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Whit Stillman Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (2) | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 25 January 1952Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Birth NameJohn Whitney Stillman

Mini Bio (1)

Whit Stillman was born in 1952 and raised in Cornwall in upstate New York, the son of a impoverished débutante from Philadelphia and a Democratic politician from Washington D.C. Stillman graduated from Harvard in 1973 and started out as a journalist in Manhattan, New York City.

In 1980 he met and married his Spanish wife while on an assignment in Barcelona, where he was introduced to some film producers from Madrid and persuaded them that he could sell their films to Spanish-language television in the USA. He worked for the next few years in Barcelona and Madrid as a sales agent for directors Fernando Trueba and Fernando Colomo, and acting in their films playing comic Americans as in Trueba's SAL GORDA.

Stillman wrote the screenplay for Metropolitan (1990) between 1984 and 1988 while running an illustrating agency in New York and financed the film from the proceeds of selling his apartment for $50,000 as well as contributions from friends and relatives. Barcelona (1994) was inspired by his own experiences in Spain during the early 1980's, which was his first studio financed film. For The Last Days of Disco (1998) was loosely based on his travels and experiences in various nightclubs in Manhattan, and possibly at the Studio 54.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Matt Patay

Trade Mark (1)

Frequently casts Chris Eigeman and Taylor Nichols

Trivia (2)

Was member of the dramatic jury at the Sundance Film Festival in 1995.
Resides in France since the late 1990s. [July 2009]

Personal Quotes (4)

A lot of people in the film industry are fatalists who think a worthwhile film will always achieve its destiny and the films that aren't worthwhile won't. It's all sort of pre-determined, etc. And I don't think that's true at all.
So much of selling a film in the industry is about creating a fulcrum where all the pressure comes to bear and something seems suddenly valuable and approved by an audience. It's amazing how people could pick up tons of films on the cheap but they don't because they wait until everything is laid out for them.
Oddly in a sense I still have more confidence as a director than my ability as a writer. Somehow directing is just really easy. It's just about being really honest about how you feel about what you're seeing. Essentially if you're a good television zapper and you bring that consciousness to the set and you're perfectly honest when what you're watching is not what you want or it is what you want. You're going to switch the channel or keep the channel. Somehow it all just seemed to come together.
One of the downsides of money is if there's no money there are very few real jerks who are attached to your project. And if there is money you do attract some very difficult unhelpful people.

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