Monsters and Men (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Who: Reinaldo Marcus Green, director and writer

Logline: This interwoven narrative explores the aftermath of a police killing of a black man. The film is told through the eyes of the bystander who filmed the act, an African-American police officer, and a high-school baseball phenom inspired to take a stand.

Our camera, lenses, and lighting package: Arri Alexa Mini, Zeiss Master Primes, spherical lenses.

The first spark of an idea for this movie came when: I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is a New York City police officer. What started as two friends enjoying a slice of pizza ended in a heated debate about different perspectives on policing. I couldn’t shake that conversation for months, so I was compelled to explore our conversation on the big screen.

An influence or reference on this film was: The Graduate, for one pivotal scene in the movie—you’ll have to see it to guess which one.

The weirdest or most difficult location we shot at was: our moving police vehicles. We had a follow van with a MōVI, walkies for our AD team, and video village all on the move. It was fun, but definitely a challenge to communicate and get the timing right while trying to control traffic on NYC streets.

The most expensive thing in our budget was: our final protest scene—we had double the crew size and at least 250 extras.

I need to give a special shout-out to: Academy Award-winning writer Michael Arndt, who graciously allowed me to workshop multiple drafts of my script in his living room—we must have had at least three full-day workshops dissecting every syllable in the script.

When I heard we got into Sundance I: leapfrogged face-first onto our king size mattress.

Reinaldo Marcus Green, director of Monsters and Men, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Photograph by Marie Constantinesco, courtesy of Sundance Institute

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