Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Road to Sundance: Song of the Spindle, directed by Drew Christie

Tell us about your film. What inspired you to make it?
My short film is an animation called Song of the Spindle. However, it is playing in the US Narrative short category at Sundance since the emphasis is more on the story as opposed to great animation techniques.  It is essentially a conversation between a man and a sperm whale.  Each one is trying to convince the other that he is smarter.  I was inspired to make it because I heard on the Thom Hartmann radio show that some whales have spindle neurons, the neurons in the brain that some scientists say "make us human" by being responsible for compassion and understanding.  I also created it to enter into an online film contest called the Possible Futures Film Contest.  Song of the Spindle got an Honorable Mention Award.

How long did it take you to make your film?
It took me about 1 and a half months to write, record the narration, storyboard, animate, edit and set the music to.

How did you finance your film?
I paid for the film myself.  However, since it was an animation and I was the only person working on it, I didn't have to pay any other cast/crew.

What was the most challenging part of the filmmaking process and how did you overcome it?
The most challenging part of the process was definitely writing.  I wrote many drafts, starting with a very science fiction oriented draft that borrowed heavily from the Kurt Vonnegut book Galapagos (my favorite of his books) and after many revisions which my girlfriend, Amanda Moore, helped me with, I arrived at the final version.  Since I am not a professional writer, it is a very hard process for me to revise and trim down the script.

Tell us about your experience getting into Sundance. Are there any pointers for filmmakers for getting accepted?  
I still don't know how or why my film got in. The whole thing is actually a mystery to me, however I would say that something that looks eye catching and perhaps is substantive or strikes people on a deeper level but can in some way incorporate humor would be a good route to go.

If you had to make the film all over again, would you do anything different?

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?
I don't know what is next for my film.  I do not have distribution at this moment.

Can you provide any advice to other filmmakers who dream of getting their films made and into Sundance?
I would say that writing seems to be a major factor in making something of quality.  Write something that people really respond to and the production end is what everyone seems to have down now with 5D's and Macbooks filled with FinalCut and after effects, etc.

For More Information: 

Song of the Spindle Official Trailer from Drew Christie on Vimeo.

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