Your website, www.katiemustard.com, says you have “an expertise in physical producing” — what does that mean? Physical producing is also known as “line producing” or the producer who is on set, overseeing the actual production period of the film.
How do you choose projects? 1. Story. 2. People involved. 3. Commercial profile and budget level. My goal is to always have two of the three choices met, and one day, hopefully all three.
You have three films at Citizen Jane. What about each one makes you proud to have produced it?
Well, firstly, I’m very proud to have produced three films by three female directors last year. It was not something I intentionally set out to do, but when I realized it had happened, I was thrilled! “We’ll Never Have Paris” is a hilarious, clumsy and at-once human account of screwing up on a transcontinental level in a noble effort to win back “the one.” The directors, Simon Helberg and Jocelyn Town, are great people who are passionate about telling smart and entertaining stories. I am proud to have produced such a commercially viable romantic comedy while presenting a fresh comedic voice that I think audiences will love. “Appropriate Behavior” — I was immediately drawn into the story by the original, smart and edgy writing. [Writer and director] Desiree [Akhavan]’s writing — and subsequently her performance of a heightened version of herself — is raw, funny, flawed, entertaining and oh-so-honest! Desiree truly embodies the spirit of independent filmmaking, and I am proud to have produced such an extraordinary achievement with a first-time filmmaker in a micro-budget category.
INSIDE COLUMBIA NOVEMBER 2014
“I Believe in Unicorns” is a movie about teenage love, adventure and trauma. It’s not an easy subject matter, yet [director] Leah Meyerhoff has an out-of-the box style that pulled off the difficult storyline successfully. I am honored to have been a part of the team to tell this unique, authentic and gently striking story.
What’s an average week like for you? There is really no average week for me. As a freelance, independent film producer and someone obsessed with traveling and adventure, I tend to be in a different country every other Tuesday.
You’ve had nine films at the Sundance Film Festival. What do you think you are doing right to draw that kind of attention? While I have spent years studying film and making movies, I have also spent decades living and looking at real life, and ultimately, this is what I try to infuse into my filmmaking. I believe that the only thing filmmakers can honestly present well is what they know. My all-time favorite quote about moviemaking is by Frank Capra: “And may I say a word to this new generation (of filmmakers). Don’t compromise. Believe in yourself. Because only the valiant can create. Only the daring should make films. And only the morally courageous are worthy of speaking to their fellow man for two hours in the dark.”
How do our local film festivals compare to festivals like Sundance? Local film festivals are honestly the best! At the local festivals, there is a genuine appreciation from the audiences who may not otherwise be exposed to independent films, and it is refreshing for filmmakers to have this support and feedback from towns like Columbia.