Split Screen Episode #57
Projections: Christine Vachon

From Faber & Faber's Projections: Tod Lippy's interview with Christine Vachon

Jonas Mekas told me in his interview that he felt grants were causing the death of the independent film.

Christine Vachon: I don't disagree. I can really argue both sides of the case. On the one hand, I see these mealy-mouthed producers who basically aren't dealing with anything I have to deal with - foreign-sales, and this actor as opposed to that actor, and this union deal, and should we shoot it in Toronto, etc. etc - and they're just filling out their application and mailing it in, you know. I met this Canadian filmmaker a while ago who'd just gotten a million and a half dollars to make his first feature, and he said to me, "I don't really care who sees my movies." I mean, I do believe in a certain degree of art-for-art's-sake. Some of my filmmakers, like Todd Haynes and Todd Solondz, should really just be given the money to do whatever they want, because they're national treasures. But I also do care about who sees my movies. If you make a movie for the right budget, then you will probably be able to get it to a place where it's not devastating anybody financially. And that's part of the trick - it's a commercial art form, and that's part of the process.

You know, a "low-budget" movie is under two million dollars. Well, two million dollars would immeasurably improve my style of life, and I'm sure it would improve yours, but you hear people say, "Uh! We've only got two million." These numbers are insane. I'll read a script, and say to Pam Koffler, my partner at Killer, "What do you think. Ten, twelve?" She'll say, "Ten, maybe nine if we shoot it this way." And we're little! I mean, if you want to express yourself, be a modern dancer.

Projections 11
New York Film-Makers on Film-making
edited by Tod Lippy
faber and faber
© copyright Tod Lippy, 2000

Split Screen: Projections - Christine Vachon Credits

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