Archie Gips: No, if you stay to the end credits it will say no animals were harmed or stoned during this movie.
Josh Covitt: But that lizard did try to sell drugs to the cast.
Archie Gips: His stage name is Nigel Peppercock
Question: One of the things I think it most interesting is that people think it’s an improv movie. Please discuss the found footage concept.
Dennis Anderson: Sure. Archie conceived the script. The casting process was 6-7 months.
We wanted to find new actors and people, who had natural improv skills, could adapt, and take Archie’s words and take their shot at it. We let them explore it and find their own voice. Archie took a pass after rehearsals and put the script in their voice.
Lindsay Gareth: It was rewarding experience. We rehearsed a lot and it gave us confidence and freedom.
We knew what was expected of us, and we were really prepared. We were able to play with it. You feel like you can do no wrong and you get to play, and it’s a great environment for creativity. You get to grow.
Josh Covitt: It was a fun process. If felt like being at a wedding for a week or ten days. It was a good collaboration between Archie and Dennis and we knew what we had to cover. We hit the moments we needed to, and we were able to experience the wedding of Chloe and Keith.
|Chloe and the priest after they were accidentally thrown in the pool||by||the best man.|
Question: Where did you find everyone?
Archie Gips: Dennis, before producing, he worked where the company handled a lot of talent. This was my third film, and I had lots of friends in the business. We cast friends, and friends of friends. We went to comedy clubs, and we took recommendations from friends. We met Josh through Tony Mouleart (who was in the film) who had a relationship with Josh. It’s funny because Josh and I were actually both the groom Keith. When we posted the clip (of the best man knocking the bride into the water) of the film, I was the one who returned the emails because I was acting as the online version of Keith. Casting took 7 months and the key was they were unfound talent. We didn’t want anyone you could recognize. We wanted the audience to feel like this is a real wedding. We were intrigued by that balance of is it real or is it not—it appealed a lot to Jordan (Rider).
Question: You are hot. Are you single?
Lindsay Gareth: No, I’m married, and I’m excited about it!
Question: What percentage was scripted vs. improv?
Archie Gips: It’s hard to say. We’d do takes where we let the actors do what they wanted. So I’d say 50/50.
Question: Talk about found footage. This is the first film that used that concept but did it in a narrative comedic sense.
Archie Gips: Dennis and I have known each other for a long time, and we wanted to work together. We had limited funds, and we wanted to create a low budget high concept film, and we thought of the Blair Witch Project. Several films were copycats in that genre, and I am primarily comedy writer. I thought we could use that concept and turn it on his head. I thought the best event for that was a wedding. We planned to post clips online for distributers and to build an audience and interest. Then I went off and wrote into the script where the groom delivers right to the camera, “you might remember my wife and me from the clips online…” We always had it in mind that we wanted to do this “is it real is it not” thing. Back then when The Blair Witch Project became a hit; the Internet was at its beginning stages. It was really word of mouth. Now everything is really sped up. When our clip went online, we had to think about how we were going to be able to release the film.
Question: Do people think you are really married to Charissa (Wheeler)?
Josh Covitt: No. Well, the funny thing about Charissa is she actually got married right after we wrapped. She married her husband Bob a week after we wrapped in Mexico. We were constantly joking when we were cutting the cake, etc.; I kept saying “Is this ruining it for you?” It was a running gag.
Question: What other films have you been in?
Lindsay Gareth: Born To Be A Star, was a Happy Madison film, and The Comebacks is playing on FX.
Question: What is your best advice for struggling filmmakers? What is the first step?
Archie Gips: The obvious answer is reach out to your family and friends and hit them up for money. Basically people in Hollywood and life, respond to people who have specific ideas and are passionate. If you show passion, people can get behind it. You should share with other people, and get their feedback and build up a safety net of people who can believe in you and great things can happen. We reached out to our actor friends, and we could hear it come alive after a reading. They shared contacts and thoughts. You will meet that person who might have money, or know the right camera guy who donated equipment for the film, which happened for us. Stay confident in what you want to create and great things will happen.
Question: Did you go to film school?
Archie Gips: I did go. I went to NYU. That being said, I would say the greatest thing you could do instead of investing that money in film school, is shoot a movie, and watch tons and tons of movies. Shoot a short, and use that as a calling card.
Dennis Anderson: No, I did not. I studied acting at NYU. Archie and I met after college. Not to make excuses for film school, but there is not only one-way. You will be able to find your route. You get the resources together and make a short.
Lindsay Gareth: I graduated from USC, and I was a theater minor, and I did every student film I could. Being in LA, I auditioned for everything I could while I was in school. I agree with everything Archie said. Invest in making your own stuff and getting it out there.
Josh Covitt: I went to UCLA, and I went to theater school. There were things that prepared me, but it was about getting out there, working on everything that I could, and finding friends I like to perform with.
Question: Which director has inspired you and why?
Archie Gips: I would say Billy Widler is my biggest influence. Not that my films reflect that. His comedy and pathos is timeless. They seem so cutting edge and they were shot 50 years ago. My favorite is The Apartment with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. He is a writer director as well.
Dennis Anderson: John Schlesinger and Francis Ford Coppola stand out. They ushered in the most naturalistic acting in cinema. Dog Day Afternoon, Scarecrow, The Conversation, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now. Natural behaving human beings in heightened circumstances.
Josh Covitt: I was guilty of sitting and watching anything that was on TV, but one filmmaker I really like is Joseph Losey. He was a filmmaker from the 60s and 70s. He made The Servant.
Lindsay Gareth: I came from what I saw on screen as a child. I saw comedy, and I wanted to make people laugh and feel good. Clarissa Explains It All made me want to be an actress! I love Apatow, Soderbergh; I like popcorn movies and the comedies. I like to make people laugh.
Don't forget Chloe & Keith's Wedding is now in theaters until Thursday, Oct. 25. Check www.digiplexdest.com for theaters and showtimes.