Monday, February 01, 2010

Take 5 with "Wheedle's Groove"

The 7th annual Oxford Film Festival is getting closer every day. Before we kick off another fun-packed festival, we thought we would take five with filmmakers and get to know them just a little better.

Director Jennifer Maas' documentary, "Wheedle's Groove," screens Friday at 7:45 p.m. and Saturday at 3:45 p.m. 

OFF: In 10 words, describe your movie and why someone should see it.

JM: Soul music in Seattle, who knew?

OFF: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in getting the film made?

JM: The best part of making the film had to be the first time we showed it to the cast. We were worried that they wouldn't feel we had done justice to that time in their lives, but the response at the cast and crew screening was so overwhelmingly positive, it made the last five years of work worth it! Biggest lesson - surround yourself with people as committed to the project as you are, so you can take turns being frustrated and exhausted! It really helps to have collaborators willing to pick up the reins when you feel like you're beating your head against the wall.

OFF: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?

JM: "Wheedle's Groove" is my first feature, but I've made several music videos, and often do producing work. In 2008, I co-produced Humpday, directed by Lynn Shelton, and was lucky enough to get to go to Cannes with it.

OFF: What’s your dream distribution plan for the film?

JM: The film's tagline might make it sound like a narrow story that maybe only music nerds would enjoy, but it's actually a very compelling human story. I think the film will find it's audience among both music lovers and and art-house theater goers. And I really think it would be great if your grandmother got to see it too, because I think she might really like it.

OFF: What’s the future hold in store for your film and for you?

JM: We're hoping to continue to tour the festival circuit, and eventually have the film play on IFC or PBS. I'm currently producing a feature directed by my co-producer on Humpday, Steven Schardt, and then directing a short doc at the end of January. I'm also working on a script for a detective movie. I'd love to direct a genre film as my next feature.

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