On January 31st, Jefferson Market Library will hold its fourth presentation in the Indie Film Series, with Our Hawaii. The film challenges the assumption that all surfers are from California by looking at New York City's own Rockaway Beach surfing scene. Following the film will be a Q&A with the director, punk-rock sociologist Donna Gaines, and several of the surfers from the film.
Here's our interview with Kryssa about filmmaking:
What film/directors inspire you?
As far as contemporary filmmakers go, Canadian avant-garde filmmaker Guy Maddin (Careful) and Kelly Reichardt (Meek's Cutoff) are two that come to mind. Somehow they manage to make great low-budget films outside the commercial mainstream that are utterly unique and un-compromised by market considerations. I'm also impressed that Kathryn Bigelow hung in there after years of box office failure and industry neglect and managed to come back with The Hurt Locker.
What is it like being a filmmaker in New York?
Great in the sense that there is such a large, diverse, established film community which means all the resources are potentially at your finger tips. Bad in the sense that it is so expensive to live here that one has to expend huge amounts of time and energy trying to pay the rent.
Any advice/tips for aspiring film makers—especially with regard to funding?
Make friends with producer types—preferably well-connected ones—who can shop your projects around and find financing. If you are going for grants, be prepared to re-apply multiple times. Almost everyone I know who got a major grant—including myself—got it on the second try.