Posted at 3:55 PM on June 13, 2007
by Euan Kerr
For someone whose business partner has been missing in Australia for a couple of days, Sean Covel seemed remarkably calm.
"He's quite resilient," he said on the phone from L.A. "He disappeared on a location scout in Tokyo for two days, but then he re-appeared and he was just fine."
Covel and Chris "Doc" Wyatt, the missing partner, were producers on "Napoleon Dynamite." Now they are coming to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design to teach a class on indie film making called "Making Your own Dynamite."
Covel says the class grew out of how as they travelled with "Napoleon" they kept getting asked the same questions about how to replicate what they had done, so they decided to formalize their answers.
They will teach a 5 session summer class covering everything from getting ideas, to selling a finished feature film. It's a refined version of a class they taught at MCAD last year, which they enjoyed so much they wanted to repeat the experience.
When asked if they are teaching film because it's easier than making movies, Covel laughs and points out they are in the process of making two films right now (which is why Wyatt is lost in Australia.)
He also points out that while directors of smash hits often labor to produce a successful second film but fail to meet hyped-up expectations, producers are able to move more easily between projects and genres, and from indies into big box office productions.
Covel says one of the attractions of teaching at MCAD was the wide variety of students they had, from high school students to long-time film pros looking for some guidance. He says several of last years class have since produced full length features.
He's looking forward to seeing what the students produce this year. As will Doc Wyatt, when and if he gets back from Australia.
"If not, I'll miss the guy, but I am the brains of the operation," he says with a smile in his voice. You can hear part of our conversation here.