Gary Michael Schultz brings Vincent N Roxxy to Chicago (Sept. 29th, Davis Theater)

| September 27, 2017

This Friday, Sept. 29th, Chicago Native, Gary Michael Schultz is bringing his thrilling new indie feature, Vincent N Roxxy, to Chicago for the Premiere of the Tribeca Film Festival sensation, starring Emile Hirsch and Zoe Kravitz in her break out role. Vincent N Roxxy is a gleeful Bonnie and Clyde meets Tarantino meets Grindhouse style lovers in dangers indie film that is sure to keep the audience engaged and on the edge of their seats.

Vincent N Roxxy is screening at The Davis Theater (4614 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago), Friday, Sept. 29th, along with a rare screening of Wild Things with director, John McNaughton in Person, and Gary Sherman’s Premiere of the reconstructed cult horror classic Death Line (aka Raw Meat). It’s hard to believe you’ll be able to see these three great filmmakers with their films for a mere $13. This show is a must for movie lovers. Presale tickets are available here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3073477 and for more information visit facebook.com/terrorintheaisles.

We talked to Gary Michael Schultz about the trials and tribulations of making Vincent N Roxxy and what it takes to get an indie film together:

 

Q.: How did Vincent N Roxxy come about? 

Gary Michael Schultz: I’ve always been interested in outsiders and always wanted to tell a lovers-on-the-run type story but in a unique way. I pitched the initial idea to my producer on the film Keith Kjarval and then moved to Los Angeles (from Chicago) to develop the script with his company Unified Pictures. After several drafts they green lit the script and we began putting the film together independently starting with the cast. Of course there was over a decade of making short films, teaching, writing, practicing, failing and generally getting my butt kicked as a filmmaker until I became a better artist that led up to that… but that’s how Vincent N Roxxy started.

 

What are you hoping people will get out of seeing the film? 

This is always a hard question to answer. You really can’t control or even predict what people get out of a film. I hope they find it to be a unique genre film with authentic characters and organic performances centered around a truly amazing female lead in Zoë Kravitz. Watching Roxxy find her inner warrior I hope is inspiring to many.

 

Did you have any inspirations for making the film?

I pulled from a lot of life influences, people, environments, relationships. I think as a writer you have to pull from what’s in your heart and put it into the characters. As a director you can lean on that authenticity to develop engaging performances. Cinematically I was really influenced by films of the 70’s—Badlands, Taxi Driver, Five Easy Pieces, films like that.

 

How hard was it for you to get Emile Hirsch and Zoe Kravitz for the film? 

Hard. But with the persistence of my producers, my casting directors and myself we eventually got everything in order and the script was rich enough to attract them both to want to create with me. Which I was thankful for.

 

What were the joys of making a lower budget independent film?

The intimacy you share with your cast and crew, and the ability to give the set a “family” type atmosphere.

 

What are the harder parts of making an independent film for you?

Trying to pull off bigger stunts with very little time or money. The dramatic intimate moments can feel or become even stronger on a small production but sequences that involve stunts, gun play or car crashes can be very difficult to execute on a tight budget, usually due to time. And of course you always need to make sure people are safe, which we always make priority one.

 

What were some innovative ways you were able to cut corners on Vincent N Roxxy to make things happen on the film?

One thing we did was find a centralized location to build around. In our film the farmhouse was centered on a large piece of property and we built the abandoned drive-in on the property behind it and brought in the carnival set on the neighbors’ property next door, so we were able to build three different huge sets all in one location. This allows you to make fewer company moves and you can generally strike a better deal for locations if you’re using one space for multiple sets. Also a ton of planning. Storyboarding the big things that involve a lot of stunts and characters so everyone is on the same page and shot listing everything and planning out any long takes or specialty shots ahead of time. Then spend as much time with your actors as needed. Get them comfortable and in lock step with you, which is generally easier on smaller productions.

 

How did you get QuestLove to do the score for the film and what was that experience like?

Zoë made the suggestion and introduced us. It was an amazing experience because he’s a musical genius but also a very humble person. I learned a lot but was definitely able to give a lot of input. Questlove and Ray Angry were passionate about the script and the early cut they saw so I was just floored they wanted to do it. We discussed music a lot and instrumentation and such and then they started writing and sending me things until everything felt right. I love our score. They did an amazing job. It was a thrill for me.

 

What was the most enjoyable part of making the film for you?

Directing. Seeing something I wrote come to life. Seeing actors and collaborators I respect help make Roxxy, Vincent, JC, Kate and Suga come to life. You spend so much time trying to make it all work and when it does, when you have moments that feel special, those moments are what you do all the fighting for. All the learning, all the prep, all the trial and error it’s all for those few moments that have magic in them.

 

What have you learned about making independent films that you would like newcomers to know about? Any tips? 

Do your homework. Write. Rewrite. Make short films. Practice and listen and once you start to make bigger films stay true to what you want to do and who you are. I know that may sound like a cheesy answer but it’s true. A lot of people will try to influence you, change you,  push you in different directions, give you their opinion of what you should be doing. Growth is important and necessary but you have to grow in the direction you see right for yourself and that you can be proud of. Tell the kind of stories you want to tell. Chances are you will find an audience ready to listen.

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