Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

Meet the 2014 Tribeca Filmmakers #42: Tristan Patterson Goes to 1983 LA for 'Electric Slide'

By Indiewire | Indiewire April 16, 2014 at 11:11AM

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Tristan Patterson talked to Indiewire about "Electric Slide," which tells the story of famous bank robber Eddie Dodson. He's familiar with icon-centered chronicles - his last documentary, "Dragonslayer," followed a local skate legend. Talking about this new project in comparison, Patterson calls both works "portraits of outsiders in the city of Los Angeles, structured like mix tapes."
0
Tristan Patterson

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Tristan Patterson talked to Indiewire about "Electric Slide," which tells the story of famous bank robber Eddie Dodson. He's familiar with icon-centered chronicles - his last documentary, "Dragonslayer," followed a local skate legend. Talking about this new project in comparison, Patterson calls both works "portraits of outsiders in the city of Los Angeles, structured like mix tapes." 

Biggest challenge in completing this project? I wrote the script for “Electric Slide” awhile back. It was a film I was completely obsessed with making, but the financing kept falling apart. I went off and made my first film, “Dragonslayer,” instead. There are certain overlaps between the two films—both are portraits of outsiders in the city of Los Angeles that are structured like mix tapes—but it was a bit surreal to go from documenting a 23-year gutter punk skating through the California wasteland to a story about a bank robber who wore designer suits, sold high-end Art Deco pieces and cruised the mansions along Mulholland Drive in a jet-black ’65 Ford Galaxie LTD. The attitude is similar but the references are completely different. When the financing for "Electric Slide" finally came together, I had to quickly re-acclimate myself to this very specific world of 1983 Los Angeles and fall in love with it all over again.

Did you crowdfund? We didn’t crowdfund, but maybe that’s because it didn’t even exist when we first started trying to get “Electric Slide” financed. I love how potentially democratic crowdfunding is and I’m definitely for anything that helps artists get films made on their own terms. I also think sometimes it’s nice to be able to create inside of a vacuum with some privacy, so maybe you can hear your own thoughts a little better. The internet can have such a ferocious mob mentality and there’s such a fine line between crass populism and art. I get really scared every time I hear an expert talk about how filmmakers need to brand their content and market themselves. It sounds like the kind of pseudo business-speak you’d here in an early-80s Cronenberg film and, not coincidentally, kind of makes my head want to explode, “Scanners”-style.

Did you go to film school? I graduated from Yale University, where I majored in American Studies and Film Studies. The film program was a lot of theory and a lot of Godard. I really loved it. I remember writing a very long paper on Paul Schrader’s “Hardcore” about the complicity of subject and object in neo-noir cinema, or something like that. It focused on the scene where Peter Boyle takes George C. Scott into an adult-movie house in the red light district of Grand Rapids, Michigan and forces him to watch a porn film starring his missing daughter. I think I got a B+.

What films have inspired you? “Electric Slide” is about a man trying to turn his life into a movie, so the inspirations are endless. It’s that strange thing about the city of Los Angeles where you find yourself walking down a street you’ve been on before but can’t quite remember why or when and then suddenly you realize you saw it in a movie. There are two scenes in “Electric Slide” that take place in movie theaters and I wanted the films onscreen to be absolutely specific to the real Eddie Dodson’s taste and sensibility. The first film is Jim McBride’s remake of “Breathless” starring Richard Gere, which I think is a completely underrated classic. I love its obsession with artifice and the way it nails the kitsch culture of early-80s New Wave L.A. The second is Barbet Schroeder’s first film, “More,” about lovers-on-the-run shooting heroin in Ibiza in 1969, with a soundtrack by The Pink Floyd when they were still a garage rock band with a definite article in their name. I love the collision of decadence and sunshine, and also the total emotional blankness of his characters. It’s a film that takes place in a beautiful void.

What do you have in the works? Since finishing “Electric Slide” I’ve been recharging with a lot of short-form work. I directed a couple of music videos for the new solo album from Hamilton Leithauser, the lead singer of the Walkmen. I also just finished up a collaboration with Wieden+Kennedy on a film for the Japanese watch company Citizen. We flew a 8-seater prop plane from Reykjavik into the Arctic Circle filming sunsets across the Earth’s time zones. Stepping off the plane into -42˚ C at Resolute Bay was like arriving in another dimension. It felt like we broke out of the space-time continuum only to suddenly find ourselves in an extremely cold David Lynch movie.

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 2014 festival. Go HERE to read all the entries.


This article is related to: Meet the 2014 Tribeca Filmmakers , 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Tristan Patterson, Electric Slide






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More