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An Interview with Chase Dudley, Director of Marvelous Mandy

by Mike Haberfelner

December 2016

Films directed by Chase Dudley on (re)Search my Trash


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


It’s a about a single dad’s (Harvey) devotion do anything to make her happy constantly looking for love and even though it’s too good to be true he ignores all the red flags.


How did the project fall together in the first place, and what can you tell us about Marvelous Mandy's writer Brentt Slabchuck, and your collaboration with him?


Marvelous Mandy was created in 2015. Brentt and I have a very unique relationship. We fundamentally see a lot of things eye to eye, of course we have disagreements, but we don’t let that get in the way of things. We compromise on a lot of things as well, we are both big fans of storytelling.


To what extent can you actually identify with Mandy - and/or Harvey for that matter?


I think every male in the world can identify with Harvey, because we have all been through a certain part in our life where we were attracted to the wrong women. I myself can’t really relate to Mandy, but I’m sure every man can relate to the fact that they have dated someone a lot like Mandy.


What I especially like about Marvelous Mandy is the rather eccentric colour chart it uses - care to elaborate on that aspect of your movie?


Myself, my fiancé/partner, Samantha Stengel, and our screen writer, Brentt Slabchuck, broke down the dynamics of Mandy, since she has such a colorful personality, for different moods. That’s how we used the colors to determine her mood. That why it starts off bright and fades toward the end because when her reality is being threatened it dullens her mood. With Harvey, since he was a very lonely individual, a lot of his colors were grey and blue to set the tones to his moods.


What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?


It really all depends on the story and its content. With Marvelous Mandy, it was mostly about finding the theme of the film and going from that aspect. Such as showing the father (Harvey) and daughter (Clementine) bond and Mandy being the outsider ruining it, trying desperately to keep her world perfect.


You also play the role of Mandy's boss in Marvelous Mandy - so how did you approach the character, and was it actually written with you in mind already?


Yes, all of the characters that were written, already had a person in mind for that character.


Do talk about the rest of your key cast, and why exactly these people?


I chose all the characters for each part mainly because they fit the part. I chose Paula Solinger [Paula Marcenaro Solinger interview - click here] because she had a very strong audition. She wasn’t exactly what we were looking for originally, but her audition was very strong and I couldn’t ignore how strong it was. I chose John Stottman because I saw an oddly close relation between Harvey and John, as far as venerability. I chose Kenna because she had a beauty to her and also had a very tom boyish side to her and I didn’t want Clementine to be a girly-girl because of the fact she doesn’t have a mother figure in her life. We auditioned many, many girls to play the role of Clementine, but when we saw Kenna’s audition for Clementine, it blew me and Samantha’s mind.


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


The on-set atmosphere was very, very calm. Everyone was eager to help and wanting to help make a quality product. It was so much fun too. I’ve never been on a set where a lot got done, Samantha kept everything in order and organized, and we were always ahead of schedule. Marvelous Mandy was the first time I have ever had an assistant director/production manager to keep these things together. And let me say it makes a very big difference when you have a good assistant director and production manager. When I started off in film, I wore almost every hat in the production myself. And now I have a really strong crew.


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


As far as our target for our audience, it was originally younger groups who find interest in thrillers, but after the release of our film, Marvelous Mandy was enjoyed by a wide range of individuals of all ages. It was incredible. My critiques of our film, I wish we could have gotten better transitions to the next scene and better audio. I was not happy with the audio. But, after all, no film is essentially perfect.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


Yes. My next film is a new crime drama, Payday. I will be filming it next year in March. We have a wide margin of talented people for the cast: Melantha Blackthorne [Melantha Blackthorne interview - click here], Bishop Stevens, Tiffani Fest, Derek Babb, Lara Jean Mummert, Colton Wheeler. As for our crew: Our director of photography/editor is a very talented individual, Anthony Pesce and our sound engineer, also a very talented individual, Erik Kyr. I am very much looking forward to this project. My partner Samantha and I are very excited because crime drama films are right in our ball park of favorites.


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


I’ve always been interested in filmmaking. I grew up in a great time in the 80’s where a lot of great films were made. Directors that inspired me are Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, Quentin Tarantino. No, I had no training, but I will quote one of my favorite directors: “I didn’t go to film school, I went to film”—Quentin Tarantino.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Marvelous Mandy?


My films before Marvelous Mandy, I lacked a depth of storytelling. But each film that you do, you kind of find yourself and your style. The more films that you do, the more you’re not settling for less or being a “yes man”. You learn to take control of what it is you want and how you’re going to do it. And each time you learn more and more.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


At first, I wouldn’t have known how to describe myself. I learned over the years that I am an “actor’s director”. I know what it’s like to be an actor, and I know how important it is to make your actors comfortable. We give them the role after all, so I let them study their character and then just direct them into the right direction. But when you give them the freedom of becoming that character, I believe 100%, you get a much better product. I learned to not “over-direct”. Because you don’t want a bad relationship between yourself and your actors.


Your favourite movies?


Pulp Fiction, Forest Gump, Django Unchained, American Beauty, Casino, Jurassic Park, and The Sixth Sense.


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


I really don’t wish to answer this question, because I understand the complications it takes to make a film, and understand that no film is perfect.


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

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Chase Dudley
at the amazons ...


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

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Chase Dudley here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


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


Nope I think that’s everything!


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 !!!



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



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner


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