Your new movie Radio
America - in a few words, what is it about?
couple of farm boy musicians get a taste of commercial success when one of
their songs becomes a hit on the radio, and how their fame changes how they
feel about each other and the music.
What were your inspirations when writing Radio
America, and was any of it based on personal experiences?
is completely fictional, all of the stories in the movie
happened to me or someone I know. One
of the reasons that I was able to write this script so fast (18 hours) was
that it was just like typing the narrative from my time playing in rock
bands in the rural Mid-West United States.
what extent does the music in the movie reflect your personal musical
tastes, and to what extent were you involved in creating the songs for
your movie? And what meaning does music as such have to you, personally?
love the music in this movie and still listen to it, however, I have
pretty broad musical tastes. I
studied music in college and for a time was considering pursuing a career
as an opera singer. I
grew up listening to country/western music and fell in love with the
clever lyrics there. I studied
jazz, classical, modern, and contemporary music throughout the years and
have developed a love and respect for all of it!
I believe our taste in music, just like food and art, is hugely
influenced by our environment and what we have been exposed to.
I love trying out new things, things I might just hate at first,
just so I’ll have a broader, fuller life experience.
can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?
being as this is the first movie I directed, a lot of my approach was
trial and error. The actual
telling of the story was no problem. Having
written the script, I had already played the movie through in my mind
several times and felt pretty secure with what I wanted to see on screen.
However, it was all of the other things – the myriad of technical
and logistical decisions - where I was
very grateful to be surrounded by seasoned experts.
I could not have done this without the small but awesome team I had
around me, and I’ll be forever grateful to all of them for trusting me
enough to follow me into this fold.
far as I know, Radio
America is your first film as a director - so what made you pick
up directorial duties for that one?
had a script we were pretty excited about early on.
We even tapped a popular industry veteran to direct it, but as
often happens to popular industry veterans, he was drawn away to another
project (that paid much better I’m sure).
So there was no one left to direct this thing.
In my mind the train had already left the station and this movie
was now a cause set in motion. So
rather than stop the presses, I said screw it... I’ll do it!
You also play a
supporting character in Radio
America - so have you written the character with yourself in mind,
what did you draw upon to bring him to life, and how much fun was it to
play a big time producer, actually?
I write, I guess I put myself in every character, though it’s always
important to make sure that each character has his own unique voice.
That said, I never dreamed that I would be playing Simon.
Originally I had thought of him as a brutish thug, possibly with
tattoos, stuffed into a suit and tie.
Shaving my head was a choice to differentiate him from the
proverbial “Long Haired Artist”. Simon
sold his soul to the corporate world years ago and has a great need to
control every detail in his life. He
is someone who doesn’t have to raise his voice to sound threatening.
And when I go into movie-making mode, I get very direct like that
naturally. It’s not out of
meanness, but efficiency. It
ended up working out pretty good! I
didn’t really have to act at all!!
What can you tell us
about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?
were so lucky finding the people that were involved with this. We
sifted through literally THOUSANDS of submissions for this project.
I’m so pleased with the cast that we ended up with!
They really embodied the roles as individuals and they all fit the
palate together as a larger composition.
They say that 90% of directing is good casting – I would say that
is closer to 99%!
talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!
actors were fun and lively and spontaneous and creative!
They are a joy to be around. Everyone
was helpful and supportive. They
really got behind the project and took ownership of it!!
Meanwhile, I was stressed out of my mind dealing with one
catastrophe after another – nothing out of the ordinary, that is just
what to expect when you make a movie.
At the end of the day, it is the most fun you can have while
working harder than you thought you could!
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Radio
have gotten overwhelmingly warm response to Radio
Of course, as with any movie, not everyone will love what you have
made, and that is OK! I always
welcome criticism and differing opinions because it gives me better
perspective for the next one.
Any future projects you'd like to
signed on to a project done by my pal Asif Akbar that is supposed to start
filming in February. It is a
cool story – think Area 51.
You initially entered the filmworld as an actor -
so what made you go into acting, and did you receive any formal education
on the subject?
got my first taste of acting at age 5 in a kindergarten production of The Three Billygoat’s Gruff. Good
material to start out with! I
have always loved performing both as an actor and a musician.
Most of my formal training for acting came from acting school after
college and then my studies out here in Los Angeles.
One of my favourite schools of thought around acting comes from my
pal Jack Plotnick – who shares all of his thoughts on the subject here
– for FREE!!!!
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to Radio America?
love the variety I have gotten to experience in my career!
I have gotten to play heroes and villains and victims.
I have gotten to find empathy for some of the most heinous
characters you can imagine and gotten to delve into some really dark
depths to understand some of these people.
If nothing else, it has made me a less judgemental and more
compassionate person. I have
had so many great onset experiences in front of as well as behind the
camera that have prepared me to make my own movie.
I meet new actors here all the time that say they would never
consider doing extra work because that is not really acting.
I say HOGWASH!!! It’s
the best way to get on set right away and it can be an invaluable
experience for someone who is willing to learn from everything!!
would you describe yourself as an actor, and some of your techniques to
bring your characters to life?
approach to acting is through empathy.
As an audience, we connect to the humanity of the characters we
watch. So no matter what
character I’m playing, the first thing I try to do is figure out where
my humanity meets my character’s humanity.
Even if I’m playing a serial killer or a cartoon character, I
have to start with the honest humanity that we share.
Because that is what an audience recognizes wether they realize it
consciously or not.
writers, whoever else who inspire you?
am inspired by stories of courage and integrity.
There are so many versions of integrity, but anyone who has made
their mark on the world by staying true to who they are and sticking to
their own personal code of ethics. My
grandfather was that way. He
was an amazing man, generous, patient, kind, strong, gentle, courageous,
and infinite integrity.
I love this movie because anyone who has the huevos to make a
COMEDY about the holocaust is a badass!
Not to mention the movie is very funny and heartbreakingly moving.
It says something deeper about our shared humanity that transcends
man made borders and alliances.
... and of course, films you really deplore?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
If you had asked me this question 5 years ago, I
probably would have had a really fun list of movies that I would have
revelled in how horrible they are. However,
after having made a movie myself now and having more of an inkling of the
unbelievable work that goes into making one – even a bad one – I look
at movies completely differently now, and with a lot
more respect!! I heard
a great line at a recent film market that went something like this:
bother trying to get producing secrets from the producer of a really
successful movie. If you have
an amazing script and unlimited funds, almost anyone can produce that
movie! The guy you want to
talk to is the guy that produced a horrible almost unwatchable movie!
Because if he can take something that bad and actually get it made,
he can probably do anything!”
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Come talk to me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/christopher.showerman
And visit my website at: www.christophershowerman.com
Check out my resume at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0962398/
for the interview!
you!!! I loved your questions!!