- Good concept
- Good acting
- Nice Dialogue
Nancy wears green stockings. Peter is Keith Richards of the sousaphone. They think they might move to New York together. The only problem is that Peter thinks he is a rock star that cannot be tied to one woman.
Overall this is a solid short film with its own style a good cast and nice acting mixed with well written dialogue, 15 minutes well spent if you ask me. Well done Lee Filipovski (director) we will be keeping an eye on you from now on.
I was very fortunate to work with a wonderful cast and crew who made Tulip, Texas and Us into reality, just as I had imagined it in my head during the six months of planning and organizing. I decided to make this film to prove to myself that I could, as sort of a testament to my directing abilities, and an ode to films of a bygone era, films shot on film, carefully framed, utilizing depth and frame composition and impeccable camera and lighting..
Interview with Lee Filipovski director of
Tulip, Texas and Us
Tell us a little bit about yourself how you got into filmmaking?
My name is Lee, I’m 25 years old. I got into filmmaking because I wanted to combine all of my passions, and I could not choose one- I painted my whole life, made music, wrote and loved film and photography. Filmmaking combined all of my passions and I realized that I could use all of them in one form of expression which didn’t make me choose just one thing. All of them could form one cohesive structure that stands on it’s own two feet, and that was film.
How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
This short film started as as an idea which I got after visiting a brass music festival in Serbia called Gucha. I loved how the sousaphone enveloped the musician, almost becoming a part of their body. Passionate musicians seem to be completely attached to their instrument, and the sousaphone seemed like the ultimate “part of the body” instrument. Having spent a lot of time with musicians, I wanted to explore their relationships, not only with others, but with themselves and how they perceive their path in life. I’ve met professional musicians who played instruments that you wouldn’t see in a rock band lineup, but yet they all still had that Keith Richards syndrome. That is why I wanted Peter, one of the main characters, to be the Keith Richards of the tuba. While his passions and dreams may seem a bit absurd, they are very real to him. Leonard Cohen’s song “It Seems So Long Ago, Nancy” was also an inspiration, and I laced the film with imagery from his lyrics. The green stockings and the aesthetic of Nancy are tied to both Egon Schiele’s drawings, as well as Cohen’s song. I wanted to make a film which did not have a defined time period or place, but really make a hybrid of all of the things I found interesting and visually stimulating at the time.
Talk us through the process of creating an animation?
It took about a year of hard work to make this film happen. I intensely storyboarded and worked with my DP, Chris Ripley, on what we wanted to achieve. It was one of those films that are made 90% in pre-production, and when we actually got to principal photography, it almost felt as if we’ve already made it. I also took that approach to directing, where I knew exactly where every bit and piece needs to fit before I stepped on the set. This strong, almost militant structure allowed for improvisations, although most of what you see was planned way ahead of the actual shoot. A sort of a controlled chaos that I’ve drawn from things I’ve read about Fellini’s process. The action was contained within the frame, I worked with depth and controlled movements. I was very much influenced by Roy Andersson’s aesthetic, but also wanted to infuse it with a bit of Jacques Demy, who is one of my favorite filmmakers of all time.
I had an amazing crew and the shoot is one of the most pleasant experiences I’ve had to this day. It was incredible how we were all on the same page, all working towards the same goal, which made al the difference in the end (doesn’t it always?).
What challenges did you face?
The strange thing is that I didn’t face many challenges while making this film, in terms of casting, locations, post. We all knew what we wanted and worked in unison towards achieving it. All of the challenges that happened were before, in the script phase, and because of external influences that just could not see how this film could yield anything of value. After we finished the film and were thrilled with what we got, the films that were being played at festivals were much, much different than Tulip, Texas and Us. In the sea of social-realism and docu-style dramas, we stuck out like a sore thumb. But it was a film that I had to make to prove to myself that I could. There’s nothing more satisfying than getting exactly what you envisioned, no more, no less- but spot on. For that, I am so happy to have this film as one of my first significant works.
What are your plans moving forward?
I am currently preparing my next short film, Fluffy, which will be released in September 2015. I am really excited for the shoot in June. This time, I’m taking a different approach, which maybe has to do a lot with maturing, but also becoming more oriented towards the narrative than the visual (although they both go hand in hand, hard to define). Fluffy will have dynamic long takes, dialogue driven scenes and a slightly less stylized approach. I see it as a personal growth, and considering that the story is very personal and deals with immigration, I hold it very dear to my heart.
Recently I directed a music video in Serbia for the Serbo-Canadian avant-pop musician Ensh, so I am very happy to be taking out my aesthetic cravings in short bout of chaos and lavish.
Main Genre: Comedies
Budget: £0 – £1000
How long did it take to shoot: 1 Day – 1 Week
Film location (country): Canada
Filmed on: super 16mm
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