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An Interview with Blake Fitzpatrick, Co-Director of Trilogie de Tragedie

by Mike Haberfelner

August 2016

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Your most recent movie Trilogie de Tragedie - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Essentially, Trilogie de Tragedie has been described by viewers as taking a trip to a French Cinematheque in the 1960s. So I went ahead and made that a tag-line for the film.

 

How did the project come in to being in the first place, and what was the idea behind making Trilogie de Tragedie an anthology movie?

 

It's a type of picture that I have always wanted to do that was sitting on the back-burner for a while for the right moment. I finally decided to green-light it after finding the right people to involve and the timing became right. I think it's essential that it's an anthology to capture the whole experience of recreating the arthouse revolution of the time correctly. This was a huge movement, one that inspired countless artists' visions and a complete overhaul of an artform.

 

With Trilogie de Tragedie openly paying hommage to arthouse cinema of old - what was the idea behind that approach?

 

Well, all we see from American releases today is the same thing, which is what started the original French new wave movement, so I felt that it was the perfect time to make a number of statements with an arthouse picture.

 

Let's talk about your segment Meek Marianne for a bit: What were your inspirations when writing that one?

 

That's a great question. I just set out to tell a story about the truth of life for some real people. There are far too many inspirations to count though. I think the heavy leaders of the (French new wave) movement are probably the biggest obviously - Godard, Truffaut, etc. But I think everyone involved in the revolution should be credited as influences.

 

What can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?

 

I took a very lax approach to directing my piece per the material. Since I literally did everything myself, it was distraction-less, which helped this philosophy and process a great deal.

 

Do talk about your cast, and why exactly these people?

 

I watched Tiffani Fest act and immediately knew that she was something special and perfect for this movie. The rest of the cast for Meek Marianne followed the same train of thought. Brad Paulson found Andrew Mandapat and knew immediately that he was Evan. Aaron Burk found Peter Lofstrom, and none of us could deny his solidification into this film's legacy.

 

What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

In staying true to the French new wave revolution, everyone involved practiced the autuer theory. Each segment is essentially art created out of practically nothing by a single person. On-set atmosphere was very relaxed, but everyone involved took the project very seriously while still having a good time for the most part.

 

Let's return to the anthology as a whole: Do talk about your co-directors, and what was your collaboration like?

 

Trilogie de Tragedie is everyone's movie. I just came up with the idea and financed it, but Trilogie de Tragedie would not exist if it wasn't for Brad Paulson and Aaron Burk. Our collaborations were simple; they shot their stories, I took the raw footage and I cut it all together into the movie that it is now. I can't think of having anyone better involved in the creation of this movie.

 

The $64-question of course, when and where will your movie be released onto the general public?

 

My past work has only been submitted to a few film festivals. This one is the first project that is being submitted to a larger number of them. The screening schedule can be found on our website and will be updated as more dates become available. Our first public screening is in California and is coming up next month.

 

Anything you can tell us about the audience and critical reception of Trilogie de Tragedie yet?

 

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, to the point that I don't know what's going to happen, which is very exciting!

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

Well, currently, I've been in production on a massive science-fiction steam-punk adventure entitled Abaddon. Work has also recently begun on a long time pet project of mine entitled Hazzard, a speculative vision of what happened at infamous serial killer Linda Burfield Hazzard's School of Health in 1935 on the night that it burned to the ground.

 

What got you into making movies in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

Escaping into my imagination was just a natural way of dealing with life as a boy I guess. Writing stories and animating them came shortly after, followed by live action storytelling. I obsessively taught myself pretty much all of the filmmaking skills necessary to make motion pictures that I use today on my own as a child. By the time I gave film school a shot at eighteen (before swiftly dropping out), I had already made feature films, so I didn't really learn anything that I hadn't already studied more in-depth on my own when I was younger. I felt it would help my craft more actually making movies than talking about them.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Trilogie de Tragedie?

 

I tell esoteric visions that aren't things that you would see typically released. I made a manly film noir starring a homosexual, for instance, and a comedy about such tribulations of micro film-making as finding free meat for gore effects by chopping up a dog that died from being fed chocolate by a crew member.

 

Besides movies, you seem to be active in many other artistic disciplines, from music to painting, writing to creating videogames and so on - so do talk about all your artistic endeavours for a bit, and how do they influence your filmmaking and vice versa?

 

I don't think that many of my other artistic endeavors influence me as a filmmaker other than painting and comics because they are visual, but those and the others are certainly similar practices. Video games are essentially interactive movies, books are still stories, music is more emotional expression to me, comics are movies without audio, VJing is essentially live film editing, etc. Programming is just a different type of language, so it's still communication in a sense, it just uses more math. Mainly it comes down to what I want to say and how I want to say it when choosing a medium to express myself with.

 

What can you tell us about your company Monumental Pictures, and the philosophy behind it?

 

Well, basically we're an organization that's been producing multimedia content for international audiences for two decades and our work has been featured on networks such as NBC Universal. We're a non-profit organization that gives everything we do away into the public domain (with the exception of Hazzard, which will be traditionally distributed but owned by a producer). The decision to give all of this content away for free is not only an artistic one, because I believe that art should be able to be enjoyed by everyone, but also a product of of the digital age and piracy.

 

How would you describe yourself as a director?

 

At this juncture in my life, using just one word; patient. I take as much time as possible to make my scripted vision as clear as possible, from re-shooting things so many times that actors who aren't used to it would want to pull their hair out, to spending days lighting shots, and to just trying to get actors into the right mind set of their character.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

Every film-maker inspires me. To go out, make a movie, and actually finish it is a tremendous task. All of the people that do that inspire me.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

I'm a pretty massive film nerd, so I can't say that there is such a thing as a "favorite" film or films for me. I don't think you can list art in terms of "what's the best." It really just depends on the genre and mood that I'm in. I really enjoy films of all kinds, so I would have to categorize by genre and nation of origin. I like Chaplin's comedies, silent expressionism like Metropolis, I like Peckinpah's action, Billy Wilder's everything, Kurosawa, Fellini, George Romero's social commentary; the list could go on forever. I'd like to see a movie shot by Mario Bava [Mario Bava bio - click here], directed by Sergio Leone, and written by Samuel Fuller though.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

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I can find something redeemable in pretty much any piece of art, so I can't really say that I deplore any movie. I believe art is and will always be subjective, so you can't really judge it. I believe in interpretation, and everyone can interpret said art in any way that they chose. That being said, I'm not a big viewer of studio pictures that compromise artistic vision for monetary reasons.

 

Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

monumentalpictures.com

facebook.com/monumentalpictures

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

Yes! I'm dying as I mention all of this to you! (literally.)

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

Thank you so much Michael for interviewing me! If you want to do it again, I'm always here!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
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