CineVegas '05 Interview ('Firefly' Director Pete Marcy)

By Erik Childress
Posted 06/28/05 06:33:44

The "Firefly" Pitch - Firefly tells the story of four people connected in a way they do not know about but will soon discover.

When you were 14 years old, if someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, what would your answer have been?

PETE: An accountant.

How did you get started in filmmaking?

PETE: Starting in 5th grade I helped make short videos with my friends that consisted of fight scenes tied together by a thin storyline borrowed from whatever movie wed seen most recently. We quickly learned how to block a scene although we didnt call it that so that the punches looked real. That was our only concern. It still is our main concern, in a way: make sure the punches look real.

How did you get Firefly started? How did you go from script to finished product?

PETE: I liked the idea of a character being affected by an unsettling event yet keeping that event concealed until the end of the movie. The difficulty was in creating the drama that would entertain the audience until the final payoff, because you cant tell a story based on an event you know nothing about. So we gathered elements and characters we always wanted to include in a movie and created a story with a life of its own that would eventually tie into the central event.

When you were in pre-production, did you find yourself watching other great movies in preparation?

PETE: No there was no last minute cramming. Weve been incorporating ideas from other movies into our own since we started as kids, and nothing has changed. A lifetime of watching movies has influenced Firefly, but not any one in particular and none intentionally.

Name the three directors working today that you most admire.

PETE: Mel Gibson, Peter Weir, and Ricky Gervais.

If this is your first acceptance into a film festival, describe what that's like and what you are looking forward to most during your CineVegas experience?

PETE: This being my first festival, Im excited for strangers to see the movie. Friends are supportive and forgiving, so they wont tell you if your movie sucks but at the same time they might be the people least likely to become involved in the story.

When you were shooting the film, did you have CineVegas (or any other film festivals in general) in mind?

PETE: For some odd reason I had the Seattle International Film Festival in mind before I started shooting; near the end of shooting Sundance became the objective. I hadnt heard of CineVegas.

Have you been turned down by other festivals? If so, which ones?

PETE: Yes - Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, and our local festival: Minneapolis-St. Paul

Whats the one glaring lesson you learned while making this film?

PETE: Make decisions as early and as often as you can and dont dwell on small points. On Firefly I left unfinished scenes sitting around for months, thinking the answer of what to do with them would come to me once more of the movie was edited. Only after youve made a decision can you tell if it was the right one. The earlier you make the decision, the more time youll have to go back and fix it if it was the wrong one.

If a studio said we love this, we love you, you can remake anything in our back catalogue for $40m what film, if any, would you want to remake?

PETE: The Village and Id get rid of the twist.

- Name an actor you'd KILL to work with, and then name an actor in your own film that you really think is destined for great things.

PETE: Id kill to work with Anthony Hopkins. I dont need to explain why. From the movie Firefly, Lindsay Hinman is a pro. She stepped in to star as Susan after our original actress dropped out two days prior to shooting. We got lucky.

At what point will you be able to say, "Yes! I've made it!"

PETE: While doing projects I have an interest in.

A film is made by many people, including the director (of course), but you'll often see movies that open with a credit that says "a film by Did you use that credit in your film? If so, defend yourself! If not, what do you think of those who do?

PETE: No. To me it seems desperate regardless of whether or not its accurate.


Firefly (directed by Pete Marcy and written by Pete & Chris Marcy) - starring Lindsay Hinman, Chris Marcy, Devon Jorlett, Adam Anderson, Sara Persons, Andy Reeves, Joe Marcy and Pete Marcy had its premiere at the 2005 CineVegas Film Festival.

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