|Local filmmaker keeps rolling after Sundance screening|
Zachary Godshall gained notoriety early this year when he brought his film, Lord Byron, to the Sundance Film Festival. Now, he's back in Baton Rouge, dreaming up his next big project and continuing a screenwriting residency at LSU. 225 caught up with Godshall to find out where he's taking his filmmaking talents next.
You've made three independent films so far. How do you keep momentum?
My strategy is I'm always writing. I've got a file cabinet full of scripts, treatments and ideas ready to go.
What's your next film project?
Kind of a Depression-era, Southern, rural, bizarro comedy. Some real wild characters. We want to shoot it before the end of the year around St. Francisville.
Is your creative collaboration with (Lord Byron co-creator) Ross Brupbacher on-going?
We're taking it project by project. He and I wrote the story for Posheen, a Depression-era comedy, and I wrote the screenplay. We've had some other movie ideas and an idea for a television show.
What's changing about how movies are made?
The reality of actually making a film is totally different than it was 15 years ago, even five years ago. It's changing almost every year. The technical resources available are developing in front of our faces.
How do you conquer the hurdle of turning an idea into a film? Do you just say, “Let's just do this. We have the tools, so why be afraid?”
Exactly. Let's cast some of these incredibly talented people who aren't necessarily actors, but we know they can do it, and they will be really interesting in the film. This route I've chosen is an unlikely route, but I've learned over time.
What did you get out of having Lord Byron screen at the Sundance Film Festival?
At Sundance, I met a couple of producers from Nashville who wanted to work together. I started to collaborate with them to develop Posheen. Then Amy Mitchell-Smith (former executive director for the Baton Rouge Film Commission) wanted to get back into producing films. So Amy got on board the team of producers. We're hoping to shoot it before the end of the year.
What have you learned about filmmaking in doing it, and what would you change?
I learned that it's possible to make movies that people will actually enjoy. You don't need a lot of money and a lot of people to do it anymore. However, from a career perspective, I'm trying to think about ways to combine my do-it-yourself method with fundraising [beforehand] to work with established producers and casts.
Are you looking to return to LSU in the fall or focus full-time on filmmaking?
I've really enjoyed teaching at LSU, and everyone there has been very supportive of me and my work. It looks like I'll be teaching in the fall and spring, and likely for some time to come. But with the state's ever-looming budget cuts, you never know what might happen.
How to see Lord Byron
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