1. Film, film, film: you're around it all day! Were you a big movie buff growing up?
Well, we had cable growing up, so I was exposed to movies there. I've just always been a fan of stories I read a ton, and discovered the theatre right away, started acting in kindergarten all through college. I started directing for the stage and realized I loved that about as much as being on stage. Film was just the next step I like that it has the potential to reach such a large audience.
2. What's your favorite activity that Cinema St. Louis does?
I love it all! One aspect I don't know that people know much about is our CinemaSpoke screenplay competition and workshop. I think this is especially exciting because it draws the local film community together and there is an exciting synergy around the script process. Local actors read the scripts in front of an audience. People meet and support each other. It's cool. The submission deadline for this year is February 4th.
3. Tell us about the independent movie you made.
It's a short film 14 minutes called Wedding Laine. It's a sweet story about love and family. I made it in 2002 and it played six film festivals in 2003. I had an amazingly talented group of collaborators actors and crew. All from right here in St. Louis! We shot it in University City at Arcade Lanes, which tragically burnt down the summer of '03. I am so glad the film exists as a last memory of the beloved place.
4. You've just finished up the 13th St. Louis International Film Festival: how many movies did you personally sit through during the course of the festival, and did you have a favorite?
During the festival I'm lucky if I get to sit through one film, always something to "handle" in the lobby! However, in preparing the festival, I see a LOT! I scout films year round. I attend Sundance in January which is one of my favorite places! I am also 1/2 of the team that chooses our short films. This year we had nearly 650 films to watch; we choose 85 for the festival. I think our short film programs are all very good and quite diverse. The themes this year included Strained Relationships, Weird Science and Funky Funny Stuff.
5. Are you one of those people who's absorbed so much theory and film lore that you find it hard to sit through mainstream theater fare?
No way! Sometimes I crave a cheesy romantic comedy or slick Hollywood musical. Honestly, I love independent film, but sometimes it's soooo bleak and gritty. As a film lover I want to see all the bells and whistles sometimes, too!
6. How do you break it to aspiring filmmakers if their work isn't any good?
This is hard. It is the worst part of the job. As a filmmaker myself, I try to be extremely sensitive. As they say, it's just as hard to make a bad movie as it is a good one. I think it's important to be honest and give specifics, good and bad. This is a subjective art form people will always see things differently. My opinion is just one.
7. If you had to recommend one holiday major-release, what would it be?
I'm hoping The Phantom of the Opera will make me proud. I have met both the lead actors and would love to see them succeed.
8. What are the most exciting trends for you right now in movies?
I don't know about trends per se, but it's an exciting time for filmmakers because the tools and technology are so much more accessible. People can do a lot more for less money and that's good as long as they don't skimp on story and talent.
9. Are you working on any new personal film projects right now?
Always. I am producing with a local writer whose script, Original Cyn, got into the IFP market in NYC this September. We are raising money now and hope to shoot the film here later this year. Also, I'm taking my first stab at my own script. This is new territory!
10. Best movie snack?
I'm a Junior Mints girl and popcorn of course but not together!
11. Andrea's top five desert-island-with-a-projector films:
This is hard! All of these I could watch a hundred times!
The Philadelphia Story
Dream with the Fishes
The Princess Bride
Shakespeare in Love
And, since it's the holidays, White Christmas
(Yeah, I know it's six. Sorry!)
Andrea Sporcic is the Operations Manager for Cinema St. Louis, which produces the St. Louis International Film Festival.