Young Libertyville, Mundelein filmmakers dream big
Drew Morris (left) of Mundelein and Grant Stakenas of Libertyville stand atop a train during the filming of their documentary, "Exile By Choice." | Submitted photo
Updated: November 13, 2012 2:12PM
They bonded over skateboarding in their teens, realizing later they had another common love: Making films.
Drew Morris, 23, of Mundelein and Grant Stakenas, 24, of Libertyville will screen their latest film, a documentary called “Exile By Choice,” at Mickey Finn’s Brewery, 412 N. Milwaukee Ave. Libertyville, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15. They also will be raising money to cover filming, production and distribution costs.
“Exile By Choice” explores the subculture of train hoppers and hitchhikers in America. It follows Conor Girard, also known as Roaming Bear, who has spent the past four years on the road.
Q: How long have you been making films?
Q: What made you get serious about becoming filmmakers?
A: Drew: For me it was going to college, being faced with real life, getting a job. I wanted to do something different. We both know this is a risky profession, but we’re really serious about it.
Q: Who does what when the two of you work together?
A: Drew: I write everything and I direct. Grant shoots, so he’s the cinematographer.
Q: Filmmaking is a competitive business. What sets you apart from others?
A: Drew: I think one of our advantages is our background in skateboarding. It has influenced our style. When you film skateboarding, you’re not shooting in locations where you have permits or anything. We’re guerilla style. Most people are afraid to go shoot somewhere unsanctioned, but we don’t care. We’ve risked felonies filming some of the things we’ve filmed.
Q: Who are your influences?
A: Grant: Christopher Nolan is an inspirational person to me. He makes world-class movies and his style can’t be matched by anyone. Also Werner Herzog, Judd Apatow. Drew: Werner Herzog for me, too. Kevin Smith for comedy and also Steve James, who made “Hoop Dreams” and “The Interrupters.”
Q: Favorite movie?
A: Drew: “The Shining.” It’s timeless and perfect. It has no flaws. It’s funny. It’s scary. It’s all things in one movie.