Amber Schaefer directs ‘NYC Tips and Tricks’.
A small-time travel vlogger’s tour of Coney Island is interrupted by an unexpected call.
Words from Amber below.
A similar question was asked in the film: why did you make ‘NYC Tips and Tricks’?
AS: We didn’t set out to answer this question so directly in the film. When it came to shooting that final scene, what was written on the page wasn’t working. So I started asking the actress Andi Poland questions about her own life. She really has a web series called “Gossiping Grams” (that she’s thinking of calling “Boomers.)” And she really lost her two sons, which she credits as her motivation to create. But I’m not sure anyone’s motivation to make art is so simple, or if it can even be put into words. If anything I wanted to call out the absurdity of that impulse.
I’m not sure anyone’s motivation to make art is so simple, or if it can even be put into words. If anything I wanted to call out the absurdity of that impulse.
What has the internet’s response to the film been?
AS: “I’m crying.”
Do you think it’s because you’re holding up some kind of mirror?
AS: I think Yoni and Andi’s performances are really powerful. And I think– after the universal disruption of the global pandemic — we’re all sort of evaluating and re-evaluating what really matters to us.
After the universal disruption of the global pandemic — we’re all sort of evaluating and re-evaluating what really matters to us.
Could you talk a bit about your music selection and the way you chose to implement music in the film?
AS: I start thinking about music in the writing process. Music helps me understand the tone. I walked into the edit having a pretty good map for which songs I wanted to license for which scenes and which pieces of music composed by Zachary Seman and Roger Kleinman I wanted to put where. It helped that our editor Micah Garnder has a great sense of musicality and rhythm.
What are you reading at the moment?
AS: I’m on a big Jung kick right now, I just read the ‘Psychology of the Unconscious’ and am finishing ‘Man and his Symbols’. Studying Jung has totally transformed my creative process and has given me a much more mystical approach to my art.
- Amber Schaefer, Yoni Lotan
- Sam Broscoe
- Director of Photography