Sundance Babes: Women–Sprecher, Jill (Clockwatchers, 13 Conversations)

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in philosophy and literature, Sprecher relocated to New York City to study film.

In addition to being a director, she has worked as a coordinator, production manager and line producer on both studio and independent features, often to pay the bills for her own films.

She studied directing with Robert Wise and, prior to making her directorial debut with Clockwatchers (1997), she studied improvisational technique in Manhattan.

debuted at the Sundance Film Fest and then played in international festivals. It won a Best Film prize at the Torino International Fest of Young Cinema of 1997.

Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (executive produced by Michael Stipe) received more attention and critical acclaim, but reportedly put Jill $150,000 into personal debt to finance it.

Poor timing–the film was picked up just days before the Sep 11, 2001, among other factors, led to the film’s failure.

Jill often works with her sister Karen Sprecher, who writes.

Her brother is Jeff Sprecher, the founder, Chair and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange Inc.

She explained the long gap between her films:

She explained the long gap between her films:

“We finished the script for 13 Conversations in eight weeks–it was finished before Clockwatchers actually came out. What happened was I had to do a lot of traveling with Clockwatchers to festivals and we actually won a prize at the Turin Festival. Thankfully, it was a cash prize, about $18,000, and we took that money and worked on 13 Conversations.

But right after Clockwatchers we actually went back to doing temp work and trying to raise funding to make our next movie, and suddenly it’s three-and-a-half years later. We took odd jobs, used credit cards–we kept thinking that big break was just right around the corner. I think we would’ve walked away from it altogether, but periodically something encouraging would happen to keep us going.”


Clockwatchers (1997

Thirteen Conversations about One Thing (2001)

Thin Ice (2011) (aka “The Convincer”)