American remakes of foreign movies have been a consistent part of both indie and mainstream filmmaking for a while now. But not many of those imports feature flesh-eating cannibals. Pennsylvania native and NYU grad Jim Mickle is ready for his third feature “We Are What We Are” to hit Sundance, an adaptation of Jorge Michel Grau’s “Somos lo que hay.” After his last film “Stake Land” premiered at TIFF’s MIdnight Madness back in 2010, Mickle tells us about his continued attempts to rework the genre and his on-the-job training in filmmaking.
What It’s About: “Two teenage sisters in upstate New York are forced to deal with the dark, age-old rituals of their seemingly normal family. A re-imagining of Jorge Michel Grau’s film SOMOS LO QUE HAY.”
Now What It’s REALLY About: “It’s about tradition and the power of faith and how easily that can all be harnessed for some bad, scary things.”
Biggest Challenge?: “Time. This film was the hardest for me so far even though it had more money and resources than my first 2 movies combined and the scale of this story was so much smaller than the apocalyptic worlds we had been focusing on before. I’m writing this from the middle of our sound mix and the premiere is less than 2 weeks off. We started the script this time last year, and though it’s an absolute dream to write an independent film, go right into pre-production and shooting right away, it’s bound to cost a good deal of personal sanity. Larry Fessenden’s theory is that you never finish a movie, you just get to a point where you have to stop and walk away. That’s kind of exciting and scary and depressing all at once.”
What I Shot On: “2 RED Epics.”
What I Want Audiences To Remember: “I hope films like this show that horror movies are more than just thin excuses to get blood hungry teenagers to buy tickets on opening weekend. EVEN if it’s a horror remake…”
In the Works: “Seeing how audiences respond to this film which is such an exciting time in the movie’s life. I imagine it’s like dropping off your kid for the first day of school and hoping he gets along with everyone and grows up to be a cool kid even if you’re not there to hold his hand every step of the way.”
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 2013 festival.
Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch of the festival on January 17 for the latest profiles.