Thursday, July 29, 2010

Daryl Wein on “Breaking Upwards”

What was your filmmaking background before making Breaking Upwards?

DARYL: I never went to film school. I learned everything about filmmaking by trial and error on my own. After I graduated from NYU, I directed a short film, entitled Unlocked, starring Olivia Thirlby that played in the Tribeca Film Festival. You can view the film on darylwein.com. I also directed a feature length documentary, entitled Sex Positive, that Regent distributed about a gay S&M sex worker from the 1980s who helped invent the concept of "safe sex" at the height of the AIDS epidemic.

What was the writing process like and how did you work with your co-writers?

DARYL: The writing process took about a year. At first, Zoe wasn't involved, it was only Peter and myself, and then eventually Zoe warmed more to the idea and helped develop it with us.

In terms of how we worked, I would say we would each write separately and then show each other the material and talk about it. Sometimes we sat together and worked on things, other times we didn't, it was a mixture of the two.

What are the benefits -- and the drawbacks -- of shooting on such a small budget?

DARYL: The benefits are you can basically do whatever you want. The drawbacks are you wear many hats that can detract focus from the more important jobs.

At the end of the day, we made the exact film we set out to make but there was a tremendous strain on all of us to get it done because we didn't have a lot of help. We couldn't pay a full crew, a lot of favors were pulled, and passion only lasts for so long. Ultimately, we are very proud and happy of how it went.

What was the smartest thing you did during production? The dumbest?

DARYL: Smartest thing may have been hiring Alex Bergman, our amazing DP, because he is very talented and also happened to own all of the equipment. The dumbest thing may have been shooting in a 5th floor walk up brownstone with no air conditioning in the middle of summer in New York.

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