Interview with Lewis Schoenbrun

When did you first become interested in films?
My interest in films began when I first saw King Kong (1933) and March of the Wooden Soldiers (1934) on TV, both of which played each Thanksgiving when I grew up in the early 1960's. I was particularly fascinated by the animation sequences in these films and was interested as to how they were done. Other influences included watching old 1950's sci-fi films which ran often on the independent tv stations; by the mid 1960's shows like The Twilight Zone and Star Trek solidified my interest in film.

Do you remember what the first movie you saw was?
The first film that I ever recall seeing in a movie theater was Lady and the Tramp (1955), I saw the 1962 re-issue and would have been 3 1/2 at that time. Apparently, the brilliant images made a significant impact on me since I can still recall seeing it vividly and yet I have never seen the movie since.

When did you make your first movie?
I was 11 years old and my friend's father had a Kodak Super 8mm camera, it was very simple to use no lens to focus, you just inserted the film cartridge, aimed and shot. I remember it was called The 'Intellectually Disabled' Genie, that's not what we called it at the time but the term we used at that time is now considered insensitive and inappropriate. My friend and I edited the film in the camera and took turns filming each other; it was mostly using trick photography like turning the camera on and off the way they used to do on tv shows like Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie.

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