Name: Evan Marlowe
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your film?
Sometime before my teens, I started making animated Claymation short films on my super 8mm. Eventually I graduated to live action and then started a film club in high school (under the pretentious title Calabasas Film Society). This was in the 80s, long before the digital era, when we cut films with a splicer and stuck the pieces together with tape.
I gave up filmmaking to pursue a degree in medicine, which I admit now was a bit misguided. Never let teenagers choose their own careers. It wasn’t until I met my wife, Kerry (who was already actively working as an actress, screenwriter and producer), that I came back to film. We dove right into our first feature together, now shooting on a Canon T3i. After a week off, we launched into our second feature last year.
In the midst of all this chaos we got married in Britain and made “Smasheroo.” The script was written by James Howard, and the making of the film was a collaboration between he and I. Being a lover of montages, I fit one into the center of the piece and made this the turning point. Resentment, self-pity and anger on one side; acceptance, love and empathy on the other. The flashback montage bridges the two ends of the arc, and my selection of camera lens and framing help underline the contrast. For this montage I picked up my trusty super 8mm camera for the first time since high school. There’s something about super 8 that breathes sentimentality, unlike anything digital can provide.
“Smasheroo” features Kerry as the wife who’s been a victim of a car accident leaving her with aphasia. My dad suffers from a similar condition, as did James Howard’s wife. For the whole team, this was a personal project. We hope the film has shed some light on the disease, both from the perspective of the afflicted as well as the family.
Who/what inspired you to embark on a career in Filmmaking?
Filmmaking is not yet my career, though that is certainly my intent. There really is no job on earth greater than this, to be able to create a vision in your head, and then by orchestrating so many talented artists, bring that vision into being.
What does being a part of the Bootleg Film Festival, NYC mean to you?
The festival is the theatrical world premiere of the film, so that in itself is meaningful. I’ve also seen other films that have been accepted, and feel humbled and honored to have our little film shown alongside them.
All-time top 5 movies (as of this date, we all know it changes daily)?
I think it would be impossible to choose my five top movies, so instead maybe it would be more enlightening to know which five were on permanent endless rotation during my childhood:
The Graduate, Clockwork Orange, Raiders of the Lost Ark, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Star Wars.
During my formative years, these were the movies that most shaped my concept of cinema. They spoke to the humor, the adventure, the romance and the fantasy that were all possible in a well-told picture.
Favourite film related website?
I’m a frequent visitor on the Frugal Filmmaker Facebook page, where I’m constantly exchanging ideas on how to make my films better and cheaper.
What advice would you give to first time filmmakers?
My biggest concern is that filmmakers are born with a belief that you need money and a crew to make a feature. This is nonsense. Other than a few guys helping with lights and lifting, both our features and all of our many short films, TV pilots and webisodes have been created by only Kerry and me. These were made for relatively cheap, and the two features (Blood Rush and Horror House) were picked up for international distribution by Maxim Media. You don’t need a lot of money or a crew. You need ingenuity, fearlessness and hard work, and the flexibility to make something with the tools at hand.