WRITER/ DIRECTOR/ LEAD ACTOR
Q: So writer, director, lead actor- You don’t make it easy on yourself do you? How did you handle focusing on your performance during the takes while directing the film?
A: That was an emotional toughie for me. I guess I’d say I handled it by infusing all of the, at times, set tension, disappointments, and joys of fast, independent filmmaking into the character of Cliff. Staying afloat, mentally, on set with as much daunting hustle and bustle as our production contained evoked a mess of nervous energy in and around my heart which I was able to utilize for my character. However, at times, I wanted to cry… very, very hard.
Q: You have such a strong voice as a filmmaker. Can you talk about some films or directors that inspire you? I definitely see some David Lynch.
A: My favorite American film is Soderbergh’s “Sex, Lies, and Videotape”, so that piece, in particular, was a heavy impetus, as well as Antonioni’s “L’Avventura” and Peter Weir’s “Picnic at Hanging Rock”. I love the ambiguity of the latter two films… and… ambiguity, in general, in filmmaking. Bunuel and Alan Pakula are also influences. I think Lynch is a master artist, as well. I should also point out that the fiction of Joyce Carol Oates and Raymond Carver are major inspirations.
Q: Where did the idea for this film come from?
A: When I was in my twenties, I spent a lot of time alone in Lewes, Delaware visiting my aunt and uncle, who no longer live there, but… at night, during those visits (mostly on vacation from Ithaca College, where I went to film school), I would stroll the town with zero desire to bar hop, and I felt myself becoming attuned to a churning, yet unknown, mystery beginning to manifest itself in my psyche via the unspoken language of a classic, Americana sea town in shadow. That language, I now attribute to a proverbial existentialist longing which I still (and I know we all do) carry about… and mistake for other things… either ecstasy or depression. Nonetheless, throughout my thirties and into my forties… these strolls continue/continued (I do like to bar hop there now). I remember one New Year’s Eve in the nineties, wherein I spent twilight at Lewes’/Cape Henlopen’s Great Dune (again alone) and vowed to make a film in the exact spot where I was standing, and the Great Dune, a beautiful sand dune atop a disused army bunker, ended up making its way into “‘Alms,’ You Say”, my 2007 featurette and “Yes, Your Tide…”. The film was written as a love letter to Lewes and to my eccentric father, who passed ten years ago. He was a rogue guitar instructor, very influential in my life.
Q: When did you realize you had to make this movie?
A: I think there were many pivotal moments when this happened… which is to say… I’d get this burning in my heart and head that I had to bring whatever feelings I had for Lewes to visual fruition. Honestly, I still feel that way about my spiritual/physical connection to Lewes. I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of that town regarding my storytelling duties.
Q: Can you talk about the process of creating the music for the film. Were these songs written for the movie or did they already exist?
A: The music was written mostly during the post-production process. When I was daily/nightly working with editor Colby Bartine, I would often step aside to write a riff or a lyric. As well, I’d write during my working hours in between students. I teach guitar as my day job five days a week. Further, some of the riffs that I contributed were pieces of my work with my rock band The Collingwood played in a contemplative fashion.
Q: You certainly don’t have a problem not giving the audience an easy answer. Do you think real art needs to challenge us as an audience?
A: Nah. I just enjoy the ambiguity thing because I believe it allows the film to continue to grow in the mind of the viewer after the credits roll, plus it hits a visceral, self-reflective nerve with me. I always dig the idea of “the almost” in cinema, meaning I kinda know what happened, but I can’t be sure. All of this is familiar, but it’s kinda not. Today, it’s one thing. Tomorrow, I might think it’s something else. I think this type of inner-turbulence affects all of us daily, and I don’t mind being confronted with a continual unknown in my own work or the work of others. Elements of this type in film I more or less attribute to art cinema, but I can certainly appreciate a non-ironic artistry in Forrest Gump and Fast Times At Ridgemont High.
Q: So after all this work… are you ready to do it again?
A: Yes, I am. I’ve had a breather, but I have two feature scripts ready to go and another I just feel like writing for the sake of writing again as a daily routine.
Q: Is there any feeling you want your audience to have after seeing this film?
A: Hmmm. I’d say a feeling of longing… either existential, familial (a biggie for me), romantic, et al… sky’s the limit. I feel like this is a bad answer. More or less, I’d like the viewer to confront his/her own primal yearning through the film text of “Yes, Your Tide…” and color it, celebrate it, embrace it, love it in a manner unique to his/her headspace/life-experience.
SUNDAY AUGUST 11TH AT 8:15PM