Read Shockya's roundtable interview with Sean Kirkpatrick, who made his feature film writing/directing debut with the upcoming crime drama ‘Cost of a Soul.’ The independent movie won last year’s “Big Break Movie Contest,” which gives previously undistributed movies the chance to obtain exclusive on-screen distribution rights across the United States. ‘Cost of a Soul’ will be released by Relativity Media’s Rogue Division in 50 AMC Theaters nationwide on May 20 as part of the AMC Independent program. The film follows two wounded military veterans, Tommy Donahue (Played by Chris Kerson) and DD Davis (portrayed by Will Blagrove), as they return home to crime-ridden North Philadelphia from Iraq.
Written by: Karen Benardello
Question (Q): Can you talk about how, as an independent filmmaker, this deal came about, the process between Rogue and AMC Theaters?
Sean Kirkpatrick (SK): How it initially came about, we had been screening at the festival circuit for the last year. It played at about 10 film festivals. We had amazing sell-out screenings, encore screenings, standing ovations, you name it. We had an amazing festival tour. We were coming to the end of it, looking for distribution for it. My co-producer, Jonathan Risinger, walked into an AMC and saw a poster that said “Do you have a movie?” We had a movie. We submitted the film, and the rest is history.
Q: How’s the process been since signing up with them? Did they make any specific cuts?
SK: Unbelievably, no. It’s been incredible. As a first-time filmmaker, it’s so rare that it’s the filmmaker’s film that gets out there without being chopped or cut. The first thing I said, because it’s in the distribution contract that they have the final cut and edit, and they probably would re-cut the movie, and I said, “What are you guys going to change?” They said “Nothing, we love it the way it is. We don’t want to touch it, your movie’s staying intact.” It’s been an amazing experience. They let me maintain creative control throughout. I mean, everything from the design of the movie poster was approved by me. They’ve kept me in the loop on every creative decision possible, which has been amazing, rare thing for a studio like Relativity Media to allow a first-time director (creative control). I mean, they could have just said “Well, see you at the premiere, have a nice day.”
Q: Why do you think they did that?
SK: Well, I think their explanation was “We love the movie, we wouldn’t touch it, we wouldn’t dream of touching it.” That’s what they said. I think the movie just stands on its own, and I think they want the creative input from the artist and the filmmakers, which I think is great. I think that’s important too. It is all about dollars and cents at the end of the day, it is a business. But they were working with me, so we don’t compromise anything, so that I don’t compromise anything, any of the artistry in doing so.
To read the rest of this interview, please click here.