If you ever saw the very first exercise I worked on with writer-director Noah Pritzker in film school, you’d probably be thinking there’s just no hope for these two, but, mere months later, Pritzker churned out an exceptionally polished short film called Little Dad that went on to screen at SXSW in 2012. After that, it was no surprise when I heard that Pritzker directed a quality first feature that earned a spot on the festival’s Narrative Competition lineup this year. Quitters stars Benjamin Konigsberg as a high school student named Clark. When his mother (Mira Sorivno) heads off to rehab and he starts butting heads with his father (Greg Germann), Clark latches on to his new girlfriend, Natalia (Morgan Turner), and convinces her to let him move in with her far more stable, traditional family.
Shortly after the Quitters world premiere at SXSW, I got the opportunity to sit down with Pritzker, Konigsberg and Turner to discuss making the movie. Turner could only stay for a little bit because she had to catch a flight, but we still got to talk about how she auditioned for one role but wound up getting another, Konigsberg’s thoughts on leading his very first film, Pritzker’s experience making his first feature outside of film school and more. You can check it all out in the video interview below.
Morgan Turner, Benjamin Konigsberg & Noah Pritzker:
- 00:00 – Turner on her first impression of the script; reading for the role of Etta, but then getting cast as Natalia.
- 01:59 – Have the characters stayed the same from script to screen?
- 02:29 – On the shooting schedule; shooting somewhat sequentially.
- 02:49 – Turner on tracking Natalia’s relationship with Clark.
- 03:28 – It was easy for Turner to relate to Natalia because she actually has a friend who’s a lot like Clark in real life.
- 04:13 – Konigsberg and Turner on finding the dynamic between their characters on set.
- 04:47 – Pritzker on the importance of actors showing up prepared.
- 05:17 – The 30-day shooting schedule; how the age of the actors affected the schedule.
- 05:50 – Casting real teenagers in the roles rather than older actors.
- 07:00 – Pritzker on growing up in San Francisco and how that inspired the film; not realizing how personal the film was until he was editing.
- 08:02 – Workshopping the script in film school; the feedback process.
- 08:58 – Pritzker on getting the green light to make his first feature; casting the adult characters.
- 10:02 – Shooting in San Francisco; the intimate set.
- 11:16 – Pritzker on making his first film outside of school; how the program helped him get there.
- 13:00 – Discussing what life was like for Clark prior to the events of the film.
- 14:07 – Konigsberg on getting acting advice and guidance from his on-screen parents, Mira Sorivno and Greg Germann.
- 14:32 – Konigsberg on going from his very first movie, The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, to his first starring role in a feature.
- 15:32 – Pritzker on taking the material from script to production to post-production.
- 16:53 – Test screening the movie and nailing the tone.