Peter Simonite and Annie Gunn's gorgeous short film/music video Postcard from 1952 will be screened with the feature film Heathens & Theives at the New Jersey Film Festival on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012!
Here is the brief interview I did with Annie Gunn.
Nigrin: Your beautiful short film Postcard from 1952 is a lovely time capsule from 60 years ago. Tell us why you decided to make this film.
Gunn: Explosions in the Sky, whose music is featured in the film, approached us to create some imagery based on their song, which is a truly masterful piece of art on its own. The guys in the band knew of Peter's talent as a cinematographer, and we are both huge fans of the band - so we said yes! Many filmmakers would be over the moon to get to use one of their songs in a film, but we were lucky enough to have their work as a starting place. The title of the song, Postcard From 1952, led us to making a period piece, but altogether the intricate music itself guided us into a really nice creative place which we were thrilled to explore.
Nigrin: How long did this film take to make and where was it shot?
Gunn: Shooting took two days, and we shot everything in and outside one little vintage house in Austin. Altogether from writing to release it took about six months. The processes we went through before and after those two days of shooting took us the longest. We wanted it to be really good, and we were really focused on getting it there. The guys in the band were truly supportive of us taking our time while we fussed with the tiny details, which was very nice. It was great to bounce so many ideas off of the Explosions guys, since there were a lot of parallels between their songwriting process and what we were doing - basically "scoring" visuals to an existing song and attempting to do their work justice with our own.
Nigrin: Did you shoot on film or digitally? Why did you decide to use this format?
Gunn:We used two RED Epics, primarily so we could achieve the high frame rate necessary to slow the scenes down to seem kind of like moving snapshots. At 300 frames per second running full-time both days, we got about 45 hours of footage this way! I think overall it feels warm and filmic, despite not being shot on film, thanks to our post team.
Nigrin: Annie, this is your first film and Pete, you are a veteran. How did you guys decide to work together?
Gunn: Peter and I have collaborated on little projects together and are always dreaming something up. We both come from photography, art, and music backgrounds, so we speak the same language and truly enjoy working as a creative team. This is the first project we've seen through all the stages, from conception all the way through putting in crazy hours together to get it finished - we put our hearts into it, and we plan on making lots more in the future.
Postcard From 1952 - Peter Simonite and Annie Gunn (Austin, Texas)
This stunning short film, based on actual, found photographs, reanimates the past through the lens of the ubiquitous 1950s family camera. Captured images blend with memories of childhood, as babies turn into children, and children turn into adults. Flashbulbs ignite as the characters’ lives accelerate and then fade away, in a flow of fleeting, beautiful snapshots. Director Peter Simonite has helped to photograph films by Terrence Malick (including The Tree of Life) and has directed several music videos. Annie Gunn is a still photographer making her film directing debut. 2012; 8 min.
Heathens & Thieves - Megan Peterson and John Douglas Sinclair (Santa Monica, California)
Heathens & Thieves is a stark and engrossing western crime drama set during the 1849 Gold Rush. When two drifters hear rumors that a Chinese railroad worker has escaped with gold and now owns a remote ranch in the wilds of Northern California, the desperate men set a plan in motion to steal the gold for themselves. Saul, the youngest of the drifters, hires on as a farmhand, hoping to win the affections of Zhen and his beautiful wife, while his partner Bill lurks in the shadows and waits for the opportunity to strike. When another group of hired guns arrive at the ranch, seeking the stolen fortune, a deadly face-off of bluffs, gambles, and betrayals begins. 2012, 110 min.
Friday-September 21, 2012
Voorhees Hall #105, Rutgers University, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey
$10=General; $9=Students+Seniors; $8=Rutgers Film Cop/NJMAC Friends