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My origins as a filmmaker split the past 25 years in two. I’m now nearly as close in time to my debut efforts as I was to the early 1990s American New Wave when preparation for those efforts began. As an aspiring filmmaker with no formal film training, nothing was more inspiring to me during the mid-aughts than soaking up the narratives of DIY filmmakers who took it upon themselves to make something from nothing, way back in the grand ol’ 20th century. In reviewing the logistical and budgetary recaps presented in these pages by Peter Broderick more than two […]
I experience a bit of a disconnect when setting up my interview with Sean Baker about his indelible new feature about childhood, The Florida Project. The publicist tells me to meet Baker at the storied Stonewall Inn, where, before me, Baker will be doing an interview about the iPhone. It takes me a second to piece that together, but then I get it — Baker’s last film, Tangerine, starred trans actors and was shot on the iPhone, which marks its 10th anniversary this September. Baker, I guess correctly, is being interviewed for some tech website’s history of the transformative tech […]
“Adele Romanski is an independent producer who, Academy Award– and Golden Globe–winning producer whose …” This is what my assistant, April Moore, sent back to me in March of this year when I asked her to please take a pass at revising my bio. (I needed to provide it as part of closing a loan against the tax credit for a television show I was producing.) It had been about a year since I had updated my bio. April made quite a few changes to the document, but striking out the word “independent” was the one I obsessed over. Why […]
In the infant years of this publication, Ted Hope wrote a piece musing on the death of 1990s off-Hollywood production models, and controversy arose! I was only 12 at the time, but I glean now that there was a sense then — at least in this tiny community of cultural producers and aspirants — that the debate within Hope’s “Indie Film is Dead,” (and then-partner James Schamus’s response “Long Live Indie Film”) mattered. But here we are, making magic together still. This 25-year-old magazine, and the tiny corner of the entertainment industry it covers with a level of detail and […]
Consider the physical closeness necessary to feel air pass out of the lungs and through the nose of a Black man, the spatial distance needed for your nose to touch his sigh. Face to almost blurry face — so much that when the corners of his mouth dart up, down and around, when talking or gesturing or from involuntary conduct, you notice the landscape between his corresponding cheek and chin bow like the warping of a shimmering trampoline. The pinhole pores of this brown-laden terrain become another optical reveal that transpires only after your mind’s eye adjusts to the formerly […]
“It’s going be called ‘Indie Film is Dead,’” I remember Ted Hope saying to me back in 1995. He was referring to an article he was submitting for that fall’s magazine, a many-thousand-word takedown of the business practices and internalized logic of the specialty film business. Hope, a prolific producer who had worked with Ang Lee and Hal Hartley, was a frequent contributor to Filmmaker in our early days, writing pieces like one on how to interview a production designer or another on the job of the production manager. But this piece would be different. Here’s the lede: “The marketplace […]
Also: Judy Becker’s Instagram: A Production Designer Catalogs Her Visual Inspirations Seducing the Future Independent Film’s Sorry Quarter Century? 25 Sentences Image Shift No New Waves Letter From Rome Editor’s Letter End Note