“At Sundance” is coming up on its 21st anniversary! See what these filmmakers had quoted so many years ago about their feelings towards the future of filmmaking. While visiting Sundance in late January of 1995, multiple filmmakers were asked the same broad question - whether they were an optimist or a pessimist for the future of movies. Directed by Michael Almereyda and co-directed by Amy Hobby, they filmed with a squared-frame Pixelvision, that was made for children, and then had blown-up the resolution to suggest grainy 16mm. The pixels blown-up give it a different perspective, creating a blurred focus effect that the movements of the subjects look animated.
Where are those filmmakers now? Did their predictions and thoughts reveal themselves in the past 21 years? Here are a few quotes to check out…
“I think that film, because of the new age that we live in, which is the information age, and their increased channels for information, people are becoming more sophisticated about film.” - Robert Redford
Who still feels the same exact way? We have upgraded to smartphones since 1995, which allows us to know information in seconds! IMDB has been accumulating an enormous amount of film information to use at our disposable. There are package guides, tips, and data research online. There are sites to check other film budgets – so great!
Robert Redford has since been an Executive Producer for the most part but still active in acting and directing. Just a couple months after appearing in “At Sundance” he was nominated for 2 Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director (“Quiz Show”, 1994) at the Academy Awards. More recently in 2014, at the Golden Globes Redford was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (“All Is Lost”). He is working on multiple developing projects and staying active within the film associations and film festivals.
“I think the vocabulary of filmmaking just grows constantly and just continues growing. The analogy I was thinking of is when Webster first put out his dictionary, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it, it was really thin – pamphlet almost, ya know? And that’s all the words they knew in those days. And think about it, constantly getting fatter. I think that film is just another language – there are many languages constantly adding and filmmakers are constantly adding to that vocabulary. – Matthew Harrison
So true! We are constantly coming up with new names to describe genres, different art techniques, and bending words to make them more compatible to our visions.
Harrison won that year in 1995 at Sundance for the Special Jury Recognition for “Rhythm Thief”, (1994) and nominated for Grand Jury Prize. In 1997 he became known for “Kicked In The Head” and in 2010 - “Hey Vendor”. He has been given special thanks throughout the years for his involvement in films like “American Flyer” (2010) and “Misfire: The Rise and Fall of the Shooting Gallery” in 2013, as well as making an appearance in the film.
“A lot of people start out as independent individual stuff and they just get eaten right up, and sometimes they want to and they wanna make these $40 million film or whatever. And you think about that and you think, wow… $40 million… you probably could make… 6, maybe 7 really interesting films – like enough money to do things. Movies a lot of times, I think they’re made more to impress people than to affect people or move people.” – John Turturro
There are so many wonderful films with low-budgets that are beautifully assembled. We as creative filmmakers don’t necessarily need millions and millions of dollars to construct an impactful film – not saying some of us wouldn’t jump on that kind of opportunity. Budgets can go both ways – you can be super creative with a low budget film as well as a high multi-million dollar budget; but it’s how you construct and deliver your film.
Before Sundance “95” Turturro appeared in “Do The Right Thing” directed by Spike Lee. Also known for his role in “The Big Lebowski”, 1998. Working with Joel Coen again, he had a role in 2000 for “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”. Some of the most well-known movies Turturro plays is a role in is the “Transformers” series. The budgets for these movies range between $150 million - 200 million.
I think you could shoot a movie on Hi-8 right now or Pixelvision and have it distributed, have it seen somewhere. - Richard Linklater (Note: Linklater talking with Ethan Hawke about how everyone in the country can make a movie.)
Well, true but instead of Hi-8’s most of our generation has moved on to utilizing smartphones as a way to record. With services like Instagram, Vimeo, and YouTube we can instantly share our recordings with the world. There are even workshops how to make a professional full-length film from our iPhones – crazy!
Linklater recently has been directing a TV show, “School of Rock”, that’s currently in production. He was very popular at the Academy Awards, being nominated for 3 Oscars in 2015 for “Boyhood”. Linklater was nominated previously, alongside Ethan Hawke in 2014, for “Midnight” and before that as well in 2004 for “Before Sunset”.
Our thoughts on the future of film is constantly being bent and challenged – that’s what is going to keep us evolving as filmmakers. Progressing with the film industry will bring more questions where we are, then introduce creative ideas into the mix. We have so much information now, just like Robert Redford said in 1995 about the new age being the information age. Let’s use that information we’ve acquired so far and document that – we are the documentation age!
To find more information about these filmmakers, please click names below.