Chasing a Movie: 8 Burning Questions with Jacob Staudenmaier and Nathan Xia | Information
May you inform us a bit about your characteristic movie, “Chasing Sundance”?
Jacob Staudenmaier (J.S.).: It began in 2020 proper round when the pandemic hit. Each Nathan and I had initiatives that had been within the works, after which when COVID-19 hit, they bought canceled clearly. And all of us went house. Nathan and I … would name a bunch, and we might simply watch films collectively. And ultimately, after watching one in all these films one evening … we had been like ‘man, it could be very nice to get again on the market and make a film once more.’
And all on this one evening, we determined we had been going to go on a street journey, and we had been going to shoot a characteristic movie alongside the best way. We had been going to behave in it ourselves — direct it [with] no script … purely only a motive to get out and make one thing once more. I feel on the time we did not actually care whether or not or not it was one thing that we had been going to indicate individuals.
Nathan Xia (N.X.): It was sort of a wild thought, so I really feel like a part of that … we had been simply being impulsive. We had been a bit of buzzed up, and it was similar to ‘dude, we should always make a film. Like, we’ve bought to do that.’ And the subsequent day, the fact sort of set in.
J.S.: It is about two movie college students attempting to make a film and really a lot failing alongside the best way. It was simply form of a option to get out all of our frustrations with not solely being caught in a pandemic, however being in an business that is typically very tough to interrupt into.
N.X.: It is cool as a result of [since] there isn’t any script, the best way we constructed the movie was it was an overview of the film. The best way I all the time examine it’s such as you’re doing a coloring e book and also you’re sketching it out beforehand. After which once we had been on the street, [we’re] filling the sketch with precise shade based mostly off of issues that we see.
Now that the movie has premiered, how do you are feeling now in comparison with your earlier interview in 2020 while you had been nonetheless within the midst of all of it?
J.S.: I feel as soon as we completed it, even whereas we had been modifying it, we knew we had one thing that was very particular. Clearly, we’re gonna be biased on the finish of the day, however we have had such an awesome quantity of nice reactions from it, too, that it has balanced out that bias. It looks like what we did is not only in our heads and there is truly one thing to it.
N.X.: It is all the time cool to share one thing that you simply actually care about with different individuals, and that is actually such a rewarding feeling from making films. When [you’re] doing this, you are in a silo placing in so many hours … and nobody sees the time that [you’re putting in] … The fruits of your labor are literally on the market, and other people can see it and discuss the way it connects to them … I feel one of many coolest issues that occurred since our interview in 2020 was [when we] bought out the complete Santa Monica Laemmle Theater.
We had a complete film premiere evening of it … everybody was laughing on the proper elements … It was simply such a ravishing evening the place we had been capable of actually see firsthand … one thing that we had been capable of create that linked to individuals at some stage. We do that as a result of we find it irresistible, however it does make it really feel a bit of extra price it.
Why a characteristic movie?
N.X.: Nothing to lose, actually. You may as nicely swing for the fences. Generally while you’re doing a brief movie … you are feeling this stress that, you’ve bought to make this good factor. However while you inform individuals you are making a characteristic movie with $2,000, individuals simply sort of chortle they usually do not actually take you too severely since you’re doing just about the inconceivable. And whether it is attainable, it is most likely not gonna be excellent.
J.S.: I feel it simply match the format of happening a street journey. A brief movie you’ll be able to movie in three days. It was like being in a sandbox for 12 days … on this open atmosphere and attending to shoot tons of scenes, and that quantities extra naturally to 90 minutes relatively than 10 minutes.
N.X.: If it was a brief, I feel we might’ve thought of it too severely … Jake and I’ve performed shorts earlier than, so if we’re saying we will make a brief, [we] really feel like there’s this expectation. However, we have by no means performed a characteristic and since we had been capturing for the moon, there isn’t any expectation. We had this freedom to do no matter we wished.
How has it been working with one another all through these years?
J.S.: I feel working with Nathan, it is simply gotten higher and higher over time. We have all the time been mates … And simply enthusiastic about the place we had been in the beginning of the film and butting heads [then to] the place we had been on the finish of the film being nearly fully synced … it is a very stunning factor.
I feel what’s so nice about it’s we each have extraordinarily totally different views on filmmaking and our types are very totally different and the tales we need to inform are very totally different. And our two very totally different brains got here collectively and sort of melded collectively for this movie, and that is what makes it particular. It isn’t simply me; it isn’t simply Nathan. It is the mixed effort of each of us.
N.X.: What we every worth and need to create stylistically in a film are inherently totally different as a result of we’re totally different individuals … It would not even be near the place it’s now if I weren’t making this film with Jacob.
Generally — I am not gonna lie — it was irritating. We might be actually speaking till 4 within the morning … However on the finish of the day, 4 a.m. rolls round, and it is like, ‘Rattling, we actually bought up to now that we would not have realized until we had [had] that forwards and backwards.’
In collaboration, you want belief and that belief stems from the truth that I belief Jacob as a filmmaker. I feel he is some of the proficient filmmakers I do know.
Why did you resolve to play yourselves within the movie?
J.S.: On the time, we had been a lot much less assured actors and in addition it was simply simpler to stay to what we knew. The film’s very a lot based mostly round us as filmmakers. So it is simply simpler to be like, ‘You are Nathan. I am Jacob. These are our character names.’ Additionally, we’re sort of dumb.
N.X.: If his title was Peter, I might neglect. Additionally, we did not have the boldness on this film that we do now. We did not know if it was gonna work or not … We had been enjoying very dramatized film cinematic variations of ourselves. It is simply very actual and genuine. And compelling.
We’d be driving on the street and speaking: ‘Yeah, man. So, you already know, uh, my mother was telling me, blah, blah, blah, and you already know, I am hoping to maneuver again to LA quickly and work out — Oh s—, wait, let’s pull over. Okay. Get in character get in character.’
How did the pandemic affect your work, if in any respect?
J.S.: The pandemic is rarely talked about within the film. That was one factor we had been fairly agency about. We wished the film to exist in sort of its personal time interval and probably not be dated … The film is de facto simply Nathan and [me] on the street collectively. There are barely every other individuals featured. I feel if something, the film — even when it was extra of a unconscious factor — very a lot pertains to simply the sensation of isolation that … everybody was going by way of at the moment … So, if something, I feel its affect was form of thematic in some methods.
That is simply one thing that … would’ve by no means occurred if there wasn’t a pandemic. So it is a very bizarre give and take.
N.X.: The thought of it’s fairly ridiculous to movie. It sounds sort of narcissistic to be like, “Let’s fill 94 minutes of a film with simply me and also you and let’s entertain individuals with that.’ Nevertheless it compelled us to focus deeply on the characters and the characters’ relationship. That is actually what the entire film [is about]: the connection between these two individuals.
And that is what I feel makes it hit house with individuals. You see these nuances in friendship and also you see bits and items from the film that pertains to your individual relationships. And I feel that is actually what the core and the soul of the film are.
Now that you simply’re capable of mirror on the movie, is there something that you’d’ve performed otherwise?
J.S.: It is a cliché reply, however no … I feel there’s not a rattling factor we might change [about] this as a result of it so genuinely got here out of our circumstances on the time.
N.X.: In the event you requested me this with any of my different films the place it is very premeditated and deliberate out, there could be a laundry listing of issues that I may let you know that may very well be improved upon and labored on.
And this film’s not good. That is the factor — it isn’t an ideal film, which is also a dumb idea, however … while you seize lightning in a bottle, why attempt once more? I feel that there is a sure magic to this film … that we had been lucky sufficient to sort of faucet into given our circumstances.
It would be silly to attempt to redo it. Even the climate within the film … goes from sunny to … progressively cloudier after which stormier because the film will get extra chaotic.
Any recommendation for present LMU movie college students?
J.S.: The one method to enhance and work out who you’re as a storyteller is simply to continuously make stuff, and I feel this film is an ideal instance of that. I simply suppose individuals needs to be continuously creating.
N.X.: Together with taking that initiative to make stuff, I feel it simply actually comes from inside. Discovering the boldness to wager on your self, even in case you’re unsure … wager on your self each single time … Nobody’s coming to our doorstep begging us to make any of the films that we make, however we make them as a result of there’s this loopy voice in [our] head that is like, ‘you’ll be able to f—— do that.’
J.S.: Put money into your mates as a result of these individuals have your again on the finish of the day … And that is the way you’re gonna make nice stuff.
The movie is now open to the general public by way of varied platforms.