The best Hollywood blockbuster movie pitches must happen when you’re on the verge of passing out, as evident in the banter-heavy dramatic re-enactments of Drunk Movies (AUS).
Writer, Director and Co-creator of the series, Tom Burgess spoke to Melbourne WebFest about turning a drunken spark of inspiration into something Brett Climo would star in.
What balance of preparation and improvisation did each drunk movie idea have?
The first episode ‘Doggy Swap’ was the most improvised. Lachlan had a vague idea for a body swap movie about a man who swaps bodies with a dog. Then we just got together with the boys over at Stepmates and had a few beers and started shooting. The next two episodes were perhaps a little more structured as we had the brilliant Aussie actor Brett Climo get involved and we didn’t want to embarrass ourselves too much. Brett had no idea what we were going to be pitching to him. I think that’s where the best moments come from, the genuine reactions, the banter, that’s the good stuff.
Episode One – ‘Doggy Swap’
How did you start the conversation with Brett Climo about this series?
We were extremely lucky to get Brett Climo involved and definitely owe a great deal to the man! We screened the first episode ‘Doggy Swap’ at a film festival that Brett was judging. We got word back that he really enjoyed our film so we decided to reach out to him. Brett is the loveliest man in the world so he agreed to sit down and have a coffee with us and from there we just really got along. We were all really excited to collaborate and Brett was really excited to see what crazy movie ideas we could come up with.
What is your favourite part of the series?
My favourite part of the series is probably from the first episode when they’re going to take the dog to be put down and of course it’s actually the husband Doug trapped inside the dog’s body, so the dog is jumping up and down and making a scene and Seb improvises a line that we gave to one of “the kids” to lip-sync on the day of filming to overlay and it just always makes me laugh. We’ve played that episode in front of a few crowds and that bit always seems to get the best laugh.
What was your greatest challenge creating the series?
I think the greatest challenge for us in creating the series would have to be the lip-syncing. That’s probably the thing that takes the longest and we like to spend the time to make sure we get it as close to spot on as possible. But it’s a nightmare.
What is the future for your series?
We just want to make more episodes. Getting drunk and coming up with really dumb ideas for movies seems to come a little too easily! Maybe one day we will come up with a good idea for a movie and take it all the way to Hollywood, but until then we will probably just keep drinking and making dumb movies in our backyard. We are currently trying to figure out how to produce a couple of new episodes during lockdown and that’s been a challenge.
What was your release strategy?
Honestly, we don’t have one. Maybe we’re not the brightest marketing minds getting around! We’ve been trying to get into festivals like Melbourne WebFest as a way of getting people to see our work. That’s probably been the biggest thing for us. I suppose we’re lucky with our series each episode works as a stand alone film so it opens up our options when it comes to festival submissions.
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