Arthur Vincie: Writer/Director/Producer, 'Three Trembling Cities'


(Arthur Vincie) #1

Hey folks, thank you for having me. I’m a writer, director and line producer. Most recently I wrote/directed season 1 of Three Trembling Cities, a fictional webseries about the inner lives and daily struggles of NYC immigrants. I wrote and directed the “lo-fi” sci-fi feature film Found In Time, which is now out on VOD and BluRay, here and abroad. I’ve also line produced a number of features, and wrote a book about preproduction, Preparing For Takeoff.

I’ve worked in the indie/low budget world for a while, so I think I can answer most production/post questions (budgeting, scheduling, directing, casting, promotion/distribution, festivals). If I can’t answer something I’ll point you in the right direction. Looking forward to your questions!


We've got an AMA for that!
(Bri Castellini) #2

Welcome, Arthur! First question… when did you get into filmmaking, and into web series in particular?


(Bri Castellini) #3

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(sam lockie-waring) #4

i remember seeing three trembling somewhere and i really dug the look of that show. how big was your crew, specifically the visual department (art/production design, dp, camera, etc)?


(Arthur Vincie) #5

I got into filmmaking in college. I’d done some home video shooting as a teenager (VHS) but had gone to college thinking I’d become a novelist with a day job as a psychologist. Then realized that I could actually combine all my endeavors (writing, theater, nerdy-tech stuff, photography) into one field. Switched majors to film. I got into web series making after being in the indie feature world for a long time, and getting fed up with the length of time between production and distribution. Also I got more and more interested in the possibilities of episodic storytelling.


(Meg Carroway) #6

Hi Arthur! What kinds of things did you talk about in your preproduction book that you hadn’t seen in other books about film production?


(Arthur Vincie) #7

The crew was pretty small. My DP/producer - Ben; Gaffer/2nd camera - Simeon; Production Designer, Mel; HMU, Amanda; Producers, Daria & Dee; myself; a couple of PAs (one who also doubled as still photographer).


(Bri Castellini) #8

That kinda touches on another question I wanted to ask… what’s different about making and marketing a feature versus a web series? And what you recommend for newbie filmmakers to try first?


(sam lockie-waring) #9

that’s dope! did you guys have a lookbook process for different apartments? how did you work out how different spaces would look and feel?


(Blair Hunter) #10

Did you know your cast before making Three Trembling Cities?


(Arthur Vincie) #11

Most film books have a few chapters about preproduction but jump into production pretty quickly. Also they usually either covered the director’s or producer’s jobs but not both. In today’s world, you often have to wear both hats. I dug into script analysis, previsualization (director’s stuff) but also scheduling and budget (producer’s stuff). Another thing I wanted to talk about was developing people skills, since that’s the biggest part of the job and it’s not something I’d ever really learned directly in any of the courses I’d taken.


(Arthur Vincie) #12

I knew Arash Mokhtar (he plays Behrouz) for a couple of years, and wrote the part with him in mind. The rest of the cast were folks I met during the casting process.


(Hailey Harper) #13

How do you prepare as a director? Especially for the stuff that’s more improv-y (like giving actors thoughts after takes- you don’t know what they’re going to do beforehand!)


(Hailey Harper) #14

How did you approach casting, then? Did you have a casting director? What does a casting director do that a director doesn’t already do themselves? I’ve always wondered about that!


(Arthur Vincie) #15

I do put together a “scrapbook” of sorts and combine that with the script breakdown, to describe the different apartments. The production designer, DP and I would get into what we figured these folks’ place would look like (given the constraints of the locations we had available). The actors pitched in too - they brought stuff they felt would be appropriate to their characters. It was a very collaborative process. Big props to my crew and cast on this!


(Anna Bateman) #16

I’ve seen you around! Hey Arthur! How do you get people excited for a project before it’s officially a real thing? Especially if you don’t want to give away spoilers or anything?


(Blair Hunter) #17

That’s so cool! So when you say you wrote a part with someone in mind, what does that mean? Like do you change the way dialog sounds? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of acting if you’re writing it as a person you know, or is there something else that means?


(Arthur Vincie) #18

Making a feature is like a marathon - it takes years (financing, development, prep, production, post, distribution, marketing). “Found In TIme” was a six-year slog (from script to when it came out on Amazon). Over half of that was in the distribution & promotion phase.

Web series is a sprint. “Three Trembling Cities” was available a little over a year after I wrote the first draft. If I’d written a shorter season it would have been out the door sooner than that.

I’d recommend folks get into web series first because (a) I think the market is growing; (b) since there’s no money in distribution anyway at the indie level you might as well get your work out there and seen as broadly as possible; © episodic storytelling has fantastic possibilities.


(Meg Carroway) #19

On distribution… Is web series distribution (that’s not YouTube or Vimeo) worth it?


(Amen J.) #20

Hey Arthur! Which role do you prefer most in the film creation process and why?