Congratulations on the premiere of the film. How are you feeling now that your debut is out in the world?
I have a feeling of it's not over yet. We had the offical premiere in Los Angeles and launched it on Vimeo but we are still working on new ways to promote the film. It's a small film so we do not have the budget to promote the film through official channels. It's all mainly word of mouth through friends. Hopefully we can get enough eyes on it. Indie Wire wrote a nice peice about it. It's still showing in a few independent theatres around the US so we want to support them too.
The title of the film perfectly sets the tone of the narrative. It’s cutting yet hopeful and optimistic. How does this relate to the ideas you are getting across in your characters?
That's why I chose that title. It think that it sums everything up perfectly. These people are avoiding everything they should be doing and avoiding it well. Doing nothing in the best way.
Did all the actors know each other before? It seems that the actors’ complicity is very real, like a family.
Most the actors knew each other already because we had made so many other films together. However, the new actors were not totally new. They came onboard because they were friends of friends of people involved with the film. I feel like veryone came into it already knowing the style of my films and that help to put everyone on the same page. I also think it comes across in all of their performances - considering nobody had any rehearsal time.
What are your influences/inspirations behind this film? Particularly the distinctive editing style?
Jean Luc-Goddard. I started editing (In my early films) with a heavy influence from the French New Wave. Not just using it as style but often because of necessity. Many times I wouldn't have the right footage or I couldn't afford to make a film the way I'd like to make it.
So I would have to approach the edit like I would a painting or piece of art. You keep sculpting the film through the edit. The edit doesn’t just help tell a story, it creates a character for the film.
With Goldbricks I believe the edit gives the film it’s own personality. Straight away I wanted the audience to know this wasn't a traditional format. The jump cuts, intercutting and structure give the film an element of uniqueness.
It was only ever going to be filmed in New York, I wrote it based on most the things I’ve been part of or seen in New York.
You personally did all of the visual artwork of “Calvin Stone.” Was this extension of yourself a cathartic experience and something that you explored throughout the writing process?
All the artwork was mine and I had made most of it before we made the film. For legal reasons having it my own artwork made things less complicated. It also made it easier when I had to paint things during filming. I also tried teaching Sam (Who plays Calvin) how to paint in my style.
Being able to create a set design while filming was a bonus. You will notice most of the time Calvin has a predator facing him. At one point Calvin has a gun and knife pointing to him. He doesn't realize he has no choice in the situation and is a victim.
The film certainly captures the wicked energy of New York City. Where did the decision come from to write a New York film?
It was only ever going to be filmed in New York and I wrote it based on most the things I’ve been part of or seen in New York. Plus my producing partners and DoP are based there. We had access to more things and people were excited to make it happen. Unlike London.
We shot 120 pages in 12 days.
Is it correct that the entire film was shot in 13 days? Can you tell us about the process leading up to the production and the crew mentality that went into shooting on such a tight schedule?
We shot 120 pages in 12 days. In all honesty it ran fairly smoothly. The crew was like a family. We had to be. Most of us were already friends that have worked with eachother before - so there was an total understanding. Plus, there wasn't a ton of people, only people on the crew. So naturally, everyone was doing multiple jobs. The big win was getting Matt our producer onboard. He kept everyone on track during the shoot along and it couldn't have been done without him. Then there were 4 of us that would lift all the gear every morning and every night to and from the shoot. It was like waking up and weight lifting then working and then weight lifting before bed.
In a perfect world - what is the one phone call you wish you could have made to them get involved?
In a dream world I would have loved to have got Parker Posey for a role. She is one the people I want to work with the most. I also want to put Allen Iverson in one of my films but for totally different reasons.
What is next for you Danny?
I have two films ready to film. One is another ensemble cast piece. Hopefully we begin filming in April. The other is a project I’m filming in France. It’s a different style of script (as in it’s not as scripted). Most of my scripts sound like they are totally improvised but that’s not often the case. I do give a lot of freedom to the actors but the dialogue is still quite specific and conversational. I want to keep exploring new avenues of filmmaking.