Recently we got the opportunity to talk to Joe McClean about ‘The Drama Club’, his latest film currently doing the rounds on VOD. We got to ask him about his time in drama club and if or how his experiences had any impact on the film.
Hey Joe, it is great getting the opportunity to catch up with you.
Guess it goes without saying… you were in a drama club?
Ha! Indeed I was.
Where did the inspiration for the movie come from – if not the club?
There was one story inspiration and one production inspiration. The story very much comes from personally seeing myself on a collision course with a mid-life-crisis along with a group of friends that I’ve actually known for over 20 years. I was in my high school drama club with cast members Chris Ciccarelli (Luke), Barry Finnegan (Nathan), and Jon Thomas (Cory). The production inspiration was the property. The four of us plus Dane Bowman (Aaron) have gone to the property we filmed on for the last 8 years for a weekend of debauchery. The owner, also a friend, said we could use it if we wanted and alas a production was born.
Have you got friends or classmates you’ve known for twenty years? How has that dynamic and friendship changed over time?
I hang out with and keep tabs on a surprising number of people from High School — Like an absurd amount. That time was wonderful for me and it’s only become more romanticised over the years. There were periods of time between high school and now where I’ve gone years without talking to someone, but as is the case with good friends, when we get back together we pick up right where we left off. Some of us have kids now. We have careers. We’re all totally different people. . . Then in the same breath, we haven’t changed in the slightest. I think the characters in The Drama Club do the same thing.
It’s great having that opportunity to catch up with old friends. Seeing how much, or how little, they have changed over the years.
What did it mean to you to get a theatrical release? Does it still mean something to filmmakers to have a film play on the big screen?
For me it means very little. As a filmmaker I never had to go from getting my movies in theaters to seeing them open on iTunes. My work has always been seen more at home or on the internet so it doesn’t feel different. I think in the same way a production chooses film vs digital, or which camera to use to best tell a story, filmmakers can now also decide “Is this a theatrical movie?” If it’s not, then why chase that as a dream? Just to feed your ego? We had a small theatrical so we could try to drum up press.
There are so many options open to filmmakers now.
But most of the movie is to be made on VOD, right?
Yep. That’s the goal.
What kind of doors have opened to you as a result of the critical acclaim The Drama Club has snared?
That’s yet to be known. We’ll see what happens when I start going to investors and talent for whatever it is I try to shoot next. The biggest thing is that industry insiders know how much work it takes to get a movie made, so now that they can see I’ve done it more than once they don’t feel so nervous taking a risk on me. My hope is that with a track record and some nice reviews, I’ll be able to convince a recognizable actor to join me for the next project, which I can then use to get more budget for production.
Well I am sure you have big things on the horizon. After the buzz The Drama Club in making we are sure people will be queueing up to be involved in your next project!
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