The Myth of the American Sleepover" written and directed by David Robert Mitchell. The first time director was in attendance along with actor Amanda Bauer for an insightful 30 minute Q&A. Check out some of the highlights below...
David Robert Mitchell's "The Myth of the American Sleepover" is not like your typical teen movie and the director says that was very much the intention. He said he wanted to take the typical conventions of a teen film and "do something a little bit more gentle." "Take clichés and turn them upside and slow them down," David Robert Mitchell said. A style that slows everything down allowing the audience to get to know the characters and spend time with them. The film has a naturalistic element though as David Robert Mitchell says, "It is dream like. Not just reality but an impression of a memory."
When asked what it was like working on his first feature length film David Robert Mitchell explained it is the "same skill set as making a short film just multiplied." He said it was important to "remind yourself where you are in the film" and also "where the audience is going to be emotionally" in each scene. DRM also told the crowd that he outlined some of the major characters out while filming as to keep track of their development but that some of the characters changed by what was happening naturally with the actors while filming. The biggest difference Robert David Mitchell immediately noticed in shooting his first full length film was "having to pace yourself physically to get through the long hours filming."
David Robert Mitchell told us that this movie is personal to him and something he has worked on for a long time dating all the way back to film school. He noted that the film is semi-autobiographical. "Certain aspects are real and certain aspects are completely made up," he said. David Robert Mitchell lamented that some of the script was "stuff he wanted to have happen that didn't" or stuff that he "thought happened to someone else growing up." The biggest hurdle he's faced with the film is convincing someone to distribute a film that has a such a different pace from what is currently being made. DRM said he was "inspired by the films of the French New Wave" and wanted to make a film that resembled early Peter Bogdanovich. Thankfully for us, IFC picked up rights in October of 2010 after high praise from critics around the globe at a number of film festivals including being the only American film selected to run during 'Critics Week' at Cannes in 2010. IFC will begin rolling "The Myth of the American Sleepover" out in limited theaters starting July 29th.
KCET Cinema Series and also my full review of "The Myth of the American Sleepover."