SLIFF Master Class: Microbudget Filmmaking with Blake Eckard and Kristian Day

In this class on microbudget filmmaking, Blake Eckard will share the hard lessons he’s learned over two decades of writing and directing (and producing, shooting, editing, and sound-recording) DIY narrative features in his hometown of Stanberry, Mo. (population 1,186). Working in rural isolation in the northwest corner of the state, he’s developed a distinctive filmmaking style and sensibility and a devoted cadre of collaborators. Inspired by iconoclastic, defiantly independent director Jon Jost, a SLIFF Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, Eckard has made a half-dozen films, beginning with “A Simple Midwest Story” in 2001. His other features — all of which have screened at SLIFF — include “Backroad Blues” (2006), “Sinner Come Home” (2007), “Bubba Moon Face” (2011), “Ghosts of Empire Prairie” (2013), and “Coyotes Kill for Fun” (2017). He also co-wrote and made a memorable acting debut in Jost’s “They Had It Coming” (2015). Gary Topp, co-founder of the distribution company Films We Like and a devoted supporter of Eckard’s work, wrote of “Coyotes,” his most recent film: “I think it is his most accomplished to date; skilled, intriguing and provoking, with authentic performances and some phenomenal staging. (Blake’s) films can't be confused with anyone else's, and I can't believe he's still an untapped talent.” Eckard’s career is chronicled in the new documentary short “Somewhere Between New York and LA,” which SLIFF offers as a free special event. Eckard is joined in the master class by the short’s director, Kristian Day. Co-presented by Webster University Film Series Sponsored by Chellappa-Vedavalli Foundation