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Michael Krivicka talks about his documentary Subway Melodies – Page 3

Michael Krivicka's favorite film reading...

READERSVOICE.COM: Can you list a couple of your favorite film magazines or books?

MICHAEL KRIVICKA: A very informative film magazine is Filmmaker, and so is The Independent which focuses more on the local happenings of NYC. Both are very direct and up-to-date, basically well-crafted and informative.

I can definitely point out a very important book in the independent film world. Shaking the Money Tree by Morrie Warshawski. It is every independent film-maker’s bible. It basically gives priceless info and strategies about how to finance a film from beginning to end.

I have purchased this book earlier this year and it is fascinating. I have been too involved with the production of my film so I never tried to translate the book’s advice into reality. However, I can see why it is so incredibly popular and important amongst filmmakers.

When I lived in Germany, I read only one magazine: Cinema. I am not sure if it has an American version that competes with all the other filmmaker magazines that are out there, but the European one was years ahead of any film source I knew back then.

It gave great info about which director was secretly working on what. Of course it revealed a lot about productions in progress in Europe, not only in the states. That is one major problem here in the U.S. The info of the magazines is great, but it hardly ever reaches into other markets, such as the European or Asian markets.

RV: Who is your favorite director?

MK: Luc Besson. Besides the amazing “La Femme Nikita” he created the underground subway movie “Subway”, which is a partial influence on me and my film to this day.

His other amazing films are “Le Grand Blue” and then the American production of “Leon” (here called The Professional).

Besson is an amazing filmmaker in terms of building suspense and showing change of characters within the movie. He is mainly producing now. Maybe he got lazy, but he will always be the one and only French-style suspense director in my mind.

RV: How did you finance Subway Melodies?

MK: Everything is coming out of my own pocket. Since my credit history in the media field is in the editing part and not the directing part, it was not possible to come up with any kind of funding because I just didn’t have much to back the project up.

That is also one of the reasons it took so long to make. As a true dedicated filmmaker, you sometimes spend your last $10 on tape-stock rather than food – pathetic but true and dedicated.

RV: How did you find time to do it? What other things took up your time, that you had to work around?

MK: For the most part of the production/ post-production (the film was being shot and edited at the same time) I was involved in a relationship and …well, I don’t need to say more; things are not easy.

Since I have a full-time day job as an editor, I could only work nights and weekends on the film.

I carry the camera with me all the time to make sure I don’t miss out on any opportunity. I take different routes on different subways to get home sometimes, just to check who I could catch performing on different trains at different times.

The musicians have a pattern and also a selected “terrain” so they don’t clash their performances.

RV: Did the film become something different from what you expected when you were editing it?

MK: Even though you have a very detailed idea of what it is you want to make, it will always turn out differently because you never know what materials you will have to work with.

Once I start filming a performance, the project is already changing because that performance might have elements that I did not consider but would love to include in the film.

Or some performances are not what I was hoping they would be, so I ended up deleting a LOT of musicians.

I used only a small portion, the best of the best, for the film.

It not only had to fit the concept but also had to be interesting, so the selection process was a little tough, because there are a lot of talented people down there.