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Meet the 2015 Sundance Filmmakers #14: Michael Larnell’s ‘Cronies’ Explores the End of a Friendship

Meet the 2015 Sundance Filmmakers #14: Michael Larnell's 'Cronies' Explores the End of a Friendship

It’s hard to believe that Michael Larnell is still in film school, given the fact that he has a a feature-length film — yes, you heard us correctly — screening at the Sundance Film Festival later this month. But that’s what happens when Spike Lee decides to take you under his wing. Lee is an executive producer on Larnell’s “Cronies,” which will screen as part of the festival’s prestigious, Next <=> program, which catapulted 2014 participant Ana Lily Amirpour and her film “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” to cult status.

What’s your film about in 140 characters or less?
Its the day and life of three guys, Louis, Jack and Andrew. Louis and Jack are at a fork in the road of their friendship, and after many years, it may finally come to an end.  We follow them on an enjoyable and emotional journey.

Now what’s it REALLY about?
The film captures the difficulty and awkwardness of young men expressing their love for one another.

Tell us briefly about yourself.
I’m currently located in Brooklyn, NY and will be receiving my MFA degree (May 2015) from NYU’s graduate film program.  I’m originally from St. Louis, Missouri and was raised in a blue-collar neighborhood. The blue-collar work ethic I grew up with, basically is what got this film completed.

Biggest challenge in completing this film?
I’m the Producer, Editor, Writer and Director of the film.  Wearing all the above hats was very difficult.

What do you want Sundance audiences to take away from your film?
Hopefully they leave from the theater smiling!

Any films inspire you?
The movie “Stand By Me” was an inspiration because of the bonds between young males over the course of a day.  “La Haine” inspired the black & white as well as three guys hanging together over the course of a day. Also, “She’s Gotta Have It” inspired the black & white as well as the interview technique I use throughout the film.

What’s next?
I’m currently developing a comedy-thriller feature film and 30 min (Episodic) Television Series.

What cameras did you shoot on?
Arri Alexa with Zeiss Super Speed Lenses.

Did you crowdfund?
If so, via what platform. If not, why? No. There were times I needed to start a campaign, but other options would present itself.  So things worked out.

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 2015 festival. For profiles go HERE.

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