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Meet the 2014 Tribeca Filmmakers #34: Jesse Zwick Is Not Sure How He Got Away With Making ‘About Alex,’ Starring Aubrey Plaza

Meet the 2014 Tribeca Filmmakers #34: Jesse Zwick Is Not Sure How He Got Away With Making 'About Alex,' Starring Aubrey Plaza

Who doesn’t want to see more of Max Greenfield, Maggie Grace, and Aubrey Plaza? They all star in Jesse Zwick’s directorial debut “About Alex,” a comedy about seven college friends who reunite when one of their cadre suffers an emotional breakdown. This film has been a two-year journey for Zwick. 

Tell us about yourself: I’m a journalist-turned-filmmaker who finally worked up the courage to quit my day job and put together this movie about two years ago. I’m very excited to show the film to my friends back east as proof that I’ve been doing something out in LA other than “taking meetings.”

Biggest challenge in completing the film? Convincing everyone involved that I had any idea what I was doing. I’m still not entirely sure how I got away with it.

Did you crowdfund? We didn’t crowdfund, but we did solicit and find funding from a variety of sources, big and small. I think platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are great and profoundly democratic new tools for filmmakers, but I’m also proud to say that our backers will reap the full measure of any success we achieve.

What camera did you shoot on? We shot on an ALEXA.

Did you go to film school? I did not, though I like to think of my recent experience as a sort-of unparalleled work-study opportunity.

Any films inspire you? Too many! To name just a few, I’d say “All About Eve,” “The Graduate,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “King of Hearts,” “The Court Jester,” “Harold and Maude,” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

For this film in particular, I’d add Noah Baumbach’s “Kicking and Screaming,” Mike Nichols’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and, of course, Lawrence Kasdan’s “The Big Chill.”

What do you have in the works? I’ve just finished a new screenplay about the unique challenges of pursuing a committed relationship whilst otherwise surviving one’s twenties. Ask me about it at the festival and I’ll likely try to hand you a copy.

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.

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