GTO 3987 on Mulholland

GTO 3987 on Mulholland

Monday, March 16, 2020

Exigence: Libya must have done a number on your head...

Q: What is Exigence?

Stephen: Exigence is the story of a man facing an existential threat that not only impacts upon him personally but on society as a whole--whether we are government contractors operating internationally or teachers in a rural town, what underlies the story is affecting all of our lives.

Q: Care to elaborate?

Stephen: As was the case in the film Chinatown, the story comes about as a result of an earlier occurrence, one that permeates the atmosphere of the film and forecasts a particular confrontation if not destiny. In the Polanski film, the event happened in Chinatown, in Exigence the seminal action took place in Libya. In both films, the exact details of what set things in motion are less important than the inevitable result it delivers to the protagonists.

Q: How would you define your filmmaking style?

Stephen: The first to articulate what I do was actress/producer Pippa Scott who was in Richard Lester's wonderfully quirky film Petulia with George C. Scott and Julie Christie and was a founding partner of Lorimar Productions. Pippa had contacted me after seeing the Sean Miles episode of (Interview) on cable in which, for once, I played the character being interviewed rather than the interviewer. Her comment, which I wholeheartedly endorse, was that my writing is elliptical.

Q: Was this a conscious choice on your part?

Stephen: I think it was my way of involving the audience to a greater degree. If we move from event 1 to event 3, the audience will project what must have occurred in event 2 and so they have invested their thought processes into the film as they watch it. I can't tell you how many times people would call in after watching (Interview) or one of my one-acts on cable and thank me for treating them as intelligent viewers allowing them to figure out the truths in the story rather than spoon-feeding every aspect to them.

Q: Are you an experimental filmmaker?

Stephen: To the degree that I incorporate my own style of writing and 'guerrilla' shooting into classical elements--the three-act structure and the conventions of filmmaking born of the Hollywood studio system--that make my work seem original yet familiar at the same time. Exigence is a very good example of that.

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