Destin Cretton is extremely busy right now. His feature film I Am Not a Hipster is set to play at this year’s Heartland Film Festival as he’s filming his next movie. He was able to get a few minutes with him to talk about his fantastic movie that focuses in on a musician who is emotionally struggling and receives some help when his sisters come in town.
Heartland Film Festival: At first your title seems like this may be a Saturday Night Live sketch about a hipster desperately trying to convince people that he isn’t one. Yet your film is nothing like that, revealing itself to be an intimate drama about a musician trying to rediscover himself. So was that always the title and what has the response been to that title?
Destin: Ah yes, the title. You’re absolutely right…it’s kind of a weird one. The short answer is that it was once a line in the movie that got cut in the editing room. Aside from that, I like watching people come into the theater with one set of expectations for the film, and getting something quite different (but hopefully just as satisfying).
Heartland Film Festival: There is a lot of patience with the scene with Brook and his radio interview. It grows more and more uncomfortable as it goes on, which is longer than expected. What was it like writing and filming that scene?
Destin: A lot of the scenes in the film are pretty long, but I think that one is the longest. I’ve never really done a long dialogue scene like that before, so thought I’d give it a try. We shot it with two cameras so Dominic and Brad could feel free to go off script and let things happen on the fly. I think we shot for about 4 hours and let the scene evolve into something quite different than was on the page. The end product is way better than what I had originally wrote.
Heartland Film Festival: The relationship between Brook and his sisters are very developed due to implying a lot of their history together. Did you ever work with the actors to go deeper into those relationships and help create some of their backstory? As a director did you do anything more to make them feel more comfortable around each other?
Destin: I sent Dominic and our three sisters (Kandis, Lauren & Tammy) on a long hike to a waterfall. On the way there, they had an envelope filled with pretty personal questions to ask each other. Most of the questions revolved around memories of their childhood, both good and bad. There were also some tasks they had to do, including someone farting in front of the others. By the time they got back, they seemed like a family.
Heartland Film Festival: You have worked with a lot of these actors before including Dominic Bogart, Brad William Henke, Tania Verafield and Adam Shapiro. Did you write these parts specifically for them? Also what did you learn from them working with them this time?
Destin: It’s always wonderful to work with friends. And even more wonderful when those friends are incredibly talented. I initially wrote this role for Dominic. I couldn’t imagine anyone else for it. And once we got started, I asked the rest of the team to come onboard.
Heartland Film Festival: Are you working on a next project?
Destin: I’m actually a week into shooting my next feature…so far so good. I probably should stop typing and get back to work
Heartland Film Festival: What were some moving films that inspired you as a filmmaker?
Destin: Innerspace (blew my mind when I was 7), One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Magnolia, Back to the Future
You can purchase tickets for I Am Not a Hipster for the following days…
– Saturday, October 20 at 8 p.m. at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12
– Thursday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14
– Friday, October 26 at 8 p.m. AMC Showplace Traders Point 12
– Saturday, October 27 at 8:15 p.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14
Interview conducted by Austin Lugar