Slamdance 2016 Preview: Meet The Filmmakers, Part 2

Editor, U.S.; Los Angeles, California (@filmbenjamin)
On Monday, we introduced you to a slew of first-time feature filmmakers from the 22nd Slamdance Film Festival, taking place in Park City, Utah at the Treasure Mountain Inn, January 22nd-28th,

We continue today with a fresh batch of filmmaker Q&As -- read on and you just may find your new favorite cinematic upstart!    

Paul Taylor, DRIFTWOOD - Narrative Competition

Tell us about your film, but not in a plot-centric way, please…

Driftwood was made as a reaction to the state of contemporary cinema. I wanted to create something that would stray from the many dialogue-driven films of my generation, something that would be made to see in a theater and not only streamed digitally. A good chunk of contemporary cinema favors excessive exposition, style over substance and convenience, all which leads to a passive audience.

Driftwood eschews many of these aforementioned techniques and instead is constructed using only what is essential. The camera moves only when necessary and the characters never speak as the film slowly unfurls, urging its audience to engage with it and ask questions.

Share with us a pivotal cinema related experience or moment from your childhood or young adulthood

I talk to a lot of filmmakers who all tell me how at a young age they were watching Bergman or Tarkovsky or Fassbinder films. It made me feel as if I did something wrong. Should I have seen a Bergman film when I was 14? I grew up watching stoner comedies, sitting in my parents basement and reveling in the seductive power of Dude, Wheres my Car?, a film that has been watched a shameful amount of times in my life. Later, as a freshman in college I was shown a Godard film and noticed how in one particular scene, instead of panning in the same direction of a character walking, he panned in the complete opposite direction, purposely disregarding such a basic element of filmmaking. At that point in time, having barely been exposed to the world outside of Hollywood cinema, I was eager to see more. From that moment on I grabbed whatever foreign cinema I could and spent many nights traveling the world through my television screen.

Why Slamdance?

Slamdance’s reason for living is for the filmmaker and their film. It isn’t for celebrity appearances, red carpets or corporate sponsors. Slamdance is one of the only festivals in North America that promotes true independent filmmaking and appreciates cinema in all of its glory. They are a festival that holds tightly to their convictions and is open to films and filmmakers of all kinds. In a circuit that has been oversaturated with promoting parties over cinema, Slamdance stands out as one of the greatest festivals for an emerging filmmaker. I couldn't be any happier to be part of it.

Your essential Park City survival kit:

Snow shoes, Tums and hugs for every single Slamdance team member.

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