You are about to release your film Opie Gets Laid (formerly Sunnyvale)
on DVD, which you wrote, directed, and starred in. Can you tell us what
the film is about ?
The film is an edgy, off the wall
comedy about the World's Biggest Loser. And how he ends up dating (and mating) three very different
women at once. A pot dealer chick named Thai (played by April Wade),
her blonde, butch and beautiful leather wearing lesbian girlfriend
Dakota (Ute Werner), and Rain (Jesselynn Desmond), a free spirited, gun-toting girl who gets her rocks off answering anonymous internet
If you like the darkly comic films of Wes Anderson, Hal Hartley, Edgar
Wright, Woody Allen, the Coens, you'll love our film.
I heard the film described as an unromantic
comedy. Would you agree with that ?
Yes, I would. But I'd
go even farther and call it a romantic
unromantic comedy. The film has comedy aplenty and it has it's fair
share of romance as well. But it's all done from a slightly askew
point of view. It's a romantic comedy for people who hate
romantic comedies. And love them. We'll take on all comers.
What inspired you to
the story of this film ?
It's semi-autobiographical. I was living a life not unlike the
main character Opie for a few years. Living a pathetic comedic existence or
eating way too much junk food, watching far too much TV, and basically
not going out much. James Bond is an interesting character because
he's extreme. He's the most badass, cool mofo on the planet. Opie is
an interesting character for the same reasons. He's extreme. He's the
most hilariously pathetic, sad sack loser on the planet. The polar
opposite of a James Bond
character. Extremes make characters cool and
What were some major influences for the film ?
Directors like Hal Hartley, Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese, Quentin
Tarantino, Bob Fosse, Paul Thomas Anderson, Woody Allen, Stanley
Kubrick. A lot of great stand-up comedians influenced the writing of
the script over the many drafts. Sam Kinison, Richard Pryor, Eddie
Murphy. I'm someone who can draw influences from almost anywhere.
The film's website/mySpace/whatever else ?
How easy/difficult was it to get a good cast for Opie Gets Laid,
and could you say a few words about your lead actresses ?
It just takes posting ads online or in the local acting trades. And
then going through resumes and headshots, looking at online acting
reels. You just have to go with your gut. I knew pretty much right
away I had the right three main actresses for the film. And after
their auditions I was even more sure.
April Wade, Ute Werner, and Jesselynn Desmond are fantastic actresses.
They're funny and smart as well as sexy. We had a great supporting
cast as well with actors Mark Wood, Samantha Turk, Gina DeVettori,
Hutchi Hancock, Ellen Hughes, stand-up comic Chris Mitchell, and
Heidemarie Fuentes. Heidemarie Fuentes also was the executive producer
on the film, she was a great help getting the film made, an amazing
person and producer. Anyone would be lucky to have her working on
As an actor, how much did you enjoy to play the film's lead Opie ?
Acting is not as easy as it looks. It's one thing to endlessly
rehearse your lines over and over in your apartment. But it's another
when you have a camera and a crew and a boom mike and lighting and a
set and other actors all around you. It can be about as comforting as
a firing squad. You're mind is racing a mile a minute and you're
praying you don't screw up your lines. It's tough, baby, it's tough.
My hat's off to all the actors out there who don't break down under the pressure.
I didn't, I'm proud to say. But it ain't easy. Especially when you're
also juggling the creative powderkegs of screenwriting, directing and
producing on the set as well.
with April Wade ...
with Ute Werner ...
and with Jesselynn Desmond
your brainchild and you play him in the movie ... so how much do you think
you have in common with Opie ?
I was never as lucky as Opie
was to be juggling three women at once.
But never say never, right? We have some of the same interests in geek
culture. Comics, video games, the internet, cult movies, sci-fi.
Maybe Opie is my wannabe alter-ego.
What do you enjoy most, directing, acting or writing, and why ?
It's a solitary thing and you can just keep polishing it
over and over until you get it right. I'm getting faster and better
with my writing though. But directing can be amazing as well.
Directing a scene you've written with actors, camera, crew is an
incredible almost surreal feeling.
away from Opie Gets Laid for a bit, what can you tell us about your
previous filmwork ?
Mostly it was a lot of spec scripts for
movies and TV and student films. With Opie Gets Laid I finally decided to take the plunge and
make my own film. Just jumped right in.
Why and how did you get started in
On my own really. Just started by seeing films.
Seeing them over and over. Then you start to develop an eye for how films are made, how the
camera moves, how editing works, how comedy works, drama works, how
sequences are staged and shot.
Your biggest influences as a director ...
The Man, Stanley Kubrick. I love the lighting in his films. The
look of Eyes Wide Shut, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket,
A Clockwork Orange. Also the Coen Brothers, Sergio Leone, Frank Darabont, David
Fincher, Martin Scorsese, Hal Hartley, Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin
Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, Lucio Fulci, Chan-wook Park, Sam Raimi,
Oliver Stone, Sidney Pollack, Dario Argento, Clint Eastwood, Tim
Robbins, David Lynch, Spike Lee, Bob Fosse, Woody Allen, Robert
Townsend, John Woo, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas. With Lucas I
love his first three films the best. THX 1138, American
Graffiti, Star Wars. I like the original versions. The directors cuts are okay but I
prefer the originals. Why mess with an already great film? I mean why
pick up a happy baby, right?
as a writer ...
Pulp writer Jim Thompson, Hal Hartley, Ayn
Rand, Joel and Ethan Coen,
David Lynch, Woody Allen, film critic J.C. Maçek.
... and as an actor ?
DeNiro, Christian Bale, Martin Donovan, Bruce Campbell, Eddie
Murphy, Harrison Ford, Malcolm McDowell, Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman,
Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, Yun-Fat Chow, Brad Pitt, Jack Nicholson.
movies you really liked ?
Zodiac, 3:10 To Yuma,
For Old Men, Once, The Assassination
Of Jesse James, There Will Be Blood, The
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Your alltime favourites ?
A Clockwork Orange, Trust, Wall Street, The
Shining, Blood Simple,
Blue Velvet, All That Jazz, Raising Arizona, Apocalypse
Now, Deep Red,
Simple Men, Taxi Driver, The
Exorcist, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?,
Evil Dead II, Blade Runner, Oldboy,
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Goodfellas.
of course, which movies do you really deplore ?
these endless piss poor remakes that get churned out. A remake
can sometimes be good and even almost surpass the original in rare
instances. Scorsese's Cape Fear comes to mind. And these lame big
screen parody movies we get nowadays. But I guess even the people
making those films have a passion for movies so you have to respect
future projects you'd like to share ?
I've got my next
feature film already written. Another comedy. It is
a sort of Lost In Translation-type comedy and weird love story. About
two people who find an unlikely romance together with an unexpected
twist. I love the title. It's called Nuke Me Slowly.
Anything else I've
forgotten to ask but you are dieing to talk about ?
Everyone please check out Opie Gets Laid! It's a comedy that's
actually funny. How often do we get that experience at the movies?
for the interview
and good luck with your film.
man. You rock.