What has worked for me?
It is not enough to produce a short film or an essay or whatever. It’s just one piece of it that’s working on your resume. If you write a short story and then become a novelist or playwright, you’ve learned how to write, how to be a writer. The best way to become an indie filmmaker—and really, just to be independent— is to be on your own. Start on your own. In order to succeed is to get your projects out there, to put yourself out there for potential investors. You can be a filmmaker but you can also be a businessman. I was a businessman before I became a filmmaker. You know what you got and you can go forth and make the next thing—and it doesn’t have to be a film.
What makes you want to be an indie filmmaker?
A lot of the best and most exciting films are from people whose families are in the movie business. I was fascinated by movies from the movies and the characters from the characters. I learned in New York, at Columbia, a lot of things about production. But I’ve always wanted to be a filmmaker. It is the most natural thing in the world to be a filmmaker. But not just a filmmaker, a filmmaker that happens to have a talent.
You mentioned that New York was the place where you were exposed to movies that got you interested. How was that?
I was a writer. My first job was as a screenwriter on a short film called The Hired Hand. One of the producers was a screenwriter on something called The Man Who Lost His Virginity. I would write a story and there would be two of you—one was you, the other was his wife. And it would be that they could get in each other’s shoes and do what he did to her. The whole thing was set in Times Square. And then about ten minutes into the movie. The guy falls down and the woman comes after him. Then he starts to pull them and they start arguing. And it would go on for three hours. There was a lot of sex. I remember thinking to myself, “This is very clever.” I was on my way to making the movie when I got to New York City.
And I was looking for a place to make movies that would get me there. I was watching movies being made in Seattle, in Hollywood. I came here thinking I was going to make a movie on
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