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Meet the 2013 Tribeca Filmmakers #39: Rob Meyer’s Fresh Introduction to Birdwatching in Coming of Age Film, ‘A Birder’s Guide to Everything’

Meet the 2013 Tribeca Filmmakers #39: Rob Meyer's Fresh Introduction to Birdwatching in Coming of Age Film, 'A Birder's Guide to Everything'

New York based filmmaker Rob Meyer grew up in Newton,
Massachusetts with dreams of being a field scientist or
wildlife filmmaker as a child. Before going to film school at NYU he worked on documentaries
for PBS’s NOVA and National Geographic. He made a short film called Aquarium in 2008 which was the inspiration and starting point for his feature,  “A Birder’s Guide to Everything.”

What it’s about: Facing loss and searching for answers. More immediately, it’s about
teenage birders who go on a road trip to find a (possibly) extinct duck.

What else should audiences know?: “I grew up loving films like Goonies, Lucas, The Dark Crystal, and Stand
by Me: the sort of coming-of-age films that seem rare now. I hope that
Birder’s has that same appeal to adults and kids alike — a movie about
teenagers that works at a universal level. It’s also an ode to birding
and the restorative power of nature.”

On the challenges: “This is obvious, but getting an independent film made is incredibly
challenging. And making one starring teens and about birding doesn’t
make things easier. It took a lot of persistence and luck to get this
film off the ground but I was fortunate to have a core group who kept
championing the project until it got made.”

What he hopes Tribeca audiences will walk away with: “I’m hoping everyone who sees the film wants to go birding or will at
least better understand why so many folks wake up early in the morning
to look for something special. I also hope audiences let their guard
down and allow themselves to be vulnerable and earnest, at least for a

Films that inspired him: “Certainly a lot of classic coming of age films inspired me, but also the
films of Alexander Payne, Wes Anderson, and Tom McCarthy. Visually, I
loved Tree of Life and studied the photography of Gregory Crewdson. I
also watched the beautiful British film Kes during preproduction, which
was the inspiration to have a kestrel at the start of the film.”

What’s next: “I’m working on a pilot script with my writing partner, Luke
Matheny. It’s sort of a Freaks and Geeks set in the early 90’s that
deals with issues of race. I also have a few feature scripts I’ve been
working on for a while now including a sci-fi psychothriller about a
string quartet. And now that I’ve finally finished my feature I’m
looking for a novel or story to adapt or a great script to direct.”

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.

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