Director, Troy McGatlin chats to us about his three independent films on IndieReign and his experiences as a filmmaker.
Troy McGatlin is the familiar face behind a whopping three films on IndieReign; Broken Fences, Old Coaches and Head Hunters. McGatlin has had some great achievements with all three films such as winning awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Editing. As well as that, his films have premiered at film festivals such as the Denver International Film Festival, Estes Park Film Festival and the New York Independent.
We wanted to find out the secrets behind McGatlin’s success, so we got the chance to talk to him about his films and his experiences as a filmmaker. Take a look at what he had to say…
Well, Old Coaches was actually shot on 16mm film and I was a one man crew. Unlike some of these HD cameras of today, there’s a separate sound system for film cameras. Anyway, I wore the dat recorder (sound) on my chest and I built a microphone stand that hooked into my belt. So in order to get a take off I would first need to read my light meter then adjust my f-stop then start my dat recorder then roll my camera (and since I didn’t have a free hand to slate the take I would just call out the shot number) then snap in front of the lens for a sync mark. I had to do this for all four months of the shoot. Then after shooting I ran out of money and I couldn’t get my footage out of the lab. It took me two years to pull together enough money together to purchase all of my footage back. Oh, and the first edit of the film was done on a movieola (look it up if you don’t know what it is) in my kitchen. Final cut 1 then came out and I borrowed 5k from my brother to telecine the whole film and start the edit again. The film was in post for four years.
What was it that fed your passion for film?
I’m like a lot of filmmakers from my generation. I saw Star Wars when I was six and from that point forward I wanted to make films.
What is your camera of choice for making low budget films, and why?
Well, I’ve been using HVX200 lately but probably never again. It’s become too dated and limited.
Based on your experience, what are three bits of advice you would give to new filmmakers wanting to make their own movies?
1. Don’t talk about making movies, just make movies.
2. I write everyday for just one hour. It takes me a long time to finish a script but I get it done.
3. Sound trumps everything. Strange advice I know but people will watch a crappy image with good sound any day verse a great picture with crappy sound, trust me.
What films/filmmakers have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?
Do you have any other films you are currently working on?
Are you planning to work on another film in the future?
I’ve got a film written and storyboarded titled Helldorado – The Devil’s Playground that I’m in the process of raising the money for now.
Bonus Question! If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?
I guess Stanley Kubrick. He was such a genius filmmaker. I’d love just to pick his brain for an hour or so.
Take a look at the trailer of McGatlin’s film Broken Fences below: