Revisiting Rachel Amodeo’s East Village Classic ‘What About Me’ [INTERVIEW]
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Rachel and Richard Hell
BB: What was your favorite part about filming What About Me?
MHJ: The way we would roll out of bed and just start filming it. We were very spontaneous. One of the scenes in Tompkins Square Park was shot from Rachel’s friend Deb’s apartment. She had a Christmas party every year and we were looking out her window at the view of Tompkins park. The next couple of days we kept coming back to get shots of me in the snow.
RA: I remember one time we had just shot a scene in my apartment, and we were all like, wow, that was so excellent. We were reeling about what a good day we’d had. Richard Edson happened to stop over to go over some scenes for the next day. All of a sudden it started to snow really hard, and he was like, “You got a camera? You should get some shots, now is the time.” So we took the camera and went out into the night. Those ended up be my favorite shots of the whole movie. Me pushing my cart through the snow storm, looking through garbage, and peering into the window of Tarot Card Reader.
BB: How long did it take you to finish the film?
RA: Richard Edson wasn’t living in New York at the time, so we had to shoot whenever he was in town, which was a lot.
MHJ: We shot for about two and a half years. It was going to be a short film. We had this friend who was a professional storyboard artist and we would talk with him about different ideas and shots that we were going to make. One time he and Rachel were talking and he said, “The only future is in a feature.” That became Rachel’s mantra. At one point Rachel didn’t really know where to go with it. We transferred a ruff cut onto a VHS and she showed it around. People started talking about it. That’s how Rachel got Johnny Thunders and DeeDee Ramone, and a number of other people. They were like, oh, this is cool. It was weird how things just kept clicking.
See the film and absorb how it captures the East Village back in 1993. A classic.