Eric Kripke to serve as judge:
Eric Kripke the creator, executive producer and showrunner of Amazon’s series The Boys, will serve as a judge for the fifth annual Maumee Film Festival.
Eric hails from Toledo, and is a graduate of the USC School of Cinema-Television. He has enjoyed great success in both film and television.
The Boys, which is based on the award-winning comic by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, also features executive producers Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Neal Moritz. Eric directed the season one finale of The Boys and 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg directed the pilot episode.
Eric also served as co-creator, executive producer and co-showrunner of the NBC time travel adventure series, Timeless, along with Shawn Ryan, the creator of The Shield.
Previously, he served as creator of Revolution and the CW series Supernatural. J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company produced Revolution and its pilot was directed by Ironman director Jon Favreau.
Supernatural recently earned a 15th season, which makes it the longest-running genre show in American history.
He also wrote and executive-produced Tarzan.
In addition to his work in television, Eric produced and wrote the screenplay for The House With a Clock in Its Walls. The hit film, based on the classic children’s novel by John Bellairs, features actors Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Kyle MacLachlan and Owen Vaccaro. It premiered on September 21, 2018, from Amblin Entertainment and Universal.
Eric also wrote and co-produced Boogeyman, which was produced by Sam Raimi of Spiderman and Rob Tapert of The Grudge.
The film won the box office on its opening weekend.
Warner Brothers Producer Chris DeFaria To Judge 5th Annual Maumee Film Festival
Chris deFaria is a producer whose credits span some of the most successful and technologically innovative films of the past decade, including Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg; Mad Max: Fury Road, by George Miller; Gravity, by Alfonso Cuarón and 300, by Zack Snyder; along with animated films How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, The LEGO Movie and Happy Feet.
Chris is currently producing Tom and Jerry, a hybrid theatrical Warner Bros. film, under his new banner, Keylight.
He will serve as a judge for the fifth annual Maumee Film Festival, which will take place on Friday and Saturday, March 6 and 7, 2020 at the Maumee Indoor Theater.
During a phone interview last week from London, where he is working on his latest project, he answered questions about his work and provided insight to those interested in breaking into the film industry.
Summarize your journey: How did you become a major motion picture film producer?
“I left UCLA and moved back to San Francisco to work in television news. I really wanted to be a moviemaker, so I ended up writing a script for a horror film that I was able to sell. So I decided to move to Los Angeles, but when I got there, I found out that just because I sold a script doesn’t mean they would make the film.
So I ended up in Los Angeles without a job, but I eventually made my way into the business producing small films, mainly horror films, at the time. I eventually worked on the film Tremors 2, which was noticed by somebody at Warner Brothers, which led to a job with them.
It all happened during a period when visual effects took off and more movies were relying heavily on visual effects. Oddly, because of my background in horror films, I knew a bit about that – and that gave me a leg up.”
Films that you produced, such as Gravity and Mad Max: Fury Road broke barriers and were original in so many ways. What made those films work and how were you instrumental in that process?
“What made both of those films work, and what they have in common, was visionary directors who surround themselves with really smart people that want to see their mission come through. My role in those movies, I hope, is being one of those smart people who were there to help make it happen.
They are also movies that were not afraid to focus in and understand and identify the potential of new technology to help get the stories told. With both of those movies, the directors wholeheartedly embraced new techniques and tools.”
Is it better or worse for up-and-coming writers and filmmakers today?
“There are two ways to look at the question and analyze the opportunities.
On the one hand, the business is bigger and there is more capital and more production being made than ever before. On the other hand, the production process has become efficient, which could arguably lead to less opportunity.
I think the real opportunity in this business is the accessibility that didn’t exist when I first started. When I got into the business, there were hurdles that prevented people from making their own movies – it was expensive to make a film and impossible to distribute one.
Clearly, now you can make a movie with a fairly inexpensive SLR (camera) and you can distribute it on the likes of YouTube or other streaming services.
So with those two hurdles out of the way, and with digital marketing being approachable as well, I think we are just entering an incredible time for independent films and storytelling.”
What knowledge or skill set is most helpful today to build a career in the film industry?
“I hate to sound like a cliché, but being able to write and tell a story is still the most important thing. The understanding of technology is critical and understanding how images work and how to recognize visual storytelling is all very important, but those are tools. Still, you have to have something to say and you have to have a story to tell.”
What are the keys to good storytelling?
“There are two levels to good storytelling. First, understanding what is a good story – which is an easy thing to say, but it means understanding what are compelling characters, and understanding what are dramatic situations and balancing that with an understanding of what are moments of beauty and humanity. Then, getting those things to come together in a unique way.
It is also the understanding and being able to appreciate the role that storytelling has played in our civilization, in humanity and in our history. I spend a lot of time on that level – the cathartic, therapeutic and inspirational value that stories play.
If you start applying that criteria to the stories that you want to tell, something very good will happen.”
What do you look for in a good story?
“What any producer is looking for, and what I would focus on if I were trying to write a story are three things: One is that you have an interesting world where the movie takes place. It can be outer space like in Gravity or an apocalyptic landscape like in Fury Road or it can just be a fantastic New York skyline, but you want to make it a wonderful space. Then, you want to populate that space with memorable characters because interesting, memorable characters are what people remember in a movie. Third, you make sure the story has what people would call a hook.”
What advice would you give a 20-something trying to get into the filmmaking industry?
“I don’t think you start with feature film. I think that right now, with all of the new platforms, I would advise someone to start creating for alternate platforms, trying to build a name or reputation and certainly contacts based on that kind of work. Then, later, down the line, if they want to work in something larger, they parlay that success or notoriety to that.
The other advice is that while it’s really important to know producers, the people you want to get to know are the talented people your age. Those are the people who will grow old with you in the business and those are the people who will give you opportunities or who you will give opportunities. Don’t look too far past that because most of the people I know who are really successful in the business have a group of people who all worked on something like a horror film together 20 years ago.”
There is a perception that only good or even great filmmaking can come out of a big city like L.A. or New York, so what would you say to a young filmmaker in Ohio? Should they pack their bags and move or can they make it happen from anywhere?
“In terms of the skilled positions, like camera or production designer or set dresser or even a crowd coordinator, those jobs can be spread out all over the country. Every producer wants to find a local extras coordinator or a local set painter.
If you are interested in working on the production of a movie, however, you have to follow the money, which means moving to places like Atlanta, the U.K., Vancouver, Montreal and Australia.
On the other hand, if one wants to make a movie, it is easier because those hurdles that were in place historically have fallen away, such as the hurdles to technology, the hurdles to distribution and the hurdles to marketing. So in that environment, you can do it anywhere.
That is the choice a young filmmaker has to decide. Do they want to go to work on a major Hollywood film? If that’s the case, then they would go to one of the production centers. Or do they really want to offer a film? In which case, they should start making it.”
You were the voice of Peppermint Patty in several Charlie Brown specials. What was that like and do you still watch them?
“Sure, I watch it every year. It happened when I was a little kid and it happened because they were making those shows in a suburb south of San Francisco, which is kind of impossible to imagine, and my dad – who worked in advertising at the time – knew the guy who was making them. All of the kids in the neighborhood were invited to go to the studio and read some lines and that is how I got cast. I didn’t know she was a girl at the time, so I was labeled as progressive even at age 5.”