Eric Kissack p1

READERSVOICE.COM aims to collect a few interesting reading tips. Eric Kissack is a Los Angeles-based movie maker, originally from New York. In this interview he talks about how he taught himself film editing, then gained employment in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, working on The Daily Show. Later he made short films, then directed a feature film. It’s a bit of a New York story about the career path of an indie filmmaker. He gives some reading tips for books on movie making and some novels.

For an introduction to the films of Eric Kissack, go to his website and watch his short film The Gunfighter. A gunfighter walks into a saloon full of an assortment of western characters. A voiceover narrates the gunfighter’s entry into the bar. But the characters can hear everything the narrator says. Then the narrator starts causing havoc with his comments and asides.
Eric Kissack has also directed other short films and a feature film Love, Sex and Missed Connections.

READERSVOICE.COM: Could you recommend any books on film making, including any biographies of movie makers that you liked?

ERIC KISSACK: I honestly have not read many books on filmmaking. I tend to believe that you learn about filmmaking by making movies… and by watching them, of course. That said, like every dedicated editor, I’ve read Walter Murch’s In the Blink of an Eye. I was also inspired, early on, by Robert Rodriguez’s Rebel Without a Crew although it feels a bit dated to read it now. Still, the attitude in that book is infectious.
I’ll also recommend Pictures at a Revolution by Mark Harris which is a wonderfully entertaining history of the birth of the “New Hollywood” in the mid 60’s.

RV: What are some of your favorite books of fiction and other non-fiction, and do you tend to look for humor in your reading?

EK: I don’t particularly look for humor in my reading but most of my favorite books do tend to have humor in them, even if it’s often a fairly dark kind of humor that’s not particularly present in my own work. My all-time favorites are Money by Martin Amis, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee. More recently, I’ve loved Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson and Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders.

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-copyright Simon Sandall