Sean Durkin is a screenwriter, director, and producer. His film The Nest, starring Jude Law and Carrie Coon, premiered at Sundance and Vanity Fair called it one of the best films of 2020. Sean won the Directing Award at Sundance for his first feature film, Martha Marcy May Marlene, starring Hugh Dancy, Elizabeth Olsen, and Sarah Paulson. Sean also produced The Rental, written and directed by Dave Franco, and starring Dan Stevens and Alison Brie.
What you will learn:
- Why Sean chose to set The Nest in the 1980s, just before the financial crash, and how the film encapsulates the ethos of that era. [0:00-9:45]
- How Sean was able to accomplish an intimate approach to storytelling in The Nest. [9:45-14:59]
- How Sean was able to create tension and realistic drama not just through dialogue and action, but with space and stillness on screen, with his film Martha Marcy May Marlene. [14:59-21:40]
- What Sean looks for in actors on his projects, leading him to work with exceptional talent like Dan Stevens, Jude Law, Alison Brie, Sarah Paulson, and Carrie Coon, and how he was able to cast such amazing actors so early in his career. [21:40-32:20]
- How film festivals have been crucial in Sean’s career, but also why festivals are not imperative for all films to be successful; how the screenwriting and director’s labs at Sundance were formative experiences for him as a filmmaker and as a human being. [32:20-37:13]
- Why Sean believes that everything he learned in school and on the job was equally important to his development as a filmmaker, and how his childhood was influential in his choice to become a filmmaker; Finally, Sean gives advice to people aspiring to work in the film industry. [37:13-49:24]