Spotlight: An Inconvenient Tax

  • 1. Introduce yourself and your film
    My name is Chris Marshall. An Inconvenient Tax is the second feature documentary I’ve directed. The film confronts the enormously complex federal income tax, a system that has strayed far from its original purpose of raising revenue and has become a tool for political, social and economic control.

    2. How did you become interested in filmmaking?
    Creating stories, entertaining and engaging people’s imaginations has been a passion of mine since I was young. I would make silly movies with my parent’s VHS camcorder in middle school and high school. As soon as I realized the potential of the medium I was hooked. For me, seeing a written idea come to life on a screen is intoxicating.

    3. Tell us about your inspiration and vision for the film.
    In 2008, I reconnected with Vincent Vittorio whom I first met in film school, and we began discussing ideas for a documentary. One idea thrown around was about tax reform, and it struck me as an under-discussed subject matter in the documentary world. After a few months of research, we were amazed at scope and importance of taxes in society, and yet it seemed to be a topic about which the general public had many misconceptions. It was an exciting challenge for us as filmmakers to create an engaging and thought-provoking movie about a subject matter many people would rather leave to their accountants. We wanted to show not only the profound connection between the tax code and people’s lives, but give an historical context to how the income tax has become such a monster. In addition, we wanted to give the viewers some ideas to mull over for how to reform the system.

    4. What were some of the biggest challenges in making and completing the film?
    With every film there are challenges. For AIT, we had to navigate through the world of politics and separate objective truths from partisan propaganda. It was important to us to find diverse opinions so that we could provide a balanced perspective. In the end, it was a rewarding journey to interview so many brilliant minds and bring them to the big screen.

    5. If this is your 1st film, what will you take away from the experience that you can apply to the next? If this is not your 1st film, what do you recall from your 1st film that you’ve applied to each one following?
    With every film I make, I learn. One lesson I learned from my first documentary was never to forget to ask an interviewee, “what haven’t I asked you that I should have?” Sometimes the answers that you’re not expecting turn out to be the best.

    6. What’s next?
    I love documentary filmmaking, and I hope to make another in the near future. As for the subject matter, we’ll have to wait and see.

    7. In the spirit of independent cinema what is your favorite indie film?

    June 1st, 2011 | Joe Wilka |

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