Case Study – Find the Voice in Each Project

Sundance Institute Director’s Lab, Utah.

Keely Grigel worked with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Melanie Lynskey, Wendie Malick, Colton James, Patrick Fugit, Miranda July, and other upcoming filmmakers to shape their movie ideas at Sundance.

Famous for launching the A-list careers of Quentin Tarantino with Reservoir Dogs, this artistic workflow approach is applied to each project led by Keely Grigel and Techgroup Meetup.

Keely Grigel Joseph Gordon Levitt

Advisors Miguel Arteta (All the Bright Places, Cedar Rapids, Youth in Revolt, The Good Girl), Ed Harris (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Truman Show, Pollack, The Hours), Sally Field (Brothers and Sisters, Lincoln, Forrest Gump, Mrs. Doubtfire).

Cinematographer Robert Elswit (Nightcrawler, Inherent Vice, There Will Be Blood, Boogie Nights, Goodnight and Good Luck, Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, Michael Clayton) was one of the influential camera and lighting advisors.

Celebrity guest visitors created a dream-like atmosphere. The film education received from people who experienced industry recognition like an academy award, emmy award, daytime emmy award, sundance film festival award– all of that also included a certain humbleness and degree of humility when faced with the challenge of bringing each project to life.

Keely Grigel attended the first year it was open to international film makers and was one of the youngest woman filmmakers to be invited to attend. Each entertainment industry professional provided constructive criticism, unwavering support, and invaluable insight into discovering the true voice within each project.

She worked on the scenes for animation director Emily Hubley (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Toe Tac Tic) and Dror Shaul (Mivtza Savta, Sweet Mud), filmed by Robert Humphreys (Trial of Labor, National Geographic, Dopamine).

This included a project review of the dailies, script readings/revisions, master classes, and personal project screenings for Whale Rider, Boogie Nights, Toe Tac Tic, Sweet Mud, Paradise Now, and Me and You and Everyone We Know.

 

Results

Creating and organizing dreams into reality is a true art form with many moving pieces. Behind-the-scenes movie set experience is a constant study in leadership, communication, and applying one’s insatiable work ethic in a constructive way.

Knowing how to launch a project without hurting artistic vision is an exercise in inner strength and self-awareness. There is always the risk of discouraging the input of different personality types.

Working on teams under the intense pressure of deadlines, budget, talent, crew, and communicating project status to the press teaches an expert level of coordination.

Assembling creative artists together to find the voice in each project during the day, followed by sponsored film industry networking events at night, are among the most effective ways to encourage collaboration in a forest retreat setting.