Monday, 8 June 2020

Interview with filmmaker Shaun Springer

        Garageland Chronicles will premier at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films? 
From the time I could hold a camera, I was making films. I used to run around with my dad's old 8mm camera and "make movies" with my friends. it didn't matter that there was no film in the camera. At age 14 I started a public access TV show that was a selection of really bad sketch comedy bits that I did with friends. We would mostly just go into the mall and stores and film our friends playing characters, and unwittingly have the public play the rest of the cast. 

*What inspired you to make your movie? 
I really just get off on getting reactions out of people. This extends to many areas of my life, and has proven to be positive and negative in various aspects. 

*How has your style evolved? 
I look back to any short or video that I used to make, and they are FULL of dutch angles. It wasn't even a style I was going for. I just usually operated the camera, so for some reason I could only hold the camera to the side in dramatic dutch shots. Working with many DP's has helped evolve my style, as well as expand my knowledge. For our film, we used 9 different DPs over the course of the 12 chapters that tell our story. 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
While filming one of our scenes at an open record store, I turned around to see that Marc Maron was suddenly on our set. We chatted for a bit, and told him that we would keep him in the background, and no one would recognize him, and he just said, "I don't care, put me in your movie!"  He can be seen as a record store customer mid-way through the film. Also, I can't recommend making a no-budget film that has 13 main characters. This would mean often finding a time where all the actors could get the day/weekend off to film. We often had to re-write on the fly if an actor couldn't make it last minute.  Also, we often found ourselves stealing locations, hopping fences, and silently filming most of our movie inside an active record store when the owners really never understood what we were doing. 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
We didn't set out to follow a specific set of rules, aside from the idea that every chapter in the larger story of the film be told in a different way.  We used a different camera for each chapter, and had 9 different DPs, and 10 different writers across the project. One segment is shot on an iPhone, and other chapters are written by actors who had never written before. Another segment was completely improvised, as well as shot in B&W with no dialogue (and the story is told in reverse without mention). But bold ideas create bold projects. I hope that doesn't sound like a bumper sticker. 

*What can we expect from your next film? 
Hoping to have something more along the lines of a "real" budget.  It's funny how you can make a movie with no money easier than if you start talking to investors about putting in a few dollars.  I would hope to bring up the overall quality of the piece, mostly in terms of sound design, but I would never want to lose any independent edge that I still feel I can bring to the table.