First-time helmer Sebastian Schipper’s boys’ night out opus “Gigantic” made its U.S. debut last month at the Sundance Film Festival.Thesp-trained Schipper, 33, whom film buffs might remember menacing Willem Dafoe in Anthony Minghella’s “The English Patient,” was working on German helmer Tom Tykwer’s “Wintersleepers” when he let it slip he “had this script.” Remembers Schipper,”(Tykwer) called me up, we met and he said, ‘Write a good script and it’s gonna become a movie.'” Before he knew it, Tykwer and producer Stefan Arndt, the duo responsible for breakout hit “Run Lola Run,” hopped aboard to produce his $380,000 “Gigantic,” which takes its inspiration from Schipper’s friendships and the universal longing for the ultimate Saturday night. It also features his favorite toys: table soccer and a big-block, V8-engined Ford “which the art director banned me from driving,” Schipper adds. An indie fan, Schipper cites faves such as “My Own Private Idaho,” “Nil by Mouth,” and helmers Kar-wai Wong and Martin Scorsese. Describing himself as an “adopted member of the X-Filme (Tykwer and Arndt’s production company) family,” he’s grateful that they encouraged him to get on the other side of the camera. He’s also aware “Gigantic” is riding the “Run Lola Run” wave. And while happy to see it selected at Sundance, Schipper knows that “the next step is swimming out again with my surfboard and looking for the next wave, becoming a skilled surfer.” And so, Schipper is already working on his next project. “It’s a love story, romance — but tough love,” he insists. “It has passion, aggression — everything.”
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