Michael Malone is the proprietor and soul of Hungry Toad Farm located in Centerville, Ohio. In this documentary Michael tells his story and talks about what it takes to be an organic farmer. It is with great pleasure that we interview the director of the film.
Gary Beeber is an award-winning American photographer/filmmaker who has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe. His documentary films have screened at over 75 film festivals.
Solo photography exhibitions include two at Generous Miracles Gallery (NYC), the Griffin Museum of Photography (Winchester, MA), and upcoming exhibitions at PRAXIS Photo Arts Center and the Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts. Beeber’s work has been featured in juried exhibitions throughout the world.
Among Fortune 500 companies who collect his work are Pfizer Pharmaceutical, Goldman Sachs and Chase Bank.
What draws you to filmmaking and the cinematic language?
As a photographer, I’m used to capturing a moment in time with a single photograph, whereas a film lets me tell a broader, more in-depth story.
Do you believe in film schools or does making a film teach you more than film school?
It all depends on the person, some people are born with an eye for capturing and telling a story visually, while other people need to learn the craft in school. Film school is good because they teach technique, but there is no substitute for the wisdom and experience gained by making a film. I never studied film-making in school.
What makes cinema stand out more than the arts for you?
I consider myself as an artist who is using film-making as a tool to creating an in-depth narrative.
Did you choose a certain directing style for the making of your film?
I make documentaries because what I like is telling stories of people one might never meet or interact with during their lives. I was very influenced by D. A. Pennebaker, especially his film Don’t Look Back. I once met him when I lived in Sag Harbor, NY.
How did you choose the cast and the crew of your film?
I looked in the mirror. These days, I am the entire crew.
How did you fund your film and what were some of the challenges of making this film?
It is self-funded. The only challenge in creating “Michael Malone, Portrait of an American Organic Farmer” was being able to coordinate times to film Michael Malone who is incredibly busy.
Do you consider yourself an indie filmmaker and what would most be the most difficult thing about being an independent artist?
Yes. The most challenging aspect of being an artist is crafting and modulating the story so that it appeals to the audience it’s intended for.
What is the distribution plan for your film?
The film is currently on the festival circuit and has been in 16 festivals so far. Then we’ll go to VOD.
What is your cinematic goal in life and what would you like to achieve as a filmmaker?
Being able to share my artistic vision with the public.
What kind of impact would your film have in the world and who is your audience?
In this case, the film is about a farmer and his personal journey to grow delicious, healthy vegetables, potatoes and flowers. Most of us don’t give much thought as to how the foods we enjoy and provide us the nutrients to live, are grown. “Farm to table” is a meaningless expression to many.