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.