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VIFF 2008 Interview – The Lost Coast director Gabriel Fleming

The Lost Coast - At VIFF 2008
by Jason Whyte

“High school friends re-unite for Halloween in the craziness of San Francisco’s Castro District. Mark is gay, while Jasper is straight, and over the course of the evening the two are forced to deal with their unacknowledged high school sexual relationship.” Director Gabriel Fleming on “The Lost Coast” which screens at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival (September 25 – October 10).

NOTE: This is a followup interview, as efilmcritic.com writer William Goss also interviewed Gabriel at this year’s South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin. To read that interview, click HERE.

Is this your first film in the VIFF? Do you have any other festival experience? If you’re a festival veteran, let us know your favourite and least-favourite parts of the festival experience. Do you plan to attend VIFF for the screenings?

This is my first film at VIFF. My first feature (“One Thousand Years”) played at the nearby Victoria Film Festival in 2002, which was a blast. Unfortunately I can’t attend Vancouver this year because I’m currently in Asia shooting my next project. I’m really bummed I won’t be making it to the fest; I was looking forward to it.

Could you give me a little look into your background (your own personal biography, if you will), and what led you to the desire to want to make film?

I grew up just north of San Francisco in a low-key hippie community, where being an artist is almost a given. What draws me to film specifically? Masochism, it must be.

Please tell me about the technical side of the film; your relation to the film’s cinematographer, what the film was shot on and why it was decided to be photographed this way.

We shot the film on HDV, using the new-at-the-time Canon XL-H1. The feel of the film relies on lush cinematography, and I don’t think we could have made this movie without the advent of cheap HD cameras. Watching the footage with Nils, the cinematographer, we were both surprised how great the images looked for a pro-sumer camera. “I guess I’d better sell my film camera,” he kept saying.

Talk a bit about the experiences (festival or non-festival) that you have had with this particular film. Have you had any interesting audience stories or questions that have arisen at screenings?

It’s been interesting to see how different people interpret the film, depending what there views are on how sexuality works. For some it’s a sad film, for others it’s positive and empowering.

How far do you think you would want to go in this industry? Do you see yourself working on larger stories for a larger budget under the studio system, or do you feel that you would like to continue down the independent film path?

I’m fairly disenchanted by the American indie film system (just like everyone else). It’s a much regimented machine where success is defined by the ability to work with bigger and bigger budgets, and the end goal, despite the anti-Hollywood protestations of filmmakers, festivals, and critics, seems to be to secure a career as a director in Hollywood, or at least Indiewood. Personally I would love to work as a director in Hollywood, but I don’t think it’s worth it to tailor what I’m doing now towards long-term career considerations.

Like every other little indie filmmaker I’m hoping that digital distribution is going to offer some new way to make money from all of this, but before that I want to find a way to make little movies with the least amount of stress, money and labor as possible, because if I’m not aiming towards a career in indiewood, I need to find a workable low-budget filmmaking system that I can be okay with for the rest of my filmmaking life.

Please tell me some filmmakers or talent that you would love to work with, even if money was no object.

The guy who plays Sock on “Reaper” is a genius.

If your film could play in any movie theatre in the world, which one would you choose?

I’m a proponent of the home theater. I know this is cinephile sacrilege, but I think one of the best ways to watch cinema is on a nice big television in the comfort of your own living room. Comedies and big action films are great to watch those in a theater with an audience, but your latest Eastern European art film? I’d much rather watch it in my living room than in squeaky-seat, soft-focus, echo-filled art house theater. So, I really look forward to people being able to watch “The Lost Coast” at home, on a one-on-one relationship with the film.

This is the last of my interviews with filmmakers at this year's VIFF. Thank you to all for the kind feedback on these interviews and I look forward to bringing more filmmaker interviews next year. Watch next week for a wrap-up article. Trust me, it will be worth the wait.

This is one of the many films screening at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival. For more information on when this film is playing and to order tickets, point your browser to www.viff.org. – Jason Whyte, efilmcritic.com


link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=2587
originally posted: 10/06/08 20:29:46
last updated: 10/06/08 20:31:32
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