Justin Samuels is a New York based filmmaker who recently completed a documentary entitled The Many Faces of Occupy Wall Street. Here is a link to his youtube page:
Q: What inspired you to make The Many Faces of Occupy Wall Street?
A: I was blogging about occupy at the time. Someone commented that I knew a lot of interesting people, and I should interview them. And so I did.
Q: What separates it from other films about the Occupy movement?
A: I’ve not watched many films on occupy, but I would say in this film I don’t promote or bash occupy. I interview a number of people on occupy and leave the viewers to make their own judgments.
Q: Do you think the occupy movement has really changed anything (why or why not)
A: No. In the fall of 2011, for a short time occupy got the public’s attention. But as occupy did nothing and refused to evolve, it lost the public’s attention. The movement squandered its chances of engaging the American people. I saw occupy fall apart from within, the movement is now defunct.
Q: You have written eight screenplays; pitch me the best one.
A: It would be the Agent, which I’m developing into a film starring singer/actress Holly T. Alice Jones pulls every kind of scam in the book as an agent, switching from employment agent, to literary agent, to Hollywood agent. Yet she must stay ahead of her nemesis, Faye, or else she’ll be imprisoned.
Q: What do you like about working in New York?
A: NYC has excellent public transportation. You don’t need to drive as much as you do in Los Angeles (though even here, at times a car is needed depending on what you’re doing and where you live).
Q: What don’t you like about it?
A: The center of New York, Manhattan, is a bit overdeveloped for me.
Q: Who was the most interesting person you interviewed for your documentary?
A: Either Nan Terrie or Sage. If OWS were a reality tv show, Nan would have the Omarosa role from the Apprentice, or the Tiffany Pollard/New York role from the Flavor of Love. As for Sage, no one in occupy could quite figure him out. There was certainly a mystery there. He often hit things on the nail, in his criticisms of occupiers and activists in general. He protested the protesters, often quite cleverly.
Q: Pretend Mitt Romney is sitting in a chair in front of you, what would you tell him about The Occupy Movement?
A: Well, occupy fell apart due to internal problems and is now defunct.
Q: What is your strangest Occupy story?
A: Its got to be when Sage was accused of being a master spy within occupy, and of also liking a woman who he then discovered was a man, whom he then allegedly sparred with. I was not there at this time, but this incident was all over twitter and he was expelled from OWS during this, according to the twitter feeds.
Q: Who are some of your filmmaking influences?
A: You won’t see these influences in this documentary, but filmmakers I look up to are Stephen Spielberg, Tyler Perry, and Kenneth Branangh.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)