Michael Covino is a writer, producer and actor from New York City. Keep in Touch is his first film as a writer. His producing credits include Absence, released by Cinedigm in 2013, Babysitter (SXSW 2015), Hunter Gatherer (SXSW 2016) and Kicks (Tribeca 2016). Mike is a partner and Co-Founder of the production company Unbundled Underground. As a writer and performer, Mike has done a number of short films and web series. He graduated with distinction from Occidental College, and is a member of the Producer’s Guild of America.
Sam Kretchmar is a writer and a filmmaker. He grew up in Chicago before moving to New York and graduating from NYU’s Film and Television program. Sam’s experiences in the film industry have taken him to all seven continents and both poles as both a camera operator and director. Keep in Touch is his first feature film.
What are you working on? Kretchmar: Most of my time is spent on a documentary project, but I have two narrative feature films about nature/wildlife that I’d like to finish writing and get produced before the Arctic completely melts. Covino: I‘m writing a breakup film that deals with the idea that people are more desirable in relationships. So after a couple breaks up, they decide to get back together in order to help each other attract more compatible partners. And then I just finished a TV pilot which we’re hoping to start pitching soon.
Biggest lessons you’ve learned: Kretchmar: As hard as it is… try not to self sensor. I just read something that said it’s not a creator’s job to judge or critique his own work. Just get it out there. Covino: I‘m still learning the lesson that life is too short to be precious about any idea or piece of creativity that you have. Sometimes your best scene, or best idea just doesn’t make sense in the final script so you have to cut it. Nothing profound, I’m just learning the practice of killing my darlings.
Hardest thing you’ve ever had to write: Kretchmar: My own bio. Covino: I tried to write a letter once to a girl after she had broken up with me. The letter served multiple purposes: to apologize, to remind her of how good things actually were, to explain how I could do better and to plead for another chance. I must have rewritten it 10 times. I never got a chance to give it to her due to me getting overly emotional at a Jason Mraz concert after 3 too many plastic cups of red wine. I think I still have the unopened letter at my parent’s house though. There might be a movie in there somewhere.
What was the major turning point in your career? Kretchmar: Finishing Keep in Touch. Covino: Getting Keep in Touch made was a huge accomplishment for us. Up until that point, writing a movie that actually got made was just a thing that we were constantly working toward. When the money hit the account and we went into pre-production, it finally hit me that I was doing the thing I had always dreamed of doing.
Favorite Austin Film Fest memory/experience? Kretchmar: Winning the audience award. 🙂
Covino: We saw some great films and met some really awesome filmmakers. I loved the film Booger Red. And Halloween on 6th street was insane.