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Meet the 2012 Sundance Filmmakers #25: Destin Daniel Cretton, 'I Am Not A Hipster'

Indiewire By Indiewire Staff | Indiewire January 10, 2012 at 11:30AM

Destin Daniel Cretton grew up in Maui with five siblings. Because their parents didn't let them watch TV, they got outside and got creative. Choreographing ninja fight sequence, putting on pays and -- once they got their hands on a VHS camcorder -- making movies was the norm. He regularly names his characters on his siblings. His short, "Short Term 12" played Sundance in 2009 and won the US Jury Prize. Cretton now returns with his first feature, "I Am Not A Hipster." What's it about: Based in San Diego's indie music scene, it features original song performances & explores what it means to be creative in the face of tragedy. Says director Cretton: "When I started writing this script, I had no idea it would end up where it did. My initial plan was pretty simple: to make something fun that I could shoot with my friends. I was probably just going to string together a bunch of gag-based sequences featuring hip kids making art, riding fixies, and drinking cheap beer. But as I wrote, and the characters began to develop, all of that began to change. "'I Am Not A Hipster' isn’t just a movie about 'hipsterdom' or 20-year-olds trying really hard to be cool. Even though it’s a pretty fun movie, it’s not a spoof or a 90-minute joke. Somewhere along the way, it has become much more than that. It has become a story about a brother remembering how to laugh with his sisters; a son learning to relate to his father; a family struggling to love while grieving; and a young man realizing he can still sing in the midst of sadness. "My secret reason for writing this script was to have an excuse to work with two of my favorite artists: Dominic Bogart (an actor who never ceases to surprise me both on screen and stage) and Joel P West (a musician whose melodies have inspired me for years). "Half of the fun in making a film like this is not knowing the answer to this question. After spending so many hours writing the script (alone) and editing the film (alone), it’s terrifying to take her out into the open for everyone to see. But slightly above that fear is a whole lot of excitement. I’m excited for people to finally hear the music and see the performances I’ve fallen in love with over the past six months."
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"I Am Not A Hipster" director Destin Daniel Cretton

Destin Daniel Cretton grew up in Maui with five siblings. Because their parents didn't let them watch TV, they got outside and got creative. Choreographing ninja fight sequence, putting on pays and -- once they got their hands on a VHS camcorder -- making movies was the norm. He regularly names his characters on his siblings. His short, "Short Term 12" played Sundance in 2009 and won the US Jury Prize. Cretton now returns with his first feature, "I Am Not A Hipster."

What's it about: Based in San Diego's indie music scene, it features original song performances & explores what it means to be creative in the face of tragedy.

Says director Cretton: "When I started writing this script, I had no idea it would end up where it did. My initial plan was pretty simple: to make something fun that I could shoot with my friends. I was probably just going to string together a bunch of gag-based sequences featuring hip kids making art, riding fixies, and drinking cheap beer. But as I wrote, and the characters began to develop, all of that began to change.

"'I Am Not A Hipster' isn’t just a movie about 'hipsterdom' or 20-year-olds trying really hard to be cool. Even though it’s a pretty fun movie, it’s not a spoof or a 90-minute joke. Somewhere along the way, it has become much more than that. It has become a story about a brother remembering how to laugh with his sisters; a son learning to relate to his father; a family struggling to love while grieving; and a young man realizing he can still sing in the midst of sadness.

"My secret reason for writing this script was to have an excuse to work with two of my favorite artists: Dominic Bogart (an actor who never ceases to surprise me both on screen and stage) and Joel P West (a musician whose melodies have inspired me for years).

"Half of the fun in making a film like this is not knowing the answer to this question. After spending so many hours writing the script (alone) and editing the film (alone), it’s terrifying to take her out into the open for everyone to see. But slightly above that fear is a whole lot of excitement. I’m excited for people to finally hear the music and see the performances I’ve fallen in love with over the past six months."

Indiewire invited Sundance 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.

This article is related to: Meet the 2012 Sundance Filmmakers, Sundance Film Festival, I Am Not a Hipster