Film sat down with the director of this year’s “Simon Killer,” who is in town for the Philadelphia Film Festival. Campos also produced last year’s indie hit “Martha Marcy May Marlene.”
Street: “Simon Killer” has been at a whole slew of festivals this year. How does Philly compare?
Campos: I know my way around festivals. Unfortunately, the thing is I only get to spend a little bit of time here and I don’t necessarily get to see other films. You show your film, you do a Q&A, you do other interviews, so you don’t really get time to see the city.
Street: You lived in Paris for awhile, did it influence the Paris setting of “Simon Killer”?
Campos: I lived right around the corner from the area most of the film takes place in. I was living there writing my first feature and it was a really amazing experience for me. I had always wanted to go back. It was really inspirational.
Street: Your films seem to really focus on the theme of young people trying to find themselves. Is that something that really resonates for you?
Campos: Yeah, it’s the kind of characters that always draw me and all of us at our company. The kind of characters that are lost, trying to find themselves. I never actually graduated college, I had to make a decision when they asked me to go back to school or to finish my film and I finished my film.
Street: The soundtrack of the film is really different and interesting. How did it come about?
Campos: Brady [Corbet] has a really good knowledge of music and he would throw songs at me, and we would just keep our ears open for anything we liked. It’s just an organic process of listening. But you can’t get all the songs you want because songs cost money. We had a great music supervisor, Josh Kessler, who sent me thousands of songs.
Street: You’ve written, produced, and directed films. What do you like the most?
Campos: Ultimately, I like directing. I feel like at heart I’m a director and I feel like you have to do everything in order to be the best director. The most honest title is “filmmaker.” It’s the most appropriate title for us all, even the actors and the crew, they’re ultimately a filmmaker and a storyteller. No position on a film exists in a bubble, your’e all kind of working towards the same thing.