Andrea James

Vegans vs. Carnivores: Living Things’ Eric Shapiro

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MM Editors

April 15, 2014

MM: For Living Things: A Vegan & Meat Debate, you crafted a gripping drama with a very micro-budget set up: a dialogue over food choices that escalates into a surprise ending.

ES: With both my films, I knew I was ready to go when I was so excited about the premise and material that I was completely willing to go back and make the film a second time if I felt I screwed it up the first time. When I’m getting that kind of head-to-toe reaction, I know it’s time to go for it. The process is so taxing that it’s not worth feeling mixed or damp about. With Living Things, I was ignited by the challenge of seeing how absorbing I could make an encounter between just two characters. Since they’re in a conflict over veganism and meat-eating, dinner was a natural setting, so we were fully justified in setting the film at a dinner table. We had limited funds and limited time, but it was difficult to resist. I’d love to make a film on a larger scale, but at the same time, I want the ones I’m actually able to make to come out solid. So I’ll probably keep things tight and spare until I can afford not to.

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