Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Filmmaker David Lowery moved up the filmmaker food chain with his latest feature, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, opting to ditch a micro-budget plan for one that included stars and more resources. Still, the film is hardly a big budget production though the production team has created a latish summer release that IFC Films hopes will lure audiences hungry for story-driven drama. Women are the main audience target for Sony Classics’ two weekend releases, Austenland and The Patience Stone, titles it picked up out of Sundance and Toronto respectively after witnessing reaction by females audiences following their premieres. A SXSW Interactive participant discovered the allure of filmmaking and took on a documentary about the annual Burning Man event, deciding on a DIY-esque release strategy. And French filmmaker Gilles Legrand used his fascination of wine and the peculiarities of France’s inheritance laws into a father-son drama also set for limited roll out Friday.
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
Director-writer: David Lowery
Cast: Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Keith Carradine, Kennadie Smith
Distributor: IFC Films
Producer Jay Van Hoy of Parts and Labor served as a shorts juror at the SXSW Film Festival in 2011, the same year filmmaker David Lowery’s short Pioneer, took home the Narrative Short prize. Perhaps even better, Van Hoy got to know the film’s producers Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston as well as Lowery. Cut forward to the Sundance Producers Lab, where Van Hoy served as an adviser where Halbrooks and Johnston were attending with a project that would become Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. “Even at SXSW I told them if they need any help to let me know,” said Van Hoy. “We all clicked. The film was ambitious, even at a lower budget, but it’s a great script so we decided to come on board…It all came together pretty quickly considering independent film schedules.” “I had made [my previous film] St. Nick for $12K and had an inkling I could do Saints for something like $25K,” said Lowery. “But the advisers [at Sundance] told them that doing the micro-budget thing is a great plan B and you know you can do it, but why not spend a little bit of time formulating a plan A and see if you can make it just a little bit bigger.” (more…)