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An Interview with Frankie Gaddo, Director of Orangutan

by Mike Haberfelner

July 2022

Films directed by Frankie Gaddo on (re)Search my Trash


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


A vivacious aspiring social worker brings together five peculiar strangers to help solve their existential problems but finds herself in way over her head.


What were your sources of inspiration when writing Orangutan? And did you ever find yourself in a group-situation even remotely similar to that depicted in your movie?


There weren't any direct sources of inspiration I can think of, and there isn't a similar group situation I've been in I can recall. But I think maybe it's the idea of all these different online apps becoming available all the time that connect people and strangers. Orangutan is a fictional app that connects people.


To what extent could you actually identify with your lead character Siara - and with any of the other characters for that matter?


I think when you write something you can end up in your characters in ways you don't even realize, if even only a little. I aimed to make all the characters have their own unique voices and worldview without really myself in mind. That said, it's hard to say.


Orangutan is limited to mostly just one location - so what were some of your techniques to keep things visually interesting throughout?


It was shot on a handheld camera rig because I wanted the imagery to have a little movement so the shoot didn't feel too static. I had taken a lot of footage and gotten a lot of shot variety so things could be edited in a way that it would keep moving. Not letting the characters remain seated for too long at a given time. I purposely kept an eye on this while writing the script to again avoid it feeling too static. A large location so there would be depth in the shots. Keeping it visually interesting is something that was definitely on my mind.


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


First, it was about getting the script to a position where I was happy with it and felt nothing else could be done to improve it. After that, it was a matter of bringing it to life.


Do talk about Orangutan's key cast, and why exactly these people?


I picked these cast members because I thought they fit the role well, I liked their acting, and felt their vibe was in line with the project. That's in a nutshell.


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


Overall, the atmosphere was pretty good. You'd think a one location shoot like this would be pretty simple, but there were definitely a lot of challenges. In the end, it came together.


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Orangutan?


There hasn't been a great number of responses so far, so it's not possible to get an overall accurate gauge I think. But positive for the most part so far.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


Nothing really at the moment. I'm currently working on a feature spec script that is a comedy drama as well.


What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


I really like the power and possibilities of the medium. My interest was first in screenwriting, and that's really still where my interest lies. I had done a one year intensive screenwriting program around fifteen years ago. Whatever it's worth. The thing with screenwriting is it's something you learn and teach yourself, really. For filmmaking, from watching movies, learning on my own. I have experience working in the industry across various positions and learned a lot of the hands on that way. I also own a DSLR camera I use off and on which helps.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Orangutan?


Prior to this film, I made three short films. They can all be seen on my website at this link:


How would you describe yourself as a director?


I try and do as much prep work as I can prior to the shoot and stay flexible through the entire process to adapt to whatever circumstances if necessary/beneficial.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


Billy Wilder, John Hughes, Frank Capra, Howard Hawks.


Your favourite movies?


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Frankie Gaddo
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Frankie Gaddo here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Million Dollar Baby, Vertigo, The Graduate, Il Posto, Ball of Fire. There are others too. I don't really have an official list but these are some.


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


I'm going to pass on this one.


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


More info about the film can currently be found on the homepage of my site: I can't say how long I'll keep it up there.


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


No, this is good.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD