Your new movie Union
Bridge - in a few words, what is it about?
Bridge is film about a guy who comes back to his hometown and finds
himself in the middle of a mystery that could affect his family
legacy. In a thematic way the film is about a few things, one of
them being how the past is connected to the present even if you don't know
were your sources of inspiration when writing Union
Bridge - and is any of the film autobiographical in any way?
I was inspired to write
Bridge after a friend told me that he
was living in a small town, broke and searching for a legendary treasure in
the hills nearby. The psychological state of someone looking for
buried treasure was interesting to me and I used that character as a
jumping-off point for the story. As far as if the film is
autobiographical - I'm sure in a subconscious way it is, like most
film is in many ways associative instead of linear in its storytelling and
does give away important information only by the by - so could you
elaborate your narrative approach, and how hard was it to not (literally)
lose your plot telling your story that way?
Yes the film is certainly more implied storytelling rather than
explicit. One thing I thought of during the filming was the idea
Hemingway talked about how you can show people the tip of the iceberg,
and if you as the writer know what happens under the water of that
iceberg then you can provide the minimal amount of information and have
the audience feel the rest. I had the whole plot in my head,
including intricacies that were not on the page either, so I just tried
to make sure before we shot anything that I as the writer knew exactly
what was happening and that it made sense logically. For me the main
thing was telling a story for emotional effect, and that meant doing it
in this associative way.
What can you
tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
My overall directorial approach was to let every person involved in
the film have as much freedom as possible. I know as a writer on
other projects I always did my best work when people allowed me the
space to be inspired and excited about my artistic process. The
only thing I did as a director overall was to try and make sure all of
the parts connected to the whole in a way that would achieve the goal of
the film, which was to make the audience feel something.
was Union Bridge
actually filmed, why there, and what was it like filming there?
Bridge was filmed in a small town near the Mason Dixon line
(where the Civil War was fought). The name of the town is Union
Bridge and it's in Maryland - near where I grew up. I shot it there
because it had the look and feel of this story. The town feels
like an American town that hasn't changed much in 50 years and it has a
strange aura to it. It was fun filming there as you really locked into
the vibe of a small American town that in many ways have disappeared
from the American landscape.
talk about Union Bridge's
key cast, and why exactly these people?
The cast were
great: I met Scott Friend through my brother in Brooklyn and
he has great acting instincts and is a perfect collaborator. Alex Breaux
came out of Julliard and is an extremely dedicated and powerful actor - I
see a big future for him as he has such a unique look and ability.
Emma Duncan graduated from NYU, and she is just totally next level talented.
She is so good I really didn't want to give her much direction as her
performance was always so inspired and clocked in to the spirit of the
script. Elizabeth Noone is a veteran actress and has spent a lot of
time with the legends of the industry in New York over the years - and
it's apparent that she is cut from the cloth of that type of approach to
acting, totally invested and bringing the intensity. All of them fit
their characters perfectly and were the natural choices for their roles.
A few words
about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
The on set atmosphere of the shoot was exciting as for a lot of
people involved this was a big opportunity to have a feature length
film platform for their talents to be showcased. The camaraderie
was strong and because of the small budget we all had to work hard and
stay positive to achieve our goals.
$64-question of course, where can Union
Bridge be seen?
Bridge can be seen on all of the platforms like Amazon and
iTunes and cable on demand services and DVD. There are other
platforms too that are listed in the press release.
Anything you can tell us about
audience and critical reception of Union
The audience and critical reception to the film is what I expected.
It is a strange and unconventional film and some people will be along
for the ride and dig it and others won't. One thing I'm happy
about is that it seems that the people who appreciate the film do so for
all the reasons that I would have wanted them to, taking notice of the
attempt to make a film that was interesting and unique.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
I have a few scripts and many ideas for future
projects - hopefully
this film will create the opportunity to make them.
got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
I originally got into filmmaking as a
hobby, I thought it was fun to
make comedy videos and stories with my friends and family. Eventually
I got a masters in screenwriting as my interest deepened.
What can you tell us about your
filmwork prior to Union
Bridge I wrote and produced a lot of comedy. I
had also written some dramatic scripts but professionally I was more in
the comedy space. I'm glad that this film allowed me the
opportunity to explore the full spectrum of my filmmaking interest.
How would you describe yourself as a
As a director I would describe myself as pretty hands-off - I like to
allow the moment to play out without getting in the way as I find that
this is where you get some really magical moments in the performances.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
I have been
inspired by many
filmmakers, some of them include
Altman, Welles, Cassavetes, Malick, Antonioni, Fellini, and the list goes
on and on.
Some of my favorite films are Network,
The Long Goodbye, Lady from Shanghai, The Passenger,
Amarcord, Big Lebowski, and the list goes on and
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Films I deplore... hmmm... I don't like films that are too cute and
feel like an aesthetic that I've seen a lot before. Bad dialogue
really is tough for me to sit through.
Your/your movie's website, social media,
My Twitter is brianlevinlives and my Instagram is
Bridge has a Facebook page
Anything else you're dying to mention and
I have merely forgotten to ask?
Thank you for your interest in my
film, it is always amazing to
connect with an audience, as that is part of the joy of creating
Thanks for the