Red Angel is director Matt Ross's adaptation of Eric Bogosian play by the same name. It is set on the campus of an elite east coast college, where celebrated novelist David Blau (Fisher Stevens) spends his time working as a guest lecturer, writing, and seducing his female students. He then meets Leena (Katie Nehra), who may just be more than he bargained for. The film explores the shifting and blurry dynamic between professor and student and the moral line that power and authority walk with sexuality.
What attracts you to the short film genre? What are its limitations and what are its strengths?
Jamie Patricof:The short film genre is great for actors and filmmakers to show their ability. Whether it is a first time filmmaker like Matt Ross trying to show his ability (he has made another short, but not a feature length film), or an actor trying to show a new side of themselves, or just an opportunity to work on interesting material. The limitations are simple, it is short! Seriously, there are very few commercial options with a short and they can be an expensive calling card
This is Katie Nehra's first short film, what did that bring to the production?
JP: I am not sure if it being her first short film brought anything in particular, but her acting ability brought a lot. This is Katie's first film, but she has done one woman shows in New York and L.A., where she had to carry an entire show herself. It added a dynamic where she was able to move a scene just by her looks and her demeanor.
Given that Red Angel is an adaptation of a play, were you casting for actors with an extensive background in theatre? How much of the theatrical did you try and preserve?
JP: When we originally approached Eric Bogosian he didn't feel like it could be adapted into a flim, let alone a short film. However, Matt worked hard to make it work, and he succeeded. In the casting process, we knew that Katie and Fischer were right from the start, and we actually did not do any casting. Both actors having experience on stage was deffinitely a bonus, but was not the main reason we cast either of them.
If there were one shot or scene in the film that really made it worth making, what was it?
JP: The scene on the couch - It has some of the best dialogue I have ever heard.
JP: Palm Springs.
JP: Singita, South Africa
JP: II Sole, in Los Angeles
Museum or Gallery?
JP: Always the Whitney
JP: Half Nelson, (Babel for a film I did not produce)
JP: The Blind Side, Michael Lewis
Cause? Which one and why?
JP: Northside Center for Child Development - it provides support for children who are from poor families, but who are also facing additional challenges.
JP: Martin Scorsese
Historical figure? Why?
JP: Martin Luther King. He defied all the odds.
Top 3 Songs right now:
JP: Peter Bjorn and John - Young Folks
Jack Johnson - Banana Pancakes (my daughter's favorite)
Jay-Z - Lost One
— Sabine Heller.