Meet Fusion Doc Challenge Filmmaker, Jeremy Rubier

May 5, 2015

Was this your first Doc Challenge?  What has been your favorite part(s) about Fusion Doc Challenge?  

Yes, it was my first doc challenge. The best part about it was the timeline scheduled by the contest itself. We had only five days to make a documentary, and the timing was absolutely perfect because I just finished a big job in Shanghai and I always wanted to shoot a doc there. Plus, working under stress is the best way for me to achieve my best result.

How did you take the theme for the 2014 Doc Challenge “I have a bad feeling about this,” and use it in your film? 

The truth is that, no matter what the words would have been, I would have shot my friends and included them in it. I first hated this theme, and I though it was way too precise, but the more I was shooting, the more I had a feeling that their life was worrying me, and that a bad feeling was starting to grow in me. Weird no?
Screenshot 2015-05-05 09.52.30

Still from “Third Culture Kid”

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

I cried when watching, Oldboy and realized I wanted to share the same kind of emotion and make people cry, laugh, hate and love.

What is your favorite part about the short film form?

Hmm…the only really good part is that it’s super reachable without a budget, people are willing to help for few days, but they never accept if it’s a two month project. Also, the short form allows you to focus on one character, and to really engage the viewer, because they don’t have time to get bored. It’s the perfect format for the web.

Who were the people that supported the making of this film?

All my friends from Shanghai helped so much, and all the people you see in this video have a special place in my heart, and inspire me everyday.
When I first arrived in Shanghai two years ago, they treated me like a brother and it hasn’t changed since then. For example during the shooting, Zak and CJ let me sleep in their music studio and they made the music and sometimes fed me.  Allen hooked me up with the equipment, Cian the drone, Toru some location and Barham some ideas. This movie, is really their movie.

What resources do you use as a filmmaker? Music, locations, props, editing, crew, etc. 

As a filmmaker, I’m trying to be low key and used natural light and most of the time a small DSLR camera. In this film I used the A7S because it’s a low light killer.

In documentary filmmaking, I handle mostly everything, from camera operator to sound guy and, of course, editor. I’m trying to be cheap by using also Samyang lenses, and to do everything hand held. I think tripods are anti-immersion, and should only be used for fiction films, but once again who am I to judge?

What is your next project? 

I have a few upcoming projects. I’m currently editing a documentary I shot with the Baras’s brother around Japan discovering the vinyl culture, Diggin’ Thru.  I’m also turning the Third Culture Kid concept into a webshow/TVshow. We want to shoot in major cities in Asia. I’m also constantly writing my first feature fiction movie, an adaptation of one of Murakamis book, because at the end of the day my true love is for fiction movies. Two music videos I shot in Bangkok and Shanghai are also about to be released, stay tuned.

The independent film business is growing. What keeps you motivated? Where do you see the industry going in the future? 

Web is changing everything, but I think that going to the cinema still is the best experience for viewer, especially for fiction films. What keeps me motivated is that people consume more and more video, but we have to be careful because people are slowly falling inside this Vimeo kind of videos where everything is pretty, but nothing real or interesting.
I think the industry is going to go towards shows where people pay whatever they want, and platforms like Kickstarter are going to create a world where people are actually paying for exactly what they want to watch, and actually participating in the creation of movies, which I think its super great.
Also, Vice and other doc websites are pushing people to watch more and more documentaries, but also are the death to author documentaries which I really love. The director is getting more and more away from the subject and there is still not enough support for author docs, and I think people should diffuse more of them.

Which filmmakers, artists or individuals have most influenced your work? 

Gaspar Noe, Wes Anderson, Miyazaki and Park-Chan-Wook.

What advice would you give new filmmakers? 

Do it. Just do it. Stop waiting for funds or support. Take you f******  camera and shoot it. No one will wait for you to do it. Nike.

View Rubier’s film “Third Culture Kid,” competing in the Fusion Doc Challenge, and follow his career with The Audience Awards.

The Audience Awards is film’s social network connecting audiences to films, filmmakers, film schools and film festivals. The Audience Awards hosts short film competitions where the audience chooses the best films.

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