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The Filmmakers

Monica Long Ross, Clayton Brown and Andrew Suprenant stands in front of a bank of computer equipment and a large metal ridged tube
(L-R) Andrew Suprenant, Monica Long Ross and
Clayton Brown

From filmmakers Clayton Brown, Monica Long Ross, and Andrew Suprenant:

We hope this film will raise the awareness of America’s strange relationship with science. We don’t attempt to answer questions in our film, but rather to raise them. Is this research worth doing? Should we care about it? Should the U.S. participate in it or let it get done elsewhere? Also, we hope to help demystify science and scientists. We’d love it if a viewer came away thinking, “You know, those scientists are not really that different from me.” We’d be thrilled if someone found themselves explaining how a particle accelerator works the next time they’re at a party or find themselves thinking as they drive home from work one day, “I wonder if they’ve found the Higgs boson yet?” And, as our goal is to tell more stories from the world of science, we want our viewers to enjoy the film and the story of THE ATOM SMASHERS.

Their advice for aspiring filmmakers?

Making a film is kind of like having a baby: if you wait for the right time, or the right amount of money, or until you know everything, or until the world is a perfect place, you probably will never make one (a film that is).

So… start small. Too many people want to make a big picture right out of the gate. With the incredible tools now at our disposal, you can make films for virtually free if you have a camera and a computer. Take advantage of this. Make many small movies. Have your friends watch them and have strangers watch them. Film school is good for grad students, but for undergrads: major in history, literature, science, art… you’ve got to learn about people and storytelling, not just filmmaking.

Their most inspirational food for making independent film?

Pizza is always a good choice: easy to order and eat while filming and it’s filling too. Many an underpaid film crew has been inspired to continue filming into the night after eating pizza.

Filmmaker Bios

Clayton Brown

Clayton Brown is a musician and documentary and fiction filmmaker whose films have been screened across the country. His most recent film, Galileo’s Grave (with producer Andrew Suprenant) won the IFP/Chicago Production Fund grant. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and received an MFA in film from Northwestern University, where he is now on the faculty teaching film production and post-production.

Monica Long Ross

Monica Long Ross’s short films (The Story of My Life, Memory, Dinner) have been screened nationally and internationally and her published theatrical plays (Clarissa’s Closet, Montana Molly And The Peppermint Kid) have been produced around the country. She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, received an MFA in film from Northwestern University, is an associate director of The Arizona Women’s Theatre Company in Scottsdale, Arizona and lives and works in Chicago. Along with her work with 137 Films, she teaches at Columbia College, Chicago.

Andrew Suprenant

Andrew Suprenant has created commercial projects in Chicago for six years. His work has been recognized by INTERCOM, the industrial arm of the Chicago International Film Festival. Andrew’s clients include New Balance, Asthmatic Kitty Records, Indy Racing League, The Museum of Science and Industry, PepsiCo, Thrillist, Blender Magazine and Lollapalooza. His filmic debut, Galileo’s Grave, won the IFP/Chicago Production Fund grant. He was born in Kankakee, Illinois, and has a degree in Radio/TV/Film from Northwestern University.

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