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SxSW 2016 Interview: LITTLE SISTER director Zach Clark

by Jason Whyte

"LITTLE SISTER is a schmaltz-free, pathos-drenched feel good movie for the little goth inside all of us. It stars Addison Timlin and Ally Sheedy." Director Zach Clark on LITTLE SISTER which screens at the 2016 South By Southwest Film Festival.

I hear you are back at SxSW this year! Tell me about what you have had here in the past, and your favorite aspects of the city.

I have world premiered two of my previous features at SXSW, MODERN LOVE IS AUTOMATIC in 2009 and WHITE REINDEER in 2013. There is a really nice restaurant in Austin called Bouldin Creek that I try to go to every time I visit. They have really delicious vegetarian breakfast options.

Talk to me a bit about how you got your start in the industry and your previous work!

I went to film school at the North Carolina School for the Arts, and then I graduated and started working professionally as an editor. I have made my own features as often as possible.

So how did LITTLE SISTER come together from your perspective?

I had a few of the basic ideas for the character and storyline but things were not really taking shape. Melodie Sisk, the films' producer and my best friend, took me to her parents' house outside Asheville, North Carolina and showed me some of the homes and businesses of their friends, and these became the locations for the movie. The story really started falling into place after that. Then we attached some very cool and talented actors and raised the money and shot the movie last October and November down in Asheville.

What keeps you going while making a movie? What drives you? Coffee/sugar/tea?

Making a movie is my favorite thing to do in the entire world, and I drank a fair amount of Coke Zero while making this one.

Tell me about the the visual design of the movie, how it was shot and your relationship to your cinematographer!

Daryl Pittman was our director of photography, and also produced the movie with myself and Melodie and is also my best friend. He has photographed all my movies so we have a fair amount of shorthand, but we also try new things with each new project. We shot this movie on the Red Dragon in Cinemascope, and we really wanted to embrace the color palette of the mountains in the fall, and that look sort of permeated our approach to the whole movie. On Little Sister, we mixed handheld and non-heldheld much more than we have on our previous work. We shot one scene with a Movi. There's a Halloween party sequence where we had some fun with colored lighting.

What are you looking forward to the most about showing your movie here in Austin?

I am excited to see how the audience responds to a couple very special scenes. SxSW is very good home for this movie, and there a few moments that I think the SX crowd will get a kick out of.

After the film screens at SxSW, where is the film going to show next?

We are screening at the Boston Underground Film Festival at the end of March.

We have a lot of readers on our site looking to make movies. What is the ONE THING you would say to someone who is wanting to get into the filmmaking business as a piece of advice?

Make movies for as little money as possible as long as you possibly can.

And finally, what is the greatest movie you have ever seen at a film festival?


Be sure to follow the progress of LITTLE SISTER by visiting and follow Zach on Twitter at @zachjclark!

We hope you enjoyed this SxSW filmmaker interview as part of our coverage of SxSW 2016. To see the entire series click on the Live Report sidebar on your right. We will have interviews posted all throughout the festival so be sure to visit us often for more coverage!

This is one of the many films screening at the 2016 SXSW in Austin, Texas taking place March 11-19. For more information on this film screening times, point your browser to or use the SxSW GO App for Android and iOS.

Jason Whyte,
Twitter: @jasonwhyte / Facebook: jasonwhyte / Instagram: jason.whyte

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originally posted: 03/11/16 07:01:54
last updated: 03/11/16 07:03:12
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