Your new movie The
Impeccable - in a few words, what is it about?
An elegant, well-to-do lady, Clarrisse (played by Ashley Shea), and her
younger kept man Henry (played by Adam LaFramboise) are expecting company
on Cinco De Mayo; the lady’s niece Denise (played by Naira Zakaryan).
Later, Clarrisse discovers that her niece Denise and boyfriend Henry have
a prior relationship themselves. Fearing a loss of social status and his
new-found financial fortune, Henry scrambles to keep them all on the same
were your sources of inspiration when writing The
As a contributing playwright, I was assigned to write a script within
just a few hours to include a character for Ashley Shea as part of a Play in a Day
Festival produced by Michael Gonza in January, 2017. I
had never met Ashley before this, but looking at her impressive acting
credentials online, I figured she might be up for the challenge of a
really intense role; so I did my best to provide.
So, credit to Mr. Gonza and all those behind the Play in a Day Festival,
which ran its course in Natick, MA for four months. Both The
Impeccable and another short film of mine, titled So, You’re the
currently in editing, came from Play in a Day stage pieces.
Which of the three characters in The
Impeccable could you actually identify with the most, who the
least, and why?
Oh boy, what a good question! I can probably identify with Denise the
niece the most because, as a child, she was more or less raised by
television as the adults around her fought and bickered. I can probably
identify with Henry the rouge the least, because he tends to get by on
charm, whereas I actually have to do the work!
Before making the movie, you actually
brought The Impeccable
to the stage, right? So could you talk about the stage version for a bit,
and how it came into being? And how did directing it for stage and screen
compare to one another?
As stated, The
Impeccable was originally written for the Play in a Day
Festival and I wrote that version as well, in about six hours. A good guy
and very talented director named David LeBahn from the Boston theater
scene was the assigned director for the stage version. I think David did a
great job, especially given the time restrictions on such an event.
Watching the stage version live from the audience, among the elements
that night, I was most impressed by Ashley’s work, as it was a natural
fit for her to command the stage as Clarrisse. A year later, I had Naira
on my TV show Messier Mantra as a guest, and she suggested we do a project
together. It’s hard to say ‘no’ to collaborating with Naira, an
international pageant winner and cover model! So, thinking on the various
scripts I had to offer, I started to imagine her and Ashley playing off
each other as aunt and niece; it seemed to fit.
So, I, more or less, took over as director for the film version, kept
Ashley, reassigning the role of Denise to Naira, and began looking for a
Henry. A good friend of mine was originally slated for the role, but he had to back out due to a scheduling conflict. Not
wanting to change our shooting schedule, I posted online for the role of
Henry. Adam sent in a video audition which was kind of interesting because
he did a free form monologue of “Henry” but with his own words not
from what I wrote in the script. I asked him to do another video with the
actual text, which he also did quite well.
Adam and I met in person in New Hampshire and he has a great attitude
and really is a straight shooter. There were three really talented guys in
the “final ballot” up for the Henry role, but Adam’s infectious
“British” accent was the deciding factor in him landing the role. So,
Adam as Henry was the third and final piece in the casting puzzle.
Impeccable is mostly confined to just one room - so how limiting
but maybe also liberating was that, and how easy or hard was it to keep
things visually interesting?
The one room confinement to me was perfect for this particular piece
because it keeps the emphasis on the dialogue and also the disconnect that
it’s “the family room” although in this particular family, there is
so much dysfunction and distrust between aunt and niece, that the room
seems to get smaller and darker as the piece moves along.
What can you tell us about
your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
These are three unlikeable people. In most films, there is a
character arc or “redeeming value” assigned to the protagonist , or
even an antagonist or anti-hero, that people can hang their hat on as the
“moral lesson” for the piece. For The
Impeccable, I wanted to turn
this norm upside down a bit. Instead of the audience feeling that they
have witnessed a character be “redeemed”, I want the audience
itself to feel as if they have been morally corrupted, and that they have
turned their own moral compass – even for a few moments – towards the
direction of the characters' viewpoints. In other words, the “arc” is
not with the fictional characters in The
Impeccable, but, hopefully, with
the very real audience watching the film.
talk about your cast, and why exactly these people?
Naira is a very busy model and actress with a unique international and
financial work background. She lives and works in New York City and also
commutes to Boston for projects as needed.
Ashley Shea is a wonderfully
talented actress, who is relatively new to Boston, after spending most of
her life in the South with her talented director/actor husband Jack Shea.
Some of Ashley’s modeling photos from her previous projects remind me
favorably of Susan Sarandon from The Rocky Horror Picture Show era.
Adam is a really hard working, dedicated actor who really approaches
this whole thing from a grounded perspective; which is refreshing in its
Overall, a great cast. I’d love to work with all of them again in
more projects; but in fairness to everybody, I’d rather have a bigger
budget in place before doing such.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
Tim Labonte, DP, editor and co-producer, was really instrumental in
making this shoot move smooth. Tim secured the location from his friend
Joseph Rapoza who really helped us out. The small additional crew of producer
Kim Kayling (also on boom mic) and “World’s Greatest PA”
Celia Cataldo worked very hard and were well organized. We had a bit
of local support from our caterer Chelo’s Hometown Bar & Grille in
Woonsocket, RI restaurant and Sons of Liberty Spirits Company that
provided an instrumental prop we later drank. We shot the 23 minute
movie in one long day, which was really a testimony to everyone being
rehearsed, and on-point and ready to work hard. Please note, that we did
have a back-up day in place in case we needed it, but it turned out not to
In post-production, I had fun bouncing back and forth between video
editing sessions with Tim and brain-storming with our composer Tony
Caramadre with the score. Those guys are the experts in their
respective fields, but I enjoy the co-pilot role for each of those aspects
of production. Finally, a gentleman named David West, also of New
England, provided the wonderful photography that became our promotional
cast photos and lent themselves to our film poster.
The sixty four thousand Dollar question of course, where can your movie be seen?
We are currently sending out to festivals, so the full film is not
online yet, but the trailer is featured on a very special episode of
Messier Mantra, which can be found here:
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of The
The few that have seen it have enjoyed it, but not many have seen it
as of now.
Any future projects you'd like to
I’d like to have Distance from Avalon on stage and filmed sooner than
later. I have several other scripts of various genres with titles like To
Fight or Play Basketball, Also Ran, Chris and the Coffee Girl and
Wrestling with Sanity. Even scripts or projects of mine that have been
“back burnered”, I’d like to reboot before I’m dead. A lot of this
is documented quite well in Disregard the Vampire – A Mike Messier
Documentary which your readers can view here for free:
Also, Tim Labonte and I recently revamped and rereleased Blood! Sugar!
Sid! Ace!, an arthouse feature film for festival consideration.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
I’d really like to get some type of agent or manager moving forward
with my career, Mike! So, anyone reading this who either is an agent or
manager, or knows of one, please contact me at
I’ve got many viable projects that I think are worthy of both art and
Thanks for the interview!