Indie Film Producer Jon Kilik Challenges Spielberg, Lucas and Soderbergh in IFP Speech

by Ryan Lattanzio
September 18, 2013 3:05 PM
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Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo in 'Foxcatcher'

On the importance of voice and story:

I’m a film producer but I know not to value a movie based on budget.  Story is what is important.  In whatever form you choose to tell yours, you have the opportunity to challenge the status quo, provoke thought, shine a light on an event, a condition, a time and a place, give a voice to those who have none, or simply make a love story, a comedy or a genre film.  Tell your story.  The work will outlive the format.

On the future:

Film has a 100-year history of adapting to the changes and challenges brought on by new technology.  This will always get figured out.  The ease of being able to reach people will only increase.

So it isn't true that cinema is dead, it's actually a very healthy industry and as Soderbergh pointed out, it’s one of the few American exports that continues to do very well.  But we can't ignore that one particular sector of the market is getting squeezed and must be protected -- the midrange budget drama -- movies about human beings.

On a banner 2013:

Many talented filmmakers, young and old, have overcome the challenge and made a large quantity of quality independent dramas that are coming out this year.  I have never seen so many high quality films entering the main stream. "Blue Jasmine," "Fruitvale Station," "Mud," "The Butler," "Inside Llewyn Davis," "Gravity," "Her," "12 Years a Slave"...

Thank you to all the distributors who bring these films to the theaters.  All distributors both independent and major studios for continuing to finance and distribute movies about the human condition.  For supporting handmade films by auteur filmmakers.  Stay strong, stay committed, and we will continue to partner with you to grow the great history of American Independent Cinema.

Studio executives are not our enemy.  Especially today with more women and growing diversity.  I have found execs -- to a person -- as hardworking and courageous as their filmmaker counterparts.  They are passionate and educated in film history and often put their job on the line to help a filmmaker get what he or she needs.  

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  • poland | September 20, 2013 6:25 PMReply

    Kilick is spot on. Spielberg and Lucas were reflecting on the world within which they reside, which is the studio world. They sound like the theatre owners who denounced sound. They may be showing their age, as the film world is having a content explosion that far exceeds anything in the history of cinema. Distribution may not be as organized or as familiar as it has in the past, and the content may not be to everyone's liking, but it makes the 60s and 70s look positively pubescent. Filmed entertainment remains this country's largest export and American filmmakers are continuing to provide ingenuity the rest of the world, as usual.

  • Brian | September 19, 2013 10:38 AMReply

    I miss westerns. The kind with gorgeous cinematography, expansive locations like Monument Valley, and iconic stars on horseback galloping across the screen. All these geniuses debating the future of the cinema and none of them says a word about westerns.

  • John W. Comerford | September 18, 2013 11:24 PMReply

    John Kilik is a hero.

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