DIY FILMMAKERS: ARTHUR BORMAN AND “SHOOTING LILY”

“Shooting Lily” is the second feature from award-winning filmmaker Arthur Borman. Borman’s now cult classic “And God Spoke” was a ratings grabber for the Independent Film Channel and now he hopes to repeat that success with the Sundance Channel debut of “Shooting Lily”. Film Threat spoke with the director at one of Beverly Hills finest establishments — Denny’s restaurant.
[ SO, WHAT'S YOUR STORY? ] ^ This is my second feature film. After my first film “And God Spoke” was released, I had this idea for a commercially minded indie feature that used “mock-home movies” as a story telling device. I also wanted to incorporate ideas from my favorite “doomed relationship” movies such as Albert Brooks’ “Modern Romance” and Jim McBride’s “David Holtzman’s Diary.” I wanted it to be funny, with a dark, serious undertone. “Shooting Lily” was the result. ^
[ BUDGET, SCHEDULE? ] ^ $45,000 to get it to the same point that “El Mariachi” was when it sold. (You know, the 7 grand version). With “El Mariachi”, Sony spent an extra half million to clean, blow up and remix the picture. All in, my film was still less than $150,000. ^
[ SO YOUR SECOND FILM WAS LEss EXPESIVE THAN YOUR FIRST? ] ^ After my first film, I got my foot into the studio comedy door. However I became really disillusioned when I realized that most of the comedy scripts floating around Hollywood were really, really bad. Some executives even admitted that their stuff was crap, but said they had more established directors to do the quality stuff. I felt that “And God Spoke” was a smart comedy, and I really wasn’t into doing dumb comedies staring mischivious monkeys. I decided to make the idea in my head, “Shooting Lily,” which just so happened to be cheaper to make than my first film. ^
[ DID YOU HAVE TO SACRIFICE ANYTHING BECAUSE OF THE BUDGET? ] ^ I had to sacrifice everything. We shot the whole damn thing in 7 days!! We had no money!! The movie is half-film/half-video, and that saved us because the video was free. We purchased a Hi-8 camera from Circuit City, shot all the scenes and returned the camera “as new” for a full refund. To this day, I’m still not allowed to buy anything there on credit. ^
[ WHAT'S THE CURRENT STATUS OF THE FILM? ] ^ It’s currently running on the Sundance Channel. Also, it’s selling foreign, and home video soon. ^
[ ANY PEARLS OF BRILLIANT FILMMAKING WISDOM? ] ^ 1) Don’t spend your own money. Credit card filmmaking is like supporting a crack habit. Just say no. ^
2) Also, don’t blow your wad to get the movie “in the can”. There’s nothing more vulnerable than a filmmaker who has spent all his money and needs more to finish. You’re bacially giving away your entire movie just to get it finished.
3) And hire a publisict early.
[ WHAT NEXT? ] ^ I have a BAR MITZVAH coming-of-age comedy called “Bloom” that I’m dying to make. It’s hilarious – a cross between a Junior High Seinfeld and a Jewish Wonder Years! Anyone out there looking to finance films?!
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Posted on July 13, 1998 in Interviews by
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