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2014 Sundance “Trading Cards” Series: #19. Aaron Katz (Land Ho!)

2014 Sundance "Trading Cards" Series: #19. Aaron Katz (Land Ho!)Eric Lavallee: Name me three of your favorite “2013 discoveries”…
Aaron Katz: Calvados (apple brandy from Normandy), Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar (a great new board game), Rattlesnakes (a 1984 album by Lloyd Cole and the Commotions), and, as this is a baseball inspired idea, I’ll add Matt Harvey as a fourth pick.

Lavallee: You’ve co­-directed a project before so that was not foreign to you. I was wondering how you and Martha agreed to come together on Land Ho! and what was the working process like during the writing phase?
Katz: Because we were viewing the project as somewhat of an experiment, and we agreed right off the bat about what the parameters should be, the collaboration was very smooth. In the writing process we passed things back and forth. At first a collection of ideas and pictures and then, after visiting Iceland to scout, Martha wrote an outline of everything. From there, I wrote the first draft and then we passed it back and forth to refine.

Lavallee: With Aaron Katz, Keegan DeWitt was born and now he belongs to the film world (his paws are on Listen Up Philip as well). Could you discuss what were some of the challenges (in terms of compositions) you brought to him for Land Ho!.
Katz: Keegan and I have worked together on all of my movies, but this one was a different kind of challenge. We wanted the score to have elements of 80s pop without getting too campy about it. We listened to a lot of music — everything from Richard Marx to T’Pau — to find the right inspiration. Eventually the score evolved into something that was rooted in the kind of music you’d find in an 80s road trip movie, but executed with a thoughtful and contemporary sensibility.

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2014 Sundance "Trading Cards" Series: #19. Aaron Katz (Land Ho!)

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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