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Meet the 2013 Tribeca Filmmakers #3: Daniel Patrick Carbone Explores the Challenges of Male Adolescence in 'Hide Your Smiling Faces'

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire April 2, 2013 at 12:48PM

New Jersey-born filmmaker Daniel Patrick Carbone builds from his memories of youth to give an honest look into rural American life in his latest feature "Hide Your Smiling Faces." Inspired by the first films of Terrence Malick, Lynne Ramsay and Harmony Korine, the film takes a quiet, naturalistic approach to exploring two young boys' reaction to devastating instances of death and violence. Carbone hopes that "Hide Your Smiling Faces," which premieres in the festival's World Narrative Competition, allows audiences to reminisce on their own adolescence.
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New Jersey-born filmmaker Daniel Patrick Carbone builds from his memories of youth to give an honest look into rural American life in his latest feature "Hide Your Smiling Faces." Inspired by the first films of Terrence Malick, Lynne Ramsay and Harmony Korine, the film takes a quiet, naturalistic approach to exploring two young boys' reaction to devastating instances of death and violence. Carbone hopes that "Hide Your Smiling Faces," which premieres in the festival's World Narrative Competition, allows audiences to reminisce on their own adolescence.

What it's about: "Hide Your Smiling Faces" is an atmospheric exploration of life and death in rural America, as seen through the distorted lens of youth.

About the filmmaker: I was born in the northwestern corner of New Jersey, where "Hide Your Smiling Faces" takes place. I’ve wanted to make films for as long as I can remember, spending all my free time running around the streets and woods around my house with a few of my friends and a camera. I moved to New York City ten years ago for college and I’ve worked as everything from a wedding videographer to DVD-duplicator along the road to finally getting my first feature made. Late last year I returned from the Middle East, where I lived for three years teaching film and photography at a university. I’m now happily back in Brooklyn.

What else do you want audiences to know about your film?  The film provides a window into the world of male adolescence. To me, it’s about navigating challenging human emotions and relationships for the first time and how no response is necessarily “right” or “wrong.” It’s also a film about just being young and how scary, mysterious, and incredible that can be. The story, and the landscape surrounding it, is revealed strictly from the perspective of these boys. This is the way I remember that period in my life and it’s the way I wanted the audience to experience the movie. The young cast, primarily first-timers, dove headfirst into this world and are absolutely the soul of the film.

Tribeca Film Festival "Hide Your Smiling Faces"
What was your biggest challenge in developing this project?  My producers and I were literally on opposite sides of the world during the majority of this film’s development - them in New York and me in Abu Dhabi. I flew home 8,000 miles for a few casting sessions and for the shoot, but all other communication was done remotely from preproduction through post using Skype and file sharing sites. This was compounded by the fact that we had very little money and a narrow window of time. I chose a shoot date when I knew I would be back in the US and suddenly it became a real thing. The only way to make it happen was to surround ourselves with a team of incredible people. When you don’t have the luxury of being able to pay your cast and crew, it’s essential to be surrounded by people who believe in the project. When a film is created by so much combined passion, it shows on the screen and I am eternally thankful to each and every person involved.

What would you like
Tribeca audiences to come away with after seeing your film? While the film almost exclusively features young boys, I hope that audiences of any age and gender are able to find something in the story to connect to. I tried to incorporate very specific and personal details into each scene, giving the world a lived-in, familiar feel. If it provokes people to think and ask questions about their own youth, I consider that a success. I also place a lot of importance on the way a film makes me feel as a viewer. Nick Bentgen’s cinematography, Chris Foster’s sound mix, and Robert Donne’s score play an enormous role in establishing an atmosphere that I hope will stick with the audience.

Did any specific films inspire you?  Lynne Ramsay ("Ratcatcher"), David Gordon Green ("George Washington"), Kelly Reichardt ("Old Joy"), Harmony Korine ("Gummo"), Terrence Malick ("Days of Heaven"), Elem Klimov ("Come and See"), Andrei Tarkovsky ("Ivan’s Childhood," "Stalker") among many others. These are first features from directors I look up to, powerful films about children, or often both. Others are simply films I’ll never be able to forget. When I was very young I watched "Stand By Me" with my mom. That had a pretty big subconscious impact on me, which is probably obvious to anyone who has seen "Hide Your Smiling Faces."

What do you have in the works? I have a small production company, Flies Collective, with Matt Petock and Zach Shedd, two of the producers on this film. Constant collaboration and rotating roles from project to project allows us create stronger work than we could alone. We are currently raising funds for our third feature film, which will go into production later this year. I’m in postproduction on "Phantom Cowboys," a feature-length documentary that I co-directed and shot that I’m very excited about. I’m also working on a treatment for what will be my second narrative feature, which I hope to shoot early next year.

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 2013 festival.


Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch of the festival on April 17 for the latest profiles.

This article is related to: Tribeca Film Festival, Meet the 2013 Tribeca Filmmakers, Hide Your Smiling Faces, Daniel Patrick Carbone