Filmmaker Spotlight: Logan Leistikow

One reason I love my job is the fact that I get a chance to talk with a wide variety of filmmakers. As a young filmmaker and writer myself, it is extremely inspiring to talk with others who have the same dreams I have. And, even more so, the fact that I can help them get their film seen on IndieFlix. A recent addition to IndieFlix’s vast library is The Comedy Garage along with filmmaker Logan Leistikow.

Kyle Boynton: Logan, how did you first get introduced to the members of The Comedy Garage?

Logan Leistikow: I actually was producing an online celebrity talk show called Tom Green Live (yes, that Tom Green) and I hired Sean Green and Cornell Reid to come volunteer at the show for a day. I’d posted a Craigslist ad and Sean responded, linking to his comedy videos. I laughed out loud at his [videos] so I hired him and his friend, Cornell. Shortly after that first meeting, they invited me to The Comedy Garage show and it pretty much blew my mind. I’d just moved to L.A. six months or so before. I loved stand-up comedy (up to that point I had only seen it on TV and on DVD), so I attended several comedy shows in LA.  […]  When I went to The Comedy Garage I was blown away because it was the funniest and most polished show I had ever seen live!  I knew I wanted to make this documentary the night I attended that party. Three and a half years later, I finally did.

KB: So tell me, Logan. What first inspired you to become a filmmaker?

LL: The Empire Strikes Back is probably my favorite film. That and the original Star Wars started the spark of wanting to direct movies…which is funny because I have worked on just about everything, but a real scripted feature film; TV sitcoms, rap battles, behind-the-scenes, talk shows, music videos, stand-up comedies, and documentaries. I was also inspired by Jaws, Back to the Future, and Jurassic Park. What can I say? I love blockbusters! T2 is another one! As I got older, I continued to be inspired by these epic sci-fi movies (Matrix, A.I.), but in film school I was also inspired by Auteurs, like Orson Welles. I loved the idea of controlling my own destiny and my own art. Around this time I also got more into stand-up videos and documentaries respectively. I recognized that these types of productions required considerably less man-power and money. They relied more on creativity, which I believed was my gift. King of Kong, which was a fun escapist doc, was definitely a huge inspiration for The Comedy Garage, even though they don’t appear similar at first glance. It’s more about tone for me. Overall, I want to go down in history after I die for making a positive impact on the world. I figured as the creative type I am, directing movies and entertainment is my best bet.

I think that once I had decided this, I was really inspired by Spike Jonze and Michel Goundry, two music video directors turned filmmakers that tried to top themselves with each production. I am still in awe of their careers and am partial to Spike…probably because I am also a giant old school Weezer fan. I had always watched music videos my whole life and the really freaky, weird, or unique ones were always inspirational to me.

KB: We have similar taste in movies. The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite film of all time as well.

LL: Nice! Yeah it’s the darkest and most emotional Star Wars by far. Plus the asteroid scene… awe man, I could go on about it forever.

KB: For sure. So, tell me about your marketing campaign with The Comedy Garage? I know you were really excited once you came aboard with IndieFlix.

LL: We promote it weekly on The Green Room podcast, hosted by Sean Green (Thursdays at 8pm PST on LATalkRadio.com and then on iTunes shortly after). I also got a blurb written in National Lampoon and am currently in the process of getting more reviews and interviews for next month.  I think people want to hear about underground entertainment from their friends or a trustworthy publication, rather than an ad.

We will have a screening at the actual garage location on April 20th and we are also in early talks to host a screening at a downtown L.A. theater. No date is set yet.

KB: All exciting prospects. And are you working on any new projects now that The Comedy Garage is released?

LL: Yes, I am in preproduction for a new feature length documentary about an unsung American Civil Rights leader. That is all I can say right now, but I am really excited about this new project!

I am documenting some big life changes for all of the comedy garage guys, including Matthew Sullivan (who wrote for Jesse Eisenberg’s upcoming movie, 30 Minutes or Less) and Wax (the film’s music supervisor who got signed to Def Jam Recordings). I will make that into a sequel or a pilot – depending how things pan out.”

KB: Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions. Happy to see The Comedy Garage available to the wider audience it deserves.

Thank you readers for tuning in and supporting one of our newest filmmakers to come aboard IndieFlix!  Check out The Comedy Garage today and let me know what you think of this latest addition to the IndieFlix library.  Here at IndieFlix, we love to connect filmmakers with their audiences.  Do you have any favorite IndieFlix films you would like to see the filmmakers be interviewed on our blog?

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