Is a producer a filmmaker?

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The producers, of course. The filmmaker is the person or persons who go to work on a film, decide how it’s going to be structured, who’s going to be doing the scenes and then make sure it’s done.

I think that it’s important for a filmmaker not only to make the film, but also to get involved — both on set and in post-production. There are certain situations and certain things that you need somebody to go to with you to get the film right. I would say the kind of work I do is about getting someone to talk back to me when I say wrong. Somebody to say, hey what’s wrong with the thing that I’m doing? Because sometimes what I’m seeing, I don’t see as clearly as I should. And if I don’t see it as clearly as I should, then I should go talk to somebody who does. In particular, with indie films, because there are fewer people here than with the big ones with all their personnel. It’s easier to find somebody on the outside, who can help you out with what you’re doing with the cameras.

Did you learn any lessons from those three years as a producer that helped you on this film?

Well, it’s important to keep in touch with all the people involved. On many projects, it’s hard to keep in touch with all your co-producers. So you’re trying to figure out whom you don’t know. But the most important and useful thing I learned from the experience was being able to trust what my collaborators say. When something is wrong with a film, I can trust what my collaborators in the room say.

You mention that the production will be limited. But for people like Kevin Smith, who is making all these films, the problem is not limited to a limited number of screens; he can be shooting more than 150 film reels at a time. Do you have any advice for filmmakers who might have to do that sort of work?

Kevin Smith told me when we started working together that his films take up so much space that people are afraid to use them. But what we had to make sure was that we didn’t use them so much that they became obsolete. He uses a projector to give the films some distance to move around, and then we take out his monitors at the back of the room. They’re just not useful. I really try to teach myself how to use projectors but I don’t know how to use them in that situation.