Inspired by John Cassavettes? Check. Worked in a video store? Check. Directs music videos? Check. Falls in love with his leading lady? Check. But what really marks James Westby as a serious filmmaker is not how closely he adheres to type, not that he retains creative control for films made with ridiculously low budgets, and not that he wins awards for those films. Westby is serious because he is always working.
He was asked what will come after Rid Of Me:
The feature I’m shooting next is called “Hot in the Zipper.” It’s a screwball comedy following the bi-sexual adventures of three women in 1947 Manhattan. The whole thing is filmed in five 20-minute takes. I’m also working on The Menage, a wife-swapping comedy, and The Basement, a horror movie about a disturbed special effects man in 1978 L.A.
Westby’s special gift, besides tenacity, is wily use of undervalued women. Based on the trailer, it looks as if Rid Of Me teems with great parts for Portland character actresses.
Westby’s third feature, Rid Of Me, starring Katie O’Grady, opens this month. His first was Film Geek (2005), followed by The Auteur (2008).
You can see Westby in action in this “making of” doc.