The Neymarc Brothers Talk Sibling “Rivalry,” Visual Effects and the Filmmakers Who Inspire Them

07/10/2024 in
The Neymarc Brothers Talk Sibling “Rivalry,” Visual Effects and the Filmmakers Who Inspire Them

Forget about “Brat.” It’s Filmmaker-in-Chief Summer at the Alliance, and Remy and Andrew Neymarc, known professionally as the Neymarc Brothers, are gearing up to make their short film, “Dreamscape,” in the neighborhood. This past winter, the duo, whose credits include the viral short “Happy Valentine’s Day,” beat out an impressive selection of applicants for the Filmmaker in Chief creative residency with their film treatment. Soon, they’ll spend two months shooting downtown, complete with free lodging at Mint House and up to a $50,000 stipend to turn the treatment into a reality.

We spoke with the Neymarcs to learn a little more about their start in filmmaking, what it’s like working together as brothers and their favorite filmmakers right now. Read our lightly edited transcript below, and note that if you’re an actor who’d like to be part of the project, the Neymarcs are currently casting for two main roles.  

Can you talk about how you first got into filmmaking? What were your early inspirations?

Remy Neymarc:  Andrew and I have always had a crazy imagination. Andrew was in business school, I was studying computer science in Oregon and doing photography, and we had the idea of putting our skills together. Andrew was always a great storyteller. I knew how to execute it. We started doing a lot of small competitions and started winning some of these competitions and that really helped us build our confidence that we could do this on a bigger level.

Let me back up a bit. When I was in college, I was really inspired by the crew team that my college had. My roommate, who was passionate about rowing, inspired me to go ahead and shoot some of their sessions. Andrew and I went out on the water and we started getting footage and we edited a little piece, a little trailer that actually really viral online. And it happened that one day Andrew and I got an email from Walt Disney Studios, which Andrew thought was complete spam.

Andrew Neymarc: I actually trashed the email. 

RN: I actually tracked the email. I was studying computer science back then and I saw that this email was legitimately coming from Walt Disney Studios and this producer was legit. It turns out this producer was Don Hahn, the producer of “The Lion King.” We couldn’t believe it. He wanted to meet us. He thought we had something, he thought we had talents. We went ahead and booked our tickets to LA. He was the one who truly inspired us to pursue our passion. He took us around the Walt Disney lot and he told us, “Guys, I don’t know what you’re doing, but you guys have something and you should pursue it.” And from that day on, we gave filmmaking a shot.

Andrew and Remy Neymarc at Overstory rooftop bar with skyline in background.

Why visual effects? What is it about this specific style of filmmaking that really appeals to you?

AN: When Remy and I grew up together, we weren’t allowed to watch TV that much. So we played a lot, and it kind of developed our imagination. As filmmakers we like to rely a lot on visual effects to be the magic, to represent our imagination in that heightened visual aesthetic. And it was just kind of a cheaper way of doing things for us. It was a lot easier for us to learn the software and do things with the computer than it was to close down an actual street or get expensive camera equipment. It was our way in, to do these really crazy ideas and make them more approachable for us.

Can you speak to how the two of you work together as a team, as brothers? What are some of the best things about your partnership and how would you describe your respective roles on your team?

AN: I would say the best ideas come from me and the worst ideas come from my brother. He’s really good at masking his terrible ideas with really pretty words. I’m joking… sometimes he has good ideas. 

RN: We actually bounce off each other when it comes to creative. There are no hard rules on how we work. It’s a dance where Andrew sometimes will come up with an idea and I will spit it back with some improvements and then he will spit it back with even more improvements. We usually find the core of our stories through that process. On set, Andrew and I prefer if we aren’t both talking to actors. Andrew will usually take the lead when it comes to directing the performances. And I’ll take the lead when it comes to blocking and all the visual language around that.

How did your sibling relationship change when you started to work together professionally?

AN: I think our relationship improved. We had so much in common to start with. But that we now have a common dream and everything that we’re doing is [working] towards that dream, it unifies us. Also through all the sets that we’ve been on and all the projects we’ve done together, we’ve built this bank of references and experiences that we look back on. 

RN: I’ll [make] one sound and Andrew will get an entire idea.

What filmmakers or artists are currently inspiring you in your work?

RN: I have to say Denis Villeneuve is killing it right now. He’s able to bridge the high concepts with deep compelling characters. Christopher Nolan also, his mastery of plot and exposition is just stellar. And I have to give some credit to David Fincher. The darkness in David Fincher’s films and reality and how he’s able to craft that is something that we draw from for the tension that we build in our films.

Remy and Andrew Neymarc smile in photo with gray background.

What do you hope to get out of the Filmmaker in Chief opportunity and what are you most excited about when you’re thinking about your summer in Lower Manhattan?

AN: The opportunity of being Lower Manhattan’s Filmmakers in Chief allows us to shed a spotlight on a story that’s dear to our hearts, something we’re really passionate about. This idea of striving for a dream and overcoming all the obstacles in our way to get to that dream. Getting the resources and the production help to make that story come to life is something we’re really excited about. Being able to live in Lower Manhattan and scout the locations and experience the energy of the city in a time where we’re developing a very real project and developing creative around a project that’s very tangible and that has a serious outlet, is very energizing and motivating for us as filmmakers.

What do you think is the most cinematic spot in Lower Manhattan?

RN: I think what the 9/11 Memorial built is so inspiring and so powerful. That’s one of my favorite spots. I’m also very familiar with that spot, and that’s why it’s close to my heart. 

AN: Ask me again in two months after location scouting. 

Tags: filmmaker in chief

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