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Goodbye Baby

Goodbye Baby
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Interview With The Director Of Goodbye Baby Daniel Schechter By Chris 18/5/09

Goodbye Baby is one of those great indie films, with a great storyline and a great cast. The Film
‘s Director Daniel Schechter has been getting praise for his good work. He a name to watch out for and expect a review soon on the site.

So read on.

Goodbye Baby Website

1. How did the film come about?

After my previous film, THE BIG BAD SWIM, which I wrote a produced was done, I was sorta dying to direct. Somehow, I managed to hammer out a script in 2 months or so (very fast for my speed) because I was so eager to prove I could do it. As luck would have it (and I mean LUCK) I hooked up with a buddy Tim Duff (an intern on SWIM, where we met), who became my producer and raised all the financing through an independent source.

2. What was the inspiration behind the story?

There was an Elmore Leonard novel called PAGAN BABIES I was really interested in adapting, but who am I, right? So there was a character in that novel who was a female stand up comic I was very attracted to (that was very different from my lead character, I promise). So I decided to just go with that and make the movie all about a high school graduate who couldn’t afford to go to college like her friends, so she gets a job at a comedy club in NYC and decides she wants to give it a try.

3. How long did it take to film the movie?

Not long, like 4 shooting weeks. Felt like the blink of an eye it was so much fun. I always look at finally directing a film as a reward for suffering through writing it.

4. How was the process of choosing the actors for the film like?

Half auditions, half “offers” (which if you don’t know, means just cold sending a contract to an agent of someone relatively famous and praying they say yes.) Most of the people you don’t recognize in the film – Auditions… If you know them, Offers. Pretty simple. Luckily for auditions, my casting director, Stephanie Holbrook, definitely made it so I basically got to see the best NYC has to offer and I didn’t sit through too many stinkers.

5. Was it hard to edit the film to make the story flow?

Yes and no. We had to rush to get a cut done for a festival submission, so I never really got the chance to do the process in one smooth block of time. So then, we had to go back and cut down the movie some more and now I’m really happy with the length, flow, tone, performances, everything. I love editing and learned A LOT on BABY. I’m not particularly precious about my lines or scenes, so I suspect its easier for me than most.

6. What was it like having Alan Ruck in the picture?

Alan was amazing. It’s really intimidating/exciting to have someone so iconic from my film-viewing life in my film. I had a lot of experiences like that on this, with Kevin Corrigan, Fred Armisen, Jerry Adler and Donnell Rawlings… and then, there’s the added excitement of them giving you the respect a director gets and wanting your approval despite their level of success… its very humbling. But all actors have a common denominator in that they love to act and want to please, for the most part. Actors get a bad rep, I think. I think they’re amazing. With Alan, especially, it was nice to see him do something so dramatic and hit it so far out of the park. I don’t think we could’ve done better.

7. Was it hard to make the film with a very little budget?

No. I always say if this movie sucks, it’s my fault. Thanks to my producers, I had everything I needed. Cast, equipment, crew, you name it. And that doesn’t mean we had all the money in the world, but we just had smart people who knew how/where to spend it and it made my job so much easier.

8. How has the feedback from the film been at festival like?

Great, always great. That’s why fests are so addictive really. There’s always a very sweet elderly woman in the audience, INSISTING this movie NEEDS wider distribution and it’s quite the ego boost. I love festivals. It’s the closest films like this come to theatrical distribution nowadays. Plus, we won some awards and heck, I’ll take ’em. 

9.  Were you happy the way the film turned out?

Yeah, I really am. It did unbelievably well for me. I won awards for both writing and directing. I got repped by a great management company and agency. I met UNBELIEVABLE actors and crew-members and it was the beginning of a great creative partnership with Tim Duff, my producer. The movie gets real laughs and tears and I’m genuinely proud to show it around (which is saying a lot for me.) Check it out, judge for yourself.

10. How did Cinevolve Studios get involved with the film?

A lot of distribution companies were interested and Cinevolve made us a pitch that was very against the mold… it was a much more personal, aggressive and creative approach to releasing the film and I’m glad we chose them. Plus, they do Blu-Ray.

11. What have been the responses so far to the film been like?

Everyone except my mother seems to like it. But you can’t please everyone.

12. Was it hard to get finance for the film?

I’m embarrassed to say it wasn’t. My producer took care of business (for more details listen to audio commentary, yo).

13. What did you learn from making of this film that you can use for future features?

More than I can explain here. Let’s see: Always go with best actor, when possible. Really ask yourself what scenes will get cut BEFORE you shoot. Shoot less master shot takes and more close ups. When avoidable, don’t yell at people, they don’t like it. Micro-manage, don’t let people tell you you’re a control freak, it’s the job — Plus, even though everyone cares about their job, you’re the one who has to watch this film a billion times, so make sure it’s your decision in the end). But also, be collaborative.

14.  Has the internet played a good part in promoting the film and generating sales?

We’ll see. 

15. What next for yourself?

A Thriller called THE KING OF PRUSSIA starring Ryan Phillippe that we’re shooting Fall of ’09.

16. Did the actors stay pretty much to the script or was improv allowed?

These questions seem out of order… It was 80% scripted, and some actors were very, very good with improv (Corrigan, Vincent Piazza, Kane Manera, Christine Evangelista) and I let them go.

17. Were their any major problems when making the film?

One actor walked off set for no good reason and took his name off. Do the math and you can figure out who.

18. Is it hard to make an independent film in this day and age?

Its DEFINITELY not had to MAKE an indie. In fact, its getting quite easy. But if you can figure out how to release one and make money, let me know.

19. What advice can you give to some one wanting to make a independent film?

REALLY ask yourself if YOU should be doing this. If the answer is still yes, do it cheap.

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