Red Bucket Films is the home of film-makers Josh and Benny Safdie, Brett Jutkiewicz, Alex Kalman, Sam Lisenco and others.
How the Safdie brothers started movie making
Josh and Benny Safdie are brother who started started making films when they were very young, using their grandfather’s Super 8 camera and some action figures. Josh studied English Literature at the University College London and Benny studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths, London, where he spent a lot of time in the film studios there. Both then went on to study at The London Film School, one of the world's leading postgraduate film institutions. Josh joined the MA course in screen-writing and Benny signed up for the course on film-making. Benny soon became President of the school’s Film Society and made some short films using the schools equipment, along with some of his own money, having the actors, his fellow students, act out the scene multiple times before filming, so saving money by getting the final cut in one or two takes.
The brothers made their film debut with a short-film called Stranded whilst still at the London Film School, as a result of a small commercial contract. At this point the brothers set-up Red Bucket Films. The name of the company came from the wish to have a film company, something that was always on the Safdie brothers ‘bucket list’ of things to do before they died. The colour red was chosen as representative of the passion they hold for film-making.
How the Safdie brothers met the Red Bucket Films crew
Whilst studying for their MA’s the Safdie brothers were being commissioned to provide short-films for a number of clients. Wanting to make the best possible start to their careers, the brothers got funding to recruit into the business the expertise they were missing. The other members of Red Bucket Films were already known to them, so there was no formal recruitment process. There was already an understanding as to what was needed and together the group worked out how best to achieve the end goal.
Brett Jutkiewicz is also a graduate of the London Film School. He had already written a first draft of a screenplay that Touchstone Pictures had picked up on and used as a basis for another film called Fiesta Americana. Jutkiewicz teamed up with the Safdie brothers to support them with the writing of their first commissioned film. Alex Kalman joined the team, bringing with him his unique visual style. Alex had started out making television commercials for high profile car companies including Audi, Subaru and Nissan and joined Red Bucket Film as a sideline away from corporate work.
Sam Lisenco knew he wanted to direct from the age of eight, after being inspired by watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Sam never attended film school, instead working for Independent Film companies loading cameras and doing hands-on work, which included a stint at a popular visual effects studio where he directed music videos and television commercials for Virgin Atlantic and others.