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2011, 51m, crime, drama
Bronze contemplatively brings viewers through the course of a fateful 12 hours in the lives of three teenage girls. Slowing creeping towards tragedy, viewers are forced to analyze and rationalize an uncomfortable judgment: were they “asking for it?" Feminist questions about consent, responsibility, victim accountability, and the often skewed media representation of sexual violence are raised as these girls leave their suburban NJ home for a night out.
10 questions with Bronze director, Steven Strauss at the half-way mark.
Saturday, March 19th, 2016
1I loved this film. What was the initial seed that made you want to make Bronze? I'd been living in NY for awhile and was getting nostalgic to make a movie based in New Jersey, having grown up there. Concept-wise I wanted to explore the idea of young girls courting trouble and the subsequent social and gender battles that arise in cases of violence against women who were somehow "asking for it."
2The three main actresses (Audrey Young, Candace Freshko, and Annette Sellas) do an incredible job. Are they friends in real life? Was this film scripted? How did you find them and manage to get such natural performances? All three ladies were friends of mine and we had a worked together individually on at least one other short film before Bronze. The ladies had not met before the film began. Luckily they clicked with each other and we're all willing to go out share themselves with the story. There was a loose script of how the fictional day in their life progressed but most dialogue was improvised by the cast.
3How many people were in your crew and how did you find them? The crew was comprised of Kevin Jacobsen handling cinematography and lighting. Will Orosz covering all things sound related. Rachel Asher handled logistics and feeding everyone. Everyone worked incredibly hard.
4I loved how you handled the scene where the Bronze girls are inside eating and they are approached by the two dudes. It seems like you didn't get a super clear audio recording so you decided to add subtitles instead of add ADR. Why did you go with that choice? We went in guerilla with two shotgun mics but there was some sort of AC unit or generator running in the Dunkin Donuts that night so in post i just tried to make the most of the sound we had and subtitles seemed to be the best fit.
5What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker? Deliverance. Not sure why I was watching it so much as a child but I loved the flow and psychological diversity of the characters. Amadeus was also very important. I saw something so cool in that it might take a shit-ton of work but worlds can be created and temporarily inhabited in the craft of movie making.
6What was the most challenging scene to shoot during this film? No one scene in particular. The biggest challenge in general was the tight 3 day window we all had to get it all done and trying to shoot it all in order.
7Another actor in your film, Rodrigo Lopresti also acts and produced another film on Fandependent called A Song Still Inside. How do you know each other and what was it like working together? We met through mutual friends in Brooklyn back around 2000 and have stayed in touch and made and tried to make a few things over the years. He is very easy and fun to work with.
8What's it feel like to be the closing film for Fandependent's first festival? I'm honored and humbled to be amongst such great films and labors of love.
9Your synopsis is perfect. I felt myself thinking that these girls are, "asking for it," but then through the course of the movie you realize how fucked up it is to be thinking that. Did you intentionally create the film around that idea or did that idea get discovered through the process of making the film? We tried to be very intentional about it. Upon hearing of such a crime in the news we then begin to hear each other's judgements and speculations of the pretext. Bronze was able to be a pretext, which could then hopefully start a conversation with all the facts presented.
10What's next? Currently editing a feature, probably done this spring and slowly beginning to shoot a new film centered around my day job and other love, doing hair.
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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