Your new documentary The
Table - in a few words, what is it about?
is a story about a group of
tenacious individuals who provide support and inspiration for each other
through the heartbreaks and triumphs of making it in Hollywood.
prompted you to make the film in the first place? And how did you first
learn about the actual Table? And have you ever attended a Table-meeting
outside of your function as a documentary filmmaker/Are you, or have you
ever been, a Table-member?
met Table founder Marc Zicree almost 10 years ago when I produced the
special features for the Twilight Zone Definitive Edition DVD. I mentioned
to him around that time that I made movies on the side so Marc urged me to
come check out the Table group. But I never get around to going to a
meeting until 2009.
What can you tell us about
the atmosphere at a typical Table-meeting?
perfect example of the kind of atmosphere a typical Table meeting has was
during the first meeting I attended. It had been a while since I made a
movie and I had no intentions of making another one. The only reason I went to
the meeting was just so I can tell Marc I went, and call it a day. At the
meeting, hearing the Table members’ projects, war stories,
updates, etc. that evening got me all pumped up and reawakened my passion
to make movies again. By end of that first meeting, not only did it get my
creative juices flowing once again, I found the perfect subject for my
Ana Barredo, surrounded by some of the cast and
crew of The Table
research for The Table,
you must have heard hundreds of Hollywood stories. How did you choose
which to tell in your film, which one were the most endearing, and could
you porbably tell some that did not make it into movie for whatever reason
but are still worth telling?
found that even more difficult than going through all 60 hours of footage
I shot was selecting which ones will make the final cut. I'm hoping that
when The Table comes out on DVD, we'll be able to feature these Table
members in the Special Features section because their stories are just as
compelling as the ones that made the cut. For instance, there's Robert
Amico, a working actor/producer who decided he was going to write one
screenplay a month - and has been doing it for the last 36 months! There's
also Sara Jo Elice, who introduces herself as a recovering Environmental
Engineer. Sara graduated from MIT with 2 bachelor's degrees and a masters
degree, but decided to give all that up to become a full time actress. I
also followed the making of a Table-produced short film from its inception
to its premiere in LA.
The Table of course would
be nothing without its founder Marc Scott Zicree. What can you tell us
about the man, and what kind of a guy is he in real life?
Ana Barredo with Marc Scott Zicree
always been fascinated with Marc ever since I met him 10 years ago. He has
such a good heart you can’t help but like him. He and his wife Elaine
are the perfect people to run the Table group because they genuinely enjoy
you still in touch with Marc Scott Zicree or any of the other people you
have interviewed for The Table,
and what has since become of some of them?
still in touch with almost all the Table folks I interviewed for the
documentary, thanks to Facebook. The most recent event I saw almost
everyone in the same place was at Jim Troesh's Memorial in North Hollywood. It was a bittersweet "reunion" for all of us, I suppose. Leave
it to Jim to make that happen. Another one of my favorite Jims is Jim
Metropole, who has since become a really dear friend of mine - maybe due
to our mutual love for Martinis.
Roger Lay jr, Marc Scott Zicree, Ana Barredo,
Chris Wyatt discussing The
Has making The
Table in any way altered your personal perception of Hollywood?
sure how to answer this. Not really, I guess. One thing I
learned from this is that there’s an alternative to Hollywood.
can you tell us about audience reception so far, and when and where will
the film receive a widespread release, tentatively?
The Table has screened in several venues now and the audience response has
been extremely positive so far. The most common question
during our Q&A is “Where is the Table meeting next Thursday?”
Or, I also get a lot of “I should really finish that script
I’ve been working on?” My goal is to make a movie that’ll inspire
anyone who’s ever wanted to accomplish something – the same way this
group has inspired me after that fateful first Table meeting I attended.
go to the beginnings of your career: What got you into filmmaking in the
first place, and have you received any formal education on the subject?
much as I wanted to make movies, I’ve always accepted that it was a long
shot, This is why I decided to major in Psychology. And of course, I never
worked a day in the Psychology field since graduating from UCLA. Some
back-up plan, huh? The closest thing to film school for me would be taking
a 6 week directing course at the AFI weeks prior to starting principal
photography for A Real Job. Then I took an 3 month extension class at UCLA
in documentary filmmaking before embarking on The Table.
far as I know, your debut feature was the romantic comedy A Real Job.
What can you tell us about that movie?
A Real Job was my first attempt at writing
and filmmaking. It was made on a shoestring budget of $15 K
and was financed by my 2 friends - Visa and Mastercard. With
the help of my friends and family, we shot this feature in 16 weekends! It
went on to screen in several film festivals and got picked up for
distribution by Image Entertainment. It received pretty good reviews,
even garnering a nomination at the Video Premiere Awards (for Best
Director). I didn’t win, of course – but who cares?
My little movie was up against direct-to-video features from
major studios like Disney and Warner Bros. I was thrilled!
Here’s a link to one of my favorite
reviews for A Real Job:
In your stock
footage short The Plight of the Angelenos, you seem to in a way satirically
anticipate some of the underlying themes of The
Table. So what can you tell us about the short, also in relation
to your documentary?
After the success of A Real Job, I really
thought I finally got the filmmaking bug out of my system. Turned
out, I still had a burning desire to make movies – but I was also
burnt out from” traditional” filmmaking which required shooting
actors, hiring a crew or renting equipment, etc. My solution was to make
The Plight of the Angelenos, a 16-min short created entirely from stock
footage and public domain film clips!
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
If there were some underlying similarities
in the themes of The Plight of the Angelenos and The
Table, I certainly wasn’t aware of it.
But I see it now that you pointed it out.
Check out my favorite review for The Plight of the Angelenos below. You might get a kick out of the
LA Shorts Fest screening story I tell:
Any other films of yours you'd like
to talk about? Any future projects?
I'm collaborating with Roger Lay
(co-producer of The
Table) on a time travel 80's film called Auto Reverse.
We begin shooting in Jan, 2012. You can follow us on Twitter
@AutoReverseFilm for up-to-the-minute updates on the making of the film.
Should be fun!
What made you gradually shift from narrative filmmaking to documentary, and
where do you find yourself more at home?
I decided to try my hand at documentary
filmmaking because logistically, it seemed to perfectly suit a nine-to-fiver
like me better. Since I was a one-woman operation, it was easier
to schedule interviews and go to shoots when needed. I also
discovered how much I enjoy the documentary storytelling process.
Thanks for the interview!