Thursday, April 9, 2009

Takle 5 w/ Filmmaker Roman Hardgrave (Standards of Ethical Content, screening @ The Patterson 4-11-09 @ 8pm!)

Roman Hardgrave is a resident of Canton and a real-life computer dork who makes his directorial debut with Standards of Ethical Conduct (Sat Apr 11, 8pm, Creative Alliance at The Patterson). This is his second major project, after working as a Producer on "Spotless", a feature-film that was successfully distributed internationally. His love for both filmmaking and economics has him looking at an economics focused documentary or webshow as his next project.

1. What’s the last movie you loved and what was the last movie you hated?
With an 11 month old baby, I haven't seen many movies lately. I did like Benjamin Button, partly because it hit my heartstrings around being a father. Last movie I really loved was I.O.U.S.A., a documentary made by Baltimore's own Addison Wiggin. "The Wire" of course is a favorite. I'm not sure this is the last movie I hated, but "The Boondock Saints" stands out as a film I didn't like that some of my friends did.

2. What’s your guilty pleasure movie or TV show?
Pretty much anything Will Ferrell acts in. Anchorman is a personal favorite, although it seems to be a polarizing film among Ferrell fans, some love it, others hate it. How can you hate a movie with this quote: "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany." I'm also a huge football fan, so you'll see me on the NFL Network quite a bit.

3. How’d you get into filmmaking?
I started as a screenwriter. Than I realized that to bring a story to life, you have to direct it as well, so I focused on learning how to make movies. I worked on several small projects before becoming the Producer on Spotless. That project was difficult to say the least...lets just say it was a good learning experience. It gave me the contacts and confidence to make my own movie.

4. What’s your fave piece of gear?
My crew mostly kept me at arm's length from any on-set gear. Every time I tried to lend a hand I seemed to break something. So I'm not what you would call a gearhead. I'm pretty skilled with Final Cut Pro and have been happy with it. I also have a lot of experience with online technologies, and I've been really pleased with the tools available to promote indie films. Facebook, Youtube, Blogger, plus a lot of smaller plug-ins, have come in very handy on this project.

5. What’s the one thing you’d warn a new filmmaker NOT to do on their first film?
Ask yourself, if this project didn't make a dime and no one likes it, would I still be glad I spent years of my life making it. There is nothing worse than devoting yourself to a project you don't love, hoping for fame or money, and than when it doesn't work out, feeling like you wasted years of your life and effort. Make a story that you're proud to tell regardless of the outcome. Second, don't ask for any friends/family money on your first big project. Just don't. Last, you're casting options will likely be limited, so its up to you as the director to make the story work around the talent you have. A good analogy is one of a basketball coach. A good coach takes the talent on hand and builds his offense around it. He doesn't try to stuff a bunch of little guys into a half-court offense. I wish I had done more molding of the story around the actors I had, rather than trying to stuff square pegs into round holes. That's three tips, sorry :-)

Check out the official film site!
Hear Roman on WYPR's The Signal!
Buy tickets!

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