Those of you who read this blog probably connect to it through the main indieWIRE blogs page. And if you do that, you've almost certainly noticed an update or two--or many thousand--by Sujewa Ekanayake with regards to the upcoming theatrical release of his charming feature, DATE NUMBER ONE, at The Armory Building in Kensington, Maryland. Well, my friends, the day has come, and to celebrate this much-hyped event, I decided to thank Sujewa for doing an interview with me on his blog last year and conduct an interview with him on my blog this year. If I had .00000000000001% of the marketing chutzpah that Sujewa has... well, let's just say that I'd probably be in a better place than I'm currently in. If you live anywhere near Kensington, suck it up and support this man! And now, here is the interview...
1) After all this time, are you ready for the big theatrical run? Are you nervous?
A: Yeah, I am ready. Yup, am nervous - a little.
2) What format are you screening on?
A: It'll be either DV tape or from a DVD.
3) As a self-professed DIY filmmaker, what are your marketing strategies for getting people into the theatre?
A: Local print press coverage; the Washington Post, Washington City paper & Montgomery County Gazette papers all will have something about the event, e-mail alerts to my mailing list, listing the event at message boards & calendars, over 1000 fliers distributed in Montgomery County & in DC, a Washington City Paper ad, additional press coverage from On Tap magazine & a few web sites, word of mouth in Kensington, MD area & DC area.
4) What are the most recent changes/updates you've made to the film (I remember you saying something about cutting it down a good bit from the version I saw way back when)?
A: In story 2 I took out the segments of the shots where we had an exposure problem (where the image would get significantly dark, if you recall), also cleaned up the sound a lot - took out unwanted squeaks & scratches, and added more music. The film is less rough/more slick now.
5) What's the best non-2007 movie you've seen in 2007?
A: Fame Whore. Did I see that in '07? I think so. If not Radio Days.
6) What's the best new movie you've seen in 2007?
A: I would have to say Transformers (so much like a good episode of the cartoon) and Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman (i am still watching that one, it is 6 hours long).
7) List five of your favorite movies of all time.
A: Amelie (Jean Pier Jeunet - sp?), Mystery Train (Jim Jarmusch), Do The Right Thing (Spike Lee), Manhattan (Woody Allen), Drugstore Cowboy (Gus Van Sant)
8) List five of your favorite records of all time.
A: In On The Kill Taker (Fugazi), Plays Pretty For Baby (The Nation of Ulysses), any Tom Waits record, I think that's all I have at the moment. I listen to various songs & catch bands live often w/out buying their full albums.
Here are some bands/musicians I've liked over the years: They Might Be Giants, Beat Happening, Delta 72, The Make Up, Slant 6, G Love, Beastie Boys, Seznec Bros., Rodan, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Minor Threat, Ani DiFranco, The Evens, REM, Al Green.
9) How are things progressing with any/all new project/s?
A: The new project #1 is Date Number One distribution - that'll be going on for a couple more years at current level (20 - 30/40 hours a week of work), and that's coming along well. As far as new movies to make - several projects are in the script stage. I plan on shooting a new movie before summer '08 and releasing it in '08.
10) Why is there evil on Earth?
A: On the human level, things that seriously harm people/human actions that harm other humans are evil I'd say. That stuff happens when people decide that the best or only way to get something done is to injure or kill other people - which comes out of probably fear, ignorance, greed, bad philosophy, or out of self-defense/need for survival or just a really f**ked up situation. Since human evil is something we humans create, it is possible to significantly reduce it if we want to. I would say that the world has gotten better over the last 1,000 or so years - as far as humans being able to live well (& long) on this planet. But there is a long way to go 'till there is peace & prosperity everywhere. Films & filmmakers can be (and have been) a part of the solution, when it comes to reducing evil on Earth.