LA Indies recently had the pleasure of interviewing Gary Beeber, an experimental artist and a documentary filmmaker. His latest documentary was recently selected in a few film festivals around the world and we had the chance to speak to Gary and also have the pleasure to share the link of his film at LA Indies.
Gary Beeber is an award-winning American photographer/filmmaker who has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe. His documentary films have screened at over 75 film festivals.
What was the inspiration behind the making of your film?
My documentary films have always been about unorthodox people who march to a different drummer, same thing with my photography. Hungry Toad Farm is just a few miles down the road from where I live, and that’s where I met Michael. The more I talked with him, the more I wanted to tell his story.
What is the most challenging aspect of working in this genre?
Finding the right subjects. Sometimes a subject might have the right look, but for one reason or another doesn’t come off well in a film.
When did you realize that you wanted to work in media and make films and what was the first film project that you created as a director?
I’ve been a photographer for many years, and started using a digital camera early on. In 2005 my work was featured in DiVA Art Fair (NYC), and I was exposed to artists who were making very short art videos, and I thought, man, I want to do that! So I bought an early digital video camera and started making little 2-5 minute films about Coney Island. It turned out that the galleries didn’t want it but the film festivals did. The first full fledged film I made was a documentary called “Messenger.” It was about a very eccentric NYC bike messenger named Kamikaze, and it was selected by several film festivals and won a few awards.
How did you choose the cast and the crew of the film and what was the most challenging aspect of production?
There is no crew other than me and my iPhone, the cast was there and available. What was challenging was using an iPhone for the whole process. It was a learning process, and I like to learn.
What genre of film-making fascinates you as a director and which genres do you prefer to work on?
I like all genres, and watch films all the time. As far as making films go I prefer documentaries because I like to tell people’s stories.
Cinema opens up the world significantly especially with today’s technology. It introduces people to different cultures, mind-sets and points of view.
What is your next film project as a director?
I intend to make 2-3 docs a year, there are plenty of unusual people out there.
Watch Michael Malone, Portrait of an American Organic Farmer: