-Our connection to the South started in 1989 when Brendan and I were conceived and brought onto this Earth in the city of Gainesville, Florida. We spent the next 23 years there, attending the University of Florida, and learning the art of experimental filmmaking from Roger Beebe.
2. Where did you get your inspiration for this work?
-The idea for “Por Dinero” began in a Chinese restaurant in our hometown where we met and worked with Israel, an undocumented Mexican who sacrificed his early adulthood to provide for his entire family. We saw him as a modern day hero and not some illegal alien “polluting” American culture and stealing jobs. We needed to tell his story. People should see our film to get a new perspective on this illegal immigration issue: a personal approach not loaded with political or ethnocentric ideas.
3. How did you start making films?
-Our father introduced us to movie-making at 11 years old where we continued goofing around for years making elaborately plotted narratives with loaded allegory (but not really). It wasn’t until our sophomore year of undergrad when we were shown the way of underground cinema. We learned to love the truly independent nature of experimental work and decided to dedicate our post-graduate lives to Blacksmyth Films- our filmmaking duo dedicated to framing a creative reality (experimental documentaries).
4. Did anything interesting or funny happen on set during the shooting?
-One night after shooting a couple rolls in Panixtlahuaca, Oaxaca, Mexico, Jeremy got sick and the family we stayed with prescribed some Mezcal (regional Oaxacan liquor). We ended up buying some clear liquid in a used hot sauce container and drank three of them. We were coerced by the neighbor, Jose, to drink six Coronas each. Storming the streets with a “guide” named Hector (Jose’s brother-in-law), we went to the one bar in the village and drank with the local drunks. The family we were staying with told us the next morning they were afraid we’d get shot in the streets and America would promptly bomb the entire town, but no one was angry at us. People simply laughed at us the rest of our days in Panixtlahuaca, screaming, “Gringo borracho!”
5. What do you look forward to the most during Indie Grits?
-For Indie Grits, we look forward to possibly attending the fest this year! It’s a big maybe as of right now. We’re returning from Indonesia April 4th and may have to swindle time off from our already irate boss.
Brendan and Jeremy Smyth, directors of “Por Dinero”, Playing Saturday, April 20th at 8pm at Tapp’s Art Center