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Meet the 2015 Sundance Filmmakers #16: ‘People, Places, Things’ Director Jim Strouse Has the Best Headshot Ever

Meet the 2015 Sundance Filmmakers #16: 'People, Places, Things' Director Jim Strouse Has the Best Headshot Ever

Jim Strouse has been writing and directing films for over ten years. He also teaches writing and directing at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has two kids. “We watch lots of movies together.”

The synopsis for is film, “People, Places, Things” reads: “From the moment graphic novelist Will Henry accidentally walks in on his wife, Charlie, with another man, his life officially begins to suck. Not only is he exiled from Brooklyn to a tiny studio apartment in Astoria and forced to see his adorable twin daughters only on weekends, but, according to Charlie, the separation is all his fault. As he muddles through single fathering and teaching college, a defeated Will sits up nights at his drafting table, illustrating his frustrations and loneliness—aptly symbolized by an ever-growing brick wall jammed between him and his family. When a student challenges Will to pursue new people, places, and things, his obsessions—both graphic and real—take new form.” (Courtesy Sundance Institute.)

What it’s about:  
“People, Places, Things” is about about a man trying to figure out his role in the world, after the mother of his twin daughters leaves him.

Biggest challenge:
Just getting a movie made is such a challenge. But I had great help from the start. I was surrounded by so many talented and capable people during every moment of making People, Places, Things. We always got what we needed. And we usually had fun getting it. But if I had to name one thing I’d say sound was a constant challenge. We shot in New York and there were so many planes, trains and police sirens all the time. That was probably the biggest single source of stress and frustration for me during the shoot.

Any films inspire you?
So much inspires me. Too much to name here. Right now I’m very inspired by what’s happening in episodic television. I adore the rich, complicated tones of things like “Transparent,” “Louie” and “Fargo,” for instance.

Cameras used:
Chris Teague shot “People, Places, Things” on the Arri Alexa. He is an amazing cinematographer and that is a fantastic camera.

Did you crowdfund?
No. This film was produced and financed by Beachside Films. I wrote the film for a modest budget and the good people at Beachside very kindly provided me with all that I needed.

Hopes for Sundance audience take-away:
I hope people laugh and feel things while watching my movie. I hope it lingers with them in a positive way after leaving the theater. I hope they wake up liking it just as much, if not more, than the night they first watched it.

What’s next?
I just want to keep working. I love making things. I love writing, reading and thinking about stories and how to tell them. If I can keep doing that for the rest of my life I’ll be happy.

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 

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