Alexander Drummond, Andy Hoff
First and what will
probably be the longest response, please tell readers who you are and
about your company!
Alex Drummond - I'm
originally from New Jersey. I moved to Los Angeles 12 years ago to pursue
screenwriting and filmmaking. I wait tables. I've written 26 screenplays.
It took years of bad writing before I wrote something that was even
"OK." And that's just what my mom says.
Hoff - Iím an actor in and one of the
producers of The Shower. Most of my acting work in LA has been in
episodic TV - Mad Men, Justified, Prison
Break, How I Met Your Mother, etc.
I used to produce theatre in NY and ran a theatre company for a long time,
but I had stopped producing when I moved to LA.
I met Alex working in a restaurant.
Heís also from the NY area, even if it is New Jersey. After moving to
LA, I found that I gravitated towards others from that part of the world -
just because they have a similar type of energy. Or whatever. Turns out
heís a really talented writer, too.
We had worked together on a few shorts
and I always read his feature scripts as they came out. Weíd talked
about producing something bigger for quite awhile before he wrote this
one. It was right and we did it. Thatís it. As it happens, producing
theatre and producing film is the same skill-set.
Does the company have
a web page?
Alex - Our movie, The Shower, has a webpage:
The site is a work in progress. But we have a lot of information about the
movie and you can see nice pictures of our cast. We raised a big
portion of the budget for our movie on the website.
Tell us about the plot
for The Shower!
Alex - A group of
Hollywood friends get trapped at a baby shower when mysterious outbreak
starts turning people into a homicidal maniacs.
Tell us a little about
The funny thing about the stars is that there arenít any. The most
recognizable one is probably Suzanne Sena, who plays Brooke Alvarez on the
Onion News Network. She plays Joanne, a low-level Hollywood agent. When
youíre pitching a movie, the first question out of any executiveís
mouth is ďWhoís in it?Ē. At first, we scrambled around, trying to
avoid the subject, expounding upon the virtues of the writing,
performances, niche marketability. Did nothing for us. My favorite
response to the question is now:
Important Executive - Whoís in it?
This Guy - Nobody, itís great!
Might not be effective either, but at
least itís honest and usually gets a chuckle. A few years from now,
though, and youíll know a bunch of these actors!
Alex - The stars of the
movie are my wife and our friends. Most of us worked together at a
restaurant, so I wrote parts for them. Suzanne Sena, who plays
Joanne, was in my wife's first acting class here in L.A. and they've been
great friends ever since. We did a little bit of casting to find a
few of the actors, but even some of those folks were already friends with
my friends, so it's a definitely a case of Hollywood nepotism. The
truth is, I believe in my wife and my friends and I wanted to do something
where we got to show off our talents.
This is starting to
make the rounds at some of the horror festivals?
Alex - We just played at
our first festival, Shriekfest, and it was awesome. We saw a lot of
great movies, met a lot of cool people and our screening sold out, so they
had to open a second theater and that one sold out, too. It was crazy.
Any upcoming showings or fests in the works?
Alex - We'll be
submitting to other festivals, and are really targeting the horror
festivals and indie festivals.
Are there any interesting behind the scenes tales to tell about the
filming of The Shower?
Alex - The biggest
behind the scenes story, that I'm aware of, is that my wife's water broke
on set at the beginning of our seventh day of shooting. She wasn't
due until September 15th, and we planned to wrap production on August
10th, so I thought we'd be OK. I was wrong. On the morning of August
9th, around 6:30 A.M., right before I left for the set, she asked if we
had a contingency plan in place in case she went into labor so we could
quickly shoot her scenes. I told her no, and then tried to use the
power of positive thinking to keep the baby in her womb for at least two
more days. It only lasted about 2 1/2 hours. I was standing in
the backyard of our location, setting up the second shot of the day, when
our makeup artist, Rikki Techner, approached and said, "The water
broke." My first thought was that a pipe in the house broke, and I
thought, "Why is she telling me?" I might have said something
about calling a plumber and she said, "Your wife's water broke."
Andy - An interjection:
When Rikki from makeup came out to tell Alex, you could just see all the
wheels turning. I think, at first, he thought heíd misheard. Like
sheíd dropped her drink. When he realized, he took a couple steps
towards the house, couple back to the set, one to the house, one set. The
conflict was palpable. He made the right decision though. In the end.
Alex - So, it was a
surprise, but not a surprise. At that point, I wasn't concerned about the
movie. I was concerned about the baby, because she was 5 weeks early. It
was stressful for a few hours, but everything turned out OK, and we have a
happy, healthy one year old girl named Isabel. We went back and
finished principal photography a month later.
Do you feel you have
achieved the right blend of comedy with horror?
Andy - Did we find the
right blend? I hope so, but the audiences will tell us for sure. In my
mind, the blend is right if they like it. I donít want the audience
thinking about whether itís this or that, funny or scary, I want them to
enjoy the ride. If they stay involved in the story and have a good time on
the journey, weíve done our job. From the audience reactions at Shriekfest, Iíd say we accomplished
How would you rate
this film on a horror level?
I saw a 50 year old man so scared at The Ring that he had to leave
the theatre. We didnít make that movie. It wasnít our intent. However,
Iíve seen this thing a hundred times and I still get wrapped up in the
suspense. It still makes me jump. And I know whatís coming. Thatís
pretty good, in my book.
And as a comedy?
Worse than Tommy Boy, better than a lot.
Do you have any future
projects baring planned?
Andy - Whoa, take it
easy, man! One thing at a time. Thereís a reason I have 10 books on my
nightstand with 30 pages left to read. Canít stay focused long enough.
Wanna do too many things at once. Thatís something Iím trying to
change. Weíll see this project through to completion and then...weíll
plan the next.
Thatís me. Ask the writer.
Alex - The last year and
half have been all about The Shower. From the first ideas to getting
into our first festival. There's still a lot of work that needs to
be done, but I'm anxious to work again, whether it's writing a new script
or directing. Or both. Of those 26 scripts I've written, I do
think a few of them would make good movies, so maybe The Shower will help
me get them made. I'm also excited about writing another horror
script. The Shower is more of a horror-comedy, and my previous
attempt at the genre a few years ago was also a horror-comedy.
I have a few ideas that I've been thinking about, and I'll outline them,
watch movies, read scripts, and see which one needs to be written.
Anything else to add about the film?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
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Alex - Making the movie
was a tough process. And I feel like it was totally worth all the agony. I
think we made a fun little movie. I learned a lot. I got to work
with great people. And I can't wait to do it all again. I'd really
encourage anyone who wants to make a movie to go out and make one.
Maybe it doesn't have to be a feature. It could be a short, or even
just a scene. But write, cast it, produce it, shoot it, edit it and show
it to people. Take the next step. Fear held me back for a long
time. I was hoping someone would just buy one of my scripts and make it
easy. Eventually, I got sick of waiting around. Probably because I
was a waiter and my wife was pregnant with our second child. So whatever
motivation you need, just go out and do what you want to do.
Iím not a horror guy. I mean, I love movies of all kind. All due respect
to the genre, but Iím not that guy. It doesnít take up 50% of my
collection. When Alex wrote this one, I thought ďWell, OK, maybe... not
my cup of tea, but it could be funĒ - turns out it was! Now, looking
back, Iím really proud of what weíve done. It isnít a typical
slasher flick, it isnít a typical comedy or drama. It is its own animal,
with a lot of personality. It is a fun movie. It has revitalized my love
of the genre.
Alex and Andy (in unison) -
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. We really appreciate it.
for the interview!