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Paul Schrader Wants To Know How You Think ‘The Canyons’ Should Look; Cites ‘Fallen Angels’ & ‘Heartbeats’ As Visual Look Of Indie Pics Today

Paul Schrader Wants To Know How You Think 'The Canyons' Should Look; Cites 'Fallen Angels' & 'Heartbeats' As Visual Look Of Indie Pics Today

As Paul Schrader‘s indie “The Canyons” continues to develop and prepare to roll in front of cameras this summer, the filmmaker and the team behind the film have taken a very active and involved online approach in making the movie. A casting call for the lead roles went out online, and earlier this month a Kickstart initiative was put in place for the last leg of financing for the film, and it has already exceeded the $100,000 goal with flying colors. And now, Schrader wants some input on how the the film should look.

The director hit the film’s Facebook page yesterday and gave some pretty fascinating insight on where he sees indie filmmaking these days in terms of the visual approach, citing two very different, yet somewhat similar films. Here’s what he had to say:

THE CANYONS. The material is classic BEE. Character driven, dialogue driven, explicit in word if not action. Two visual poles are emerging in the low budget world: on one side, Wong Kar Wai‘s Fallen Angeles [sic]. On the other Xavier Dolan‘s Heartbeats. Both styles mix approaches, use hand held, work economically. Both are composed as opposed to faux verite. You could distinquish them by saying Fallen Angels aspires to the characters’ POV, Heartbeat to the director’s. A third path? Better examples from the micro budget world? Paul S.

From what we gather from what he’s saying, these days it’s easier to make compositionally accomplished movies on a dime, particularly with continually decreasing costs of shooting digital (which he plans to do on “The Canyons”), and it seems he’s looking to fill his Netflix queue with movies to watch to help get inspired. But the subject matter of his picture will likely also inform what kind tactic he takes behind the camera. Penned by Bret Easton Ellis, the film will follow a small group of Los Angeles twenty-somethings — Christian, Ryan Tara, Gina and Lindsay — trying to make it in the Hollywood biz. Needless to say, power, sex and ambition all collide as the stories unfold.

Production is slated to begin in June. Any advice for Paul? Head over to Facebook and drop him a line or let us know what movies you think he should watch to prepare. We think Steven Soderbergh‘s “The Girlfriend Experience” might be a good place to start.

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I commented on Paul's first FB post about this, and as much as I love an open mind and positive attitude from artists about their work, but there's something about this movie's approach that's depressing me. As a proud contributor to their Kickstarter, I'd much rather hear a director say, "Hey everyone, thank you so much for your contributions, and we will put them to excellent use by giving you a kickass film beyond any of your expectations. We have a great script and cast, and I know exactly how we are approaching this and how this story will be told. Your contribution to this film will not be in vain, we've got it from here. Thank you. NOW LET'S DOOO THIS SHIT!!!!!"… something like that.

Kate Tallarico

W C (who cares). Did anyone mention to all these directors film is entertainment and not a life saving venture. These Hollywood types are soooooooo boring


New visual approach … sure why not. Bret Easton Ellis (…) Los Angeles twenty-somethings (…) trying to make it in the Hollywood biz (…) power, sex and ambition. Meh. Even though I'm not a registered Girls hater (couldn't care less for this tepid thing) I just don't see what's cool about Shrader joining the pack of generic-indie (definitely not an oxymoron). People are complaining left and right about the lack of ideas in Hollywood but the whole 'indie' carnival is much more depressing to me.

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