By Shannon Mullen
Boston-based producer and WIFVNE member Blythe Robertson is days away from production on her next feature film, the indie drama LOVE IS STRANGE, starring John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei and Cheyenne Jackson.
“We are less than one week out from our first day of production and we are where we’d like to be, so that is a tremendous feeling,” she says.
Blythe lives in Charlestown and she’s an inspiration for all of us as a producer who is working hard to raise money in challenging times to make truly independent films with stories she’s passionate about.
We checked in with her to find out more about her role in the making of LOVE IS STRANGE:
WIFVNE: How did you become involved with this project, and at what stage?
BR: I met Ira Sachs (writer/director/producer) a few years ago in New York at a small industry screening for my last film ABOUT SUNNY. He sent me a script for another film he’d written (KEEP THE LIGHTS ON), but the timing wasn’t right for me.
Late last year, he sent me LOVE IS STRANGE and I knew I wanted to be involved. At that point, Parts & Labor Productions (Jay Van Hoy & Lars Knudsen) were on board and I was a big fan of their work, as well as Ira’s.
I had also worked with producer Lucas Joachin before (he was post-production super on ABOUT SUNNY) and had always wanted to work with him again.
WIFVNE: Your formal credit is Executive Producer. Tell us about your role on the project?
BR: I have been a part of the production team since early January 2013 – at which point we were just starting to go out for funding. My primary role on this project has been raising equity, but I have been a part of the entire process since January.
WIFVNE: Besides you, are there women in other prominent roles?
BR: Yes! Producer Jayne Sherman, production designer Amy Williams and line producer Allison Carter.
WIFVNE: How long did it take to finance the film, and what are the predominant sources of funding (if you’re at liberty to say)?
BR: It took less than a year to be fully funded. Private equity is the primary source of our funding.
WIFVNE: You’re a member of Slated.com. How are you using the site?
BR: I have been a member of the Slated.com community for a while now and have met lots of interesting folks because of it. For me, it’s a great way to network with other producers, as well as meeting potential investors.
We did not end up getting any funding [for LOVE IS STRANGE] through Slated connections, but it did play a role in spreading the word about the film, which will continue through much of the life of the film. I am certain it will lead to relationships in the future, not only for the film, but for me as a producer on other projects.
WIFVNE: Would you recommend Slated for other filmmakers, and if so, what types of projects?
BR: I would recommend Slated.com to others. It’s a smart and professional way to connect filmmakers and investors. It’s great for both feature and doc filmmakers who are looking for funders, sales agents, co-producers and other roles for their overall package. What makes the site work well is that there are strict guidelines and requirements for those in the Slated community, therefore it’s all very professional.