When I went to meet Land Ho! co-director Martha Stephens and producers Mynette Louie and Sara Murphy in their color correction suite in Midtown NYC, they were in fuzzy sweaters with zigzag lines, and were laughing often – which makes sense as their film is a road trip comedy set in Iceland (about two older men who must contend with life after retirement). Just months earlier these sweaters had shielded their crew against the vibrant and freezingly unpredictable Icelandic elements during the production of their film (and kept them warm after getting out of dips in the hot springs – […]
“I’ve been around so long that I’ve seen the ‘death’ of independent film at least three times” – Christine Vachon, Producing Masterclass Widely regarded as one of the key figures in American independent cinema, Christine Vachon is now well into her fourth decade of film production. Her first feature film as a producer was Todd Haynes’ corrosive, Jean Genet-inspired Poison (1991), which set the tone for the host of fearlessly confrontational films that followed, including Tom Kalin’s Swoon (1992) and Larry Clark’s Kids (1995). In 1996, alongside Pamela Koffler, Vachon co-founded the NYC-based production company Killer Films, which has been […]
One of the great things about Independent Film Week is getting to meet so many other filmmakers who are sharing in the same experience working in independent film. On any given day of the conference you could be sitting next to a producer, director or distributor who might end up helping you on your next project (or maybe you’ll end up helping them!) You also end up hearing about a lot of great projects and films, which is exactly what happened one session this week when I found myself sitting next to Milo Daemgen, independent producer of various short & […]
In 1965, a rough-and-tumble band of rock ‘n’ roll upstarts called The Rolling Stones were just beginning to build their legend, when wily manager Andrew Loog Oldham engaged English documentarian Peter Whitehead to follow the band around for a couple of days during a short stint in Ireland. The result was Charlie Is My Darling, a cinéma vérité snapshot of an era when the cultural revolution was only just beginning to crack the façade of the Old World. We see the young Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts (who gives the film its title) brainstorming […]
When Mike Birbiglia asked This American Life‘s Ira Glass to produce his first feature, Sleepwalk with Me, premiering here at Sundance, Glass thought it sounded like it might be fun. “I’d read a couple of scripts, look at a couple of rough cuts,” he remembers thinking. Glass’s presumption was far from the truth… very far. In this short interview, shot before Sundance while Glass was in the sound studio with Birbiglia, he ponders — hilariously — the job of the producer.
The Myth of the American Sleepover has seduced audiences from Austin to Cannes with the intimacy of its look at a group of teenagers during one long, magical summer night. Writer-director David Robert Mitchell and his team discuss the film’s journey to the screen. By James Ponsoldt
Originally printed in our Fall 2010 issue, we asked a number of leading independent producers about their producing models and how they’re finding everything from financing to material to office space. Jay Van Hoy & Lars Knudsen’s latest film, Braden King’s Here, premieres at Sundance on Friday. For Parts and Labor’s Jay Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen, independent film success is all about work. Very hard work. Midway through our conversation about their recent producing successes, Jay Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen realized that they hadn’t had a day off in 18 months. “You did seven-day weeks for a year-and-a-half?” […]
As filmmakers, we are genetically programmed to look to the future. The next script, the next movie, the next deal. After all, the films — on DVD, on hard drives, in canisters stacked in our closets — are their own memories. Except, of course, that a film only tells part of the story. They are the ends of their tales, not the beginnings, and they only tell their own stories, and not the dramas of their making. If at all, those stories that circle around a film are only sometimes relayed in magazine profiles or in books written by people […]