Friday, June 15, 2012

Choice Feature: Chris R. Notarile interview

  I was somehow able to con Chris R. Notarile into answering some questions about his excellent short Choice.  What you are about to read is the result of a 10 hour stand off and the exchange of multiple hostages, so YOU BETTER APPRECIATE THE LENGTHS I GO TO FOR YOU!

  Fancy Deadpool:  First off introduce yourself to the people and give a little bit of background, who you are and what you do.

  Chris. R. Notarile: My name is Chris .R. Notarile of Blinky Productions Inc. I am a filmmaker. I make movies for a living and have been doing so for almost a decade.

  FDP:  The environment on the shoot seemed very emotional and intense. Did this change how you directed? I would have been afraid to break the mood with a cut or a retake or to offer suggestions. Did you direct as you normally would or did you rely more on your actresses and let it happen?

  CRN:  I directed as I always do. We shoot until someone screws up. Then we take it back and do it again. The takes are actually pretty long in some parts of the film. I just let Mandy and Kerri go at it and give them notes accordingly. Then I shoot them from alternate angles until I had enough coverage. They were off book which is wonderful when shooting a film like this. You need to treat it like a play. You need to be rehearsed..... and they were. It was great.

  FDP:  Do you think using actresses instead of actors changes the tone or the message of the film?

  CRN:  Yes. 100%. The script was originally meant for two men, but I realized that the film would be more broad in its message if I had women doing the parts. It would also give it a better sense of reality. It's unfortunately common for actresses to be typecast in "hot babe" roles and that can really burden many women when they are trying to get taken seriously. As for Choice being female, well that was elementary. If the actress was female, Choice had to be as well to balance it out. Though, I feel that the look of Choice as a female was waaaay more eye catching than what I originally had for the male version. So I guess it all worked out.

  FDP:  Due to Hollywood's obsession with death, untimely death in particular, do you think the choice presented in this film is one that a lot of young actors and actresses struggle with?

  CRN:  Absolutely. I think a lot of saddened people view death as an easy way out. The trick is to keep going no matter how bad things may seem. And that's what the film is about too, seeing through the black and white into a shade of gray. The gray being the unknown where anything is possible.

  FDP:  You said you had trouble casting the actresses for this film. What stood out about Mandy Evans and Kerri Miller? Was it instant or was it after working with them on other projects?

  CRN:  Well I wrote the script back in 2008 long before I started working with either of them. When I decided to change the genders of the characters, I had an idea to cast twins. Unfortunately I could not find a set of female twins that could act. Then when I began working with Mandy, I cast her initially as the actress, but then felt her better as Choice. It was Mandy who subsequently recommended Kerri and I thought to myself "DUH! Of course!"

  FDP:  Do people care about talent anymore?

  CRN:  Choice was rejected from the Tribeca Film Festival while another movie entitled Ticked Off Trannies With Knives got accepted. So you tell me.

(on a side note I could write a whole article about this but I'll shorten it by simply saying "I blame Grindhouse.")

  FDP:  The final message is rather positive, does this reflect your personal viewpoint? Is it important to remain sort of the eternal optimist when working in the film industry?

  CRN:  Yes that is definitely my personal outlook not only on the film industry, but on life. What's the point in being pessimistic? It gets you no where and just makes you more depressed. Some hide behind the phrase "realist" which I think is utter bullshit. If you have a negative outlook or think that you are not going to achieve your dreams if you try, then you're a pessimist. People need to keep trying despite the odds. Even if you fail miserably, at least you can say you tried. And I'd rather die a poor unknown, struggling filmmaker than live a long mundane life working a 9-5 job that I never wanted. You only get one shot at living, you might as well make the most of it.

  FDP:  Do you have anything upcoming that you'd like to promote? I noticed on your site that you have an upcoming feature called Stand Off that looks pretty promising (and reunites you with the 2 actresses of Choice). Beyond that it looks like you have a feature titled Perfect. Any comments on either of these projects? I've linked to your website many times, is there anywhere else people can go to keep updated on what you're working on? Feel free to shill whatever you want as hard as you want, you won't embarrass me. That's impossible after the Central Park incident.

  CRN:  Well Stand Off was actually filmed before we did Choice. Choice WAS the reuniting. But yes, Stand Off will be coming to DVD later this year or next year. I cannot say for sure as I am still working on a distribution deal. As for Perfect, that is my third feature, that will star Mandy Evans, Roberto Lombardi and a lot of my usual suspects. You can learn more about them via my website-

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