Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Take 5 with "Saint"

Rory Fraser

As we gear up for the Oxford Film Festival 2012 to be held at the Malco Studio Theater on Feb. 9-12, 2012 and also at the Lyric Theater on Saturday, Feb. 11 as part of the Oxford Music Festival line-up where we will show music films, videos and a panel on music + film, we thought we might introduce you to some of the people behind the movies we can't wait to show you. For the full schedule and description of the films, visit www.oxfordfilmfest.com.

Meet Take 5 filmmaker, Rory Fraser, director of “Saint”

Q. 1: In 140 characters or less, describe your movie and why someone should see it.

A: SAINT is the story of John Renken - former Satanist, born-again Christian, and founder of Xtreme Ministries in Clarksville, TN - a combination church and MMA gym. This short documentary examines John's life and his view of a masculine Christianity.

Q. 2: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in getting the film made?

A: The biggest lesson learned with SAINT, and one that I am sure I will never stop learning is how circumstantial and often random getting good material is. You can plan all you want and come up short, and not plan at all and come up with great stuff. Just being there is the thing. The documentary form is a cruel mistress! The best part shooting SAINT was working with John, who was eager to tell his story, and filming the fight sequence because it was a totally new experience for me, and the aforementioned random luck played a big part in it being a successful sequence. That, and my 2nd cameraman, Andrew Rosario, had the foresight to bring a mono-pod which proved hugely useful.

Q. 3: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?

A: I've been "making movies" since I was a kid, but really started getting into it in high school in Nashville, shooting a couple of short films on 16mm, and then in college at Sewanee I started doing documentary work. Since then, I made a few little things while in grad school at Ole Miss, and then 4 short films during my MFA at Stanford, which I just finished. Now, I live in San Francisco where I work with a couple of my Stanford classmates (Cat Trick) taking on freelance work of all kinds, and trying to nail down that next good documentary idea. I'll let you know when I think of a good one.

Q. 4: What's your dream distribution plan for the film?

A: The idea for this film for it to play at a few good festivals (like Oxford!), and hopefully also for it to be of use in the religious community, where the ideas John talks about are most hotly debated. After that, I think it could be of use in an educational context, so possibly trying to distribute through those avenues. Let the bidding war begin.

Q. 5: What does the future hold in store for your film and for you?

A: See above for the film. For me, I'd like to start filming another project in the next year, but mostly, being just out of grad school, continue to pursue work in the freelance commercial filmmaking world, where the money tends to be. Coors Light doesn't buy itself (and student loans don't pay themselves either, it turns out).

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