by J.D. Reager
Burgeoning local filmmakers Chad Barton and Eric Tate launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier this month in an attempt to fund their latest project, a comedic send-up of the Memphis film scene titled Lights, Camera, Bullshit.
Barton, the writer/director of Lights, Camera, Bullshit, is currently a film student at the University of Memphis and has already directed three shorts in his young career. Tate (lead actor and producer) is a mainstay of the local film community that is perhaps best known for his starring role in Craig Brewer's The Poor & Hungry.
Both Barton and Tate spoke about the new project to the Flyer this week.
Flyer: First off, what will Lights, Camera, Bullshit be about?
Barton: The movie is about a man coming back to Memphis to start making films. He gets a job at a local production company and tries to convince them to make films in town. All of these people show the apathy, pretentiousness, paranoia, and unwillingness to want to step outside their comfort zone to get something accomplished. I face this everyday. It's a never ending battle to get something accomplished, and that's not just Memphis.
Flyer: Eric, what attracted you to the film?
Tate: I retired from acting shortly after The Poor & Hungry. I only ever really got into acting because I wanted to learn about directing. But I liked the idea of Light, Camera, Bullshit so much that Chad has pulled me back into it.
Flyer: What challenges to Memphis filmmakers face?
Barton: There are several unique challenges. Working in a city that realizes films have been made here, but that doesn't realize they are still being made everyday. Not having the interest in film that other cities have. It makes it harder to raise money here. We're facing that right now. Being in a big city that doesn't realize it is one. There's a lot of potential here for filmmaking, among other artistic endeavors. The city is starting to open its eyes and see some of the art scene, but it can be frustrating to the people who are trying to get anything done.
Tate: Time. Money. Politics. Trying to honest with a your story. This city can be a great for artists, but it can also be too snide and dismissive. And so can the filmmakers within it. But I have hope. That's what this project it all about for me. Everything is a social experiment. A sub-culture of filmmakers has been building here for about fifteen years. It used to be, "every other filmmaker is just competition". But slowly we've started to become more open minded to collaboration rather than competition. I know I have at least.