I began filmmaking in high school, at the Chicago Academy for the Arts. My first documentary was about a dysfunctional obese middle-aged carpet cleaner named Bill, who lived with his Mom, and his love affair with Anna, a drug-addicted prostitute. I made that when I was 16.
Slamdance actually is indie and rebellious. Sundance obviously felt threatened.
Sundance claimed to be "rebellious" on all of their programs, but they are not. Most of the movies at Sundance were multi-million dollar pictures that were already guaranteed a theatrical release.
All of William S. Burroughs friends pushed it forward and introduced me to one another. I was able to enter into that beat family for a while and document it.
After I got kicked out of CalArts, I moved to Lawrence Kansas where my sister lived. I began working on A William S. Burroughs documentary. I had no idea it would turn into such a big film.
Authors and artists are still afraid of breaking away as far as [William Burroughs] did... And he did it in the 50s!
[Allen] Ginsberg totally helped that out. He was the best sales person. He was the most pop. They are still shocking and relevant, especially [William] Burroughs.
I picked up On The Road, Howl, and Naked Lunch (in that order) in high school. I was blown away. The writing was amazing and the places it took me was even more far out. It opened up new avenues of thinking for me and so I went down the beaten road.
I'm really happy I was kicked out of CalArts (for a controversial art piece I made).
I like documenting people who can break away from the conformist boring world we are stuck in and either live their life in a much more far out way or create art that critiques it well.
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