We talk with festival producer Janet Pierson, and bring up some of the most exciting films and trends of the conference: sub-culture films, Wikileaks and docs using reenactments.
Carol Morley thrills us with a talk about her brilliant eulogy to a stranger that died alone and went undiscovered for three years in her apartment, Dreams of a Life.
Then Chris Thompson and former-Milwaukee Police Department Homicide Detective Patrick Kennedy join us from screening, Jeff, the captivating film about Jeffrey Dahmer. Their talk, and the Detective’s insight into his experience with Dahmer, are stunning to watch.
Janet Pierson is the producer of the SXSW Film Festival the last four years running. She has been a pivotal figure in independent cinema since the 1970’s and has helped usher major talents such as Spike Lee and Richard Linklater to the public attention. Under her tenure, SXSW has expanded to becoming one of the major indie film fests in America.
Carol Morley was born in Manchester, U.K. and made her debut with, The Alcohol Years. She is centered in London and has made several short films along with the feature, Edge. Dreams of a Life, is her most widely received film to date.
Chris J. Thompson has been involved in film making for over five years and has worn many caps behind the lens. He has also directed four films from his base of Milwaukee. Jeff, is his first film to run at SXSW and has achieved recognition across the country.
00:04 SXSW Part 1: Hybrid Docs Intro.
01:50 Welcoming Janet Pierson, Champion of SXSW.
02:39 An eclectic pool to draw from–subcultures.
04:15 Head Shop docs and the Austin appetites.
06:30 Wikileaks, Anonymous, and interactive films of the fest.
09:40 The difficult work of watching everything.
10:14 Docs using reenactments: Dreams of a Life, and Jeff.
13:32 The intimate sensibility of SXSW for films.
16:33 The submission process for SXSW.
18:48 The prizes and awards of the festival.
19:45 Dreams of a Life, clip.
20:39 Welcoming Carol Morley, director of Dreams of a Life.
21:25 “How did you come across this story?”
24:09 Deciding to incorporate reenactment to tell the story.
25:40 Soliciting for information about the mystery woman.
27:09 The Texas experience for a British filmmaker.
31:32 Getting to know Joyce through making the film.
33:03 “What is the moral of the film?”
35:27 The casting process.
38:19 Difficulties in financing.
40:08 Learning more about the film.
41:01 Dreams of a Life, Trailer.
43:06 Jeff, clip.
45:28 Welcoming Chris Thompson and Dt. Kennedy of Jeff.
46:13 A first time doc maker coming into his own.
47:14 “Why did you want to tell the Jeffrey Dahmer story?”
50:13 “How did you develop a relationship with Dt. Kennedy?”
52:14 The Detective’s extensive on-camera history–some notes on animal torture.
53:37 Some numbers and info on serial killers and Jeffrey Dahmer.
56:36 A “pathetic” public figure gets sympathy from the Dt.
58:50 “An arrest you don’t ever live down,” personal costs of investigating murder.
1:01:18 The three hidden parts of Jeffrey Dahmer’s personality and the size of the fight in the dog.
1:05:37 “How did you interview Dt. Kennedy?”
1:07:02 Cameras and telling the story in three interviews to connect with.
1:09:12 Connecting people through the process.
1:10:49 The SXSW experience: “Candyland.”
1:12:28 The Detective’s response to the film.
1:14:45 Financing the film out of pocket and with Kickstarter.
1:17:02 Learning more about Jeff the movie, and film makers.
1:17:40 When Dahmer was killed in jail-assisted suicide.
1:21:01 Response to the Jeffrey Dahmer tours.
1:22:05 Surviving as a filmmaker and wearing 50 different hats.
1:23:33 Releasing the film and securing distribution.
1:24:29 Jeff, Clip. “I’m not here to judge you.”
1:25:54 Show wrap.