Christine Vachon: ?The only thing that makes a project truly independent is you sell it later.’

In the 11 years since she founded New York production company Killer Films with Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon has established herself as a leading force behind aggressively innovative, socially conscious, and sexually adventurous cinema.

Vachon has produced Todd Haynes’ body of work, from “Poison” through “Far From Heaven,” and his forthcoming fractured Bob Dylan portrait “I’m Not There.”

She has produced multiple films from Mary Harron (“The Notorious Betty Page,”) Todd Solondz (“Palindromes”), Rose Troche (“Go Fish”) and Tom Kalin (“Swoon”); “Boys Don’t Cry,” for which Hilary Swank won a best actress Oscar; and most recently the Truman Capote biopic “Infamous.”

ReelChicago: The scale of projects you work on has tended to grow over the years.
Christine Vachon: I don’t take on anything because of its size. The filmmakers that I have relationships with grow and their budgets grow as their ideas progress, and/or they’re able to attract more talent because they have more experience. So it’s an organic process.

ReelChicago: As the scale of their projects grow, how does that affect your role as the producer?
Vachon: The financing has become a much bigger part of what I do, especially on one of these trickier, bigger movies where the money is coming from more than one source.

At the same time, in some ways what you do as a producer on a $1 million movie and on a $20 million movie doesn’t really change.

ReelChicago: What does financing from multiple sources do to the process?
Vachon: Really, the only thing that makes a project truly independent is that you just sell it later. For some movies you want to get the distributor on as early as possible to help you plan what its life is going to be. There’s not a tangible difference in the process of making a movie with a classics division or not. Money is money.