David cites four main focuses in his approach to filmmaking. First and most important is the story. Not very many moviegoers focus on things like lighting and cinematography; to most people, the technical aspects are secondary to what is happening on the screen and they go largely unnoticed. While David naturally put a lot of energy into making the film look good, he believes that shortcomings in that department can be forgiven by the viewer if there is a compelling story.
His second focus is upon the characters. It was very important to him to create unique characters and avoid clichés. This was especially important when it came to the character of the kidnapper: “When most people think child abduction, they think pedophilia… [or] violence… [or] ransom. It’s none of that with this guy; I wanted him to be a more complex character.”
The tone of the film is David’s third focus. “I wanted to create a feeling of uneasiness… It shouldn’t be a film [during which] you can really relax.” He shot most of the film with a handheld camera, which lends a kind of voyeuristic quality, like we, the viewer, are looking into a dark and forbidden place we would normally avoid.
His final focus is merely to establish himself a filmmaker. He does not intend “Nothing in the Flowers” to be his only feature, so he hopes to “get enough eyeballs on the project to continue to do more and get people behind me.”
I hesitate to ask about influences, because I don’t believe that a creative person can necessarily answer such a question about themselves accurately. I was, however, interested in what filmmakers David respects. Firmly at the top of the list is the Coen Brothers (“The Big Lebowski,” “Fargo”). Paul Thomas Anderson (“There Will Be Blood”) and Darren Aronofsky (“Requiem for a Dream”) are also favorites. He admires M. Night Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense”) on a technical basis, but laments the fact that other than that his films have gone severely downhill since the beginning.
As for future projects, David has a five or six ideas on his mind, but he didn’t go into it. Right now he is firmly committed to promoting “Nothing in the Flowers” for the next six to twelve months. He is quite pleased with his first film and is very excited for people to see it. “I want to see what kind of legs this film has,” he says.
“Nothing in the Flowers” makes its world premiere this Thursday at Headliners Music Hall. The night will open with a musical performance by Demi Demaree of The Villebillies and a showing of the short film “Shuttle Nautilus” by Warren Ray. A Q&A session with David and the cast will follow the film. Admission is free and includes popcorn.
Headliners is located at 1386 Lexington Road.
Photo courtesy of David Brewer's Facebook page.