Four years ago I completed a short film for school titled Harrington Strange (2009). In many ways that production, which only took one day to shoot, marked the beginning of the aesthetic development that became Curry/Tomlinson Productions and later Zimbo Films. Skip ahead a few years and three days ago I wrapped my second feature. Four years after Harrington Strange my new film, Bitches, features the older film’s entire cast; Jon Tomlinson, Lauren Simoncini and Marissa Harven. The long relationship I have had with these three talented people is what Zimbo Films is all about, collaboration.
Working today in Underground Film it is essential to one’s survival as an artist that one surrounds one’s self with dedicated talented people who are also tremendously giving. One of my more recent collaborators, Angela Rio, has worked in several capacities on recent Zimbo productions. She leant us her equipment in-kind, has designed some title sequences, and has even taken on small roles in films. In fact without her Bitches could not have gone into production at all. This gets to the heart of the kind of collaboration I am speaking of, a communal collaboration.
In the past I have mentioned this concept briefly in a number of my essays, but the time has come to focus on the benefits such an arrangement could have on Underground Films. As is the case with myself, and fellow filmmaker Marc Dickerson, there occurs a give and take between filmmaker and collaborator. If someone helps on a shoot, the beneficiary will assist his or her collaborator in some artistic venture. Yet that relationship is still rather insular. At Zimbo Films there are about a dozen artists with whom we have formed such a relationship. If one considers the possibilities of a union between filmmakers and production companies such as those Marc and I helm the possibilities in terms of resources would double. Throw a few more like-minded film artists into the fray and you’d have a collective.
This methodology is already becoming popular in Philadelphia. But a communication between collectives in different regions would better the chances of exhibition and production, and a web of such collectives would without a doubt ensure some form of national exposure. It’s time to take the cinema back to the artists in this country.
– Robert Curry