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20 Shorts with Ronn Kilby

1. My all-time favorite movie: Casablanca, followed by A Few Good Men - for different reasons.

2. A film that inspired me to become a filmmaker: Buckaroo Banzai, directed by W.D. Richter. A cult classic, it was made on a very low budget starring unknown actors who would later make it very big. I've watched it maybe 50 times.

3. Best movie I've seen in 2019: Haven't seen it yet. Currently too busy to go to the movies. But in 2018 I loved The Favourite, Beale Street, Black Panther, and Can You Ever Forgive Me? - all for different reasons.

4. One actor and one actress I would love to work with: Tom Hanks for his incredible range. Frances McDormand, likewise.

5. A director I would love to work with: Ron Howard. I took his Masterclass and was blown away by his knowledge and perspective on directing, and storytelling in general. Also Aaron Sorkin (more for his writing) is my hero.

6. My happy place is: On the sofa watching Jeopardy with my lovely bride.

7. My favorite hobby is: Luthiery. I've been building guitars off and on since I was a teenager. And motorcycle touring. Both relax me.

8. Most people don't know that I: Was briefly a nude model at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

9. The most challenging film I worked on: MiSDiRECTiON. I was DP, it was a 96 minute "one shot" on steadicam. Nearly killed me.

10. The project(s) I'm most proud of: SKIN: The Movie. And my 9 grandkids.

11. Five collaborators I'd take with me to any project:

- Tom Antl (Director, DP, Producer)

- Michael Brueggemeyer (Writer, Director, DP, Producer)

- Tommy Brown (Gaffer Extraordinaire)

- Frank Forth (Legendary Sound Guru)

- Marti Kilby (EP)

12. Five filmmakers who inspire me:

- Wes Anderson

- Alfonso Cuarón

- Coen Brothers

- Ron Howard

- Kathryn Bigelow

13. The one person who has truly believed in me throughout my career: My sister, Peggy - who passed away last year. SKIN: The Movie is dedicated to her.

14. On set, the most important thing is: Managed Fun. Organized Chaos. Insuring we are all making the same film.

15. What keeps me motivated? Obsession. Fear of failure. Good wine.

16. A rare experience I had on set/screening: Accidentally dumping 32 gallons of oatmeal onto the lobby floor of a very fancy building.

17. The moment I realized that filmmaking is my destiny: Vote is still out on that one.

18. My next project: Writing a modern version of "Same Time Next Year" wherein they meet at Comic-Con. Also working on a spy romance set in the Caribbean, to be shot next spring.

19. If I wasn't a filmmaker, I'd probably be: An architect.

20. My best tip for young filmmakers: Ignore anyone who says you can't. Trust me - you can. Screw them.

Follow Ronn Kilby:


After more than two decades in TV (including 12 years at NBC San Diego) as art director, writer-producer and senior creative director, Ronn started his own little production company in 2005. Focused on documentaries, commercials and corporate videos to pay the bills, he soon found himself making narrative short films to feed the soul - immersed in the ever-expanding San Diego film com­munity. A short film he edited, The Tutor, was screened at Cannes. Ronn’s been blessed with a shelf-full of Emmys and 9 above-average grandchildren. His current passion is making quality micro-budget films with extremely talented cast and crew... films that inspire, amuse and make people think.


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