***Thanks for tuning in. If you missed our 24 hour free screening window, the film is available for rental/purchase from Amazon or iTunes*** In honor of our special screening of Sun Don't Shine presented by Factory 25, NoBudge asked writer/director Amy Seimetz for some thoughts on the film, and she enlisted Shane Carruth (director of Upstream Color, starring Seimetz) to provide some jumping-off points; he took the task very seriously, asking the following hard-hitting questions...
1. I noticed some parts of the movie are boring. Why include those?
I wanted to focus on the suspended period of time after the crime and before the punishment. Exploring the mental state of someone after they’ve committed a crime has always been fascinating to me… and sometimes darkly comical. The slow burn creates tension, in my opinion, between the audience and the two doomed/live wire characters on screen.
2. I saw a movie once with no boring parts. Did you see it?
My favorite films are primarily from the 1970’s and early 80’s— Two-Lane Blacktop, The Conversation, Wanda, Possession, All the President’s Men, Klute…
3. I noticed there were over ten shots in the movie. Was that all in-camera?
Jay Keitel (cinematographer) and I decided to shoot 16mm to evoke the feel of American cinema from the era of films I mentioned above. We wanted to create a sort of New Americana mixed with Southern Gothic. Shooting on film also creates an anxiety on set—something I think translates to the screen. There is an innate energy to knowing you only have a few takes to get it right.
4. Do you know what credits are?
Yes. Ethan Clarke animated the title card along with Sonja Hernandez, who also designed my poster. You (Shane) did my end credits. We both discussed how we don’t like opening credits. They are very distracting to the narrative for us.
5. Not ringing a bell. How do actors work?
We didn’t really rehearse. We would block for camera, but I was lucky to have actors I trusted and had worked with before so there was no fear on my part about the choices they would make on the screen. I wrote the parts for all the actors in mind so I was already familiar with choices they would make. That’s not to say I wasn’t constantly impressed and excited by the depth they brought to the screen…
6. Did you always know they’d wear clothes?
I did. I found most of their costumes with the aid of my production designer, Lanie Faith Marie Overton, at a thrift store in Saint Petersburg, FL. It’s my hometown and where we shot the film.
7. Why does Kate have so much chemistry on Kenny? [Kate Lyn Sheil and Kentucker Audley]
I let Kate and Kentucker in on my writing process. Everyone really… Jay my DP and Kim Sherman my producer… I would location scout places on my own and send them videos of where scenes would take place along with my pages. I think this acted as our rehearsal process—taking course over two months while I finished the script.
8. Yeah but still.
I know. Her performance is fearless. She is one of the most interesting actresses I know. It was tricky what I was asking the actors to do—tow the line between naturalism and high frequency pulp. It’s not an easy thing to pull off. There are only 5 characters, so the success of the film really relied on executing well tuned performances. Kate, Kentucker, AJ Bowen, Kit Gwin, Mark Reeb are all actors I have worked with before and hope to continue working with.
9. Here’s another good question. Where did car?
The car died the last day of shooting, conveniently.
10. Did you have internet access on set? Upload speed?
We were shooting in swamps, backwoods, hot blacktops in the middle of the summer. It was in the high 90s when we shot. I scheduled around high noon and the usual 3pm thunderstorms to get that relentless humidity Florida is so famous for. The heat makes you crazy… hence the strange news stories that come out of Florida.
11. A lot of people write and edit their work. Which comes first?
I edited the first few cuts of Sun Don’t Shine. Then I came onto your film (Upstream Color) and needed someone to finesse the edit while I was acting. David Lowery is one of the only people I trusted to take this on… And luckily enough he lived in Dallas. So we finished the film while I was shooting Upstream.
12. Ever played Halo?
13. I really like the cinematography. Was that iPhone 4 or did you hold out for the 5s?
I think I covered this in a previous question, but I am not anti-digital. I like the look of film, but you can make really gorgeous images on digital.
14. I noticed a lot of locations. Were there any?
I had specific childhood memories attached to all the locations I chose. I honestly forget why I did this. I would have to reference an earlier interview….
15. How come most movies have people you recognize in them and yours doesn’t?
Kate Lyn Sheil can be seen on House of Cards and The Heart Machine, currently playing at Cinema Village in NYC. Kentucker just finished shooting Alex Ross Perry’s new film and runs NoBudge.
16. Is there anyway to watch it not on my laptop?
It is available on iTunes.
BONUS QUESTION. Did you go to school? What grade?
I studied Literature and Art History.