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Filmmakers from Tribeca Drive-In

Interview with Director Brian Scott Lederman and Producer Monica J.Y. Lederman of MO

Tribeca Film Festival : Where did Mo come from? Is there a personal story to be seen behind it?

Writer/Director Brian Scott Lederman and Producer Monica J.Y. Lederman: This is a tribute to our brother/brother-inlaw. It is meant to be a celebration of life, a personal story that many people will be able to relate to. Everyone struggles with differences or perceived differences, and this is our tale of someone who lives life as best he can, despite the physical challenges (Marfan Syndrome) he is born with. We wanted to tell our very personal story, and we feel that its unique honesty will touch the hearts of our audience, hopefully reminding them to live life to its fullest and not take blessings for granted.

Tribeca Film Festival : It's such an oddly personal tale — how do you thing think the openness and scale of the drive-in will affect the audience's experience?

Monica and Brian: Every artist is really just talking about themselves when they create; it is whether or not they choose to disguise what is really going on that makes them differ from one person to another. This has been our attempt to be completely honest—to tell a story from our hearts with our unique perspective. To have the opportunity to take this small story and offer it to the public under the open sky in the melting pot of the world is like removing our most vital organs out of our chests, putting them on a platter, and offering them up for the masses. Will it change the story? No, but it will be a vulnerable gift that our audience can decide to care for or not.

Tribeca Film Festival : How do you feel having Mo premiere in New York in the middle of Rockefeller Center?

Monica and Brian: We are incredibly excited by this opportunity. Growing up in the New York area, we know that Rockefeller Center is part of the magnificence of NYC, and showing our film in such a public way in such a grand location seems like the perfect place to premiere our work. We are first and foremost artists and every artist wishes to have their work publicly displayed; it would have been difficult to conceive of a more awesome way to exhibit our project.

» See When This Film Plays at Tribeca Drive-In™

Interview with Director/Producer Dean Matthew Ronald and Producer/Co-Star Brian Ronalds of Netherbeast Incorporated

Tribeca Film Festival: Netherbeast Incorporated not too subtly shows corporate America as populated by vampires. Did you intend to make such a political statement?

Director/Producer Dean Ronalds and Producer Brian Ronalds : Yes and no and yes. We both worked as engineers for a telephone company, manning our desks and computers day-after-day, coming in before it's light and leaving when it's dark. After a while, things lose their normality, and the feeling of living is drained from every freakin' ounce of your body. You walk around in circles acting like you’re working, but other then that no real political statement here.

Tribeca Film Festival: Netherbeast was originally a short film. What was the process of turning it into a feature? Had you always had that plan?

Brian and Dean: (Writer) Bruce Dellis had never intended on adapting the short from its six minutes to the feature. The short was made for an IFP Three Minute Horror Challenge. Now, 45 film festivals and a dozen awards later, we felt it was a fine avenue to go down and investigate.

Tribeca Film Festival: : Any favorite drive-in memories? What excites you about showing your film in this environment?

Brian and Dean: Other then Brian losing his virginity at a Drive-In in our Mom and Dad’s 1976 Chevrolet van and our love for fine cinema in the outdoors, we heard Drive-Ins are the next best thing since MySpace. We are, however, very excited in having Netherbeast Incorporated's East Coast Premiere under the stars, in the middle of New York City! We'll be like two kids in a candy store, without the candy, or the store really. Well, we'll still be really excited!

» See When This Film Plays at Tribeca Drive-In™

Interview with Writer/Director Paul Soter of Watching the Detectives

Tribeca: Is there a hint of autobiography ?

Paul Soter: Yes, in that I, like Neil, used to fantasize that a mysterious, sexy woman would come in to my life and whisk me away on dangerous adventures.  However, I never had such a woman come into my life.   My wife came in to my life, and while I can’t say that we go on dangerous adventures, she certainly is sexy and often mysterious.  (for example, it is a mystery to me why she needs to spend 17 dollars on a special kind of tweezer for her eyebrows.)

Tribeca : Who is your favorite, larger-than-life movie female?

Soter: I think I can trace it back to Barbra Streisand in What’s Up Doc?  She’s very much the model for the character of Violet.  Very goofy and witty. One of my favorites as a kid.

Tribeca Film Festival: : Any favorite drive-in memories?

Soter: I wish I could say it was some classic quintessential b-movie like Sorority Monsters a Go-Go or something.  It was actually a rather somber and cerebral drama:  Capricorn One with Elliot Gould, I believe.  At least I remember it being somber and cerebral.  But I was twelve.  Anything short of Cannonball Run probably seemed cerebral to me.

» See When This Film Plays at Tribeca Drive-In™

Interview with Cinematographer Adam Ravetch of Arctic Tale

Tribeca Film Festival: Why did you choose to shoot the animals you did?

Adam Ravetch: Both walrus and polar bears are highly intelligent creatures and both have a charisma that we were attracted to. We knew that if we could successfully capture this on film we could get people to love and connect with these creatures as we do.

Tribeca Film Festival: Were there other arctic creatures that didn't make the cut?

Ravetch: Yes. There is an ugly, 21-foot, prehistoric-looking Greenland shark that patrols the underside of the polar ice cap hunting seals.  A little worm-like parasite lives in this massive shark’s eye, and puts the bite on JAWS. Living attached to the eyeball of the shark, these parasites feed off the tissue of the eye rendering the shark blind. In return the wormy body sways in the current and lures in a curious fish or seal for the shark to ambush.

Tribeca Film Festival: How long did it take to shoot the film?

Ravetch: Over 800 hours of moving images were collected quietly over a decade of time. We did not use large film crews with assistants and mounds of equipment. We are minimalists. But many hands put in hundreds of hours of struggle and sacrifice to help us reach our goal.

Tribeca Film Festival: : What was most difficult about spending that much time in the wilderness?

Ravetch: Most Arctic suffering comes from the psychological rather then the physical.  Overcoming the cold is possible; overcoming the obstacles of the mind is far more difficult. Accepting the loneliness of the Arctic was perhaps the hardest thing. There were weeks of isolated silence, staring at an empty landscape, waiting for animals to appear or for weather to clear. We can count on our hands the magical days when we achieved most of the sequences that appear in Arctic Tale.

Tribeca Film Festival: What unexpected adjustments did you find yourself making once you were actually on location and shooting?

Ravetch: We realized that in order to capture on film anything of significance, we had to actually live side by side with the animals and enter their dynamic. It was really the only way for them to accept our presence and carry on with their normal lives. This seemed like a logical thing to do, but it was a terrifying prospect to do it with polar bears. They are impressive but terrifyingly intelligent creatures, and the fear of being hunted by a bear haunts my dreams to this day when I’m safe at home.

Tribeca Film Festival: What do you think about showing this film outside in Midtown Manhattan?

Ravetch: We can’t wait to see a 30-foot polar bear climbing up the side of Rockefeller Plaza and hearing walrus mating songs echoing down Fifth Avenue.

Tribeca Film Festival: Do you have any favorite drive-in memories of your own?

Ravetch: I love drive-ins. I lived very close to one that had six outdoor screens when I was young. Growing up, drive-ins were what summer movies were all about. Our family had a station wagon. We would back it in towards the screen, open up the rear, and recline with our popcorn watching the film. In high school, we went in huge groups, took over several spots, got out lawn chairs, and sat around watching. It was always a good party. And who didn’t like the drive-ins for dates—of course this was BS (Before Sarah).

» See When This Film Plays at Tribeca Drive-In™


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