Two Hundred Thousand Dirty
Inside was dimly lit with the glow of movie lighting further enchanted by the glasses of amber-like Stella Artois glittering in everyone’s hands. There were some characters that seemed to have jumped out of the sixties dressed in blazers, patterned shiny scarves, and displaying well-manicured moustaches.
The rooms beckoned to be explored and one room hidden behind a mobile bookshelf revealed a soft, white, furry rug that begged to be touched and an inviting couch for filmmakers, film buyers, and film enthusiasts to mingle. This is where I met Tim Anderson.
Tim’s film is called Two Hundred Thousand Dirty and by the title we already get a sense of the mischief that will take place, but here is a little more from the man himself. ~ The Fine Artist
What is your film about?
Strictly speaking, it’s about blue-collar losers who work in a mattress store that kill somebody. Not so strictly speaking, I’d say it’s a dark comedy about the things going on under our noses as we pass by seemingly uninteresting places and people.
What inspired you to write Two Hundred Thousand Dirty?
I think it’s different for everybody, but I am mostly inspired by people and places. I tend to develop fascinations with certain people or places and usually my imagination constructs other elements around these fascinations. (At least I think that’s how it works?) I have always had a sort of fascination with strip malls and how they often represent their surroundings very accurately. I find them to be numerous and particularly American; and, additionally, I became interested in the sheer number of establishments located within strip malls that are specifically named for the products they sell (“PETS” or “TAN,” for example; or, a personal favorite of mine now almost entirely extinct: “VIDEO”). This combined with some of my own experiences working at brutal retail jobs (including a couple in strip malls) could explain some of my inspiration for the setting and environment of the film. In terms of the characters in the film, I would say they are inspired by the unpredictable combination of bits and pieces of real people I have found interesting in my life and the voices in my head.
How long did it take till you felt like your script was finally complete?
I thought about this question and I don’t know if I have ever thought of anything I have made as “complete.” Perhaps in the chronological sense of the word, yes; but I think it’s more accurate to say that at a given point I became ready to begin producing the script I had written (and rewritten). What describes that point specifically? I am not sure. I guess it’s a feeling or something intangible like that. Whether I was up late working on the dialogue in production or making dialogue edit decisions in post, I think the process is ever-evolving. I hope to someday make a “complete” film. I feel like there are very, very few of those…
What was the best or easiest part of making your film come to life?
Nothing was easy (nor did I expect anything to be). The best part was finding and getting to meet and work with all of the amazingly talented and passionate people who made the film possible. That was (and is) by far the best and most incredible part. A lot of these people have never met, but each person, no matter how big or how small their contribution, left their touch on the film. In particular, the color sessions with my D.P. Cameron White and colorists Nata Mercado and Isabel Galindo, and the post sound sessions with Craig Kyllonen were amazing. They are all so amazingly talented, creative, and focused, that getting the opportunity to see their indelible creative stamp on the project was remarkable.
And what was the worst part?
Hmm…I’d say it’s a tie between:
1) Having a technical data malfunction at the end of a production day and losing an entire day’s worth of footage. It was a terrible feeling because we were on such a tight schedule and small budget that we just couldn’t add an extra day or something like that to the schedule; we had to go double time the next day and make it up. In the end, it was a blessing because it happened on a day when our shooting schedule and location schedule actually allowed us to do that. We were successful thanks to everyone’s hard work and focus (perhaps the lost day served as just more rehearsal) and, to be honest, the scenes we initially lost turned out even better in my opinion.
2) Spraining my ankle really really really badly while doing a QC at a cinema in Mexico City. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to run some tests at a proper cinema thanks to Arturo Marín of Taboo Digital, but we were having playback problems with our DCP tests. So I was literally running around the cinema space trying to listen to the different speakers to determine if the 5.1 mix was being played back correctly, and, well, running around in the dark on stairs isn’t a great idea. I went down pretty hard, and right away I knew I had turned my ankle pretty badly. Within an hour or two it was swollen so badly I could barely put a shoe on it or walk at all. So, as we sorted through a variety of technical problems in the coming days down there, my ankle was black and blue halfway up my leg and I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t really walk. Ah, memories…
What growth did you gain from this experience?
Wow. Well, I’d say I grew immensely. I don’t know if I can answer this question because it’s hard to be self-aware enough to know, but I know my gained experience and knowledge in literally every single aspect is invaluable. I feel confident in future projects and know I can be an asset to any production now. The entire process teaches you about yourself without a doubt. Given how small and independent this project is, I was forced to do a lot of things entirely on my own like a one man army. That can be good and bad I suppose. Beyond the obvious creative steps that everyone focuses on, there are so many more steps that, at least for me, I tackled one by one and just kept my nose to the ground and grinding. I spent a lot of time researching and studying to make sure things were done correctly. Whether it was scheduling the production, legal research, accounting, launching ASCAP and BMI publishing arms, or working with translators; I just tried to accomplish something, no matter how small, every single day.
What advice do you have for those about to make their first feature-length film?
Well everyone is certainly different and has their own strengths and weaknesses, but I’d say my top three pieces of advice would be:
1. BE PATIENT. This is the most important I believe. It will (and should) take time. If you have the discipline to stay patient, you will find the right people and situations for the film and it will allow for a better product. It will feel lonely at times, but stay focused.
2. HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF AND IN THOSE AROUND YOU. You will have to make many decisions along the way and you should do so confidently and knowing everything you can about each decision. If you don’t feel informed enough to make a good decision at a given time, then take the extra time to prepare, research, or work out your qualms so that you may do so. If you know what you want, it’ll be easier for others working with you to help achieve that goal. Through each and every decision make sure your choices are in line with your vision and style of the work, but allow for evolution and the contributions of those you’ve trusted to do their jobs as well. All the way from script to finish, you will have people telling you what they think and how things should or shouldn’t be done. Listen to them and give thought to their feedback and allow for collaboration, but make sure to trust your own decisions and vision. If you believe in those around you, they will believe in you.
3. SEEK THE PASSIONATE. In line with patience, try your best to seek those who are passionate about their work. The result will be amazing and the collaboration will be fruitful and natural. Without passion, end results will look and feel uninspired.
Do you have something new in the making for audiences to expect?
Well, I am currently working on developing a few new ideas/projects but don’t have a script yet. I am still churning over a lot in my head, but after that, I will have to tackle funding. Although I poured a lot of my own money into this project, hopefully I can get some help on the next one! So, although I’d like to ideally begin producing a new script in 2013, a lot will depend on the writing process and possible funding. There are also a couple friends of mine who are developing their own first independent features that I hope to produce, but no schedules have been determined…
To contact Tim Anderson directly:
For more information about the film: