Brian Ivie is the award-winning director of The Drop Box and co-founder of Kindred Image. Brian recently graduated from The Bryan Singer Division of Critical Studies at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, and never thought he’d start a nonprofit. He is a published film critic, recreational songwriter, and was the only white male in the Saved By Grace Gospel Choir.
HFF: What is The Drop Box about, and how did the project come to be?
BI: The Drop Box is about a pastor in Seoul, South Korea who built a mailbox for abandoned babies. I actually found out about the story through an article on the front page of the LA Times in June of 2011. After reading through the article titled, “South Korean Pastor Tends Unwanted Flock” several times, all I could think was, “If I don’t do something, nobody else will. Pretty crazy, but that’s what I thought in the moment. So, after a dozen tries, Pastor Lee himself responded to my emails with a Google translated response, basically, “I don’t know what it means to make a documentary film, but you can come stay at my house if you want.” I took that as my invitation. After several miracles, we were able to raise the money we needed to fly a team of 11 high school and college students—few with legitimate film experience—to South Korea and film the movie that would change all of our lives.
HFF: What was your role in the production?
BI: I am the director, editor, and steadicam operator (had to throw that in there).
HFF: Why did you submit to the Heartland Film Festival? Have you been to the Festival before?
BI: We submitted here because this festival stands for more than movies.
HFF: This year’s tagline is “Shift Your Perspective”–what lasting effect will your film have on moviegoers?
BI: I actually became a Christian while making the film so my hope and prayer would be that first and foremost, moviegoers would be able to experience God’s adopting love as a Father because that’s what changed my life. Additionally, I think people will be impacted by the film’s emphasis on the value and importance of all human life.
HFF: What has inspired you to become a filmmaker?
BI: Since I was in elementary school, film has been my passion. I would wrangle up the neighborhood kids and make Lord of the Rings and James Bond spoofs. I didn’t know they were spoofs at the time, but it was all about escape. The way I describe it to people now is that film kept me awake. What I mean is that while I was making movies, I didn’t have to eat, drink, or sleep, but I could live a life suspended in time in another world. That was then. Now I make films to highlight the truth and beauty of the Gospel. It’s worshipful, and I want people to know how incredible the God who changed my life really is.
HFF: What is something that you know about filmmaking now but you weren’t told when you started your career?
BI: That filmmaking isn’t everything.
HFF: What are some of your favorite movies? What’s your favorite worst movie (you know it’s bad, but still love it)?
BI: If a newspaper is asking me, I’d say One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest or maybe something like Cinema Paradiso. But in reality, I love The Goonies.
HFF: How many festivals has your film been a part of? What do you like most about the festival experience?
BI: I think about eight other festivals. Honestly, I’ve never had much of a festival experience because I missed both screenings at the only other festival I attended.
HFF: Heartland Film Festival moviegoers love filmmaker Q&As. Let’s say a Festival attendee wants to earn some brownie points—what is a question that you’d love to answer, but haven’t yet been asked?
BI: I’d love someone to ask me what my favorite genre of movies is. I have a good answer for that.
See The Drop Box at the 2014 Heartland Film Festival:
- Sunday, Oct. 19 – 5:00 pm at AMC Castleton Square 14
- Monday, Oct. 20 – 2:15 pm at AMC Traders Point Showplace 12
- Wednesday, Oct. 22 – 4:45 pm at AMC Castleton Square 14
- Thursday, Oct. 23 – 8:45 pm at AMC Traders Point Showplace 12