As part of our monthly catch up series with past Oxford Film Festival filmmakers, we introduce Tate Taylor (the guy on the right with actress Missi Pyle). One of our favorite filmmakers, Tate graduated from Ole Miss and is originally from Mississippi. He has since moved on and is a filmmaker in Los Angeles. You may recognize him from his stage and TV role in Sordid Series, but he first caught our eye with his short film "Chicken Party" and since has impressed us with "Pretty Ugly People" which opens in theaters on Sept. 18. See below for what Tate has been up to in his own words:
Q: Tell us about the films you screened at Oxford Film Festival and at the summer series?
A: We screened, Pretty Ugly People at the Summer series. We played to a packed crowd and the response was great.
Q: What has happened with the film since then?
A: Since then, we have won two additional festivals and got domestic distribution with Osiris Entertainment. The film will be available on DVD this coming January. A small theatrical release happens on Sept 18th.
Q: Why did you decide to submit to the Oxford Film Festival?
A: Well, I went to Ole Miss and felt that the southern slant to my film making would be well received in Oxford. I was right.
Q: Any favorite memories of your time at the festival?
A: Getting bombed with Melanie (film fest media coordinator) is one great memory. My family drove up from all over the state and we had a reunion of sorts before and after the screening. That was fun.
Q: Tell us more about Pretty Ugly People and how people can see it.
A: First, they should check out our web site. www.prettyuglypeople.com. We have lots of fun extras on the site. Actor interviews, trailer, and a naughty spoof music video.
Q: What influenced you to become a filmmaker Tate?
A: I came to L.A. to act. I eventually found myself attending classes at the GROUNDLINGS improv theater. During the third year, students are asked to start writing characters for themselves and to write scenes/skits to put up before a judging panel. I keep finding myself more interested in the other characters in my skits. I would act in them but in a very limited way. I was having more creative fun inventing the world within my skits. Loved creating other characters and casting them with my classmates. I enjoyed forming and manipulating these performances (directing) I eventually realized that film making was the best way for me to honor my true talents and desires... To write and then execute a made up world. I still act but much prefer Film making. It is the ultimate in creativity and control.
Q: What's next for you both?
A: I have just finished writing a Romantic Comedy set in India with my friend Charlie Stratton. Brunson (Green, Taylor's producer) and I just returned from India on a location scout. The project is call "My Name is Sara" We hope to film this January. After that I'm very excited to bring the Times Best selling Novel, "The Help." by Mississippi Author, Kathryn Stockett. It is a tale of triumph set in Jackson, Mississippi in 1963. Everyone should go read the novel. I have the film rights and have just completed the screenplay. We hope to film in Mississippi, fall 2010.