MIFS: Where did the idea for the film come from?
Viscosity was originally a short story written by Jedidiah Ayres who is an acclaimed hardboiled crime writer who I've recently gotten to know. I've been going through all of his work attempting to find something to adapt and Viscosity was perfect even though it's not really a crime story. The film was produced by my company Killing Joke Films for the Twin Cities film competition Z-Fest. The film placed 4th and was awarded a cash prize which was almost as much as we spent on production which we were obviously very pleased with because a short film is usually a money pit. Coming out almost even for a short that I'm proud of is very cool and I'm very fortunate for that.
MIFS: How much did the project change from concept to final edit?
The script and final film are almost identical. One of the only major additions is the use of the butterfly knife in the second story about the melon. The actor, Shad Cooper, who I've directed in theatre numerous times, walked in and asked if we could utilize it. Also the Art Director Jane Barnes wanted to make the setting near Valentine's Day which was a wonderfully obscene idea so she ran with it. Otherwise the final edit is quite similar to what I envisioned in the adapted script written by Killing Joke Film's Richard Molby.
MIFS:Where there any challenges during production?
The only major challenge was the long day of principle production. We filmed the majority of the project in 1 day/night so that was a very long period to keep going. Otherwise we had a great time on location except that a speed metal band began to practice in the space above our location during filming, which obviously sucked. Luckily we were almost wrapped in the main location so we were able to shoot around it.
MIFS: With the film completed, what has been the most rewarding thing about the whole experience?
The most rewarding aspect has been seeing how much the film has affected audiences. I have no interest in working on lukewarm stories. Some folks have found the film offensive for several reasons and many have enjoyed the film and even laughed. The film has played at 7 film festivals and being able to tell the cast and crew that their work is being seen by audiences is really the ultimate payoff. But offending folks tells us we're doing something right as well, so that's just fine by me.
Viscosity screens on Nov 10th as part of the 14th Annual Milwaukee Short Film Festival at 3:15pm in the Lubar Auditorium, MAM.