Your new movie Wichita -
in a few words, what is it about?
is about a woman who runs like hell to hide her affair!
What were your sources of inspiration when writing Wichita?
And how did the project come
into being to begin with, and how did you end up as one of the film's
I grew up in Wichita, KS. Most people outside
Kansas don’t know it, so I thought it would be fun to write a scene
where characters talk about Wichita like it’s London or Paris. Only
instead of Buckingham Palace or the Eiffel Tower, they talk about Cowtown
and the first Pizza Hut. Stuff only locals know. So I
wrote it. And it sat around for many years. Until last year when Sergine
Dumais rescued it and made it happen!
Sergine is my longtime collaborator. She is a terrific music theater
director and she wanted to make her first film. She asked if she could
as her debut. I was most flattered! I offered to produce.
you tell us about Wichita's
director Sergine Dumais [Sergine Dumais
interview - click here], and about the movie's cast?
delivered the talent. She recruited phenomenal performers to play the
leads: Maxim Roy and Jeremy Sisto. Plus a spectacular cinematographer from
Quebec, Serge Desrosiers, and the rights to a Quebec hit song from 1990.
What began as inside baseball about my hometown now had world class
talent! It was exhilarating. She worked with Maxim and Jeremy Sisto
before, and that’s why they agreed to do this short film. She’s
terrific with actors! You gotta see her in action. She has a theater
background and you can see it here. The shots are held a very long time.
30 seconds apiece. But it’s always moving. The camera is moving and if
the camera isn’t moving, the actors are moving TO the camera. (She
taught me in theater this is the only “close-up".) My favorite bit
is when Maxim Roy runs down 53 stairs, towards camera. When she’s
finally *DONE*, Sergine has her hold just a beat. Maxim found a way to
make it work while still being in a hurry.
What were the
challenges of bringing Wichita to the screen from a producer's point of
Figuring out the logistics for: Maxim Roy
getting dressed, hauling ass outside, down 53 stairs, down the street, and
to another house and breaking a window. Sergine and I shot this on a phone
and timed it out and adjusted the script so it would land. For Jeremy
Sisto we only had a five hour window on a weekday between 9am and 2pm, so
we planned everything to shoot on Day 1, and left Day 2 entirely for him.
He knocked it out in 45 minutes!
A few words about the shoot as such, and the
God threw us a bone. It rained every
second that week — except when we shot. Maxim Roy hobbled brilliantly
around the puddles, and ran up and down 500 stairs. Thank you, God! Maxim
and Jeremy Sisto have *chemistry*. It was exhilarating to watch. To have
talent at this level delivering lines about my hometown was the thrill of
life. To quote Mick Jagger: My heart was beating louder than a big bass
The $64-question of course, where can
Wichita be seen?
see our website wichitafilm.com
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Wichita?
seem to really like it. We had a few in-person screenings early this year,
and it was terrific fun to see the reaction in real time as the twists
future projects you'd like to share?
We are currently
into a feature film.
What got you into
the filmworld to begin with, and did you revieve any formal education on
with director Sergine Dumais on set
I spent my childhood in Wichita riding my
dirtbike to Showboat Video and rented every R-rated movie they had on
Beta. Vacation, Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire,
Nightmare on Elm
Street, Revenge of the Nerds, Porky’s. If it was possible to to have 1%
of the fun making movies as I had watching movies, I was in. I later went
to film school at Kansas University and N.Y.U.
Over the years, you worked on numerous
positions in filmmaking - so what do you enjoy the most, what could you do
I love the camaraderie of creating. My buddies and
I made movies when I was a kid. It was so *FUN*. Replicating that, on any
level, past age 16 is euphoric.
I could do without so much
What can you tell us about your filmwork prior
to Wichita, in whatever
I’ve done a lot of editing.
How would you describe yourself as a
I hope I write pages that are fun to read.
Screenwriter, writers, filmmakers who
Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, John Hughes,
Your favourite movies?
Vacation, Christmas Story.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
movie's website, social media, whatever else?
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Roy won best actress at Global Shorts!
for the interview!