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Making an Epic Roadshow Motion Picture on a Microbudget: Daniel Kremer on Overwhelm the Sky

Overwhelm the Sky

In January 2017, I interviewed San Francisco-based independent filmmaker Daniel Kremer for a local Bay Area publication called CineSource Magazine. In these past two years, he’s been as indefatigable and as busy as ever. On February 10 and 11, the San Francisco Independent Film Festival premieres his latest feature film, Overwhelm the Sky. In late March, he will host a local screening of the roadshow-style edition of the film, a nearly three-hour epic complete with an orchestral overture and intermission. Come springtime, he’ll be opening the film at a prominent European film festival (the name of which must be kept under wraps until the official announcement).

Overwhelm the Sky, Kremer’s seventh feature-length production, is a very…different kind of film. It’s a veritable “local epic,” impressively shot on a microbudget with minimal crew. In loosely adapting and updating Charles Brockden Brown’s 1799 novel Edgar Huntly, or Memoirs of a Sleepwalker—one of the earliest novels written in the newly formed United States—Overwhelm the Sky tells the story of Eddie Huntly, an east coast radio personality who moves to San Francisco to marry Thea, the sister of his best friend Neil, a successful entrepreneur. Shortly before Eddie’s arrival, Neil is found murdered in Golden Gate Park in what the police surmise was a simple mugging gone awry. As the sullen Eddie steps in as interim host of his old friend Dean’s late-night talk-radio show, he obsessively makes regular visits to the forested hollow where Neil’s corpse was found. One such visit unleashes a chain of unpredictable events that sends him snooping into the life of a sleepwalking drifter with a mysterious, tragic (and possibly scandalous) past. From there, the story takes many unexpected twists and turns, winding up in the Arizona Desert, where a trading of places occurs, during a series of surreal, often frightening encounters.

That’s the official synopsis for the film, and while the copy is accurate, it doesn’t even begin to describe the experience of seeing it. In our previous interview, Kremer had just started production on Overwhelm the Sky, never suspecting at that point that it would become an epic with a full two years spent in the production phase. At the time, he was also promoting Ezer Kenegdo (2017), a feature he co-directed with Deniz Demirer, about the complicated friendship between a Chassidic Jew and a Polish-born Catholic. Kremer played a version of himself, a Brooklyn Chassid named Izzy. Demirer played a version of himself, a San Francisco artist named Marek. The film co-starred Bay Area indie film legend Rob Nilsson (Signal 7, Northern Lights) as an elusive, cantankerous old painter that the two of them are pursuing. Josh Safdie of the Safdie Brothers also appears, as Kremer’s happily married Chassidic buddy.

Ezer Kenegdo was perhaps the key film in the formation of Bricolage, a Bay Area indie filmmaking collective comprised of Kremer, Demirer, Kris Caltagirone, Jeff Kao, Penny Werner, Josh Peterson and Aaron Hollander (Kremer’s longtime cinematographer). Together, they have produced nearly a dozen features, with a score of other projects in various stages of production and post-production. Another Bricolage film going into release soon, a comedy entitled Odds (co-directed by Kao and Werner), features every member of Bricolage (and others in their orbit) in bit parts as assorted “oddballs.”

With Overwhelm the Sky already turning heads, I scheduled a new phone interview with Kremer immediately after viewing the film, and his answers about it were frank and revealing.

Filmmaker: I hardly know where to begin. The movie is quite a trip!

Kremer: As the filmmaker, it was quite the journey as well. We started in November 2016 and wrapped September 2018. I still cannot believe it turned out to be as long and as ambitious and as already successful as it is. If you told me on the first day, when we were literally shooting in my back yard, that the film would turn legitimately epic, the word “meshuginah” would have lept to mind.

In the time it took to finish, two of our cast members who met on our set and wound up dating, have been together for over a year and are talking about engagement. I can now claim to have been a matchmaker once in my life. I knew I had some Yente in me.

Filmmaker: Why the extended period of shooting?

Kremer: We started shooting purely out of restlessness, during an emotional funk after the November 2016 election of Trump. My first film industry mentor, the Oscar-winning production designer Paul Sylbert [A Face in the Crowd, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest], had died. A major freelance feature-film editing gig I was looking forward to, at American Zoetrope, was postponed indefinitely. I felt run over, rundown, helpless and overwhelmed.

My cinematographer Aaron Hollander proposed that we just start shooting something. We had a good, lightweight DSLR camera, we had sound equipment, and some small LED lights and all that, so we were at liberty. And I always like the sentiment “Let’s just shoot something.” A big scripted project I was itching to do had stalled because a financier had dropped out months before. So I was like, “Well, what are we going to shoot? We can’t do that project. That one needs money.” He told me to look at my index of potential movie stories, which I compiled some time ago. I was longing to do something simple and honed-in.

On that list, I focused in on a proposed adaptation of Edgar Huntly, or Memoirs of a Sleepwalker, which made no promise of being “simple,” but it was the only thing I could envision doing on no money. But it definitely wasn’t simple or honed-in. When I told Aaron that that was the one, he was stunned. He said, “You’re kidding me! I was just looking at my bookshelf the other day, saw that title, and thought I’d work on adapting it into a screenplay for myself!” It was an insane coincidence, yet another instance when Aaron and I were cosmically in-synch. There are a number of wild instances where that kind of thing has happened. Aaron is rare in that he is the only other person I know besides my brother who would have a) known about the book and b) owned his own copy of it.

Filmmaker: So, it started on a whim?

Kremer: We started with four actors, who showed up not knowing anything about their characters, and we workshopped our way through a poker scene which wound up in the finished product. Many of our actors read the Brockden Brown text and would come to the set with ideas. From there, we shot mostly weekends. At one point, I had to take an extended hiatus from shooting the film because I had a few health crises that prohibited further work on it. It stacked up to nearly two years of sometimes continuous, other times spotty, work.

And, by the way, the film is dedicated to Paul Sylbert, who I’m convinced would have loved the picture, for many reasons. Probably most of all, he would have loved the black and white. His death got the fire under me. We started it after hearing the news that he had passed. And he was the first person of importance in the industry to put his faith in me. He designed my second feature A Trip to Swadades (2008).

Filmmaker: The black-and-white cinematography is stunning. 

Kremer: All hail Aaron Hollander – he’s my Rembrandt! I made one other feature in black and white, also shot by Aaron on super-16mm, A Trip to Swadades. On Overwhelm the Sky, the night before the first day of shooting, Aaron and I attended an annual “Friends of the Telluride Film Festival” screening of François Ozon’s Frantz (2016), downtown at the then very new Dolby Theater on Market. Tom Luddy and Julie Huntsinger do it every year as a kind of holiday party cum screening for friends and people in the industry in the Bay Area. During the movie, which is shot in black-and-white Scope, I turned and whispered to Aaron, “Let’s shoot black and white tomorrow.” He chuckled and whispered back, “I knew you were going to say that.” And that was that. Everything does look better in black and white, if you ask me. And there is something about [lead actor] Alexander Hero’s face that suggests Bergman to me. Certain faces, certain visages, register really well in monochrome. And I relish composing for Scope. We composed for a 2.39:1 ratio on the film.

Filmmaker: Why the roadshow format? It seems esoteric and maybe a bit risky.

Kremer: I saw both It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and 2001: A Space Odyssey when I was ten. Both films have overtures and intermissions, and both were originally shown as roadshow attractions. Ever since then, I’ve had this crazy idea about doing my own epic with all the trimmings. I tried to do a Mad, Mad World ripoff when I was twelve or thirteen and didn’t get very far. I used to love VHS double sets and went out of my way to collect them. Finding the more obscure or rare double-tape sets always got my blood pumping. I remember a teenage flea market trip once yielded a VHS copy of Luchino Visconti’s Ludwig (1973). When Overwhelm the Sky was turning out to be long, and when I knew more and more that it had to stay long, I figured you only live once. And consider that a marquee doesn’t get more epic than “Alexander Hero starring in Overwhelm the Sky.” (laugh)

The idea is to take people back to a time when the cinema was more of an event. I’m not talking about “event picture” in the context of a 21st-century tentpole flick. I’m taking about something sacred, about the way people used to experience cinema in that earlier era. There was more wonder and more ceremony about it. There was a kind of loud poetry about it, I think. I plan on having paper programs and making it seem like something out of that earlier time. Tarantino did it with Hateful Eight. There are a couple other isolated examples in the interim. There is also a film that played at TIFF when I was there in 2016, called Those Who Make Revolution Only Halfway Dig Their Own Graves. That film was over three hours and had a musical overture and an intermission point. I envied them for it at the time. I made a vow that if I ever made a film that long, I’d find a way to do that. I just had no idea that would happen so fast. It really was an accidental epic.

Filmmaker: Overwhelm the Sky feels very different than other films of yours that I’ve seen. The stylistic choices seem more deliberate. What do you think accounts for that?

Kremer: A lot of people have expressed to me how it feels the most “scripted” of all the films I’ve made. I really believe in the power of focused, structured improvisation. I don’t like movies that feel prescriptive or pre-fab. I like the life you find in the unexpected. I set up the situation and some parameters, we stage it for camera, and I turn the actors loose. For some people, that’s not so much their thing.

Many tell me that Overwhelm the Sky doesn’t feel like 169 minutes, which is just astounding to me. There’s one guy I know via social media who said that, even at nearly three hours, it feels the tightest. But it has the same amount of improvisation as Raise Your Kids on Seltzer (2015) or Ezer Kenegdo (2017). If you consider the scale of it, maybe even more. I think that, to some extent, there was more clarity of purpose to Overwhelm the Sky. Ezer Kenegdo in particular was more exploratory and we couldn’t predict at the outset the type of film it was going to become. On that picture, we were discovering the structure, and even the story itself, as we were rolling. On Overwhelm the Sky, I always had the sense where things were going, because of the basic structure of the book.

We essentially knew we were doing a piece of modern American Gothic. For the longest time, the only thing I didn’t know was how to end it. I knew it would wind up in the desert, and I knew the basics, but nothing more. I test-screened a rough cut without the ending. Well, actually, it technically didn’t even have a final act in that iteration—it just suddenly cut to black at like 150 minutes, and friends who were present starting riffing ideas with me, for like an hour. That was exciting. I wouldn’t normally show a film that way, but the cast and crew and I were going out to Mono Lake to do these desert scenes, at considerable expense on my end, so I wanted to make sure that no possible good idea for shooting the finale was left untapped. And I trusted everyone present, so it was a dynamic process.

Filmmaker: Do you think the fact you were using a literary work as a source had anything to do with this “tightness” and “clarity of purpose” that you mention?

Kremer: I took a lot of liberties with the source; there are many characters and situations in the film that do not exist even remotely in the book. I invented them out of whole cloth. They were detours I wanted to take. We were workshopping many sequences; some didn’t work, but I feel like many of them captured lightning in a bottle to an extent my previous films maybe hadn’t quite.

Charles Brockden Brown’s book was unadaptable if one were to do it straightforward, faithfully. His better known novel Wieland is no easier in that regard, I think. I guess one could have turned it into some kind of structuralist, avant-garde film. Now, I like watching those kind of films, but I never felt challenged in trying to actually make them. So I re-envisioned the narrative to fit into my ambition and my vision. And we were basically improvising the whole of a literary adaptation, which is something I don’t think many other films have done or even tried.

Filmmaker: What exactly drew you to the book Edgar Huntly?

Kremer: When I was living in New York City, one of my brothers lived in Queens. He’s a scholar of antebellum literature and I remember him recommending the book to me to make as a film. At the time, it was his favorite novel. I read it and, while certain scenes haunted me—particularly the central sleepwalking scene, which I could imagine so vividly—I remember thinking, “No one could ever adapt this into a movie. It doesn’t lend itself to narrative cinema at all.” The film generated Charles Brockden Brown’s first IMDb credit, because no one has ever attempted to adapt him. Edgar Huntly turns into a completely different novel in the middle of the story, for a lengthy series of chapters. This narrative-within-the-narrative gets twisty and rather confusing, and while it impacts how we come to interpret one of the key characters, it would have been a total deal-breaker for audiences on film—just very off-putting and unfocused as potential cinema.

In re-writing the middle act, my collaborators volunteered ideas, but none of them stuck. The big, long, multi-chapter confession scene in the book was really hanging me up. A key idea that saved me was almost inadvertent, put forth by [cast member] Raul Delarosa. And, if you see the movie, that idea involving an RV named “Nadine” came from a conversation I had with Raul. And that bit completely redirected where we took the story as a whole.

Filmmaker: It sounds like a very loose process.

Kremer: It was, yes. And we had incredibly talented local actors to help everything land. We also had a near disaster at the midway-point in shooting, and that also dictated some radical rewriting, and that was a big blessing in disguise. That’s not just a rosy, optimistic bit of hindsight, it actually did wonders for us. Kind of a feather in my cap; I think this disaster would have ruined many filmmakers, or would have set them back months. It wound up better than what I had originally planned. It’s not just being flexible, it’s being open to a possible opportunity.

We had yet another near-disaster shooting the finale in the desert. We pulled together, united as a team, and came up with something better than what I’d first laid out. Again, there’s that great Orson Welles quote: “The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.” In short, address problems, even the problems that seem insurmountable, by solving them creatively. Another quote I love is Claude Jutra’s: “If you wish to have your vision realized, it might very well get realized. If you wish to have your vision transcended, it might never get realized, but it might become something more. So be prepared to cast everything to the winds.”

Filmmaker: The film asks more questions than it answers, but it’s a tantalizing puzzle.

Kremer: It’s interesting you say that, because I have a friend who said, “You ask dozens of questions in the film that you don’t answer. You don’t even attempt to answer them, but it’s so emotionally satisfying at the end.” I like pictures that one could consider “puzzle films.”

Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut is a film a lot of people love to hate, but that was an influence, both consciously and subconsciously. Even when Sydney Pollack’s character explains everything in the one scene near the end, you still get the feeling that something is amiss and that there are questions unanswered, and they’ll remain that way. There’s the feeling that something is getting covered up, that you don’t have clearance to know how or why certain things happened the way they did. And there are seemingly all these red herrings that mislead you down rabbit holes that are technically dead ends, and on one level they may seem like detours. But it’s a kind of odyssey that the Cruise character is on. Everything is all of a piece, even if it doesn’t totally add up on the surface. I liked that notion.

I was trying to defy what I call IKEA filmmaking—in other words, you take this part and this other part, you put it together in this cold, logical way, and you have a ready-made shelf, or in this metaphor, a formula movie that adheres to traditions of letting the audience in on virtually everything. Most narrative filmmakers often seem petrified of “losing” people—they need to keep people in on the joke, fill them in on the secrets. I think there are better ways to keep asses in seats. There’s also IKEA editing, which is just cutting strictly from a scripted blueprint after a scene has been shot similarly. “Coverage” can be a very pejorative term – that’s not interesting cinema to me at all. To me, it means little more than covering your ass in editing and not really thinking about a scene’s potential. I see that way too much. I prefer “staging for camera”—I believe thinking of it that way opens doors.

I think I was also channeling Scorsese’s After Hours, Jacques Rivette’s Secret Defense and Frank Perry’s underseen Man on a Swing, which is one of the creepiest films of the seventies. And the episodes of the old “Unsolved Mysteries” that take some odd twists and turns. There was something about the aesthetics of that show that is so unsettling and chilling. I turn to the true crime stories when I mentally hit a dead end in writing a story. It’s good for throwing curve balls.

Filmmaker: Yet, occasionally, the film has a comic edge with a lot of the talk radio sequences.

Kremer: Aaron gave me that idea. We were trying to figure out what the character Eddie did for a living, what his backstory was, and all that, following that first workshop weekend when we just gathered the four actors and shot the poker scene. I don’t quite remember how he arrived at that idea, but when he said “radio host,” that set off alarm bells in my head. We both love a Canadian cult movie called Kings and Desperate Men (1981), which stars Patrick McGoohan as a talk radio host. And of course, there was the specter of The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), in which Jack Nicholson plays the host of a stream-of-consciousness radio show where he recounts these odd personal memories. It’s almost like he does these prose poems on the air. And Oliver Stone’s Talk Radio, with the real dregs of humanity calling the station as phone-in guests.

Brockden Brown’s novel was not quite optimistic about the “American experiment” as it existed then. I feel that, although covert and implicit, the Trump era is a presence in the film and is certainly weighed into the film’s thematics, though he is never even once mentioned by name. I think the talk radio sequences gave us a window into the absurdity of the current era, and we start to get the sense that the character just wants to chuck it all and start fresh somewhere else. Don’t we all at this point?

Filmmaker: There is something interesting going on with spaces in the film. Eddie keeps returning to the spot where his friend’s corpse was found.

Kremer: I think that’s one of the things that drew me to the material in the first place. I had written a script in which a woman keeps returning to the intersection where her husband was killed in a car accident. She’s drawn to the space spiritually, and keeps taking photographs of it. She feels he’s present with her there. I never made that film, so I incorporated that aspect into this film.

But your insight is pretty keen, because there is the idea of sacred space as a pointed theme. The film, to me, has a strong political subtext that people might miss on first viewing. When the Native Americans in the last act bring him back to that house and the woman Mab, who is a very different character in the novel, explains how their own land on the reservation is in contention, and he sees the mail from the Bureau of Land Management and all that, Eddie understands the connection that the Native woman has, in some sense. In her case, it runs deeper and longer into history, but he knows what it means to think of a space as sacred. The Natives in the original text were your typical savages. I was never going to go in that direction, obviously; I wanted them to connect on a spiritual level with Eddie, about land and space in general, and implicitly, the way things are headed in the world.

People are going to take from the movie whatever they want to see, and that’s fine. I prefer it that way. I hope it lingers enough to merit additional viewings.

Filmmaker: The film seems to be in love with the obsolete as well, It has the first public payphone I’ve seen in a movie in quite a while.

Kremer: Ha, yes! That was on the BART platform, so I put it into play in the scene. There’s also the handwritten letter motif, and all the talk about preserving the practice of handwriting “snail-mail” letters to loved ones. That’s a bit of a running trademark of mine. It’s in Sophisticated Acquantaince (2007), A Trip to Swadades (2008), Raise Your Kids on Seltzer (2015), Ezer Kenegdo (2017), and in smaller ways in others. Eddie actually extrapolates on this in Overwhelm the Sky, how part of the person is present with you when you’re holding a paper with the ink they’ve handwritten onto the page. A bit of self-indulgence perhaps—a love for the tangible. My allegiance to this theme or idea is writ large when you walk into my apartment and realize that I’m a big hoarder. And I think with the brother-sister relationship in general, I was channeling Franny and Zooey a bit. Eddie and Faye see through a lot of stuff together.

Filmmaker: So what’s the next project on your docket?

Kremer: Well, I’m about 75-80% finished shooting a microbudget feature called Even Just, which stemmed from the new day job I’ve maintained in the last year. I work as a motion picture archivist at a company called Movette, in the Mission. Day in and day out, I work with 8mm, super-8, 9.5mm, 16mm and various other motion picture film formats. I get to inspect, repair, watch, scan and color-balance some really incredible material. I often find myself doing my work there with a kind of religious ecstasy.

So, Even Just is about an ambulance-chasing accident lawyer who has an intense, obsessive love for small-gauge film, as both a shooter and a collector. He’s not unlike a few of our regular clients, who aren’t in the film industry or in that world, but just love collecting this stuff. The character’s Russian father worked for Mosfilm and was an inveterate shooter of 8mm himself. There’s more to the story, but that’s all I’ll say for now. I’m working on that solo, shooting, directing, and recording sound. I like doing a one-man-band feature once every five or six years, just as an exercise. I love my cinematographer, but you do feel freer to experiment one-on-one with your performers. There’s less pressure and it’s pure moviemaking id, you might say.

I’m proposing Even Just as the first of what I’m calling the Small Gauge Trilogy. I’m also working on the middle entry of the trilogy, which is a found-footage feature adapation of an Alberto Moravia fictional source. Completely found footage and stuff I’ve shot that I’ve never used in past projects. The third entry will be a full production that will require a budget and all that. It’s a very autobiographical project that means a lot to me. I guess you’d call that my first “gay movie.”

I’ve got a number of other documentary projects I’m working on. My doc on Sidney J. Furie [on whom Kremer wrote a book, published by University Press of Kentucky Screen Classics Series in 2015] has been in progress for the last 3-4 years. Those type of films work best if you follow your subject over a period of years. There’s also an essay doc about the neighborhood in Pittsburgh where I grew up, which has been on my docket for years. And, with Jen Miko, my boss at Movette, I might be co-directing a documentary about a local Bay Area cinema figure who’s really a dynamo. He’s a quiet veteran of the archival film scene, who was also a filmmaker with an impressive body of work that no one has really seen. And a fascinating life story. This project isn’t official yet, but we’re seriously talking.

Filmmaker: And your literary projects?

Kremer: I’ve hit a bump in the road with my Joan Micklin Silver biography and my lit agent is looking for a new home for it. I’m working with Henry Jaglom on a bio of his life. I’ve known Henry for about fifteen years, so there’s a simpatico between us at this point. Dude’s got some flat-out astonishing stories of his decades in show business. And I am inspired by his individualistic body of work. I wouldn’t say we’re stylistically similar at all, but I mean, we both use improv. No one can make Jaglom films except for Henry. They are sui generis. I love his Someone to Love (1987), Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? (1983), Tracks (1976), and A Safe Place (1971). His latest Train to Zakopane (2018) is excellent and highly recommended. Love his films or hate his films, they’re completely his. He’s never compromised one iota. What’s not to respect about that? That’s something I aspire to.

Filmmaker: I think you’re realizing that dream.

Kremer: Well, here’s hoping I stay the course. People like Henry, Rob Nilsson, Jon Jost, and others I’ve come to know, these are my heroes. I hope to be still cranking away at all this when I’m their age, if there’s still a world to do it in at that point. The only thing that matters to me with my work is the ability to forge ahead on the next project. Everything else is window dressing. And what artists do in this crazy era couldn’t be more important.

Filmmaker: By the way, whatever happened with Ezer Kenegdo?

Kremer: That film was always a tough sell. It has an extremely specific audience and the themes are not even remotely commercial. We are dealing with the turbulent history between Jews and Poles, and that indicates what they call a specialty market. I was uncompromising with it, maybe too much so. I have a very complicated relationship with that picture. It’s too close and too personally messy for me. It’s in many ways a snapshot of a very existentially confused time in my life; it’s a portrait of a person I no longer am. After some very difficult growing pains, I emerged nominally ex-Chassidic. The film is a way of looking back on that and it gets uncomfortable for me. I was very closeted at that point, and shielding myself with the trappings of Orthodoxy, though I’m still inextricably drawn to Jewish culture and observance…but now in my own way, on my own terms.

It played at the Joseph Conrad Festival in Krakow, Poland. I was planning to attend, then I got really sick and couldn’t go. It played a few other engagements, was nearly picked up by a distributor that wanted to retitle it and market it in a way I objected to, so I declined the offer. Currently, it’s on the proverbial shelf. If people express interest in seeing it, normally I’m fine with sending a password-protected link. I think it’s a project I felt inclined to finish, partly because I hate leaving dangling threads of unfinished business. Many really loved it. Our professional reviews were mixed on it. That’s the way it is in this field. You’re up, you’re down, some say it’s great, others say it sucks. What can you do? I just had emotional difficulty continuing to put it out there, so I had the freedom to pull it and cease efforts. Too much heartache. It was rough. Maybe I’ll return to it one day when I have enough distance, and I’ll try another push for it if I find the right venue. Maybe if I realize my dream of getting a retrospective one day, they’ll show it.

But I know without Ezer Kenegdo, I wouldn’t have arrived at Overwhelm the Sky. To everything, a purpose.

Filmmaker: With Overwhelm the Sky, are you nervous that some—or maybe even most—people won’t be ready to welcome a black-and-white three-hour film?

Kremer: I’m confident that the film will surprise them if they give it half a chance. I’ve seen resisters do total 180s after they sit down and actually watch it. It’s going to turn off a number of people as well, but that’s expected. Having at least some rejection is de rigueur. I’ve had people in the biz tell me, “I don’t believe that independent films should be that long.” I don’t know if that means they would countenance muscular guys in stupid costumes slam through skyscrapers for that same length of time. Everything in this conversation is conditional, and yes, filmmakers can have difficulty killing their babies, but I can point to so many examples of great, long, independent, and very personal films that earn their keep. I just pray I can join those ranks. There are many long films that feel short, and there are five-minute films that can feel like five hours. Film duration, in many ways, is a state of mind.

But I really think this particular film is, if nothing else, a monument to what is possible in the realm of microbudget “just do it” cinema. My favorite independent filmmakers achieve the art of the possible, and the art of the impossible on some level. If you really have it in you, you’ll find a way to make your filmmaking dreams into realities. Find and use what’s available and you might start to realize how ample that lot is. Find your co-conspirators and then conspire together. I love what Sid Furie said in a special video he did for the Toronto International Film Festival’s premiere of his long-lost independent movie A Cool Sound from Hell (1959): “If I can imagine it, we’ll find a way to do it.” If you enter into the enterprise with that attitude, you’ll usually emerge from it with some degree of success.

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