May 2004

Rodney Evans

Bringing back the harlem renaissance

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In the Flying Saucer café in Brooklyn, New York, Rodney Evans settles into the same chair he sat in to storyboard almost the entirety of his first feature, Brother to Brother. "I can’t draw," explains Evans, "so I would sketch out these stick figures in a spiral-bound notebook, and then a friend of mine who is an artist made them look like people.

Sundance Feels the Burn

The festival everyone loves to hate

There are two Sundance Film Festivals.

Networking 101

The importance of being connected

Everyone knows the value of networking, right?

Lost Angels

Where is the indie scene in big bad LA?

I could just be romanticizing it now that I’ve moved, but in New York all the filmmakers I knew seemed to be creating by any means necessary—from Super-8 shorts to animation on their laptops while fundraising for a summer-shoot, to staging readings for a work-in-progress in between compiling documentary footage.

Don’t Worry, Film Happy

“Spiritual cinema” gains converts

After more than twenty years in the business, I decided to quit my career as a costume designer. I was profoundly depressed by the excessive violence, sex, and emptiness in the scripts I was seeing and the movies I was working on.

Healthy Spending

Can indies afford medical insurance?

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It seems you can’t turn around these days without hearing people moan about the high cost of health insurance. Whether it’s presidential candidates duking it out in television commercials, small business owners worried about paying for insurance, or average Americans buried by the cost of prescription drugs, paying for health care is on everybody’s mind.

Keeping it Real Weird

Austin’s SXSW Fest is like no other

Long gone are the days when Austin, Texas was merely a breeding-ground for progressive types, presidential hopefuls, and music junkies. As home to the South-by-Southwest Film Festival (SXSW), Austin has become the independent filmmaker’s Eden. As first time filmmaker Allison Berg explains it, "I thought [SXSW] was one of the best festivals for my film to get into . . .

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