This is very likely the best list ever created on our site: “Best Xmas Present Ever“
Thomas Brodahl is a self-identified “creative polymath,” – a truly multidisciplinary creator with a palpable love for design, art, ideas, and most importantly, people. Born in Bergen, Norway, Thomas spent his teenage years in Luxembourg, where he founded his first design studio in the late 90s. After starting the influential Surfstation project (in 2000, with Yohan Gingras and German Olaya), he launched his first product-oriented company, Stolen, in 2004 (in L.A.), simultaneously tackling projects for a wide range of clients along the way. In an effort to facilitate the creation of beautiful, easy-to-realize websites for people in need of an alternative to current tools, Thomas recently launched Nubook. We’re grateful he took the time to chat with us about this exceptional new platform while sharing some inspiring thoughts on design, technology and humanity. Be sure to check out his excellent Listgeeks lists after you read the below interview.
Listgeeks: How did the concept for Nubook come about (and evolve) before you launched it?
Thomas Brodahl: It was twofold: A) Websites are too hard to make/manage, and B) most of them are boring to look at. Considering that most websites are 4-5 pages, we felt that we should be able to come up with something easier and faster to use than the existing systems. Inspired by the new iPad magazines and all the resurgent rage about desktop publishing, we figured we would try to make the same level of design quality for the web. So we started with a blank 990×620 page and built from there. We ended up with a pretty simple system that works a bit like HyperCard. You create pages and link them together using simple tools. The whole thing is really visual and intuitive to use. Drag-and-drop and edit-in-page.
LG: What are some of your favorite examples of how people have used the service and templates up to this point?
TB: Mostly people use Nubook for portfolios – artists, actors, photographers, directors, architects, designers, etc. – but every so often people take it and go in unexpected directions. We had a woman create a 40 page job application for a non-profit organization that she really wanted to work for – she told an amazing story, full of photos and videos. If I was an employer looking at candidates, I would have been thoroughly impressed.
Our youngest Nubook user is probably Josie Scout – she’s had a Nubook since before she was born. Her parents use Nubook to share her growth with friends and family. I feel like a proud uncle whenever new pages are added to her book. We’ve also had some great weddings (Kimberley & Nikolai + Ariel & Jonathan) and even a castle.
One of the earliest Nubooks was actually by a woman who made a really beautiful site for a memorial service to her Uncle who had just passed away. You could tell that she needed to make a site in a short period of time and didn’t know how. Nubook allowed her to tell the story of this man through photos from his life. I remember seeing the pages come in, and them bringing tears to my eyes. There have been many others that surprised me, but that one sticks out in my mind. It made me feel like we had contributed to the world in a tangible way by helping her make this beautiful tribute.
LG: What are you focusing on with Nubook, update-wise?
TB: Right now we are focusing on growing our user base so we can keep expanding the platform. We didn’t take any funding, so we need to make sure we can pay for future development.
There’s a long list of things we’d like to add down the road. Password protection for private presentations, multiple Nubooks on one account, more themes, possibly opening up the template builder to pro-clients . . . I could go on for days about the potential of the platform.
LG: You’ve been involved with a wide range of your own projects (in various disciplines) over the years, while simultaneously taking on work for various clients. Do you find it difficult to maintain a balance between those two things? How does your work with Nubook fit in?
TB: It’s difficult, but I think I’m coming to terms with it. I’ve always been interested in so many things, and being a creative spirit I want to explore all these areas. Sometimes I think I would benefit from more focus on one thing – since that is what is always hailed as the secret to success – and other times I accept the fact that my life is far more interesting and full thanks to my many experiences and pursuits, whether they were “successes” or “failures.” Everything I do teaches me more about myself and the world around me – to me that is true wealth.
To illustrate my point: Currently I’m developing another publishing platform, working on an iPhone camera app, planning a documentary about web design, and designing a new religion. On top of doing client work to pay the bills.
I can’t help myself, and I think I’m fine with that.
LG: What have been the most compelling innovations, from your perspective, when it comes to Web-based design over the last few years?
TB: Fonts, ajax, s3. Technology basically catching up, and making life easier for people developing in the medium to be creative.
I still think that creative web publishing is beyond the reach of most people. They can figure out Facebook, but not much else. I look forward to the day when everyone feels empowered to create on the web in their own space, outside of the rigid structures of social networks. I hope Nubook is a step in that direction.
LG: You started Surfstation nearly 13 years ago, and you’ve championed countless innovative designers and projects over the years. Though there was always a political/socially-conscious component to what you curated (and to your work, generally), it feels like bringing attention to causes you feel passionate about has become more central to what you do. Do you feel that’s the case? How do you think design can best help bring about positive change?
TB: I think when I started out I was just curious about design and learning the trade. I wanted to work for Nike and all the sexy brands out there. As I grew older and more seasoned I started to realize that design and advertising are often confused with each other, but are very different disciplines. One solves, the other sells. Sadly most of the great designers/communicators are hired to make advertising on Madison Avenue, much like the best scientists and mathematicians are hired to crunch numbers on Wall Street. I believe design has the chance to make this planet a much better place, but we need to elevate our profession from its current position, and use it to create the “design revolution” that Buckminster Fuller was championing 40 years ago. Designers are uniquely positioned to recognize the problems we face and come up with creative solutions to them. If we would take our sights away from profits and towards people, we could come up with the designs that will save life on this planet.
For the past 6 years I’ve been studying and researching for what will hopefully be my opus – United People – a human operating system based on the best thinking from all human disciplines. As a designer you are always looking for problems to solve, so I decided to go for the biggest problem I could find. How do you change people’s thinking on a base level, so that they can take personal action to elevate themselves and others? A secular religion for the 21st century. Hopefully I only have a couple more years to go. Stay tuned. ∆ UP.
The Berlin Design Guide is the latest in a series of books initiated by Viviane Stappmanns and Kristina Leipold (aka Alphabet Press). It’s a city guide and design directory rolled into one – the perfect companion for design-savvy travelers and Berlin natives alike. We are thrilled that Viviane and Kristina have shared a group of Berlin-related lists on Listgeeks from the guide – the results of their extensive research and visits to places all over the city over a course of a year. Lists as carefully curated as these are pure gold! Also, thanks to Viviane for being kind enough to answer a few questions for us:
Listgeeks: In which way would you say the Berlin Design Guide is different from other travel or city guides?
Viviane Stappmanns: The Berlin Design Guide is the latest in a series of experiments that started in 2006 in Melbourne, Australia. Back then, we – a couple of design journalists – figured that people interested in architecture, urban design, fashion design or any other kind of design usually have a very specific approach to getting to know cities. They are interested in the development in a city as a creative place, and they look for experiences through which they can get to know the very local character of a city – whether it be art galleries, restaurants or a look behind-the-scenes of local designers. Our first design guide, published in Melbourne late in 2006, provided such a resource for both locals and visitors – and it was unexpectedly successful. Over the years, we’ve expanded and continued our experiment until we developed it into a blueprint that could technically work in any city of the world. The Berlin Design Guide was the first book to be published under this new umbrella.
VS: There were two distinct parts to this process. First, we developed – as described above – the blueprint for the entire series. In a roundabout way, we did this by coming up with a set of questions relating to various areas of the design scene. Questions such as: In which ways are historic buildings re-purposed to serve the purposes of the creative community? What are the current developments in architecture, and which buildings illustrate these developments? Also, we interviewed many local designers, academics, journalists, curators and so forth. All of the individual places and designers featured in the book – when viewed together – form a picture of the city as a creative place, and they each contribute a piece to the puzzle.
LG: Berlin has a reputation for being extremely attractive to creatives and artists from all over the world – mainly due to its low cost of living. What other things have you identified as being driving forces in making Berlin so attractive to the design and art community?
VS: Aside from the low cost of living, which is indeed an often-cited characteristic of this city, most artists and designers refer to the abundance of space – both literal and metaphorically – as one of the things that makes the city so attractive. All those re-purposed, derelict and abandoned buildings are the perfect incubators to grow a creative dream.
LG: You have already published Design Guides for Melbourne and Sydney. What’s next?
VS: We do commit to updating the guides every couple of years or so. Next, we are looking at publishing Melbourne and Sydney again – both in the new format of the series. We are also looking at creative cities in Europe such as Antwerp, Zürich and Istanbul, all of which are interesting for different reasons.
Catrina Dulay is a compelling, San Diego-based designer and illustrator. Having recently graduated from design school (she attended Otis College of Art and Design, among other schools), she has written both for Design Milk and Holiday Matinee while tackling a wide range of projects for clients. Just a few weeks ago Catrina launched a beautiful new personal project, Catrina and Mouse – a shop for cat-themed art and design. Apart from her obvious design/illustration skills (samples below) Catrina is a prolific and thoughtful list maker, and we’re very happy she’s a part of the Listgeeks community. Be sure to check some of her lists out after you read the below interview.
Listgeeks: What first got you interested in pursuing design as a profession?
Catrina Dulay: My interest in art was a precursor to my interest in design. In elementary school, art was the only thing I felt good about doing because I wasn’t very good at anything else and being an only child gave me a lot of solitary time. I knew right away that I wanted to go to art school, but I had no idea what design was yet. I just liked pictures, colors, and putting things together.
I discovered web design in middle school and played around with Geocities sites until early high school, which was when I became interested in graphic design instead. Around this time, I also developed an interest in photography, but design was always my number one interest. After high school, I attended Otis College of Art Design in Los Angeles and finished my studies at a smaller design school in San Diego a year and a half ago.
While I was studying, I discovered how much I enjoyed the creative process and how much it affects the work that I do. It affects any creative endeavor. I was watching the Anthony Hopkins episode of Inside the Actors Studio and he explained that he modeled Hannibal Lecter after reptiles. I thought, “That was a good idea.” Because it worked! It made that character terrifying! These ideas, these ways of approaching things… all of it has a big impact on the results. It’s also a major part of what makes the job fulfilling, because I’m not just creating stuff. I’m figuring stuff out. I’m solving problems. I’m finding answers to questions that I never thought of asking myself and reasons for things I never thought about. I really love that. That’s my favorite part of being a designer, and that’s how I knew I was pursuing the right profession.
LG: How long have you been a contributor to Holiday Matinee? How did that come about?
CD: I have been a part of Holiday Matinee for three years and two months now. When I started out, I was an intern and it was still based in San Diego. I discovered Holiday Matinee through another internship I was doing for Design Milk. At the time, I was taking online classes so I had enough free time for a second internship, so when Holiday Matinee had one available, I met with Dave (the founder) and took it. I was really excited to surround myself by like minded people, especially since I wasn’t in a physical classroom environment for a little while. I’m really grateful to be a part of this team of awesome people who are all about sharing creative inspiration and letting other people know that it’s more than okay to pursue what you love (in fact, this encouragement is a demand). Also, I should note that if it wasn’t for Dave forwarding me the Listgeeks launch announcement two years ago, I would not have discovered Listgeeks in the first place!
LG: You recently launched Catrina and Mouse, a shop for cat-themed art and design. Tell us how the idea to do that evolved.
CD: The idea evolved about a year ago when I was unhappy with my creative work. It was about six months after I finished school and my inner confidence as a designer was low because I couldn’t find my niche. When you’re young and hungry, it’s disappointing because you want to satisfy your hunger, but you don’t know exactly what to satisfy it with. I knew what I wanted, but I did not know what I wanted (imagine the word “wanted” in a magnificent and gaudy lighted signage style). That made it easy to compare myself to other people who found their niche. I would look at some of my talented peers and think, “I could’ve done that! I could’ve created that!” But I could not have done this or created that. It wouldn’t have suited me and I probably wouldn’t have been able to do those things as well as they did. Making those comparisons was was a bad way to deal with self-doubt. I had to figure out what I could do to rejuvenate myself and my work. Whatever it was, it didn’t have to be groundbreaking, but it had to be done well and it had to make people happy. That was how Catrina and Mouse was born.
I thought it would be a neat idea to combine two things I love: cats and design. It’s not a unique concept (there is a lot of cat-oriented design out there already), but I thought that I could do something special with it. At first, it was a hypothetical idea, but I thought about it a lot. I thought about it in the shower, at night before I went to sleep, and in the morning when I woke up. That had to mean something. Eventually, I allowed myself to get lost in the fantasy of it and it became a more fully realized picture of everything I wanted to do as a designer. I thought, “Gosh, how fabulous it would be to make this happen!” And then I decided to go for it.
I wrote a plan long enough to fill a notebook and I worked on it a couple of hours each day for eleven months. When I approached the eleventh month, there wasn’t much I wanted to say about what I was doing. When you invest a lot of your time and energy doing something like that, you don’t want to explain it. You just want people to see it. So when I finally launched the shop, I was happy because I made something and I grew in the process. I think when you’re a young designer just out of school, you never stop being a student. At least, that’s how I feel. I think that a lot of master designers can still be students in a sense that they’ll always be learning something new about what they do and who they are as designers. I still have so much to learn because I’m new and I haven’t been broken by the wheel of design and business ownership yet, but I’m sure it’ll be a good hurt. So far, I’m glad I learned this: if you don’t make something, it doesn’t exist and if you want it to exist, it can, but that’s up to you.
LG: What are some of your favorite sources of cat-related Internet madness?
CD: Surprisingly, I don’t visit a lot of cat-related sites. My favorites are Hauspanther, Cat versus Human, and Cash Cats. Most of my cat dosage comes from Tumblr (I follow a lot of cat Tumblrs). There are a lot of nice cats there. Most of the time, I come across a cat I like and I think about how fabulous it would be to know that cat. The rest of my internet cat dosage comes from Flickr, YouTube, BuzzFeed, Pinterest, a LiveJournal community I frequent, and stuff that my friends send me because they know me so well. I’m quite certain I cancelled out the first sentence in this paragraph three sentences ago.
LG: You’re an avid list maker – in fact one of the most prolific on Listgeeks. What is it about lists that you think make them compelling? What are some of your all-time favorites on the site?
CD: I’ve always loved making lists for practical reasons and amusement. I think they’re compelling for many different reasons, and the more specific they get, the better they are. One really good example is the list, “Possible Names for a Pet Owl.” It’s not just any bird! It’s an owl! It’s a bird with a certain personality! Someone listed Wrathgarden and Serpent’s Madness, which are perfect names for an owl. I love the thought that went into that list, and I see a lot of that in many other lists on the site.
There are also lists that are really thought-provoking, like “Songs I Don’t Want to Hear While I’m Drinking a Smoothie” and “Famous Actors in Two Words.” Those are mental exercises. The “favorites” lists are great, too, because I enjoy discovering movies, books, and music. I also appreciate the informative lists (especially the design-related ones) and the lists that express frustrations because I love learning about people’s annoyances (not just the things they like). The lists I love most are the ones that help me discover new things about myself, like the “Things I Observe Upon Meeting Someone” list.
My all-time favorite lists are:
Peter Baker is a versatile, Ann Arbor-based photographer who has worked on a number of high-profile projects (with clients as diverse as I.D. Magazine, Hermann Miller, ESPN, and Zara) and had his work featured in an impressive assortment of publications (including How Magazine and American Photographer). While a meaningful percentage of Peter’s commercial work involves portraiture, his body of personal and professional images features a broad and compelling mix of beautifully captured landscapes, editorial subject matter and lifestyle shots. We’re grateful that Peter took the time to tell us about some of his influences and interests, and to give us a little insight into his process. Be sure to check out his lists after you read the below interview.
Listgeeks: What originally got you interested in taking pictures?
Peter Baker: When my drawing skills couldn’t keep up with my imagination, and when I realized I was forgetting about some of the great places I was going. I also had a great professor in college who got me a lot more in to photography as a documentary art, rather than a purely visual art.
LG: From the outside, it seems like you and your wife Michelle, with whom you partner on design-related projects as Elevated Works, take on a pretty wide range of projects. How do you figure out where to focus your creative energy?
PB: That’s a tough question, I’m not sure we’re terribly good at that, the focusing of creative energies. We both get obsessed with different things at different times, and just try to keep the bills paid while getting side tracked on whatever shiny thing is in front of us at the time. I’m a dilettante about a lot of things, but try to get good at all of them a little at a time. So one week I’ll play with lamp making, then woodshop projects, then tinkering with circuit boards, all while trying to keep up with skills we’re actually paid for. I’m sure there’s some rationalization to be made about variety being a valuable thing, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say we spread ourselves a bit thin.
LG: You’ve captured some quintessentially American images in a few of the personal projects featured on your site (Go West, These Great Lakes, Scrubbed and from your travels in Alaska) and a fantastic group of images from a visit to Iceland (Iceland) – if you could pick two or three places you’ve never been to spend a week shooting, where would you go? Has travel/being on the road always been an important inspiration?
PB: That’s actually one of the first lists I’ve made on Listgeeks. I would kill to shoot in North Korea for a while, or any of the post-Soviet eastern bloc areas. There’s something magical about the unified architecture and really heavy-handed aesthetic of those areas.
I’d also go back to Iceland in a heartbeat, and southern Chili/Argentina. I like the edges of places. Kamchatka looks pretty too. Travel is really important to me, I get bored with my immediate surrounding (visually) really quickly, no matter where I’ve lived. Once I’ve photographed an area, I sort of feel done with it, and want to move on.
LG: Who are some of the photographers/artists you find inspiring these days?
LG: While your commercial photography work has involved a wide range of clients (I’ll list a few here), it also seems like you’ve made an effort to focus on local/regional projects as well. How is working in photography different for you, do you think, compared with photographers working primarily in places like L.A. or New York?
PB: Not being in a major media market like New York, LA, or even Chicago is definitely an impediment against having a full-time career as a commercial photographer, no doubt about that. But it’s not like it’s exactly easy for everyone living in those cities either, and I’d hate for photography to ever feel like a grind, so I’m lucky that I can do other things that people want to pay for that aren’t as dependent on my location, and keep a healthy mix of pursuits, both personal and commercial.
Listgeeks co-founder Derick Rhodes is a man of many projects and interests. While his professional life is currently divided between Listgeeks and fStop (the Berlin-based image library he works on with Listgeeks collaborator Max Zerrahn), he is also an avid photographer, songwriter, and – as of earlier this year – filmmaker (more on that below). When he’s not busy making lists (752 to date, whoa!) Derick enjoys strolling around NYC and hanging out with his daughters. Check out the below interview for more on how and why Listgeeks came to be – and to learn about some of Derick’s influences and current obsessions:
LG: How did the initial idea for Listgeeks come about?
Derick Rhodes: Max and I have have been friends for a long time, and on many occasions our shared love of lists has been a topic. While it’s easy to find out what your friends are listening to, or maybe which movies they’ve found interesting lately, we thought it would also be cool if there were a way to share a wider range of interests, so that people could explore the inspirations and interests of others across a variety of categories.
LG: What have been some of your favorite lists since you launched the Website?
DR: As Max mentioned in his interview, we’ve been surprised by the ways in which people use lists not just to catalog the things they like, but to communicate something about who they are. In this fantastic interview with Spiegel, the novelist Umberto Eco argues that the list “is the origin of culture,” and I think it’s true that there’s a very fundamental satisfaction in arranging things (from feelings to least favorite sports teams) in list form. Lists give life order and help us to more easily process the world. Here are some favorites:
Morrissey Vs. Technology by Derick
Artists in Love by ollygolightly
A current to do list copied and pasted from my phone by Girls
Best ways to hide you’re a tourist by limboyouth
Hip Hop Tracks that Won’t Happen by wired
LG: How can you imagine Listgeeks changing/expanding in the future?
DR: We sent a message out to the Listgeeks community a few months back, trying to see who might be interested in partnering with us to evolve the site/project, and the feedback has been really interesting. We’re currently in discussion with a few different potential partners, and we hope to have an announcement of one sort or another in the coming weeks. From my perspective, the priorities in further developing the site are pretty simple:
- Launch an awesome mobile app, so that people can easily make and read lists on the go, and
- Find a smart way for people to include images/video/sound with each of the items they add to a list.
LG: Are you a big user of social media apart from Listgeeks?
DR: I (mostly grudgingly) use Facebook daily, and I’m relatively active on Twitter, but I prefer Listgeeks.
LG: Tell us about the movie you made – how did that come about?
DR: It’s called Secret Everything, and I shot it with some friends last year in Brooklyn (where I live) and Vermont. It was a low budget affair – I’ve been obsessed with filmmaking since I was a teenager and decided to write something that could be produced relatively quickly (the shoot lasted 8 days) with a minimal crew. Film Threat published the first review a few days ago, and now I’m waiting to hear back from a bunch of different festivals – fingers crossed it will be released on the major digital platforms (Netflix, iTunes) later this year, but if not I’ll find a way to make it available.
LG: What are some of your favorite Websites at the moment, apart from Listgeeks?
I really like:
Kentucker Audley is a Memphis-based independent filmmaker, actor, writer and curator. He released his first film, Open Five (which the New Yorker called “One of the Top 25 Films of the Year”), in 2010, and posted the follow-up, Open Five 2, to the Web (where you can watch it free of charge) just yesterday. Working beyond the realm of traditional film distribution and the hype-driven festival circuit, Kentucker has become an important voice in American independent cinema over the last few years. His website NoBudge, which launched last year, showcases an inspiring collection of “truly independent,” carefully curated films. After you’ve had a chance to read the below interview and check out his lists, we highly recommend you spend some time exploring the below-the-radar-but-seriously-deserving work he’s featuring.
Derick Rhodes/Listgeeks: Before we get to NoBudge, what’s the latest on Open Five 2, your current film?
Kentucker Audley: It was just released on NoBudge – it was made for the web. I love the idea of making a film and then it’s immediately available. It’s very time-consuming and expensive submitting to festivals, traveling with the film, and chasing down distributors. And usually it doesn’t amount to a significant boost in exposure, or financial gain.
LG: In the last few years, you’ve written/directed/acted/curated. If you could, would you spend the bulk of your time in one of these areas exclusively, or is doing a little of everything important to you/your process?
KA: I like mixing it up. They all play off each other – maintaining each makes me better at the others. Running the blog keeps me up on new films. Acting gets me out of my comfort zone. Writing and directing is how it all started, my first love, how I defined myself initially.
LG: How did No Budge come about?
KA: I remember searching iTunes one day and on the front page was “The Ryan Reynolds Collection,” featuring, you guessed it, all of Ryan Reynolds’ movies! Seeing that was like touching a hot stove. I had that same recoil. That’s a common problem trying to find movies online or VOD. Search any major platform and try to find a truly indie film without having having to wade through Total Recall or The Watch. It’s like having to walk through McDonalds to get to the farmers market. It kills the vibe. After a couple of these experiences, I started to think it was important to create a home for only small films, free from Hollywood eyesores. I had no web experience, but keeping it simple was fine, so I just started a Tumblr blog and began posting under-the-radar films.
LG: On the one hand, it seems like it’s nearly impossible for microbudget/small-scale films to get conventional/mainstream attention these days, and on the other, there’s tons of great work being made, and it couldn’t be easier to push movies to the Internet. Do you think we’re at the point where the traditional film industry is going to (finally) be disrupted in a serious way?
KA: Yes, exactly. It’s incredibly easy to make your film available across the world, but getting it seen outside your friends is difficult. There is an unprecedented amount of great new films being made independently – you can make a professional looking film for $1,000, and therefore don’t have to be accountable to investors. But inevitably it’s harder to find the good stuff. That’s why I think curation is increasingly important, and why I wouldn’t be surprised to see more and more hyper-focused distribution/curation “labels” pop up. But something like NoBudge is not competing with the industry. It exists below it, in spite of it, to help validify or classify personal cinema. The subset of films I program on NoBudge are like mixtapes – they have a raw quality, their edges are jagged. Maybe they are experiments, maybe they are imperfect, and probably that’s the point, and what makes them intriguing. I think the digital transition is starting to settle, and despite inevitable power shifts, the traditional Hollywood structures are still very much in place. But that’s not concerning because I’m not trying to disrupt – I’m trying to build something new.
LG: If you had to select 3-4 seriously low budget films (made, say, for less than $20,000) as essential viewing from the last few years, which films come to mind first?
KA: Joe Swanberg and Frank V. Ross are two names that immediately come to mind. All of their films are interesting and made for nothing. I have a soft spot for filmmakers who keep making tiny movies. In the old days, you made one movie, and if it wasn’t a springboard to a full-fledged film career, that was it – you didn’t get another chance. Now, films are so cheap to make that you can make movie after movie. Joe Swanberg is one of the bigger names in indie cinema and until this summer, he didn’t make a movie for more than $20,000. Frank’s latest movie, Tiger Tail in Blue, is essential viewing, I’d say. Just in the last year, movies like Richard’s Wedding, and Marvin Seth and Stanley are funny and great. The first film we had on the site – Wishful, Sinful – I would classify as essential.
LG: For people trying to find films like those you showcase . . . apart from visiting festivals or coming across a site like yours – what’s the best way to go about discovering quality work at this point, from your perspective?
KA: A boutique distribution label called Factory 25 is putting out great, small movies. And the website Hammer to Nail has smart writing and covers only indie films. But overall, it’s a tough landscape for audiences who want to see edgy movies. Your average arthouse theater won’t touch small, or self-released films. If you don’t live in New York or LA, there’s very little opportunity to be exposed theatrically to an eclectic view of indie cinema. If your idea of arthouse ends with Fox Searchlight or Focus Features, or Sony Pictures Classics, I think you owe it to yourself to dig a little deeper. Most opportunities to watch true indie films now are online.
LG: What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers who want to try to make a career out being involved with making their own movies?
KA: I would say try it as a hobby first. Don’t expect to make money. If you find enough meaning in the process itself, without regard to audience response or financial gain, then keep doing it, and eventually maybe there’s a way to make it career-wise. It’s an incredibly rich endeavor in of itself I think.