Writer/Director John Wells Sundance Video Interview THE COMPANY MEN

     February 2, 2010

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At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, I had the opportunity to interview a ton of the filmmakers that attended the Festival.  Now that I’m back in L.A. and have the time to edit the videos, it’s time to start posting a lot of great conversations.  And up first…writer/director John Wells for his directorial debut The Company Men.

While many of you know who Wells is as he’s written and/or been a producer on shows like The West Wing, Third Watch, and ER (just to name a few),  The Company Men marks his first time behind the camera.  The very realistic drama stars Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner and Rosemary DeWitt.  It’s about around three men that attempt to survive a round of corporate downsizing while trying to fend off its effects on their families and their identities.  As you can tell by the synopsis, it’s something many people are going through right now.

During the interview, Wells says it was not a film Hollywood wanted to make, so he had to get the financing on his own.  Hit the jump for a great conversation about his movie and the state of Hollywood:

A few things before watching.  This interview was recorded as part of a roundtable interview for The Company Men.  This was not an exclusive for Collider, hence why you’ll hear other people asking some of the questions.  Also, someone’s recorder was giving off something so the sound isn’t as clean as I would have liked, but it’s still fine to watch.

Some of the things that we discussed were:

  • why did it take him so long to direct a film
  • the casting process
  • where the ideas came from
  • what Hollywood wanted him to do to get the financing from a studio
  • what’s the distribution plan
  • 9:50 – what’s going on at the studio system right now and how it’s not encouraging small indie filmmakers right now

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