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Meet the 2012 Sundance Filmmakers #14: Ry Russo-Young, “Nobody Walks”

Meet the 2012 Sundance Filmmakers #14: Ry Russo-Young, "Nobody Walks"

Ry Russo-Young’s previous film, “You Won’t Miss Me,” played at Sundance in 2009, and this year she returns with her third feature “Nobody Walks,” co-written with “Tiny Furniture” director Lena Dunham. The film stars Olivia Thirlby and John Krasinski.

What’s it about? A young New York artist comes to stay in the pool house of a Los Angles family and upsets the delicate balance of their lives.

Director Ry Russo-Young says: “I think in some universe, the movie could seem like a comedy but it’s a drama at its core without easy answers.

“I started out being interested in acting and studied at HB Studio and was immersed in the Stanislavski method. I went to a drama high school for a short time but wasn’t ready to focus solely on acting so transferred back to my small high school where I got into photography and then started making little nonlinear films my senior year. The more short films I made, the more I became convinced filmmaking was what I wanted to do. It seemed to combine what I loved — acting, photography, storytelling and collaboration.

“What’s tricky is that everything happens all at once. There’s all this time before you know if the movie will even get made when you’re trying to be as prepared as possible but when actually in pre-production, it’s a waterfall. I like to have time to think over each decision carefully but in pre-production and production there is no time and you often need to rely on your first instinct and trust that’s right. I love that, but it’s also difficult.

“I have no idea how audiences will react. I think the performances in the movie are really strong and I hope the audience appreciates them as much as I do. Life is messy and if the audience comes away with conflicted loyalties toward the characters, I would feel that the film successfully conveyed some of the moral questions that we all struggle with.

“The best thing [to do at a festival] is to have a good time and meet other film people. I always try to remember to ask people what their favorite films are because the best thing I can get is a killer list of movies I haven’t seen and watch them after the festival is over when I have post-festival depression. 

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