Friday, September 04, 2015

Director's Cut: 5 films to inspire you from the Filmmakers Collaborative

Recently I spoke with James Couche of the Richmond Filmmakers Collaborative, who hold their monthly meetings at the Main Library and recently showcased their films here during the First Friday Filmfest. If you missed the Filmfest definitely keep an eye out for the next one. We laughed, we cried, we learned about indie film making and we watched some terrific short films created by local talent. James has shared with us this list of inspiring books and films for movie lovers and would be film makers:

If you want to see what you can do with few resources, watch El Mariachi, and be sure to listen to the commentary. The director basically funded it by selling his body to science.

El Mariachi (1992) is Robert Rodriguez's first full-length film.
"He didn't come looking for trouble, but trouble came looking for him."

Rodriguez did raise $3000 of the film's total budget of $7000 by testing a cholestorol lowering drug for a pharmaceutical company. No official word on how his HDL is doing. He did however get a lot of writing done while serving as a test subject.

To see the realities of film making, and the dedication required for the craft James suggests American Movie.

American Movie (1999) is a documentary by Chris Smith about Mark Borchardt, an aspiring filmmaker struggling to find the money to finish a horror film he started years before.

To run away screaming from film making James recommends Hearts of Darkness.

Hearts of Darkness (1991) is a documentary about the nightmarish experience of making Francis Ford Coppola's celebrated 1979 film, Apocalypse Now.
For something uplifting, James recommends Primer, the critically-acclaimed sci-fi thriller made for just $6,000.

Primer (2004) is about four engineers who build a time machine in their spare time.

For an example of success, James says to check out Following, Christopher Nolan's first film. (You may remember Christopher Nolan from such little known films as The Dark Knight, Inception, Interstellar, and The Prestige.)

Made for 6,000 pounds, the indie thriller Following was shot on the weekends to accommodate the cast and crew's full time jobs.

For a riveting read about working with difficult directors James recommends you check out The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero, a tell-all by one of the stars of The Room", the "greatest bad movie ever made".

(Then go watch The Room. It's spectacularly awful and you won't regret it.)

1 comment:

Deanna Chavez said...

The Room is a wonderfully awful movie. The audiobook version of The Disaster Artist is maybe better than the printed book, if only because Greg Sestero does such a perfect impersonation of Tommy Wiseau's voice. It's almost like Tommy is there in the room with you. (But you're really happy he's not.)