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INTERVIEW


Jamin Winans


For our money, Ink may be one of the most creative independent films we’ve ever seen. It sustains a high degree of emotion and entertainment all the way through. Given that Ink was the very definition of “independent,” what challenges are you most proud that you overcame? Thank you. I think any filmmaker (independent or not) should be extraordinarily proud to simply finish a film. A lot of filmmakers don’t even get through the process, so those that succeed have done something very few people on the planet have done.


So for me, the biggest challenge was just finishing the movie. We had 83 days of production and every day was a struggle and almost every day we wanted to stop, but we kept going. I’m proud that our crew, our actors, and myself all just kept going no matter how hard it was.


Do you believe a lack of money shapes creativity, or does it limit creativity?


40 BY PAUL FUHR


“Who gives the nightmares...?” Colorado-based writer and director Jamin Winans turned heads in 2009 with his self-released film Ink. Equal parts fantasy, thriller, family drama, and science fiction, the film defies easy categorization all the while showcasing Winans’ ability to deliver jaw-dropping effects—and ideas—on an independent budget.


More often than not I do believe that limitations create imagination. You just find yourself thinking of crazy ideas in order to solve problems. A lot of those crazy ideas end up being so much better than the big budget fix. Though there are a lot of things I would have liked to have done that I couldn’t because we didn’t have the money. Would the film have been better with those things in it? Probably not.


You said: “I’ll have a certain visual in mind and then ask questions from there.” Have you ever feel yourself bending the narrative to meet that visual? Yes. That may not be good writing technique, but I would be lying if I said no. When I say “visuals” I don’t mean a cool shot, but rather a pinnacle moment captured in a shot or a scene. There’s usually a moment like that which pops into my head and inspires me enough to want to share with others. The challenge then is telling the story in a way in which the audience


arrives at that same feeling I had when I saw it. In Ink, one on those key moments was when Allel is fighting the incubi back to back with John who is hunched over Emma’s hospital bed. That image popped into my head and drove a lot of what the narrative ended up being.


You shoot your films in Colorado with local actors and local crew. What creative advantages does this lend? We grew up in Colorado so we have a lot of support and friends there. Over the years we’ve met a lot of actors, crew, and city workers who have made it possible for us to make our films. It’s a great place to shoot, a lot of sunshine, and very friendly. Unfortunately, we likely won’t be able to continue shooting there as much because Colorado doesn’t have strong film incentives. As we shoot with bigger and bigger budgets, financiers need to get the most


bang for their buck and that requires shooting in places like New Mexico and Louisiana who offer extraordinary tax breaks for films.


You’ve said that “The glamorous perception of filmmaking is nothing like reality, especially indie filmmaking. It requires unreal perseverance and huge sacrifices.” What sacrifices have you and your wife [co-producer Kiowa Winans] had to make? More than anything we’ve sacrificed a life of comfort and financial predictability. I’m fortunate to have married a selfless woman who above all else has wanted me to follow my dreams. Doing that has meant we’ve had to live very cheaply and never know exactly how we’re going to survive. We simply don’t spend money and don’t afford any of the luxuries most people working a regular job get. Kiowa’s a woman, unlike many,


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