Filmmaker Richard Linklater Discusses 1970 Student Film 'Selective Service System

Friday, May 12, 2017
INDIE WIRE -- Pierson also showed off one of the series’ most shocking segments, which focused on the 1970 short film “Selective Service System.” In the short, young filmmaker Dan Lovejoy literally shoots himself in the foot — and hits an artery to boot — in an act of defiance against the possibility of being drafted into Vietnam. To say it’s a bloody, eye-opening affair is to seriously tone down the impact of the short, which Lovejoy made alongside friend and fellow San Francisco State student Warren Haack. Filmmaker Richard Linklater discovered the film in the ’80s when programming for his then-newly launched Austin Film Society, and would show it to packed crowds. But Linklater often wondered about Lovejoy and Haack, and put the idea in Pierson’s head to make a segment about the men and their wholly unique short, which Bill Daniel later directed. “I was wondering, ‘What happened to that guy?,'” Linklater recalled. “I think Bill Daniel, an old friend of mine from Austin, said he knew Warren Haack. That’s really my contribution to this! I just threw out an idea!” The segment features both Lovejoy and Haack discussing the making of the short, along with a long look at its most crucial sequence, but it also offers up a happy update on Lovejoy and his life now. Linklater still couldn’t get over that. “It was cathartic to me to see this and to find out that this guy I’d been watching in this movie, to see that he was okay,” Linklater said. “I remember feeling very good that he had his business, a family, things had worked out for him.”