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in Filmmaking
on Dec 31, 2008

Matt Dentler of Cinetic Rights Management sent word of two films now online that will be of interest to Filmmaker readers. The first is Randall Sharp’s fascinating indie period film Henry May Long, which Alicia Van Couvering covered here on the site in an interview with the writer/director.

From Van Couvering’s interview:

Filmmaker: How did the film come together?

Sharp: I made up the story on a car ride to Woodstock one day. I thought, what would happen if someone was willing to do anything to get someone else to pay attention to them? What if that decision led to the other person learning to value their life as if every day was their last? I’ve been running an experimental theatre company, Axis, for about twelve years, and I took it to them. We developed the script almost the same way as our plays – writing parts for certain actors in the company, reading it through together, seeing what worked and what didn’t. I was friends with [executive producer] Wren Arthur who was working for Robert Altman at the time, and slowly it all got pulled together. We shot it in 20 days with a little over $1 million dollars.

Filmmaker: Did people laugh you out of the room when you said you wanted to make a low-budget period piece? How did you accomplish it?

Sharp: It all worked out as sort of a miracle. I’m a first time director with zero film experience, and I’m also like a 19th-century period freak. I wanted it to be as perfectly accurate as it could be. As we started crewing up, people started materializing who were just really interested in reproducing that period on a shoestring. Everyone involved, from the producers to the AD to the DP, everybody – was was so excited by this immense challenge and just pulling for the movie. Especially when these [production and costume] designers who I didn’t even know arrived with this flame of passion to recreate this period for me – that was an incredible gift. They became as obsessive as me.

The film can be rented or bought at Amazon VOD, where the first two minutes can be streamed for free.

Another film that can also be found at Amazon VOD is Loren Cass, which was one of our nominees for the 2007 “Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You” Gotham Award. Loren Cass is a really intriguing film about violent youth in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s got a lot of raw talent behind it and it’s own unique tone and rhythms. The trailer is below.

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