Slamdance 2017 Interview: Jamie Greenberg (Future ‘38)


Transported to the year 2018 AD, an American agent finds a strange world of silvery sky~scrapers and connected computers.

Movies can be the sweetest escape, and Future ’38 delights wholeheartedly in their conventions, knowingly playing with language, colors, costumes and plot points, all in service of a joyful, time twisty take on a hero’s journey.

The film debuted this past week at the 2017 Slamdance Film Festival where we spoke with its writer/Director Jamie Greenberg.

“I love language, and playing with language.”

What was the very first aspect of this script that occurred to you? Was it a certain character, theme…?
Actually, it all began when I was working on a totally different script – a story based on an actual Cold War event. I got swamped in research, and in trying to figure out whether I wanted the screenplay to be strictly based on actual events, or just loosely inspired by them, or somewhere in between. I spent months banging my head against this, and finally (out of desperation) I said, “there’s got to be an easier way!” And I decided to shelve that project and tackle something that would be more fun to write and hopefully would come more easily. So I asked myself: “what’s always fun to think about?” Answer: TIME TRAVEL! That moment was the germ of the script— (and it occurred on March 12, 2013).

On the film’s inspirational material, what draws you to this particular era of 30s and 40s futurism? Do you have any particularly fond stories or tales from the era?
Great question— who knows? The movie’s general tone probably owes more to the screwball comedies of the era (the dialogue is slangy, jokey, fast-paced) rather than 1930s futurist films (more awed, hushed, solemn… even stilted).

I love language, and playing with language. That sassy 30s talk is just fun, and in FUTURE ’38 I was blessed with actors have as much fun acting it as I did writing it.

The film is shot in Technicolor, which (obviously) harkens back to the time protagonists time period. Was this always your intention? Did the decision to feature Technicolor come as an added “kick” during development?
In the first stages of writing, I considered doing the entire film in black and white — I figured it would be fun to see a vintage black and white film transposed onto our own modern world. But “black and white” can be a commercial handicap so I started thinking how I could convey a vintage vibe while working in color. The answer was to go for that eye-popping ‘30s Technicolor look, and it worked out beautifully.
Describe your experiences at Slamdance thus far? How have you gauged the festival’s creative environment?
I loved it. Great festival, all the festival staff are true indie film people (whether fans or filmmakers themselves).

From here on, what would you say your strategy is to get the film seen by as many eyes as possible?

Slamdance was a fantastic start and I am proud to say we won the Audience Award (“Beyond” Feature”). We’re trying to do as much press as possible and will be showing the film in various festivals around the country (world?). We’re also speaking to various companies about distribution.


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