NEW YORK — February 19, 2006.
After a bout of inactivity that would have made Rip Van Winkle proud, filmmaker Michael Tully (Cocaine Angel, 2006; Silver Jew; 2007) has awoken from his coma to join the ranks of active filmmakers once again.
Just over one month ago, Tully, in collaboration with producer Holly Herrick, shot a cinema verite-style documentary in Westminster, Maryland, about one farm family's longstanding tradition: an annual pig slaughter and preparation of meat that will last them through the rest of the year. Tully says that his motivations for making the film weren't to pass judgment on these people for being murderous carnivores. "I love pig sausage," said the newly rejuvenated director/cinematographer. "More importantly, I find this to be a beautiful example of self-sufficiency and the taking of responsibility for the food that one puts in one's mouth. These people know where their food comes from."
When asked about a projected release date for the film, the first project Tully has launched since slithering into a nearly two-year absence from directing to become a film blogger, "I'm not sure. I'm trying to get DIY with this phase in my career. Since my first two features were shot for very little money with no stars on a consumer-based mini-DV camera, I started to get overwhelmed by the Hollywoodness of it all. I'm thinking this time that I might not even log-and-capture the footage. I might just leave it on eight unwatched mini-DV tapes and call it a film. Seems much more DIY that way."
As for future projects, Tully is attached to direct an upcoming web series pilot for Fox starring actor/writer Will Janowitz (The Sopranos). Super Ego captures the eye-widening exploits of gonzo therapist, Dr. Charlie Knight, who is a method shrink of the most outlandish order. "These first five episodes will be spread virally throughout the internet. If it catches on, we hope to turn it into an actual television series. If that happens, I will be forced to abandon all semblances of my current DIY self to become a tan, sunglasses-wearing caricature of myself. I look forward to the challenge!"
But Tully doesn't appear to be done with narrative feature filmmaking either. "I am currently resuscitating an old idea and at this very moment hope to be shooting it in and around Point of Rocks, Maryland, this August/September. It is a vehicle for a man I believe to be one of our country's finest actors, Robert Longstreet (Great World of Sound, Low and Behold). It's a humane drama in which I'm trying to do something that I haven't quite seen before. Taking a truly, horrifically tragic situation and not giving it a happy ending but giving it something much more honest: an okay ending."
No one knows if any of this shit will actually happen, but Tully seems excited nonetheless. "As a blogger, I felt like my life was missing something. Now I know what that something was. It's great to be behind the camera again!"