We have talked about this before [click
here], but do bring us up to speed: Please Punish Me
- in a
few words, what is it about?
Please Punish Me
is a dark comedy about a man whose life is
overly blessed and life is too good for him. So, he seeks to be punished
for his "curse".
What drew you to the story
initially, and to what extent could you identify with its message and its
brand of humour?
The story was by Tom Paolino, who came to
me with the idea in late 2012/early 2013. It was then written by Rich
Camp. What drew me to the idea was the heart and humanity within the
story. Underneath the comedy is a wonderful story about succeeding down a
path you do not like instead of your desired path. I find that in a way,
everyone is a lot like Scottie. We all have dreams and ambitions as young
people, but then somewhere along the line we lose that in favor of
something that gives us an income and we become unhappy because of it.
Scottie is this way. He's simply going through the motions. In addition,
it is also wickedly funny in its dark sense of humor. Tom's story had the
story and heart in there and then Rich went in and punched up the humor.
Since we had our first interview about Please Punish Me
[again: click here],
how did the project change and evolve (other than that it actually got
shot of course)?
Most of it remained the same. However,
though, a scene was cut and we changed one other scene around to help it
fit better with the story also help the length of the film not be too
long. The script also featured a few lines of dialogue that we cut and
just try to make it a leaner story and still get the point across.
How would you describe the movie's look
The movie has two different looks. I wanted to
show Scottie's world versus the world he's about to enter into with the
Punish Me Palace. His world is very bland, white and a few Earth tones.
It's your basic corporate setting where everyone is focused in their own
world. The palace, on the other hand, is a completely different. There's a
lot of reds, yellows, pinks and just a whole array of colors. That world
is uncomfortable for Scottie and feels creepy.
Do talk about your key cast for a bit, and why
exactly these people?
We had a great cast for this project. David
Sackal plays Scottie. I worked with David previously on another project I
directed and we had a great rapport together. So, when we were casting, he
had sent in an audition video and we gave him a call back and eventually
the part. He displayed the vulnerability and humor required for the part
that it was easy to say yes to him.
Joanna Donofrio plays Michelle. This
character as well is vulnerable like Scottie, so it was important for the
actress to display that. Joanna was actually originally going to be my
production designer on this. I had met her through a friend and we started
working on design ideas. Then, when she read the script she wanted to
audition. I knew she acted as well, but didn't know anything about her
acting. So, she just blew us away in the audition and we called her back
and gave her the part. She was wonderful and captured exactly what the
character was like.
Brad Rhodes plays Steinberg, Scottie's boss.
Brad is a very funny guy and has a great creative side to him in
discovering his character and displayed that here. Steinberg couldn't just
be funny, but he also had to be the driving force for Scottie wanting to
get punished. Brad really hit home with that.
Lorrie Bacon plays Doe-Rey-Mi, the head
mistress of the Punish Me Palace. This was no contest in casting Lorrie
for this. I can still remember auditioning her and just laughing so hard.
She commanded the room and I knew I really wanted her for the part.
Mark Carter plays Crueger, the receptionist
of the palace. Mark, too, is a very funny actor and can do a lot with his
face, which was great for this part. I saw Creuger being somewhat
equivalent to Igor in Young Frankenstein, and Mark played it brilliantly in
have Talli Clemons as Tiggs, Scottie's co-worker. Talli read for the part
in an initial table read where we read the script out loud in its first
draft to see how it sounded. Talli did a great job there. Then, we
auditioned a bunch of people, but Talli kept popping up in my head for
this part and he really wanted it, but couldn't make the auditions. So, I
just simply asked him to play it.
What can you tell us about the
shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
It was a fun
shoot. We only had a $1,000 budget throughout, but even with that we had a
very dedicated cast and crew who worked very hard and never complained.
Everyone just bought their A-game to the production and it was also very
collaborative. The actors and I all had different ideas as to who these
characters are and we had a nice happy medium between what we all thought
and in the end we got something I think a lot of us can be proud of.
$64-question of course, when and where will Please Punish Me
be released onto the general public?
Right now, we're
looking into having a premiere at a local theater in the spring and then
moving onto the festival circuit and eventually online distribution.
Any future projects
you'd like to share?
Yes, I always have something different
in the works. I've been given a few different scripts to choose from, so
I'm trying to find that next one. I'm also getting back into writing
myself and trying to develop a my first feature. It's been a long time
coming and I feel I'm ready to take something bigger and really start
pushing forth in my career.
Your/your movie's website,
Facebook, whatever else?
Macremi (production company who produced the
Please Punish Me
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
The trailer for
the film premieres online on Friday March 27th at 7pm on YouTube and
Vimeo! Don't miss it!
Thank you for interviewing me again! Always a pleasure.