Thursday, February 19, 2009

Meet The Producer Christine Kunewa Walker

Meet Christine Walker, President of Production at Werc Werk Works, a Minneapolis-based production company founded in 2008 with producing partner, Elizabeth Redleaf.

Christine Kunewa Walker is an award-winning producer who recently completed production on FORGIVENESS, written and directed by Todd Solondz. She is Executive Producer on the new Béla Tarr film THE TURIN HORSE (in production) and Producer of the recently completed comedy NOBODY directed by Rob Perez (40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS). Christine also co-wrote and produced OLDER THAN AMERICA starring Adam Beach and Bradley Cooper, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival; produced FACTOTUM starring Matt Dillon and Marisa Tomei, which premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival and the 2006 Sundance Film Festival; and along with producer Ted Hope, line produced AMERICAN SPLENDOR which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2003 Sundance film Festival and the International Critics Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Christine’s awards and recognitions include: Producer’s Guild of America Diversity Award, Independent Spirit Award nomination, Sundance Institute’s Producer’s Fellowship, and the Minnesota Blockbuster Film Fund Award.

Sustaining the Muse
A Producing Questionnaire

* Please name all the "hats" you wear as a creative producer.

The most important thing to remember about any 'hat' you wear is that you can't let it sit on your head for too long. Otherwise, you're doing someone else's job and neglecting your oversight responsibilities.

* List all of the jobs you've held before or while pursuing a career in producing.

Prior to producing, I was a publicist, a development fund administrator, and a film programmer. Since I started producing twelve years ago, producing has been my sole job.

* Do you have a Big Dream or career goal as a producer? What inspires you to do what you do?

As long as I continue to produce, I am living my big dream every day. I am inspired by the people I work with from my own producing partners to the writers, directors and the rest of the crew. On a daily basis, they challenge me to work harder and to exceed my own expectations for myself.

* Please name five essential skills and/or traits a creative producer needs to sustain a career.

Stamina. Effective communication skills. Talent. The ability to see the big picture. The ability to evoke pity.

* Name a movie, or several, that you wish you had produced. And/or, producer(s) you admire (living or passed on).

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, The Wrestler, The Motorcycle Diaries, Slum Dog Millionaire, The Lives of Others, Napoleon Dynamite, Once Were Warriors, Far From Heaven, Boys Don't Cry.

I admire Christine Vachon. She's brilliant. She's a fighter. She does not shy away from difficult material. She's an icon.

* How do you define success for yourself?

Getting paid for what I do.

* What's your motto when it comes to raising money for your project(s)?

It's easier to raise money than to make a great movie.

* How long did it take to support yourself as a producer?

Five years. Ten years, if you factor in food and housing.

* Who do you turn to when you need a pep talk?

My husband.

* If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My metabolism.


Jeff Orgill said...

I'm jazzed that Christine has been able to get so much going so fast with her new company. I met her in 2007 when I attended the IFP Rough Cut Lab with my debut feature film "Boppin' at The Glue Factory." She was there workshopping "Older Than America." Inspiring to hear that she's helping these talented filmmakers (Bela Tarr!) get their next films made. Go Christine!

Lorie said...

Jeff, thanks for leaving a comment. And, I too, really enjoyed Christine's responses and applaud her productivity!