Interview: writer and director of ‘Ghostwriter’ beautifully filmed in Chicago

Ghostwriter is a beautifully filmed black and white Indie film, about a bartender who, as a once published writer, has struggled for years with his second novel, and how he helps a combat veteran face his fears over completing a short story about his time in Iraq.

Filmed in Chicago, the film is written by Jim Lynch, directed by Tim Miller, and produced by JC Farris and Tim Miller. The cast includes David Lawrence Hamilton, Peter DeFaria (The Public Enemies, Chicago Med, Chicago Fire) and 11 time Jeff nominee Mary Ann Thebus (Rudy, Blink, My Life), Henri Watkins, Francesca Sobrer, Dave Maher, Kellye Howard, Melissa DuPrey, Maria Stephens and Sam Krey

Jim Lynch and Tim Miller were kind enough to take the time to sit down with Reel Chicago for a zoom interview to talk about their film that has just had its local premiere at the Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge. 

The film is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the mind and a lot of the overall feel of the movie can be attributed to the fact that it’s filmed in black and white. We asked what inspired Ghostwriter’s filmmakers to film in black and white. Tim Miller was very passionate with his explanation as he told us how he saw the film in his mind’s eye.

Ghostwriter isn’t just beautifully written and shot, but the music definitely added another layer to the overall emotion exuded from the film and there was a wonderful harp sequence which was absolutely breathtaking. Reel Chicago asked how the harp and astonishingly talented harpist became part of the film. Tim was happy to share his inspiration and both he and Jim had nothing but praises for the harpist and her incredible work ethic and talent. Tim shared the link to the song Carolan’s Dream which was written by Turlough O’Carolan.

Tim and Jim reconnected when Jim had written the play CCX. Actor, David Lawrence Hamilton performed in CCX and mentioned to Jim that he told his buddies in Iraq that if he survived, he wanted to be an actor. We asked Tim and Jim to elaborate on that story and also how much of David Lawrence Hamilton was written into the character or if the character he plays in Ghostwriter is completely fictional. Both Tim and Jim had very in depth answers, including Jim telling us about the play CCX and Tim mentioned that David had some really mind blowing stories from his time in the military. 

Ghostwriter has a really impressive and talented diverse cast and Reel Chicago asked if that was intentional. Jim explained that the casting came together organically and Jim mentioned that a podcast by Geena Davis inspired him to be open minded and he gender-swapped a role so they could work with an actor they really wanted to work with. 

Reel 360 interview with the writer and director of Ghostwriter

It is important to note that the city of Chicago also stars in this film and it was important to the filmmakers to include her in all her melancholy glory. The shots of Chicago run seamlessly throughout the film and she is beautifully captured in black and white. Reel Chicago asked if the pandemic affected filming and Tim and Jim explained that the entire feature film was shot in just 12 days and they were able to finish filming just before the stay at home order. 

The film was impeccably shot by the incredibly talented cinematographer Sanghoon Lee. Reel Chicago asked how they met Lee and how he became part of the project. Tim explained that he was always a fan of Lee’s work and was thrilled to have a project the two of them could create together.

The Ghostwriter world premiere was at the iconic TCL Chinese theater in Los Angeles California at the Dances With Films Festival at the end of August.

When asked what the two of them have planned on the horizon, Jim told Reel Chicago about his next script he’s working on and intends to produce with Tim, which sounded really interesting and exciting. 

We look forward to seeing more from these two very talented filmmakers.

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