Virginia Anzengruber's short film 'Sick' was the Open Projector Night 17 People's Choice Winner. We sat down with Anzengruber to learn more about her film-focused work, and her future projects.
Who is Virginia Anzengruber? Give us a short bio.
I am a filmmaker, podcaster, writer, and producer from Titusville, Florida. In 2012, I moved from Los Angeles to Grand Rapids to work as a producer for Gorilla Pictures. In December 2013 my husband (then boyfriend), filmmaker Stephen Pell, and I moved back to Los Angeles to pursue opportunities we had there. I’ve worked on crews for television shows for Fox, MTV, VH1, BBC America, TruTV, OWN, and TVOne. I’ve worked as a Dailies and DI Production Coordinator on feature films like Captain America: Civil War; The Hateful Eight; Suicide Squad; and A Beautiful Planet. I’ve done background acting on shows like Mad Men; Masters of Sex; Speechless; The Middle; and Parks and Recreation. Oh, and I was also Bo Burnham’s assistant for the better part of a year in 2012.
My podcast, Super Hungry: Conversations with Not-So Starving Artists has featured interviews with R&B legend Brian McKnight; Parks and Recreation star Jim O’Heir; Tom Wilson of Back to the Future trilogy fame; and multi-platinum recording artist Aaron Carter. Last December my husband and I moved back to the Grand Rapids area to open up Snowball Studios, our full service marketing company that focuses on film and video, animation, virtual and augmented reality and motion capture.
What is/are your favorite film(s) and why?
I, like all filmmakers, have a few favorite films.
Hook is one of the most perfect stories ever committed to screen, and I would defend this (and have) anywhere, to anyone. From the sets and costumes, to the brilliance of the cast (including the effervescent Maggie Smith), to the fact the Phil Collins, Carrie Fisher, and Glenn Close all make incredible cameos -- this film has got it all. I promise you, it’s worth an adult rewatch.
I’m a bit obsessed with certain technical feats of filmmaking. The film Russian Ark is a stunning pre-Birdman attempt at a one shot film -- only it’s not smoke and mirrors and editing tricks -- they actually shot a full 90 minute feature film in one take. Top it off with the costumes, sets, and acting for a superbly fantastic film.
In the vein of movies I can watch over and over again, I have to mention The Village by M. Night Shyamalan. However you feel about the twist, I think we can all agree that it’s a particularly beautiful story that utilizes the very best talents of the director and its Broadway-bred cast. Also, the score by James Newton Howard with Hilary Hahn on violin moved me so much that I walked down the aisle at my wedding to the song “What Are You Asking Me?” Film nerd to the core.
Favorite films of 2016: Moonlight and The Lobster. Favorite film of 2017 so far: Get Out
Who and what inspires Virginia Anzengruber?
I am continually inspired by people who work hard. I think there is something so pure about people who have a dream and work ridiculously hard to realize it. My friends inspire me because they are all like this. Listen to the music of Matt Rose. Check out Satta Technologies for the most brilliant meld of music and tech I’ve come across in my short 28 years. Read articles and pieces by Kayley Vandenberg. Watch films by people like Stephen Pell, Caleb Slain, and basically anyone that is making stuff in Grand Rapids right now. I’m so inspired by the creative undercurrent of this city. Moving back has unleashed a tidal wave of ideas and I can’t wait to collaborate with the brilliant minds in this area.
Tell us about your music video 'Sick'. What's the overall narrative?
The song “Sick” tells the story of Matt’s relationship with his older brothers, both of whom have Sickle Cell Anemia. The lyrics touch on sibling dynamics, hospital stays, and was written from the point of view of someone who had an adult perspective on a time in his life when he felt helpless as a child. The video shows Matt interacting with a younger version of himself (thus the matching outfits) in various iconic Los Angeles backdrops. As Matt wrote the song as an adult about a time in his younger life when he was temporarily without that older sibling influence due to illness, I wanted to visually personify an older Matt taking a younger version of himself under the wing of future perspective to show him that everything will eventually be alright.