The most important thing for writer-director Adam Leon's feature debut, "Gimme The Loot," was finding the right cast. He had a sign on his door that read "Find Kids. Shoot Movie." Born and raised in New York, Leon has been working on film projects since he was "four or five years old." He says he always thought he'd be good at it, and because it's "the greatest thing I could ever imagine doing," he chose it over his other career option; Famous Rock Star.
What it's about: Two graffiti writing teens have their piece buffed by a rival gang and must hustle to get revenge and become the biggest writers in NYC.
Director Leon says: "The movie takes place over two hot summer days and follows Malcolm and Sofia on an adventure involving a wide range of diverse characters from many walks of life. We took to the streets, used real locations in the Bronx and all over the city, often shot guerrilla style, and just hustled and schemed like our characters to get it made in the best way possible. Tonally, I was very focused on taking these kids who have vivid, often rough lives, but making something set in that world which is more about the joys of youth than the perils of it. That was essential. While they have a crush on juvenile delinquency and often have it hard, that doesn't mean they're bad or miserable people. It's also very much a movie about it's time and place. We've had a bunch of people say that we've captured New York in a way they haven't seen for a while, and that's a tremendous compliment, really a key element we were going for."
Projects in the pipeline: "I'm only making movies that are puns on 'Gimme the Loot.' So there's 'Gimme the Hoot,' which is my coming of age tale of a young girl and her relationship with a wounded owl; 'Gimme the Glutes,' a rom/com about a billionaire heir and his wacky yet adorable personal trainer; and 'Gimme the Lute,' a psychological thriller set in the high drama world of plucked string instruments."
Indiewire invited SXSW Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2012 festival.
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