Donald Rice credits his parents’ theater background for his interest in the film world: “Both my parents worked in the theatre, but I always wanted to make films because I reckoned it was the closest you could get to being in them. I couldn’t act too well, and anyway, actors just have to say what they are given. Writers and directors can craft it.”
Despite his interest in film, Rice says he never went to film school (“mostly out of laziness”) and as a result feels he has a chip on his shoulder about being untrained. But he believes there are certain advantages to being self-taught. “More often than not, a director’s influence on a film is exaggerated; most of the skill is in just not screwing up a great script. If you have a great script, that is…”
What it’s about: A girl is getting married, but with just a few hours to go before the ceremony an old flame turns up and throws her feelings, her family and her plans into turmoil.
Director Rice says: “This film is a drama with quite a lot of comedy thrown in – which I reckon is how most of our lives are in reality. It’s set in the 1930s but it is a very modern love story – it’s not meant to be all about some bygone age. It’s as much about now as it was then.”
On the challenges: “Time and money. We had little of both. The next biggest challenge was working with animals (tortoises), rain machines (don’t go there) and bad weather (England in December, do go there).”
What would you like Tribeca audiences to come away with? “A ticket to the next screening.”
On the film’s inspirations: “I would like to think that there are dollops of ‘Gosford Park’ in there, a bit of ‘A Room With A View,’ a smidgin of Festen’ and a breezy, satin-scarfed slice of Noel Coward.”
What do you want out of the Tribeca experience? “I just want to meet people – having been stuck in front of a computer writing for most of the last three years it will be hugely exciting to meet other filmmakers. I will probably get over-excited and disgrace myself.
“Since I will be in New York and trying to be grown-up and sophisticated, I would also like a new suit (Ralph Lauren would do, but I’ll settle for Top Shop).”
Future projects: “A comedy based on an old Ealing film.
A comedy based on my short film I AM BOB.
A comedy based on Romeo & Juliet.
A play about a real-life murder trial in Georgian England that involved Dr. Johnson, Joshua Reynolds, a blind man and a hooker.”
Indiewire invited Tribeca 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.
Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch for the latest profiles.