Monday, January 9, 2012

The Road to Sundance: About Face, directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

ABOUT FACE: Director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (Will be in the Premieres section out of competition.)

What inspired you to make it?
I went to a party two years ago attended by former models and left thinking their story would be amazing. I was right. Moral of story... go to lots of parties.. it's a great way to get ideas.

How long did it take you to make your film?
It took two years to make the film. I worked on it off and on, while completing The Latino List, my latest doc for HBO.

How did you finance your film?
I sold cupcakes, made from my secret recipe. They are irresistible. I sold a lot of them. The chocolate with mint frosting were the best sellers.

What was the most challenging part of the filmmaking process and how did you overcome it?
Licensing old photos and b-roll is not easy. Our budget was limited. Some people were very helpful, some were awful. As a photographer myself, I deal with requests for images a lot...so I understand it from both sides.

Tell us about your experience getting into Sundance. Are there any pointers for filmmakers for getting accepted?  
I was thrilled to get into Sundance. The festival really focuses attention on your film. Sundance is huge for any filmmaker, perhaps even more so these days with so many great films out there. Getting in to the festival meant that people who were not related to me or paid by me to like what I do...they actually liked the film! I'm very excited to see ABOUT FACE with an audience on January 22nd at 2:30 PM!

If you had to make the film all over again, would you do anything different?
I would have loved the luxury of the same camera person on each shoot. It wasn't possible this time around, but I think it would be helpful... just having a short hand with the same person... not having to explain what I want over and over again to new people. I hired freelance camera and sound people. Some were better than others.

What’s next for your film? Do you have distribution? If so, when and how can people see it and if not, what are your hopes for the film?
HBO bought the film. I'm very excited about our summer release. HBO is wonderful to work with and really supportive of their filmmakers. This is my 6th doc with them, so I can say this from experience.

Can you provide any advice to other filmmakers who dream of getting their films made and into Sundance?
Not really. Festivals can take only so many films. But if you do get lucky enough to get in to a festival, be prepared. My best advice is while making the film, shoot plenty of on the set photos and images of your principle actors or participants. You will really need them later for publicity and promotion. Making a film is hard, but promoting it and getting attention for it after, is enormously important. So kiss up to blogs like this one!

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