I had the pleasure of meeting phenomenally talented artist Fletcher Crossman back in 2009, when I photographed him in his backyard studio for a now-defunct magazine. At the time, Fletcher was focused on painting: his large-scale, figurative paintings – often incorporating text and political/philosophical overtones – made a big impression on me.
I found Fletcher himself to be a very affable British expatriate with a dry sense of humor, and the kind of vivid imagination rarely found in anyone over the age of three. We kept in touch after the shoot, and in 2010, we collaborated on a short documentary called “The Apple Thief.” The film followed Fletcher as he worked on a huge, controversial painting of a woman in a Christ-like crucifixion pose, while having challenging conversations with religious leaders about the role of women as defined by different faiths.
Fletcher caught the filmmaking bug, and started making green-screened music videos in his apartment, by himself, with a consumer camcorder and virtually no technical knowledge … And they’re ridiculously good. Oh, and did I mention that Fletcher is also an accomplished musician? Here he is, singing over a backing track he recorded himself, as quasi-Victorian chanteur “Berlin Dreggs.”
A few months ago, Fletcher told me that he was going to make a movie. Not the 8 to 12 minute short film that most aspiring auteurs modestly aim for, but a full-fledged theatrical feature. With no budget. And he was going to write, direct, edit and score it himself. I answered a few of his technical questions, and wished him luck. Several months of radio silence followed.
Only somewhat to my surprise, I got an email a couple of weeks ago from Fletcher telling me that the project was done. In typical Fletcher fashion, he had not only finished the film, he had done exactly what he set out to do, and done it all on the schedule he set for himself. And, he did it all while staying humble and being a genuinely nice guy to everyone around him.
Also, of course, it’s fantastic. It’s called “Heavy Objects,” and here’s the trailer.
Anyone who’s been around the filmmaking world for any amount of time knows what an accomplishment this is. For a first-time director to complete a project this ambitious, and to make it this beautiful, is truly spectacular.
If you’re burning with curiosity about exactly how he did it, you’re in the right place. Fletcher was kind enough to answer an indecent number of questions for me, so here, without further ado, is a very entertaining and illuminating Q&A with the one and only Fletcher Crossman.