MIFS: Where did the idea for the film come from?
It came from a bar. During a film makers social gathering, one of my film making cohorts, Linda Cieslik introduced me to a young actor she knew, named Adam Zastrow. Adam had some physical features (big buggy eyes) that were similar to another one of my film cohorts, Michael Denk. I suggested that they should play father and son. Turns out they had previously been cast as father and son, but the roles wound up shifting.
Linda said “you could write something for them” and that was all it took. I mentioned that I always wanted to cast Michael as the devil (you've seen the face, you know why), and Adam could be his son. But what would be the story? My son is in college and has yet to earn his drivers license, for probably that reason the idea pooped out of my mouth that the story would be the devil teaching his reluctant son how to drive a car.
“Great”, Linda said “When do you want to shoot it?”
“Well, I will probably take me till Tuesday to write it, so maybe Thursday?”
If I remember, it took until the following week to get the shoot together because of co-coordinating schedules, locking down a location, and acquiring a convertible. All those things were taken care of by Linda.
MIFS: How much did the project change from concept to final edit?
I can't think of one thing that changed. We shot the second draft of the script, which was pretty much the first draft with corrected grammar.
MIFS:Where there any challenges during production?
Good lordy it was cold. It was sunny but windy, so we had to deal with the whole cloudy/not cloudy thing. It was so windy that audio from the boom mic was totally unusable. Lucky we had a back up with tiny H2 digital audio recorder that we stuck in the wheel well that worked better then it had any right to.
The added sting to the boom mic not working is that in several of the shot you can see the reflection of the mic and boom pole in the hood of the car. This took a bit of work to remove in post.
Did I mention it was cold? Michael is an old pro and bragged that he was wearing two pairs of pants. Adam had short sleeves and we threw a blanket on him between takes. It was interesting that when the camera was rolling, my actors were oblivious to the weather and only started shivering after 'cut' was called. Ah, the magic of film making.
MIFS: With the film completed, what has been the most rewarding thing about the whole experience?
There were a couple of first on this. It was the first time I had an honest to goodness producer for the whole project. Linda took care of so many things that needed to be done, it allowed me to concentrate purely on the creative. This was the smoothest shoot I had ever done.
The most rewarding thing is learning that I can have a team that can knock out a good film and the process can be creative, efficient, and fun. It's all about the casting, in front and behind the camera.
Devil's Day Out Screens Nov 9th in the Lubar Auditorium, MAM at 7pm.