This is part of a series of first person posts in which we provide a forum for filmmakers and other artists to discuss their process, their influences and/or their experiences showing their work. In this edition, Cory Krueckeberg talks about "Getting Go: The Go Doc Project" -- which was released on DVD last week.
As a creative person, a visionary guru, a collector of ideas… I struggle daily with the logistics of telling the stories in my head. And as a filmmaker, that logistical struggle seems it’ll only get harder before something gives. But what to do with all those ideas backing up in our heads as “indie” films get harder and harder to make?
"Getting Go, The Go Doc Project" is one of those ideas that hit me pretty fully formed. In the past, my work (with Tom Gustafson) has relied on a multitude of outside factors to become reality. This means that even if I have a great idea and a script basically writes itself, we still have to wait for the casting and financing pieces to fall into place - which seems to take longer every time around. And then once you’ve slaved to make your film happen, no matter how much you believe in the finished product and are confident in its potential – the industry takes over and hands down a judgment. Film festivals reject or invite it based too often on transparent biases, reviewers pick it apart with varying agendas and distributors cement your fate. Poof! All your years of hard work and stress are transformed into joy or misery, depending.
So, I was frustrated with the waiting game and also all that other industry nonsense and "Getting Go" was my direct reaction. I call it “Post-Indie.” I wanted to make something tiny and fast without the burdens of attaching a “star” or raising a lot of money or worrying about distribution. I wanted to ignore that “industry nonsense” and just run with an idea.
I had been ruminating on all this for a few weeks when one day, after scanning some NYC nightlife blogs and seeing images of a charismatic go-go dancer, I thought, “What if I made a documentary about him?” Which evolved into, “What if I create a character who wants to make a documentary about him?” And with that my post-indie-no-budget experiment had begun.
Since that go-go dancer, Matthew Camp, was the inspiration for the idea, I emailed him immediately. We met, I pitched the idea and he said yes in the span of a few days. And with the first puzzle piece in place, I began to imbue the outline/ concept of the film with the meta experiences of actually putting it together. Next, Tom and I set out on a search for a filmmaker to take on the central position in my concept and Tanner Cohen surfaced, asking if we’d consider using him. Choosing to work again with Tanner (star of 'Were The World Mine') was one of the best decisions we made. Although he isn’t a filmmaker - our already established working relationship put us in an ideal situation to make the intimate and unpredictable method of shooting "Getting Go" work.
And off we went, running all over NYC with nothing but a prosumer camera, an iPhone, a webcam, a couple of mics and an idea, exploring every aspect of my outlined story and the relationship between these two guys as it developed in front of us. Hours and hours of footage and four months of editing later, I emerged with 90 minutes of storytelling.
And luckily it all payed off, we had created something people wanted to see! After 60 or so film festivals, with trips to a couple dozen including Japan, Mexico, Germany, Israel and many US cities, the film has been released digitally and on DVD in several territories and we get fan tweets, emails and messages daily.
The moral of the story is, one really shouldn’t wait forever to make their films and tell their stories. Especially with the slowing state of the feature business. Especially now that the top tier film festivals have essentially become markets for quasi-studio films that 10 years ago would’ve never been considered “indies.” Especially because distributors and sales agents are well on their way to monopolizing programming on the entire festival circuit ("Getting Go"’s 60 festivals is down from the 100 or more our previous films played because we didn’t give festival rights to our distributors.) Especially because Hollywood has effectively shipped the production of “interesting, challenging, quirky…” scripts off to China (aka “indie” producers) who can deliver the product at a fraction of a studio’s cost. Especially because those generously financed “interesting” studio movies of yesterday simply would/ could never be made today.
I don’t mean to sound bleak, I mean to empower. Because we are the ones who must find a way to bring those “interesting” movies to audiences if no one else will. Please don’t wait. Find a way to tell your story, even if it means shooting it on your phone. If you were a painter, you wouldn’t stop making art if paint evaporated the way the indie film business has, you’d find something new to smear across your canvas.
Watch the trailer below: