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Interview: 'Your Sister's Sister' Director Lynn Shelton Talks Mark Duplass, Acting, and an Indie Model that Works (VIDEO)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood June 12, 2012 at 4:28PM

Slow and steady sometimes does win the race. Indie filmmakers would do well to emulate Lynn Shelton. Trained as an actress and photographer, Shelton shot documentaries and music videos and has been championed by film festivals at her home base Seattle...
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"It's a dramatic Shakespearean bed-switching comedy with a certain emotional gravity behind some of the incredible lighthearted buffoonery, so it feels rooted in something. And I also love the idea that people can do some dumb, crazy things and maybe be a little bit forgiven for it. We felt that was a nice anchor."

In our interview, Shelton talks about her ongoing collaboration with Duplass (he talks about working with Shelton here) and how she changed gears on "Your Sister's Sister" to accommodate two actresses who were not as confident with improvising as as he is. She explains how she and her crew shoot these extremely intimate movies.

She talks about why she likes working on such TV shows as "Mad Men" and "New Girl" as well, and how she and the Duplasses fit into the emerging cross-pollinating indie moviemaking model. And she discusses her two upcoming projects, the just-wrapped ensemble "Touchy Feely," starring DeWitt, Ellen Page, Ron Livingston and rising star Scoot McNairy ("Killing Them Softly"), which she pushed to the front burner after the delay of another project, her first film based on someone else's screenplay, Andrea Siegel's "Laggies," which she still plans to shoot later on with Paul Rudd and Rebecca Hall. Hollywood has approached Shelton, and she is willing to listen. But she's tuned in to her own drummer. It's worked for her so far.

This article is related to: comedy, Directors, Lynn Shelton, Your Sister's Sister, Interviews, Interviews, Humpday


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.