Filmmakers in Focus Interviews are Back for 2014!

Written by Jim Kolmar | January 27, 2014

Batten down the hatches, Filmmakers in Focus is back! These short interviews aim to introduce some of the filmmakers who constitute the SXSW 2014 Film program, starting with the talent behind Creep and Doc of the Dead.

Content will be added frequently in the coming weeks as more titles are announced, and we gear up for another inspiring program of innovative and exciting films. Stay tuned, and be sure to register for your badge and take advantage of the SXSW Film program.

Director Patrick Brice on Creep

Creep, courtesy Duplass Brothers Productions

Tell us a little about your film.

During production, the entire crew consisted of only myself and Mark Duplass, with editor/co-producer Chris Donlon joining us in post. It was an intense, intimate and freeing process - by far the most collaborative project I've experienced in my life.

In terms of plot, the less you know about Creep going into it, the better.

Why did you start making films?

My love for film came from growing up watching VHS tapes on repeat with my dad. This meant The Naked Gun, Amazon Women on the Moon, and The Blues Brothers were the early canon of cinematic influences in my life. By age 13 it was confirmed that cinema could be a kind of church for me.

In 1996 I co-opted my Mom's Hi-8 camcorder and started making my own movies with middle-school friends.

My love for filmmaking led me to CalArts, where I studied experimental and documentary film. Creep is my first narrative feature.

Have you been to SXSW before? What are you most looking forward to?

First time at SXSW, and actually, have never even been to Austin before. I'm most looking forward to screening our film and meeting other filmmakers, but also heard that I might be able to find some decent BBQ around town. I'm a brisket man.

Tell us a random fact (or two!) that would help our attendees get a better idea of who you are.

There is a 95% chance I may be the tallest filmmaker attending the festival this year.

Director Alexandre Philippe on Doc of the Dead

Doc of the Dead, courtesy EPIX

Tell us a little about your film.

Doc of the Dead is the definitive, most up-to-date documentary about the pervasiveness of zombies in cinema and popular culture. The doc's epic scope ranges from the origins of zombies in Africa and Haitian Voodoo to George Romero's creation of the modern zombie... all the way to the contemporary fervor for The Walking Dead and World War Z, zombie walks, zombie runs, zombie fashion shows, zombie car washes, even zombie porn! There's plenty in there for the most hardcore fans of the undead, and it's also a perfect starting point for those who know nothing about zombies, but want to understand why they're so in demand. The film also investigates the possibility of a zombie-like pandemic, and features a plethora of zombie icons: George Romero, Simon Pegg, Bruce Campbell, Max Brooks, Tom Savini, Greg Nicotero, and many more!

Why did you start making films?

I started making films because I resented the idea of waiting for strangers to decide whether or not my screenplays ought to be produced. So I made my first film for $5,000 with a bunch of friends, and even though we didn't really know what we were doing back then, it did well enough to convince other people to help me with my second film. It has taken years to build the team I feel so fortunate to work with nowadays. It's always a challenge, and in many ways, every new project feels like I'm working on my first film. I hope this feeling never goes away.

Have you been to SXSW before? Any tips?

My last World Premiere at SXSW was The People vs. George Lucas in 2010, and I'm absolutely thrilled to return this year. It's an incredible honor, and one of the most amazing fests I've ever been privileged to attend. Even with that experience under my belt, I don't think anything can truly prepare me for what's ahead. I'll just have to remember to take my heart out of my throat if we screen at the Paramount again, and hope for an enthusiastic audience reaction. They loved PvsG back then, and SXSW set the tone for a very successful festival run and subsequent distribution. Oh yeah, and I'll try to attend the music fest, this time around.

Tell us a random fact (or two!) that would help our attendees get a better idea of who you are.

If you watch the films I've made throughout my career, it's pretty obvious that I'm a pop culture geek. I'm obsessed with comics, and even recently launched my own company, Fried Comics, which I created with my good college buddy Clay Adams. We have two series available at this time, and are planning many more in the future. In fact, one of them is a very unique and twisted zombie Western comedy--Deadskins!--a retelling of Custer's Last Stand. So I suppose you can say I currently have zombies on the brain!