7 questions with A Study in Tyranny director, Andrew Laurich at the half-way mark.
Saturday, September 16th, 2017
1Hi Andrew! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, this is such a hilarious idea for a film. How did you first come up with this idea? It was originally a feature idea. What if Hitler were your roommate? What would that look like? When we had a hard time cracking the third act to the feature, we decided to turn it into a short.
2You co-wrote the script with Gabrielle Miller. How did you two meet, what is your writing process like and what was the most challenging part of writing this script? Like all great relationships, Gabriel and I met online. Although I was under the impression that he was a 91 year old man. Long story. He's an ad guy originally and I started off directing commercials, so it seemed like a serendipitous creative relationship. Regarding the process, we're both very granular. It takes a long time. Basically sending back and forth various drafts. This script was challenging mainly in making Hitler's shift in character subtle and realistic enough. The goal was to make the viewer sympathize both with Hitler and his assassin at some point.
3The opening shot of this film is so hilarious. I loved that you were able to piece everything together before you let us know who the artist is. How have audiences reacted to this film? It's been interesting to see the reactions. Our previous film, A Reasonable Request, had such a raucous reception that I think it's difficult to compare. Tyranny is more of a slow burn -- a thinker. I will say that in our last audience screening, people clapped at the Trump comparison line.
4Both Stephen Ellis and Matt Devine give incredible performances in this film. How did you find them and what was it like working together on set? I'd worked with Stephen Ellis on A Reasonable Request. I connected with him originally through mutual friend. Matt Devine was a wonderful discovery through a casting director who had reached out to him. The two of them are both joyous human beings and super fun to work with. And no one was actually shot on set. But the blood is real. Kidding. It's digital. Or is it?
5What's the film or filmmaker that made you want to become a director? Steven Spielberg. I wish I had a less cliche answer, but he's the guy that that put the bug in my pants. Specifically, his video game Steven Spielberg's Director's Chair started it all.
6What's your opinion of Hitler's art? You know, I actually had an art curator give me a good assessment -- the likes of which I agree. Hitler's work is actually pretty decent. It's very formal and representational. There's not a lot by way of artistic inspiration. Maybe that's what set him back. He was able to re-create, but he wasn't able to interpret. One might say... it's a bit... rigid.
7What's next? Currently in post on a project for Fox that Gabriel and I also collaborated on. Keep your eyes tuned to the TV come Halloween...
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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