×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

BRAD ANDERSON

Indie filmmaker Brad Anderson got his first Super 8 camera when he was 10 years old and has been busily documenting the world around him ever since. Some of the scenes he filmed during his childhood in Madi-son, Conn., showed up in his first feature film, “The Darien Gap.”

“My whole joy of filmmaking comes from piecing together scenes,” Anderson says. “I like shooting mounds of footage and putting it together into a story, the way that Lars von Trier does in ‘Breaking the Waves.’ ”

Anderson earned his bachelor’s degree at Maine’s Bowdoin College in 1987, where he studied Russian and anthropology and developed his interest in ethnographic film. The experience served him well as a freelance editor in Boston, where he worked on such films as “Sankofa,” by the renowned African-American filmmaker Haile Ger-ima; “The Americas,” a PBS series produced at WGBH-TV; and “The Stories of Alt Taliku,” a feature set in Mo-rocco.

Anderson moved to Britain in 1989 to attend the London Intl. Film School, but decided to drop out after complet-ing one year of the two-year degree program. “I decided to use the money for my second year to make a film,” An-derson says. “This way I would have something to show for my money.”

After leaving film school, Anderson moved to Boston, where he made an experimental 40-minute pic called “A Short Film About Bowling,” which he says remains “unseen by most of the moviegoing public.”

In 1992, Anderson helped form the Boston Film Collective, a loose affiliation of Boston and Providence-based filmmakers. He produced and edited the collective’s first short, “Crosley Fiver,” which screened at the Chicago and New York Underground Film Festivals and was the subject of a feature article in Film Threat magazine.

He followed up “Crosley” with “Frankenstein’s Planet of Monsters,” a Z movie shot in the tradition of Ed Wood and Samuel Arkoff. “It was a great experience because we made it for less than $1,500 using Super 8 film and cardboard sets in people’s basements,” Anderson says. “But it got me fired up to do a full-length feature.”

“The Darien Gap” was shot in 1994 on a budget of $50,000, which Anderson pieced together from a variety of sources, including family and friends. He cast his friend Lyn Vaus as the lead in the humorous, poignant film about a young man’s struggle to come to terms with his parents’ divorce and his own inability to commit to any-thing. “Lyn was in a band in Boston,” Anderson says. “He appealed to me as an interesting guy who had a keen wit. In the movie he plays an amalgam of himself and me.”

“The Darien Gap” premiered at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts in May 1995. It screened that fall at the Independ-ent Feature Film Market in New York and competed last year at festivals such as Sundance, San Jose and Santa Barbara, where it won a best director award. The pic also opened the first Gen Art Film Festival at Lincoln Center in New York in April.

Anderson met his agent, Mary Meagher of the William Morris Agency, through Fine Line vice president Rachael Horovitz, who saw “The Darien Gap” at IFFM. Anderson signed with Meagher before last year’s Sundance and she helped him put together his latest project, “Next Stop Wonderland.”

“I picked Mary because she is interested in ideas, not just your next career move,” Anderson explains. “She’s incredibly well-connected in the indie film world.”

A romantic comedy about a woman’s struggle to find a meaningful relationship, “Wonderland” stars Hope Davis (“Walking and Talking”) and Alan Gelfant ( “The Crow: City of Angels,” “The Destiny of Marty Fine”). The film is being produced by Mitchell Robbins of Robbins Entertainment.

The film was shot on Super 16 during a four-month period last year in and around Boston using a lot of New York talent.

Anderson says his goals are somewhat more commercial for “Wonderland” than for his first feature. “With ‘Darien Gap,’ I just wanted to make a movie,” Anderson says. “I didn’t see it as jumpstarting a career. Getting into Sundance was great, though, because it gives your film an imprimatur that you don’t get otherwise.”

“Darien Gap” was picked up by Northern Arts Entertainment, an indie distribber based in Williamsburg, Mass. It was released in Los Angeles in December and will have a limited theatrical run in major cities. Right now, Anderson is ensconced in his editing room, putting together the mounds of footage that he shot for “Next Stop Wonderland.”

More Film

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content