In Fatbush, you gotta make your own luck.
Interview with Director Casper Andreas
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Thank you! I was approached by the Executive Producer James Balletto about the project. He invested in a few of my films in the past and I knew him well. James had an idea for the story and wanted the film to feature the neighborhood Flatbush in Brooklyn where he grew up and his old high school Erasmus Hall. Since he also gave me pretty free hands in the making of the film as long as I included those locations and since the film came fully financed it was an easy decision to get involved. So we collaborated on the screenplay and I had a great fun experience shooting it.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
The film is a fast-paced light-hearted romantic comedy/ crime caper about two cousins from Flatbush who have an opportunity to make some money illegally and the consequences of that decision as they are also juggling their respective romantic lives. It’s quite an enjoyable little movie with a lot of great actors.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
My films often tell stories about gay people and though this isn’t a ‘gay film’ per se I managed to include a gay storyline and included some personal experiences. One character is saying he always thought of himself as straight with gay tendencies. That is something I once thought of myself as well. In terms of universal themes I think the film has a lot to say about following your heart and dreams but also about doing the right thing.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
As soon as I started working on the film I hired my writer friend Jed Seidel on board to develop James’s story and come up with a strong outline for the script. Then James and I wrote the screenplay based on that outline. I kept making changes to the script leading up to us shooting it, sometimes accommodating for the actors I cast or for the locations that we wanted to use. Once we got into production the script didn’t change a whole lot. On a low-budget film with a tight schedule there isn’t a lot of room for improvisation so we pretty much shot what the script dictated. Of course the story takes its final shape in editing and I worked with my editor Andrew Gust to make sure the performances and pacing worked and that the story always kept moving forward.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
I’ve been very happy with the feedback. Audiences seem to really respond well to the film. We won best film at the Coney Island Film Festival and a couple of acting awards at FilmOut in San Diego. Taking the film to festivals has been an interesting experience for me because most of my other films have had very successful runs on the gay film festival circuit. This film has played a few gay festivals but not that many -- because again -- it's really not that gay. However the gay audiences at the festivals that we have played at really embraced it and have given it a lot of love. Getting into mainstream/ general festivals is always such a challenge as you are competing with thousands of other films. So it's always such a thrill when a festival like The Big Apple Film Festival chooses to program the film.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I was actually a bit nervous during our first screening at a gay festival in Miami as I worried that particular audiences might not enjoy it since the main story is about a straight womanizer, so that was a pleasant surprise to get such good feedback afterwards (and hearing the laughter and applause as events unfolded on the screen!).
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
Any publicity is good publicity for a smaller film like mine that doesn’t have Hollywood’s millions of dollars in promotion and advertising behind it. I’m hoping that your readers will buy or rent it when it’s in distribution. Once the film is released and competing in the market place for eyeballs with the thousands of other films being made each year and endless of TV shows how do you get someone to choose to watch it? People have told me things like ‘this is totally the kind of film me and my girlfriend enjoys watching on Netflix’ so word of mouth and good ratings from audiences is so important to get more people to pay attention.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
If a reputable distributor is interested in making an offer for the film and put some marketing dollars behind it I would love for that to happen. But I’m very much a do-it-yourself kind of guy. My career as a filmmaker is one of bootstrapping and I’m not afraid of handling my own distribution if need be.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
Of course I would love for it to reach a wide audience. I’m really proud of the film and I believe people will really enjoy it. So I’m hoping for some good reviews and good word-of-mouth. James would also like for people to see the film and be awed by the beauty of his old high school.
Would you like to add anything else?
Support independent film by actually paying to buy or rent them.
What are you developing or working on now?
I am currently producing the feature “Wild Nights With Emily” starring Molly Shannon and distributing his film “Kiss Me Kill Me” in December. Also as an actor I recently co-starred in “Lethal Weapon”. I am attached to direct a couple of new projects, working on his next screenplay, and is always on the lookout for acting or director-for-hire gigs.
Interview: November 2016
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In Fatbush, you gotta make your own luck.
James Balletto and Casper Andreas
About the writer, director and producer:
Casper Andreas (director/producer/writer). Casper is an actor, writer, director and film producer. Prior to making “Flatbush Luck,” Casper produced and directed seven multi-award winning feature films (four of which he also wrote): Slutty Summer” (2004), “A Four Letter Word” (2007), “Between Love & Goodbye” (2008), “The Big Gay Musical” (2009), “Violet Tendencies” (2010), “Going Down in LA-LA Land” (2011) and “Kiss Me, Kill Me” (2015). His Swedish short, “A Last Farewell” (2014), which he wrote and directed, played in over 130 film festivals worldwide picking up 18 awards. Casper just produced the upcoming “Wild Nights with Emily” starring Molly Shannon. He has been selected one of the 100 most influential and newsworthy people by Out Magazine.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Self-funded by Executive Producer James Balletto.
Made in association with:
Produced by Embrem Entertainment. Which is me!
Where can I see it in the next month?
No screenings planned in the next month. But do check our website www.flatbushluck.com for the latest screening information.