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Meet the 2014 Tribeca Filmmakers #7: Jody Lipes Explores the Exclusive World of Professional Ballet in 'Ballet 422'

By Ziyad Saadi | Indiewire April 9, 2014 at 10:29AM

The world of New York City ballet may have be completely lost on those who live outside the community, but director Jody Lipes feels he's figured out the perfect way to communicate the trials and tribulations of an exclusive ballet company to a wider audience than it has gotten before in his documentary "Ballet 422."
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"Ballet 422"
"Ballet 422"

The world of New York City ballet may have be completely lost on those who live outside the community, but director Jody Lipes feels he's figured out the perfect way to communicate the trials and tribulations of an exclusive ballet company to a wider audience than it has gotten before in his documentary "Ballet 422."

Tell us about yourself. I live on the Upper West Side of New York City with my wife Ellen Bar, but I grew up in rural Pennsylvania. I really love movies, filmmaking, Charlie Rose, Norm MacDonald, clothes, and food.

What was the biggest challenge in completing this project? Figuring out how to communicate the rules and language of a ballet company to an audience who has little or no knowledge of that world.


What do you have in the works? Putting together my first scripted feature as a director, and gearing up to DP a romantic comedy scheduled for a 2015 release.

What camera did you shoot on? C300.

Did you go to film school? If so, which one? NYU.

What films have inspired you? "The Charlie Rose Show;" Allan King's "A Married Couple;" all of Frederick Wiseman's work; the Maysles' films "Running Fence" and "Salesman;" Barbara Kopple's "Harlan County U.S.A.;" James Gray's "We Own The Night;" "The Yards" and "Little Odessa;" "Silkwood," "Carnal Knowledge," and "Postcards From the Edge;" De Palma's "Mission: Impossible," "Carlito's Way," "Bonfire of the Vanities," "Body Double," "Blow Out," and "Hi, Mom!" Just watched "Tootsie" again, really strong picture. Not many others can match Hoffman's run during this period..."Lenny," "All the President's Men," "Marathon Man," "Straight Time," "Agatha," "Kramer vs Kramer," "Tootsie," "Death of a Salesman," "Ishtar," "Rain Man." That filmography is for all time. J.J. Abrams' "Mission: Impossible III." Coppola, Kubrick, PTA, Pakula, Nichols, Haneke, Scorsese, Tarantino, Beatty, Levinson, Korine, Rob Reiner, Woody Allen, Tom Cruise, and Gordon Willis.

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 , Jody Lee Lipes, Ballet 422, 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, Festivals






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