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Tribeca Women Directors: Meet Gillian Greene (Murder of a Cat)

Tribeca Women Directors: Meet Gillian Greene (Murder of a Cat)

The daughter of veteran actor Lorne Greene,
Gillian Greene grew up in Los Angeles on the sets of her father’s television
shows. She attended USC and NYU before moving back to Los Angeles to study
acting under renowned drama coach Joanne Baron. Greene also worked under Bill
Block, the President of InterTalent, a then-leading Hollywood talent agency. She
married her husband Sam Raimi in 1993 and has worked behind the scenes with him
on his movies for the last 20 years. Prior to directing Murder of a Cat,
Greene shot a short film called “Fanboy,” which starred Fran Kranz and J.K.
Simmons. (Press materials)

Murder of a Cat 

will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 24.

Please give us your description of the film playing.

Murder of a Cat is
about a 28-year-old guy named Clinton who still lives in his mom’s basement. When
his cat is unexpectedly shot dead and the local sheriff won’t do anything about
it, he must rise to the occasion and solve his best friend’s murder. Over the
course of the mystery, he reluctantly grows up.

What drew you to this script? 

The first thing that
caught my attention was the title, Murder of a Cat. It was also exceptionally well-written; very funny and charming. I fell in love with the
characters. It was exactly my kind of humor.

What was the biggest challenge? 

The most difficult
aspect of this movie was figuring out how to shoot it in 21 days, especially
when there were so many locations and all of the actors’ schedules had to be
juggled. For example, we had to shoot all of Greg Kinnear’s scenes in our first
week because he had another movie to film.


What advice do you have for other female directors? 

I can’t offer advice
to female directors in particular, but my advice to all first-time directors is
to never give up and to never take no for an answer if you are passionate
about something. There were a lot of obstacles on this film that could have derailed
it, but I kept on pushing through because I loved and cared about the project
so much. 

What’s the biggest misconception about you and your work?

The biggest
misconception about me and this film is that it came together easily because my
husband Sam Raimi is one of the producers.

Do you have any thoughts on what are the biggest challenges and/or opportunities for the future with the changing distribution mechanisms for films? 

My feeling is that we
have entered a Golden Age of distribution, particularly for independent films,
but also for studio films and television shows. As a director, the thing I care
most about is that people see my movie. That possibility has expanded a
hundred-fold with the rise of Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, HBO Go, and other
streaming websites. Now, almost any title is available online at almost any
time. The number of choices can be quite daunting sometimes, but nevertheless,
I think an incredible technological leap has been made over the last 2-3 years,
and that it is a great time for filmmakers. 

Name your favorite women directed film and why. 

Valerie Faris, who is
one-half of the directing team Dayton & Faris. She co-directed Little Miss Sunshine, which is one of my favorite movies. She is exceptionally poised and
smart, and I love her sense of comedy: it’s intelligent and not too broad. I’m
really looking forward to her next movie, The Good Luck of Right Now.

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