Filmmaking | Interviews

Finding His Pie in the ‘Sky’

1 Jun , 1998  

Written by Lorre Fritchy | Posted by:

Yale-educated filmmaker Mark Edgington talks about his short film Anna in the Sky which will screen in RI this month.

NEF: What inspired the story of Anna In The Sky?

Mark: I was mildly interested/involved with this woman who subsequently blew me off in a really cruel and heartless way. I was very hurt by the experience, and Anna in the Sky is an imagined response to the question: "What if I had really been in love with her?"

NEF: Why did you choose 16mm?

Mark: In terms of festival exhibitions, your only choices are 35mm or 16mm. I would have loved to shoot 35mm, but it would have probably raised my costs by 50 percent. Plus, I was able to borrow a 16mm camera (a Bolex), whereas I would not have been able to borrow a 35mm camera.

NEF: What surprised you the most on this film?

Mark: That the story worked. When you are making a film, you tend to focus on individual scenes and moments. You try to suppress the "cringeworthy" scenes, and you try not to ruin the good ones. So, when it first screened, and people told me they found the story touching, I was surprised because I’d almost completely forgotten there was a story with this film. People were not looking at it in terms of cringeworthy and good scenes (as I was) but were instead looking at it in terms of the story.

NEF: What aspect of the film are you happiest with?

Mark: I’m most proud of the rhythm of the film. I have not yet heard the comment that this film is too long. It moves quickly, but it is not rushed; it knows when to expand and take its time without being self-indulgent.

NEF: Any plans for filming in New England?

Mark: Nothing for the moment. I co-wrote a feature screenplay that is being shot this summer in Montauk, Long Island and Dublin, Ireland.

NEF: What advice do you have for writers/directors of short films?

Mark: Keep it short, if you can. If your film is under 15-20 minutes, then it can be programmed in front of features as well as in programs of short films. Once a film heads towards the 30-minute mark, it can no longer be programmed with a feature film, and from a programmer’s point-of-view, a 30-minute film is knocking out three 10-minute films.

Adapt your storytelling to the medium. Don’t try to make an abbreviated version of your feature film. I think the stories/styles that work best for short films could never be expanded into feature films. This is what makes a short film fun: it’s a compressed, compact (hopefully, poetic) experience.

Mark Edgington’s web site on ‘Anna In The Sky’ can be accessed at http://home.att.net/~markedg/anna


Mark Edgington’s web site on 'Anna In The Sky' can be accessed at http://home.att.net/~markedg/anna