Using Influences to Promote Your Film
When discussing your forthcoming film, citing influences can be a double-edged sword. We are all influenced by other works, and it’s expected that when pitching, or showing a look book, these influences be acknowledged. But you don’t want to seem like you’re relying too much on other filmmakers’ visions, or pretend that you can easily reach the same level of achievement. One filmmaker who I think is revealing his interests in an edifying, engaging way is William Speruzzi, who is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign for “The 3×3 Project.” The project consists of three shorts by three directors using the peer pressure of their collaborative effort to create a “support system like no other” for “the lonely filmmaker.” (If that sounds intriguing, check out the campaign because they’ve got a little ways to go and only five days left.)
At his website, Speruzzi has posted three short video essays on three films he says will influence his short. They are all great films (The Conversation, Rosemary’s Baby and Eyes Wide Shut), and in each one Speruzzi has pinpointed the very specific aspects that are influencing him. For The Conversation, above, it has to deal with the theme of privacy and how the film shows it mediated by technology. For Eyes Wide Shut, it is the way Kubrick used a relationship’s underlying discord as the foundation for a larger story. By being specific, and by not relying on vague promises to emulate a particular director’s style, Speruzzi’s discussion of influences comes off as modest and thoughtful.
Check out the video and consider contributing to the campaign.