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Alex Ross Perry

...because as a successful indie filmmaker who tends to play by his own rules, Alex Ross Perry has already made 4 critically acclaimed films at the young age of 31, and that's something to strive for. Known for his literary writing style and high quality work on relatively modest budgets, the filmmaker has set himself apart from his "mumble-core" peers and is set to transition into the big leagues with an upcoming live-action take of Winnie the Pooh for Disney.



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Contrary to a typical writer, who formulates an idea and begins writing it out at the onset, Perry tends to sit on an idea and lets it gestate for months, hashing out the plot and the details over time in his head before even starting to write them on a page.

All of Perry's films to date are shot on film, in opposition to most other modern indie filmmakers who tend to shoot on digital due to ease and cost. However, he is not against the digital format and believes that both approaches have their merits. He also believes that shooting on film is more affordable than most filmmakers think, and can be done on a low to micro budget with proper planning.

Perry's movies tend to focus on the minute interactions between his often headstrong characters, who are typically unlikeable, argumentative and prone to attack each other verbally and emotionally. These characters are brought to life by his dialogue heavy, literary writing style.

"Ever since my first movie, the way that I've found a rhythm is that from the inception of the idea, which is always image based, I just kind of take months to let that idea and that image seed and just think about it for a really long time until every aspect of a story that I need to start writing is there, generally including a beginning and a middle, while the end of course is totally, totally not there yet," he says. "But the first scene and sequences for sure and generally like most of the other characters. I don't really know how much work it would take to turn an image into a story sitting in front of a writing device." - Alex Ross Perry, interview with Fast Company.

Perry's long time D.P. Williams has worked on all of his films to date. He has also worked extensively with filmmaker Albert Maysles. Known for his fluid camerawork and heightened attention to available light, Williams has been praised by critics for his work in the indie film world.

All of Perry's films thus far have been made on small budgets, with his biggest film "Listen Up, Philip" employing a modest crew of around 40 people. His most recent film "Queen of Earth" was shot with a crew of only 11 people.

Perry's films have been compared to the likes of Woody Allen, Noah Baumbach, Roman Polanski, Robert Altman, Ingmar Bergman, Whit Stillman and Paul Schrader, among others. His writing style is also said to be strongly influenced by the works of Philip Roth.

Resources

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The Marriage of Character and Plot: Alex Ross Perry on Screenwriting

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Alex Ross Perry and the Democracy of Movies

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Alex Ross Perry: Indie Filmmakers Can Afford to Shoot Film

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Alex Ross Perry is Living the Arrogant, Obnoxious Film-Student Dream

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Very Slow and Then Very Fast: How Filmmaker Alex Ross Perry Writes Screenplays

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