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The Last of The Great Romantics
2014, 65m, comedy
Cameron Hill is hopelessly committed to winning back his ex-girlfriend Marla, even if it means begging via his vlog, "Jammin' with Cameron." Things turn around when he strikes up an unlikely friendship with his new neighbor Kate. But their relationship is put to the test when Marla returns and wants Cameron back.
Produced by: John Logan Pierson, Duncan Skiles
Cast: Ben Rameaka, Megan Neuringer, Eliza Skinner, Kumail Nanjiani
10 questions with The Last of The Great Romantics director, Duncan Skiles at the half-way mark.
Wednesday, February 24th, 2016
1Hi Duncan! What was the initial seed that made you want to make The Last of The Great Romantics? After making dozens of shorts, I was itching to try my hand at a feature film, but I didn't have a good script. In 2011 I was cutting a feature for my friends Jeff Kaplan & Ian Springer. They told me they had a script that was do-able on a very small budget, and asked if I wanted to direct it. I read it, liked it, and said yes.
2Jerry and I thought this would be a good Valentine's Day film. What are some of your favorite romance movies? I saw Roman Holiday recently and the ending really affected me. Totally not what I expected.
3You have such a wonderful cast (Ben Rameaka, Megan Neuringer, Eliza Skinner and Kumail Nanjiani). How did you meet them all and what was it like working together? Yeah the cast is my favorite part of this movie! I met Ben Rameaka in the early 2000s, when he was the lead in one of my film school buddy's student films. In 2007 I made a pilot for Comedy Central that was co-created by two amazing UCB performers, Brett Gelman and Jon Daly; they introduced me to a lot of talented people at UCB, which is how I met Megan and Eliza, and reconnected with Ben. I met Kumail through Reggie Watts when we cast him in a sketch in Reggie's first Comedy Central special.
I think they all did terrific work and should be super famous.
Also, shout out to Matt Gubler for doing the cameo. We are friends from NYU. He is a very talented filmmaker and has always been a fount of enthusiastic support.
4Can you share a war story from the shoot? Shooting in a cramped, poorly ventilated stairwell for much of the movie was pretty awful. But the big surprise was when we were shooting in the deli, which we had to take over for a couple days. I learned that people are superstitious about when and where they buy their lotto tickets, and they get pissed if you interfere with that.
5Was there a scene where you blew a take from laughing too hard? The part where Megan is doing a victory dance after the Celtics win.
6What's the biggest thing you learned from making this film? It was my first film, so I played it kind of safe and treated it as an exercise. Since then I have learned if I want my work to break through, I need to take risks and speak from my own heart.
7What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker? I grew up in a movie loving family and was exposed to a lot of strange stuff from a young age. Evil Dead 2 was a big inspiration because it was so scary and funny and inventive, like nothing I'd ever seen before.
8What scene in this film turned out better than you ever imagined it would? Ben's monologue to Megan near the end. I shot coverage but ended up using the 2-shot in one take, because Ben did such a good job.
9A lot of indie filmmakers are transitioning from films to TV. What are your thoughts on this? Which would you prefer? I'm all for expanding platforms of communication. Movies, TV, YouTube, Snapchat, it's all great and full of potential. I want to work in whatever medium offers a good ratio of creative freedom and audience engagement.
10What's next? I'm making my next feature this summer. It's a thriller called Clovehitch, starring Shea Whigham.
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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