Interview with Jeremy LaLonde: Part II

Thanks for the positive feedback on Twitter yesterday! Click here for part 1 of the interview if you haven’t read it. Here is part 2 of our interview with Jeremy, in which he teases how big Zoie’s role will be, what it’s like to work with Zoie and Kris, and much more.

 

How big of a role will Zoie be playing? We’re all hoping to see her on screen quite a bit. ~Submitted by Becky Clark

JL: It’s an ensemble film, so there’s more-or-less an equal weight to each of the five stories.  However, based on my initial shooting schedule, Zoie has the most days of anyone in the cast.  So that should tell you something about the size of her role… or maybe I just like having her around…

 

Could you talk a bit about the benefits of “crowd-sourcing” funding and if there are challenges associated with it?  Have you funded films this way before? And what role is social media playing in all of this?

JL: This is my first go-around with crowd-funding.  I think the benefits are that you get to build a fan base for the project right from the ground floor – and you get to interact with them!  The money you raise doesn’t have to be paid back outside of the perks you provide, so there’s a nice safety net where no one is looking for their money back – and if the film works out you’re into profit very quickly.  The challenges are that it’s a lot of work to get the word out and get people to contribute.  You have to be dedicated to it, and you have to ask a bit more of your cast and crew if you want to do viral marketing.  My producer Jennifer Liao and I spent some time researching successful campaigns and seeing the patterns of what they did.  You can search for articles online that talk about it as well.  I imagine that when this is all done I’ll write a detailed article on my blog about it (thefabric.blogspot.com).  Social media is absolutely integral.  You can’t do crowd-funding without it.

 

How do you think the popularity of Lost Girl and its actors will affect your film projects? Also, while it is easier to get publicity, are there challenges associated with casting actors who are so well known in other roles?

JL: When you have actors with a built-in fan base it’s always a plus: In a lot of ways.  It means that there’s an audience for your film when it comes out, and it also makes it more attractive to broadcasters that might buy your film.  This isn’t anything new – Hollywood makes most it’s decisions based on what and who is popular in the moment.  But for me the celebrity of our cast isn’t why they were asked to be in the film so much as it was their talent.  It’s all people I’ve worked with before or have wanted to.  I don’t think you should cast someone in a project just because they are well known – they have to be right for it.  When I made The Untitled Work of Paul Shepard Kris had only done the pilot for Lost Girl and Zoie wasn’t in the cast yet – and I hadn’t seen it.  So for me there was no connection to the show at all at that time.  I’d known both of them from other work, but I have a pretty good imagination and am able to see people for their full spectrum.  I think the challenges are that sometimes fans have a hard time seeing their favorite actors play something different, and they get flack unfairly for it.  Can you imagine if Michael C. Hall had done Dexter first and then did Six Feet Under?  I can’t imagine the people that love him as Dexter would go for that.  Bizarre as it is because he was brilliant in SFU.  I think it really comes down to how strong the actor and how much range they’ve got.  In our case, it’s a lot so hopefully it’s not an issue.  I can promise you that neither Zoie, Kris, or Paul will be playing anything even close to the characters that they play on Lost Girl – so if that’s an issue for someone I’m not sure what I can do about that – that person should probably just watch re-runs of Lost Girl or whatever it was that they’d loved them in previously.

 

You’ve previously worked with Zoie and Kris on The Untitled Work of Paul Shepard (“TUWOPS”). Could you share with us what it’s like to work with each of them?

JL: Working with Kris and Zoie is very easy because they’re both very talented and both very professional.  They’re different and (obviously) bring different things to a character.  I think it’s true with any actor that if they trust you, they’ll do anything for you.  And while it takes any actor and director relationship time to build that trust, I’d like to think we got there fairly quickly on my first film.  Both of them want what’s best for the film.  They don’t care if they look beautiful or ugly.  They want it to be real.  There are a lot of actors out there that are more concerned that you shoot them on their “better side”.  That’s not the case with these guys.

 

Zoie’s character in TUWOPS is quite different from the Lauren character. Is she drawn to playing completely different characters as to not get typecasted?

JL: Any decent actor wants to be able to show their range off.  I think that Zoie Palmer is amazing and her resume supports that.  All you need to do that is look at the vast variety in her series work – watch her guest spot on Call Me Fitz and then an episode of Lost Girl, outside of the obviously physicality, you’d never know it was the same performer.  Zoie gets into the heart of a character and goes from there.  I think she likes to be challenged.  Her role in Sex After Kids is going to knock people’s socks off.  I’m excited about all of the actors and characters in the film, but there’s something very special about what Zoie and I have come up with for that.

 

As you know, Zoie has gained quite a large fanbase via Lost Girl. How is she adjusting to this newfound fame?

JL: It’s not really fair for me to comment on this.  But I knew Zoie before Lost Girl and she’s the same dedicated and wonderful person that she was then.  For her it’s all about the work, and she works hard.  I know that she really appreciates her fans and is grateful for them.  She doesn’t take that sort of thing lightly or for granted.  What can I say – I love the fuck out of that woman.  I think she’s a rock star, but more importantly to me, she’s a good friend.

 

Any chance that you will make a film that includes both Zoie and Anna Silk? ~Submitted by giftofamber

JL: I love Anna’s work.  I don’t know her personally, but I think she’s great.  I had her on a list of people I was considering approaching for Sex After Kids but I didn’t want it to become ‘The Lost Girl cast movie’, and also we’re shooting when the third season picks up and I just knew that Anna wouldn’t be available since she shoots almost every day.  I’d love to work with her at some point.  In terms of making a film with both of them, I don’t have anything specific in mind, but I wouldn’t be against it.  I can tell you one thing – I wouldn’t have them be in a relationship together.  I think that would be a huge mistake.  They have that dynamic on Lost Girl and it’s pure magic.  I’d feel like trying to steal that and put it somewhere else would be cheating, and I’d feel a bit slutty doing it.  I can’t imagine that Anna and Zoie would want to do that either – I think they’d want to do something new and fresh together.

 

Any other interesting tidbits that you can reveal to give Zoie Palmer fans extra incentive to support the film?

JL: Well there’s the perks that come with our campaign.  Signatures on posters, DVDs, etc… you can get her to record an outgoing message for your cell phone.  And if you’ve got the extra cash you can buy yourself a spot at a dinner party (and an executive producer credit) where some of our cast will attend.  In addition to what I said above, this is going to be a really great film, especially for Zoie.  She was nominated for an ACTRA Award for her role in my last film.  She’s going to win it for this one.  The simple truth is that the more support we get for this film the more we can do with it.  Just the hits from our website and campaign page show us that there are fans around the world.  You can contribute anything from a dollar to as high as you damn-well-please and we have some awesome perks at each level.  We’re not just asking for free money – you’re getting something out of it.  And you’re becoming part of an awesome film.  How often can you say that?

 

What would you like the audience to get out of this film?

JL: I want people to walk away feeling like they were entertained, and maybe even challenged to some regard.  It’s a comedy, but if you’ve seen my first film you know that my comedy is the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down.  It’s not a particularly ‘heavy’ film, but it explores relationships in a pretty honest (and funny) way.  I think people will be able to relate to it, and hopefully it’ll inspire some conversation.  That’s my goal.

 

There you have it. Thanks again to Jeremy for sharing his thoughts with us. Please continue to support this wonderful project and spread the word. And if there are people who need convincing, just show them this video:

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