Every day through the end of the Sundance Film Festival, including weekends, indieWIRE will be publishing two interviews with Sundance ’06 competition filmmakers. Sixty filmmakers were given the opportunity to participate in an e-mail interview, and each was sent the same questions.
Bobcat Goldthwait directed “Stay,” which is screening in the Independent Film: Dramatic Competition section. “Stay” follows Amy, a young woman whose sexual history comes back to haunt her, as her fiance insists that they both be completely honest about everything. “Stay,” says Sundance, is “a wonderfully perverse tale that adeptly explores honesty, family, forgiveness, and courage. In building on its premise by frankly probing our relationships and idealization of the virtue of absolute honesty, “Stay” becomes as perceptive a romantic comedy as you will see this year.
Please tell us about yourself. How old are you? What is your current job? Where do you live?
Ah, interview questions. There’s almost no way to answer these without coming off like a pretentious douchebag, so I’ll try to keep it brief.
I’m Bobcat Goldthwait, I’m 43, and I’m the director of Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC. I live in Los Angeles with my daughter, Tasha.
What other creative outlets do you explore?
As far as early creative outlets, I started out as a singer with a band called the dead ducks. Shortly after joining the band my vocal career tragically ended with the harsh realization that I can’t sing. At all. I still hold on to a little bit of the rock and roll dream by collecting guitars. In fact, it was this collection that funded a good part of ‘Stay’ – I sold one of my more valuable ones to put towards the cost.
Did you go to film school? How did you learn about filmmaking?
I did not go to film school. I spent my formative years on the road as a comic. I wrote and directed a number of shorts, and a feature film once hailed as “the Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies” (“Shakes the Clown”). That is almost unbearably ridiculous and hysterical to me.
What are your biggest creative influences?
When cornered about it, I usually cite “Ed Wood” as my biggest inspiration as a filmmaker. I’m really more interested in the excitement and the creativity of MAKING a movie (although I like to keep it modest and have been referring to my projects as “tapes”), than I am excited about the possibility of success. This is what I look for in my cast and crew as well – I’m much more interested in working with people that are enthusiastic and fun that people who are just well known or experienced, and I think that shows. In a good way.
What are your goals for Sundance?
I still can’t believe that “Stay” made it into Sundance. As far as my goals there, I have none. Just making this movie (tape) was the goal – anything more is above and beyond my expectations. So if I don’t seem eager to push it or sell myself, it’s just because I’m so happy to have made it this far and I’m not looking to screw things up.
What are a few other films you’re hoping to see at Sundance and why?
I’d say while I’m at Sundance I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of the documentaries – particularly Henriette Mantel’s “An Unreasonable Man”.
If you were given $10 million to be used for moviemaking, how would you spend it?
If someone was to give me 10 million dollars for “moviemaking” I would hand 9 million of it back over in exchange for a “no notes” promise, then make monumentally important movies with my friends.
[Get the latest from the Sundance Film Festival throughout the day in indieWIRE’s special Park City ’06 section