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I went to NYU Film Undergrad with the idea I was going to be a director. I got a scholarship, and the school encouraged me, but I felt that my destiny as a director was to be but a hack. I could get things going, but I was just regurgitating others’ ideas (ah, if only that was enough to stop most…). Sure, imitation is a path to learning, but I was impatient too. If I couldn’t be brilliant, I at least wanted to be around brilliance. I pivoted. [...]
Hello again Film Friends,
American Indie film is often too dialogue-heavy — especially when that dialogue comes at the expense of other cinematic elements like performance, image, sound, time, and process. I have always been drawn to filmmakers who are willing to challenge themselves, and the audience by setting limits to what they provide, helping all of us to learn and grow in the process. With very few words ever spoken, Filmmakers Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky do just that with their deeply moving and highly disciplined first film FRANCINE.
Okay, some may say that when you have Melissa Leo to rest your camera on how can you go wrong. And granted it is rare to witness an actor as committed to her role as Ms. Leo is in Francine. But [...]
If you were going to give an award to the “Best Short Film Director”, what would be the criteria? I think the director would have to have made at least three shorts. Maybe over a five year period. If a director only has made two shorts, my sense is that they aren’t doing it for the love of the short, but more for their “career”. Three shows a commitment to the form. Making one great, or even two great short films does not detract from the strength of those shorts, but again it does not show the devotion to the form.
Now, as I believe that the dominance of the feature film form is on it’s last legs, and that ending it is TGHOTFOC, I think we will see even more great short directors in the years ahead. Presently though, I am a bit at a loss to nominate multiple directors who have made three or more excellent shorts. Nonetheless, that limitation does not reduce my enthusiasm for my nomination.
I had the good fortune of being asked to be a judge at TropFest NYC this year. It was an incredible program, and in the highlights of years passed, I was reminded of how great Nash Edgerton’s short work is (I also dig his feature The Square). Can you name a filmmaker who has made three shorts stronger than these: [...]
People once hid in their office. If you knew them from hanging out at the bar you had a unique relationship. Still it was damn hard to make connections, no matter where you were on the totem pole. But now those totem poles have been burned down to the ground. The old ways are over and 1000 phoenixes rise from the ashes daily.
The fact is we’ve learned how to speak to each other. We may not always speak the same language but we speak. And that’s fucking awesome.