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The MovieMaker Sundance Survey 2017: The Scoop on 19 Films Playing Park City at the 33rd Festival

The MovieMaker Sundance Survey 2017: The Scoop on 19 Films Playing Park City at the 33rd Festival


Kuso (Midnight)

Who: Steve Ellison, director and co-writer

Logline: Broadcasting through a makeshift network of discarded televisions, Kuso is tangled up in the aftermath of Los Angeles’ worst quake nightmare.

The length of the shoot was: a year and a half, off and on.

Our crew size was: 200 spanned across four shoots.

Our camera, lenses and lighting package were: 35mm Panavision, 16mm Arri, 8mm, Arri Alexa.

The first spark of an idea for this movie came when: I wanted to make an animated gif.

Steven Ellison

My favorite scene (or shot) in the film is: the reveal of Mr. Quiggle.

An audience watching my film probably won’t know that: the film started as a five-minute animation.

An influence or reference on this film was: Black Hole.

The weirdest or most difficult location we shot at was: inside a tiny box built in a garage. A claustrophobic nightmare.

The most expensive thing in our budget was: building “the tunnels.”

The greatest flash of inspiration or brilliance we had making this film was: watching [nonprofessional actors] Zack Fox and The Buttress act in their first roles. They were completely natural and inspired me to seek out non-actors that can contribute something truly unique.

The biggest lesson I learned making this movie was: to always remember that nobody will care about your film as much as you do. So you have to work extra hard to make it easier for everyone to do their jobs

A darling I had to kill along the way was: having any kind of a life other than making my film.

I need to give a special shout-out to: Taylor and Mitch our dedicated production assistants.

When I heard we got into Sundance I: felt some validation for all the hard work put in to this project. A dream realized.

My favorite film festival moment in my life so far is: watching The Raid 2 in Salt Lake.

I would love to meet David Lynch and or Tarantino in Park City.

My favorite moviemaker of all time is: Shinya Tsukamoto.

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    Martin M

    January 19, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    After reading a couple articles in this new issue, I am becoming convinced I should allocate some of my budget for VFX! I am writing and directing a film about a cyber relationship between a man and a woman across two different galaxies, though one is unsure which lives on Earth, and I’m struggling with transitional scenes across the Milky Way.

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