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David Morgan: Writer/Director, CITY BABY

February 22, 2013

still 121Q: Tell us a little about the origins of CITY BABY, from concept to financing.

The idea started when I became co-owner of a very hip bar called the Tube. Portland was at the beginning of a cultural renaissance, so to speak – cheap rents and rainy weather can be creatively encouraging. I noticed people liked to party a lot and talk about moving to a bigger city, New York was on the radar for sure. I think it seems like a solution when you’re meandering a bit, sounds small but it can be monumental. I’m a firm believer in leaving your comfort zone.

The movie didn’t materialize until I met Cora though. We met inadvertently at the river with a group of friends. We were a bit mesmerized by each other, just talking about our favorite movies and directors. There was a knife fight a few yards away and we didn’t even know it was happening, by then we had started talking about making a movie together. We’ve been stuck with each other ever since. We self-financed, which was difficult, but we pulled a lot of favors and kept it cheap. Kickstarter had just started becoming popular so we toyed with that and decided it was a roundabout way to ask your friends for dough. So we went spent our savings, tapped our favors and pulled out the credit cards. It’s still a pretty low-budget movie though, I think we made a little go a long way.

2Q: Cinequest is proud to host the World Premiere of CITY BABY. Explain to the audience how you feel about bringing this film before audiences for the first time, and what do you think their reaction will be to your film?

We’re really excited to premiere at Cinequest. Festivals develop families and we’re down to be a part of this one.
I think the reaction to the film will be mixed. When you make a film with a protagonist that’s a spoiled little trust fund girl trying to figure out her quarter-life crisis, you’re going to alienate some people. We had test screenings to help us hone the rough cut and it seemed to surprise a lot of people who felt it went deeper than we may have meant for it to. One girl came up afterwards and said she felt like we made a movie about a time in her life, immortalized. She was very moved. We were too. We made this movie with the intention of conveying a few relatable themes (at least for many first-world youth) that seemed easy to understand. One example being the desire to move from Portland to New York is the same as from a small town in Montana to Boise, Idaho. It’s a rites of passage film for a generation with their basic needs met.

3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making CITY BABY?

The process of doing this with no money made it all kinda hard. We told each other that whatever happened it would be a great learning experience. The hardest part is trying to keep the train always pushing forward when other people get off. Seeing a film through to the end involves so many skillsets – from writing the script, to the shooting, the edit – all in a multilayered journey. When you do the majority of it yourself it can be daunting at times.

The best experience is yet to come. I’m really excited to see the other films and meet the filmmakers. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time.

4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?

I think by watching the trailer you’ll know right away if this is your kinda movie, or not.
Also we’ll be there so come say hi.

5Q: The current market for independent films is fractured, to put it lightly, and existing distribution models grow more ineffective with each passing moment. What are your hopes or plans for distribution?

Yeah its bleak. With the tools available now everyone is making a movie. That’s great for democracy and festival selection but also floods the marketplace. Our upfront budget was small enough that experimenting with self distribution is comfortable and feasible. I like not looking over my shoulder trying to appease some disgruntled investor. I think this movie has a future in self-distribution models including internet outlets like itunes, vod, amazon, netflix, etc. We hope to have a small theatre run in Portland as well. But if someone wants to pick it up, lets talk.

Watch the Trailer!

Buy tickets to see CITY BABY at Cinequest!

From → Interviews

  1. After reading this interview I believe that this is a guy with a clear head — when he’s not staring at Cora. I’m anxious to see this film.

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  1. CITY BABY | Popcorn and Vodka

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