Guns N’ Roses, Angelina Jolie, and the best birthday gift ever? It’s all on the docket today as Full Spectrum Features Executive Director Eugene Sun Park stops by SCREEN for an entertaining and insightful round of Five Questions with SCREEN. Eugene is also here to announce the launch of a landmark grant for Chicago filmmakers. Let’s get to it!
SCREEN: Ok Eugene, first things first, why is the Community Storytellers Grant important and why should filmmakers apply?
EUGENE: First and foremost, the filmmakers selected for Community Storytellers will benefit from cash to support the production of their films, as well as the ongoing and active support of Full Spectrum’s development, production, and distribution teams. Just as importantly, this program is intended to inspire local filmmakers to bring a more community-based approach to narrative/scripted filmmaking. We will work closely with the selected filmmakers to build and strengthen ties to the people and places reflected in their stories – i.e., to include a wider range of people in the filmmaking process, rather than just “serving up content” to audiences at the end of the process and hoping it resonates with them.
SCREEN: Best birthday gift you’ve ever received?
EUGENE: Two years ago, when I was struggling through a particularly rough patch at work, my partner kicked me out of the house and made me take a vacation… by myself! I went to Bainbridge Island and bummed around for a week. I went hiking, rode a bike around aimlessly, and took photos of weird mushrooms. It was glorious.
SCREEN: If you could be a part of any band or musical group, in music history, which would it be?
EUGENE: Guns N’ Roses. They were a ridiculous group of man-children doing everything you’re not supposed to do in life.
[Editor’s Note: Turn the volume to 11 for this GNR iconic anthem…]
SCREEN: If you could fix one thing, what would you fix?
EUGENE: The tax code. To paraphrase Warren Buffet, when billionaires pay less in taxes than their housekeepers, something is seriously wrong.
SCREEN: Most famous person you’ve ever met?
EUGENE: Angelina Jolie. I used to work for her manager.
SCREEN: Your favorite restaurant on the planet?
EUGENE: The White Dog Cafe in Philadelphia. Beer and a (veggie) burger. Can’t go wrong.
SCREEN: Worst job ever?
EUGENE: Working for aforementioned talent manager.
SCREEN: What’s inspiring you today?
EUGENE: I am inspired by my kids. When the going gets tough, a hug from Juniper and Arlo gets me through the day. But more than hugs, they remind me why we do this work – to build something meaningful and to leave the places we visit better than we found them.