This is part of a series of first person posts in which we provide a forum for filmmakers and other artists to discuss their process, their influences and/or their experiences showing their work. In this edition, Cory Krueckeberg talks about “Getting Go: The Go Doc Project” — which was released on DVD last week.
As a creative person, a visionary guru, a collector
of ideas… I struggle daily with the logistics of telling the stories in my
head. And as a filmmaker, that logistical struggle seems it’ll only get harder
before something gives. But what to do with all those ideas backing up in our
heads as “indie” films get harder and harder to make?
“Getting Go, The Go Doc Project” is one of those
ideas that hit me pretty fully formed. In the past, my work (with Tom Gustafson)
has relied on a multitude of outside factors to become reality. This means that
even if I have a great idea and a script basically writes itself, we still have
to wait for the casting and financing pieces to fall into place – which seems
to take longer every time around. And then once you’ve slaved to make your film
happen, no matter how much you believe in the finished product and are
confident in its potential – the industry takes over and hands down a judgment.
Film festivals reject or invite it based too often on transparent biases,
reviewers pick it apart with varying agendas and distributors cement your fate.
Poof! All your years of hard work and stress are transformed into joy or
So, I was frustrated with the waiting game and also
all that other industry nonsense and “Getting Go” was my direct reaction. I call
it “Post-Indie.” I wanted to make something tiny and fast without the burdens
of attaching a “star” or raising a lot of money or worrying about distribution.
I wanted to ignore that “industry nonsense” and just run with an idea.
I had been ruminating on all this for a few weeks
when one day, after scanning some NYC nightlife blogs and seeing images of a
charismatic go-go dancer, I thought, “What if I made a documentary about him?”
Which evolved into, “What if I create a character who wants to make a
documentary about him?” And with that my post-indie-no-budget experiment had begun.
Since that go-go dancer, Matthew Camp, was the
inspiration for the idea, I emailed him immediately. We met, I pitched the idea
and he said yes in the span of a few days. And with the first puzzle piece in
place, I began to imbue the outline/ concept of the film with the meta
experiences of actually putting it together. Next, Tom and I set out on a search
for a filmmaker to take on the central position in my concept and Tanner Cohen
surfaced, asking if we’d consider using him. Choosing to work again with Tanner
(star of ‘Were The World Mine’) was one of the best decisions we made. Although
he isn’t a filmmaker – our already established working relationship put us in
an ideal situation to make the intimate and unpredictable method of shooting “Getting Go” work.
And off we went, running all over NYC with nothing but a
prosumer camera, an iPhone, a webcam, a couple of mics and an idea, exploring every aspect of my
outlined story and the relationship between these two guys as it developed in
front of us. Hours and hours of footage and four months of editing later, I
emerged with 90 minutes of storytelling.
And luckily it all payed off, we had created something
people wanted to see! After 60 or so film festivals, with trips to a couple
dozen including Japan, Mexico, Germany, Israel and many US cities, the film has
been released digitally and on DVD in several territories and we get fan
tweets, emails and messages daily.
moral of the story is, one really shouldn’t wait forever to make their films
and tell their stories. Especially with the slowing state of the feature
business. Especially now that the top tier film festivals have essentially
become markets for quasi-studio films that 10 years ago would’ve never been
considered “indies.” Especially because distributors and sales agents are well
on their way to monopolizing programming on the entire festival circuit
(“Getting Go”’s 60 festivals is down from the 100 or more our previous films
played because we didn’t give festival rights to our distributors.) Especially
because Hollywood has effectively shipped the production of “interesting,
challenging, quirky…” scripts off to China (aka “indie” producers) who can
deliver the product at a fraction of a studio’s cost. Especially because those generously
financed “interesting” studio movies of yesterday simply would/ could never be
don’t mean to sound bleak, I mean to empower. Because we are the ones who must
find a way to bring those “interesting” movies to audiences if no one else
will. Please don’t wait. Find a way to tell your story, even if it means
shooting it on your phone. If you were a painter, you wouldn’t stop making art
if paint evaporated the way the indie film business has, you’d find something new
to smear across your canvas.
Watch the trailer below: