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Sell stories rather than tell stories, writes David Spaner in Shoot It

by Kevin Griffin.

Gus Van Sant is a rarity. Not only has he directed major Hollywood films such as Good Will Hunting and Milk, he’s also brought his unique approach to independent-style films such as Gerry and Elephant.

But even someone successful at negotiating the jungle of U.S. filmmaking recognizes that commercial considerations influence every step of the creative process.

In a surprisingly candid interview, he told author David Spaner that he’s looking to go digital to make no-budget films outside of Hollywood. He’s come to realize that the dumbing down occurs everywhere in the industry in the U.S., even with smaller film companies because everyone has learned their craft with the big studios.

“There was an expected style in making a movie, like a template, and to deviate from it was highly suspect,” Van Sant said. “You always made these a-little-more-safe decisions because money was riding on it. I got tired of it.”

Van Sant is one of numerous directors and filmmakers Spaner interviews for his new book Shoot It!: Hollywood Inc. and the Rising of Independent Film, published by Arsenal Pulp Press ($22.95).

Read the rest of this article from Vancouver Sun.

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