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An Interview with Cory De Meyers, Director of Danny Boy

by Mike Haberfelner

September 2021

Films directed by Cory DeMeyers on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Danny Boy - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Danny Boy is about not judging a book by its cover, it's about expectance, open-mindedness & not holding people to standards they have not consented to be judged by.

 

Now how did the project fall together in the first place, and giving your background in stuntwork, why did you choose to direct this rather stunt-free short?

 

The broad strokes were something Samuel Even Horowitz [Samuel Evan Horowitz interview - click here] & I cooked up one day after a training session, Iíve wanted to do a short that could showcase his writing skills and allow me to get in the director's seat for something narrative. I wanted to shy away from action & stunts, I feel like with my experience I have a good handle on the action and could shoot that with my eyes closed at this point... or else I should be able to. Shooting dialog & focusing on story is something that is more challenging and the heart of filmmaking, so I guess I did it to prove that I am a filmmaker not just a stuntman.

 

What can you tell us about Danny Boy's writer Samuel Evan Horowitz [Samuel Evan Horowitz interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like?

 

Sammy is an incredible man with an unreal life story. He lived a life of crime for many years and did time. Got his life turned around and became a professional boxer turned stuntman, which is when I met him. We were both working on a film at the same time and hit it off immediately. Collaborating with him is honestly so easy, we click and understand each other, that keeps things moving and makes it extremely enjoyable for the both of us.

 

With Danny Boy taking place mostly inside one and the same car, what were some of your techniques to keep things visually interesting?

 

Honestly we shied away from shooting ďcool shotsĒ or using camera tricks and kept our coverage very simple and traditional. I think this allowed us to focus on the story and our characters, which in and of themselves are very interesting. What we did do was add an enhanced/stylistic lighting to the interior. I feel like this gave us a little something extra to make the drab interior feel interesting, and blue being a very communicative color allows an additional level of focus on the dialog. We also wanted to make the viewers feel like they were there with our characters as a voyeur, or as one reviewer said, a fly on the windscreen.

 

A few words about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?

 

Oh man, honestly I just wanted to keep it simple, focus on story and get to the truth of who these 2 men were. I didnít want the camera to overly complicate things, but I did want you to feel like you were there with these two, along for the ride. As the tension builds we continue to keep it simple until the very end, when stakes get high and shit hits the fan the camera comes crashing in with Danny to match his level of energy. I would say we wanted room for the characters and dialog to breathe, leveling awkward moments and breaks in the timing to add a level of realism to the piece. That was the overall approach for this project, not my style per say, each project should have its own approach.

 

Do talk about Danny Boy's cast, and why exactly these people?

 

For 1 we knocked this thing out with a shoestring budget, so you have to use what is available to you. That being said both Jett Jansen [Jett Jansen interview - click here] and Sammy Horowitz [Samuel Evan Horowitz interview - click here] are good friends and collaborators of mine, as well they both happen to be talented actors. It was a no-brainer for me, Sammy has lived that life to an extent and knows guys like Francis. Jett has a theater background, a great look and really can play in any genre. As far as the voice actors that was Sari Sanchez, a talented actress, our associate producer and Sammy's wife, and the security guard is Adam Pasen another theater actor and Sammy's writing partner.

 

What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

When you're working with friends it's hard not to have fun! We honestly had a blast, but I will say I was a touch nervous because we stole every single location and had ZERO permits. We were driving around Downtown Los Angeles with a Red camera rigged to a car, but considering it was the height of the COVID lockdown we had relatively empty streets and were left alone, haha. Our cast and crew of 7 total was incredible, everyone showed up and put their best effort forward and we were able to shoot everything in 4 1/2 hours!

 

The $64-question of course, where can Danny Boy be seen?

 

Currently we are playing the festivals so it's not out publicly yet, but it can be seen in Hollywood, CA at the TCL Chinese 6 during the HollyShorts Oscar Qualifying Film Festival @7:30pm on Sep. 27th as well it can be streamed on BITPIX from the 21st of September to the 1st of October. We will also be screening online only for the Los Angeles Lift Off Film Festival, which is a part of the Lift Off global series, between Sept. 20th & October 13th.

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Danny Boy yet?

 

So far the reviews have been amazing and the overall reception good. Itís an edgy story and we didnít pull any punches, the film is raw and very authentic in terms of how these guys think, act, and speak coming from this criminal underworld. We are risky filmmakers, and it's paying off. We have a few great festivals we're playing and we're thankful they took a chance on us.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

Well, I have another short Iím working out with Sammy [Samuel Evan Horowitz interview - click here] & Adam. Its a story Iíve had on my mind for years and they are helping me flush it out. Iíd love to get my brother-in-law Tony Revolori act in it alongside our mutual friend Bobby Hall (Logic). There is also a great one that Jett brought to me from his producing partner, it is based on an interview Tarantino gave years ago and I think it's brilliant. The big one though is Musket and the Rat, a feature film from Sammy and Adam that is an adaptation from a stageplay of the same name that Sam wrote. I have optioned the film as a producer and will be directing as well. We are currently working on packaging the film, and will be shooting a teaser trailer in the coming weeks.

 

As mentioned before, you entered the filmworld as a stuntman - so what made you become a stuntman, and what can you tell us about your training?

 

Growing up I was & still am a life long martial artist, I wanted to be a Power Ranger or Ninja Turtle so I was a very bouncy floppy kid. A few years after moving to California I stumbled across parkour and became obsessed, I traveled the world as a pro athlete and competed for years. I started booking commercials doing parkour to make a living, and one day got asked to come out and double an actor doing parkour. Once I realized I was working on a stunt contract I made sure to let everyone I worked with know I had other skills such as martial arts, driving, etc.

 

What made you try your hands on directing eventually, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?

 

I have no formal education in filmmaking, but working in this industry and getting the opportunity to watch and sometimes collaborate with some of the biggest directors & 2nd unit directors of our time has taught and inspired me a ton. I first started dabbling as an athlete because we always had to shoot our own content for social media and sponsors, but I would take it to the next level and try to make my videos more cinematic using what I had learned at work as a stuntman. Iíve always loved story & I love filmmaking and shoots Ö I guess one day they all lined up and I said, alright, this is what Iím going to do now.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Danny Boy, in whatever position?

 

Up to the point of making Danny Boy I have been very fortunate to work on so many amazing projects as a stuntman and more recently as a stunt coordinator. From 300: Rise of an Empire, Avatar 3, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to Project Power (Netflix), which I was able to play a character, build the action as the fight coordinator, and eventually during re-shoots coordinate 1st and 2nd unit. It's been a wild ride to say the least, a ton of hard work, sleepless nights and stress, but that makes it all the sweeter. Itís been very much earned not given, and I like it that way.

 

Filmmakers, stuntmen, whoever else who inspire you?

 

Filmmakers Iím inspired by would have to be Guy Ritchie, Quentin Tarantino, Scorsese & Darren Aronofski. Iím constantly inspired by stuntmen and stunt women who have carved out a real living, it's so hard to make a life and living out of stunts. Iíd venture to say only about 10% make a real full time living as a performer, so anyone who has done that as well as those who have been able to cross over and begin directing and producing is a huge inspiration!

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Lock, Stock & 2 Smoking Barrels, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Irreversible, The Matrix, Black Hawk Down, The Joker!

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

Öehhh, I donít want to name any by name, but I will say films that try too hard, films that donít allow the truth of their characters drive the narrative and instead let an agenda drive it. I hate being forced, tell a good story and your point will get across, you wonít have to force anything. Just my 2 Cents.

 

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Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?

 

You can find us at:

www.DannyBoyTheShortFilm.com

Twitter: @shortdanny

Instagram: @dannyboyshortfilm

 

I am @corydemeyers on all platforms

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

Iíd just like to say a sincere THANK YOU to our entire cast & crew that made this possible, you believed in me and for that I am forever grateful! As well, thank you for taking the time to chat and spread the word, we couldnít do it without your help :D

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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