Daniel Schechter on 'Supporting Characters' and Indie Filmmaking
Shalom Life talks to the rising director about his new film and an upcoming project starring Jennifer Aniston.
She was a friend who simply did us a favor by doing a cameo. We shot it a day before she was about to go off to shoot the first season of Girls, and I'm sure she was swamped. About a month earlier than that, I sent her the scene via email (not the whole script, as the scene was superior to the script as a whole at that point) and she just wrote back "Great!" She definitely ups our "hip factor," but just like with so many other cast members in the film, it always makes me happy to have worked with a friend. Especially one so talented and inspiring. I would say her film Tiny Furniture is the number one inspiration on our film.
Your next film, based on the Elmore Leonard novel The Switch, has been getting a lot of attention. What can you reveal about the project?
Its basically an ensemble piece with seven unbelievable roles that we're getting all of our top choices for (Jen Aniston, John Hawkes, Ty Burrell, etc...) I would say, in the end, the film will feel closest to a suspenseful, Coen Brothers dark comedy, but with a loving nod to my favorite Leonard adaption, Jackie Brown, which has three of the same characters as my film in it. It's just a dream project and I can't wait to get started.
This is your first big budget film. How does the experience of making it compare to the indie movies you’re used to creating?
The real blessing of a low budget indie is that you don't have to sit around and wait for all the money and everyone's schedules... You can just go out and make something without too many people giving their permission. So in just getting the project put together, its been an entirely different experience, but when it comes down to anything creative, films all feel the same to me. You're telling a story, taking all the best notes and making the fewest and best compromises possible.
What’s the best piece of advice a fellow director or writer has given you?
Can't think of any. I need to hang out with more directors, I guess.