Your short M is for Matchmaker - in a few words, what is it about?
insecure guy visits a Matchmaker in hopes of finding the "right
Please watch M is for Matchmaker and vote for it (via
The ABCs of Death - what do you find so appealing about the series
you want to be a part of it?
Sean: I love that
it's open to such creativity and interpretation. You're only limited by your
imagination and the type of story you like to tell. My wife (Tiffany) read
about the contest and kept telling me we should shoot a film and enter. After
telling her I didn't think we had the time, the idea just came to me - so, I
called her back five minutes later and said, "Here's the story, and your
eyes are going to be two different colors because the punchline at the end is
going to be..."
As for the series itself, I was talking to Marcel
Sarmiento about another project and saw his ABC's of Death 1
segment D is for Dogfight and thought it was just about the
coolest short I had ever seen.
Now how did the project fall together in the first place, and
Tiffany, what convinced you to produce the short together with Dustin
Lowry [Dustin Lowry interview - click
is a natural producer with great contacts and people skills, so it was
easy for her to take reins and put things together. Once
we decided to do it, I called Dustin (who had worked on our other
projects) and said, "Tiff and I are doing this, do you want to help
produce?" We did this for very little money, but the people we
brought on were excited about doing it. Originally, I was going to shoot
it myself, but Sebastian Kunnappilly offered to fly Duane Humeyestewa out
on his own dime. We had worked with Duane before and were ecstatic to have
him shoot for us. We offered Sebastian a producer credit for what he did
and he graciously refused the title.
Is any of M is for Matchmaker's derived from your
experience with actual matchmakers, and your take on matchmaking services
as such? And (other) inspirations for M is for Matchmaker?
I have two family members who have found their spouses with an online
matchmaking service, but if I recall, there were some horror stories
before they found their perfect matches. In reality, I was purposely
thinking of an "M"-word that had nothing to do with death
(inherently). Once the word "Matchmaker" came to me, the story
came together in about 2 seconds.
would you describe your directorial approach to your subject at hand?
I saw this as a very pulpy, dark comedy - and since I planned to cram
a lot of story into three minutes, I knew it had to move quickly. Tiffany
is an amazing actress and I love writing for her, so once I knew her
character would be the narrative force for the short, it was just a matter
of building around the visual persona for her that I'd come up with. As
for pacing, I re-wrote the script several times in an effort to get the
dialogue down to the absolute minimum, while still retaining the beats
that I wanted. I also wrote with Sebastian Kunnappilly in mind for his
role, which I knew he would nail. Once we thought of Felissa Rose for the
second date, I rewrote that part to give her more lines because I knew she
would knock that part out of the park.
what can you tell us about your character in M is for Matchmaker,
and to what extent could you identify with her? And since you're also
producing, did you actually pick that specific character yourself or was
it written for you?
Sebastian Kunnappilly and Tiffany Shepis
Character in M is for Matchmaker is kind of a gypsy, trashy, fun one.
When I read Sean's script for our little short I fell in love with
her. The fact that the audience is supposed to believe she is just
from some low-rent matchmaking service and then you find out she's much,
much more is pretty freaking awesome. As far as identifying with her in
real life, I'm always trying to "hook-up" our single
friends, usually without any luck at all. I think that's where it ends
though since contrary to modern belief I'm not an "actual" crazy
Did I pick the character
myself... NO I did not pick my own character. It helps that I'm married to
the writer/director in that I will always have a job, but sadly I don't
think he trusts my instincts for the parts I would want to play...
obviously I was hoping for the busty blonde role - Sean did not agree ;)
Was the dialogue actually fully
scripted or rather improvised?
It was fully scripted and what we shot is virtually word for word with the
you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
had worked on The Frankenstein Syndrome with us, where he
played a East Indian scientist with an accent. In reality, Sebastian is as
American as apple pie and I always wanted to get him into a part that was
different than his The Frankenstein Syndrome
character. Annabelle (first date) was engaged to
our 1st AC/SteadyCam operator Aaron Neal Trout, so when we saw her, we
quickly cast her. Felissa and Tiffany have been friends for years and she
has an amazing larger-than-life personality. We asked if she'd come out to
Arizona to do it and we were stoked when she happily agreed. Danielle
Lowry, who did a terrific job as the waitress, is Dustin's wife and we're
always asking her to appear in these kind of things. My cousin Leah
Andersen and local veteran actor Michael Harrelson [Michael
Harrelson interview - click here] agreed to come out
graciously as featured extras. I should also acknowledge Champ, the dog -
he did that for us in one take.
talk about the actual shoot for a bit, and the on-set atmosphere!
We shot for three long nights and the majority of our crew worked for
free. Duane Humeyestewa came all the way from Austin, TX to DP. Aaron Neal
Trout and Daniel Kim were local, but still made major commitments.
Everyone was great. When Tiffany wasn't shooting, she did a terrific job
of keeping people fed and the morale up. I had boarded a lot of shots for
each scene, and we were able to get every shot (and then some). That's
only possible if people are giving it their all, and luckily, we had that.
future projects beyond M is for Mayhem you'd like to share?
love to do this as a feature or a series, I think our devious Matchmaker
would make for a terrific reccurring character...
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
need all the "likes" we can get:
for the interview!