edited and really into letting the actors and the scenes breathe and I think it shows in the well crafted performances which we hope will be a hallmark of CPlus Pictures productions.

What relevance does the Jack Frost tale have for us today?
The tale of Jack Frost is about a guy who will do anything not to grow up. It’s about letting go of those childhood fantasies when they become debilitating. Some of us are still working out this kind of stuff.

What were your biggest challenges when constructing the film in post-production?
It was really tough to put the script down and reshuffle things to make a better film. The script was awesome, but it was tough introducing all of the insane characters in Jack’s life in a clear, concise manner without losing the soul of the thing.

Any other projects in the pipeline?
Look out for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead starring Jake Hoffman, Devon Aoki, Johnny Ventimiglia with Ralph Macchio and Jeremy Sisto. It’s a surreal take on Hamlet, vampires and the Holy Grail that was shot on the red camera and looks awesome. We have a couple other scripts in various stages of development that we will be producing by casting actors in roles you don’t normally see them in. That’s our thing…and making sure everyone has a great time doing it.

© 2016 Filmmaker Magazine
All Rights Reserved
A Publication of IPF