Your new movie Spaghettiman
- in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your
character in it?
is a superhero movie about a run of the mill slacker (Clark) who is
suddenly endowed with powers that he doesn’t really deserve. We
get to follow Clark as he struggles with the consequences of inheriting
exceptional ability, when he’s a relatively unexceptional person.
Since you're also one of the writers of Spaghettiman,
did you write your character with yourself in mind from the get-go?
Who doesn’t want to star in their own superhero movie!? It
wasn’t a difficult choice to make, really - we wanted to make a feature
film as a group (Heckbender), and believe it or not, THIS was the movie we
determined would be the most realistic to actually produce on the
extremely slim budget available to us.
what were your inspirations when dreaming up Spaghettiman,
and to what extent can you identify with the superhero genre the movie
I guess we never considered it a parody, really.
We wanted to make a fun comedic film, for sure - but we were determined to
take the subject as seriously as other movies, do while stretching our
limited resources. There aren’t any winks to the audience.
You wouldn’t believe some of the arguments that erupted over tiny
details and jokes we wrote that just didn’t fit the tone we were trying
to set. We’re all fans of the superhero genre - which is probably
what made it so natural for us to write to, and replicate.
What can you tell us about your co-writers,
and what was your collaboration like?
The writing core of Heckbender
is Mark Potts (director, guy who chokes on sandwich), Winston
Carter (Dale), Brand Rackley (Anthony Banner), and myself. We all
certainly have our strengths and incredible weaknesses that compliment
each other very well. Mark is like the den mom of Heckbender.
Without Mark, absolutely nothing would ever get done. Winston, Brand
and I will throw ideas around the table, and Mark will usually make the
most sense of them. Those guys know so much about film, and all have
such strong opinions - most of the themes were frankensteined from films
we already know and love/hate. There are about a dozen terrible
movies worth of jokes sitting on the writing room floor.
Do talk about Spaghettiman's
brand of humour for a bit, and to what extent can you identify with it,
Most of the characters we wrote into the film were written
specifically for the people who played them. We had a laundry list
of amazing, talented people we wanted to work with - so we wrote parts for
each one, hoping they’d actually agree to participate. They each
brought so much more to the characters than we could ever have expected -
and a lot of that is a testament to their own comedic and theatrical
background. There are quite a few jokes in Spaghettiman
slow burners - a lot of set ups that aren’t paid off until much later on
in the movie. One joke is set up minutes into the movie, and it’s
nearly an hour until the payoff lands - and it’s always incredibly
satisfying to have people notice the effort put into those. There
are certainly some [brilliant] jokes that fall about as flat as you can
imagine, but that’s consistent with our humor as well. Sometimes,
we just aren’t that funny. That’s life!
Back to your on-screen work on Spaghettiman
- what did you actually draw upon to bring Spaghettiman to life, and how
much Ben Crutcher can we find in your character?
embarrassingly high percentage. Clark is certainly a CARICATURE, and
could never exist in reality. But I’d be a liar if I told you a
‘Clarkism’ has never rolled off my lips. My personality has
certainly influenced my work. We definitely took the worst parts of
us and funneled that into a single character - and, of course, peppered in
a tremendous amount of charm.
can you tell us about your director Mark Potts, and what was your
collaboration on set like?
Mark and I push each other
pretty hard as collaborative partners - sometimes much much too far.
I think the only person who expects more from Mark than I do is himself.
We should really apologize to each other more. Mark is a great
director - knows exactly what he wants in nearly every scene, and really
does his best to prepare a set so we can move through things as quickly as
possible. With such a tiny crew and limited time frame - everyone
appreciates the work he puts into knowing the scenes front to back,
setting up his shot lists, understanding what is required of a particular
setup, etc. He encourages performers to do what they feel is best
for their character - and if he gets what he needs - he’ll move on
immediately. Mark Potts is incredibly supportive and will most
certainly help make your dreams come true.
You wear a paperbag over your
head roughtly half of the movie - now how annoying was that, actually?
was actually kind of fun. During dialogue, I had to sort of
‘puppet’ the mask about to help bring a little life to the character,
or else you’d be staring at a paper sack for 85 minutes. There
were so many times where I could see absolutely nothing out of it, so
there was so much of the film I missed while on set, that I didn’t see
until it was completed. We shot an incredibly dangerous roof scene
early on where the mask just wouldn’t cooperate, and kept blowing off in
the wind. All of the action scenes presented their own particular
issues, as one could imagine. I know it changed the way I look at
actors in prosthetics - it took me ten seconds to get set ready, I highly
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
stayed busy. We tried our best to make sure our supporting cast was
well fed, hydrated, and their time was being respected. Such a small
crew - we had to troubleshoot quite a bit, and we were all responsible for
continuity. Producer Reilly Smith was often seen wielding a boom
pole. Overall - we all get along very well, and we have a great
balance to help diffuse any tense moments.
$64-question of course, when and where will Spaghettiman
be released onto the general public?
Our theatrical release
is September 24 for a one night only screening her in Los Angeles at the
Los Feliz 3 - and will be available on digital platforms on that date as
well. It will not cost $64, but you are welcome to pay that if you
feel so inclined!
Anything you can
tell us about audience and critical reception of Spaghettiman
Kids and college students LOVE IT, but it seems to strike a note in a
variety of different people. It has gotten some incredibly positive
reviews, and we have had a great time screening it. To hear what
strangers, who are not obligated to laugh at our movie, find funny about
it is really an amazing experience. We are very happy with the
reaction it is getting from the people we are getting feedback from.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
always looking forward to future projects. There are a ton of ideas
we have that we’re interested in developing for all different platforms,
and once Spaghettiman
is released and has moved past it’s adolescence,
we’ll be better positioned to concentrate on new ideas. We have
some shorts we’re planning on putting out on heckbender.com in the
future that have been collecting dust while we’ve been concentrating on
got you into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
I love making believe.
I’ve been a real ham my entire life - mostly as a defense mechanism for
being shy. If you can PRETEND to have confidence, then you have
confidence. I’ve studied at various improv theaters around LA the
past few years, but before this film, I wouldn’t have even considered
myself an actor. This role changed my mind. I’m a great actor!
What can you tell us about your
filmwork prior to Spaghettiman?
is number one. And I couldn’t be more proud. Mark and Brand
have made a few feature films prior to this one (Cinema Six came out in
2012), so their experience was crucial in this entire process, and was key
in having so much success so far with Spaghettiman.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
would you describe yourself as a actor, and some of your techniques to
bring your characters to life?
I ask myself, WWSMD - what
would Spaghettiman do? And then I do that! I often overthink
‘how’ a character would do something - and I try and just do things
like I would do things. Once I put too much thought into itm, it
feels unnatural, and I have to deconstruct it. There is a real craft
to acting, and I have incredible respect for it - I just hope I keep
getting cast as guys like me, because it’s much easier that way.
Actors (and indeed
actresses) who inspire you?
I like Sam Rockwell - that guy
Your favourite movies?
I like Spaceballs
- which IS a parody, but I like it anyway.
and of course, films you really deplore?
I usually hate
movies I haven’t seen yet. I’m one of those guys.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
- and you
can find Heckbender on
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
a cat person.
for the interview!