What’s your film about in 140 characters or less?
Now what’s it REALLY about?
Tell us briefly about yourself.
Prior to “Franny,” I recently completed a feature documentary, “Fishtail,” which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, and won the artistic vision award at the Big Sky Film Festival. The film was recently acquired and will be available on Netflix in June 2015. My first short film, “The Fort,” premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. My second short film, “Karaoke!” premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and was the recipient of the Panavision Future Filmmaker Award presented by CO3 and won the 2013 year’s best audience award on Short of the Week. I recently co-wrote the Janis Joplin biopic, “Janis,” with director Sean Durkin. In addition to writing and directing, I worked in various producing capacities on the films Sympathy for Delicious (Sundance ’10), Afterschool (Cannes ’08), and Two Gates of Sleep (Cannes Fortnight ’10). I went to Brown University where I studied Literary Arts, focusing on playwriting and screenwriting.
Biggest challenge in completing this film?
Post production was challenging on this film. Franny’s physicality changes throughout the film, and to achieve that, we shot the film in two installments, separated by about 6 months. That made the editorial process difficult, because we were cutting an incomplete film for half a year. So, when we finally shot the second installment, it felt almost as though we were starting over in the edit room, which was pretty exhausting.
What do you want the Tribeca audience to take away from your film?
I guess I’m hoping that audiences can walk away from my film having experienced something a little outside of the current landscape of indie dramas, something a little more reminiscent of the studio dramas of the ’80s and ’90s, like “Scent of a Woman” or “Rain Man,” with decadently warm tones and an operatic energy swirling around throughout. A drama that still feels like an event, because the world is big and the characters are flamboyant, even if the story is simple. Also, Richard Gere really does something wildly different in this film than anything we’ve ever seen from him before, so I hope audiences walk away feeling like they were able to see an icon flex his acting muscles by doing something bold and new.
Any films inspire you?
I’m inspired by all sorts of films, but among the ones I already mentioned, for “Franny,” I was inspired by “The Great Beauty,” “The Leopard,” “Cable Guy,” and “Divorce Italian Style.”
Right now I’m working with Producer, Jay Schuminsky, writing a true crime story about a gun dealer in ’80s and ’90s New York City.
What cameras did you shoot on?
We shot the film on Kodak 35mm film with a Panavision camera system.
Did you crowdfund?
If so, via what platform. If not, why?
We didn’t crowdfund, only because we had investors that were willing to provide enough funding to complete the film.
Did you go to film school? If so, which one?
I didn’t go to film school, but the first films I worked on were with guys that all went to film school, so I just stole from them.