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Estivemos à conversa com Jeremy Saulnier realizador do filme Green Room.

Fenther – How did you get started? This is your first movie?
Jeremy Saulnier – I started by making home movies in my backyard at the age of 8. I was fascinated with building scale models, special effects makeup and ‘movie magic’ in general. I knew what I wanted to be and went to NYU film school to become a director. After earning a degree, I had to start from scratch and work as an assistant for years. Between paying work, my friends and I wrote scripts and made short films to keep our creativity sharp. After a few years, I decided to stop working as a Production Assistant and pursue camera work. It was a technical position and would keep me on set in a more creative capacity. After my short film, “Crabwalk” won a few festivals I got a couple of commercial directing gigs. I saved money and spent it on my first feature, MURDER PARTY. That was a horror comedy with a small cult following, but it didn’t make money and I went back to camera work. Six years later I had saved enough for my next film, BLUE RUIN. That had a much better reception and it premiered at Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. So from there I was granted a level of access I had never imagined. I went straight into GREEN ROOM, which is my third feature.

Fenther – What advice can you give to people wanting to get into the business?
Jeremy Saulnier – It’s hard to give advice because it took me 15 years to really break in. So I guess you never know what to expect and there’s no magic formula for success, but there’s one thing I’m sure of—if you quit, if you give up, you’ll never make it. So do whatever you must, keep a day-job, save money and buy a house, be smart about when you spend your own money and when you don’t, but don’t ever give it up completely unless you find something better.

"Social media is very important to an up and coming director who makes independent films."

Fenther – In some words tell us about "Green Room"...
Jeremy Saulnier– GREEN ROOM is a punk rock siege thriller that takes place in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. After playing a concert for a hostile crowd of skinheads, an out of town band witness a murder backstage. The skinhead crew, taking their orders from Darcy Banker (Patrick Stewart), set out to cover up the murder and eliminate all witnesses. It’s full of action and violence and mayhem, but what makes it stand out is the amazing ensemble cast that bring an unexpected amount of charged emotion and character drama to the experience.

Fenther – What do you feel is missing in entertainment today?
Jeremy Saulnier – I think entertainment today has a lot to offer if you know where to look. The trouble is it’s getting harder and harder for the more interesting work to thrive as audiences flock to huge franchise films with tens of millions of dollars of marketing behind them. As a filmmaker, I just try and do my part by creating films that fill a certain void and offer audiences something a bit different—action and thrills balanced with a naturalistic aesthetic and grounded characters.

Fenther – How have things changed since you got into the business???
Jeremy Saulnier – That’s hard to say because I’ve been ‘breaking in’ to the business for about 17 years! When I started out, I was still shooting on film and cutting it with a razor blade in the edit suite. I’ve tried to stay up to date technically by working as a cinematographer, and I’m very pleased with how cameras have evolved over the last decade. It really is possible to create cinema for little money. As far as the business and financing models, it’s a great time to be a content creator because there are so many outlets competing for material. I’m not a huge fan of the current trend towards foreign pre-sales for financing. That approach is very limiting for forward-looking directors because pre-sales are always based on past performance. But business models are cyclical just like technology. So in the meantime, I’ll attempt to make as many traditional films with a theatrical release as I can before everything becomes 3D 8K streaming video with ‘choose our own adventure’ interactive storylines!

"GREEN ROOM is a punk rock siege thriller that takes place in the Pacific Northwest of the United States."

Fenther – How important is social media for promoting your movies???
Jeremy Saulnier – Social media is very important to an up and coming director who makes independent films. I was a skeptic back in 2014, but my distributor suggested I start a Twitter account to promote BLUE RUIN. I soon saw how effective it was in boosting an otherwise modest marketing effort. BLUE RUIN ended up cracking the iTunes top ten in the U.S. upon its release, which was largely due to the power of social media. Now, if we had gotten terrible reviews, it may have had the opposite effect so I consider myself lucky.

Fenther – What do you love about directing?
Jeremy Saulnier – I love stories and I love creating things that seem ‘real’ out of things that aren’t. I love ‘pulling things off’ and selling ‘gags’. I love being able to explore details of stories that other filmmakers might overlook. Most importantly, I love working with talented collaborators and mixing business with pleasure.

Fenther – What areas would you like to explore in the future?
Jeremy Saulnier – I’d be happy to tackle different genres in the future. I’m currently happy with horror/thrillers not because they’re the only stories I want to tell but because they offer the most opportunities for high-impact visual storytelling. It might be hard to believe, but I started out wanting to make comedies!

Vitor Pinto