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Whistler Film Festival 2013 Interview – SEX AFTER KIDS director Jeremy Lalonde

SEX AFTER KIDS at Whistler Film Festival
by Jason Whyte

“SEX AFTER KIDS is an ensemble film about what happens to your sex life after kids come into the picture.  So, naturally it's a horror-comedy.” Director Jeremy Lalonde on SEX AFTER KIDS which screens at the 2013 edition of the Whistler Film Festival.

Is this your first movie in the Whistler Film Festival, and are you attending the festival?

It is!  I will be attending the festival.  I'm also here with a short film I wrote and directed called OUT that premiered this year at the Toronto International Film Festival, and I'm also here supporting my friend Craig Goodwill's film PATCH TOWN, which I edited.

Tell me a bit about your background and what led you into the motion picture business.

From the time I could write I was writing my own stories, and drawing pictures (badly) to support them, so I've been training to be a filmmaker my entire life. On my road to directing I've spent many years as an editor, which I still do.  I find any time you get a chance to tell a story, any story, you're further developing your skills as a storyteller.

How did this whole movie come together from your perspective? 

SEX AFTER KIDS is my second feature, and it came together because I was tired of waiting for someone else to tell me I could make my next film - so I wrote a treatment for the film, cast it based on that and then wrote it and raised the funds through crowd-funding with the support of our amazing cast.  It was a labor of love for all involved and because most of our cast are series regulars on TV shows in Canada we had to shoot mostly on weekends over the course of three and a half months.

What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

I think the biggest challenge that faces every indie film comes afterwards - it's hard enough getting a film made - try making sure that it gets seen.  But we've been very fortunate in that regard.  In terms of production, it's always harder when you have very limited funds, but you get creative and solve problems with brains instead of money.

What was your single favourite moment or rewarding experience out of the entire production?

Having five sold out screenings at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival will always be a point of pride for me.  I get pleasure out of every part of the film, from the writing, the making, to the cutting.  I love it all; but nothing compares to sitting down with an audience and feeling the energy they're getting from the film - knowing that all the hard work was worth it.  I make films to connect with an audience, to let them know that I get what they're going through and that they aren't alone.  I prefer to use comedy to get that across, and so far it's been effective. 
What keeps you going while making a movie? How much coffee? 

Coffee; a pot a day keeps the sleep away.  But mostly it's adrenaline from knowing you're working on something special, and that everyone is rallied around to give you their best.  I try to only work with people that love the work - and when you do low budget projects it's really easy to make sure that no one is there just for the money.
I would love to know about the technical side of the film, your relationship to the director of photography, what the movie was shot on and why it was decided to be filmed this way.

I work with a cinematography team, Zach Melnick and Ann Tipper; Zach and I have been good friends since high school and is quite easily my longest collaborating relationship.  We met Ann on my first feature where she worked as a gaffer, and she contributed so much that it only seemed right for them to become a team from there forward.  We shot SEX AFTER KIDS on RED and went for a fairly traditional comedy look, borrowing from the likes of Woody Allen in his use of oners; while it's a style thing, I also prefer to let actors perform and I tend to find they give stronger performances when they're able to run through an entire scene rather be broken up by overly complex blocking.  When we start a scene I like to block with the actors and DPs together, to see what feels natural to the cast, and then make sure it's technically possible with the resources and time we have to do it. 
How important do you think the critical/media response is to film these days, be it a large production, independent film or festival title? 

Critical media is always important, anything that mentions your film is important, especially for a small film.  We can't do it without it. 
After the film screens in Whistler, what is the future release plan for the movie? 

The film is being realesed theatrically in Canada in February by IndieCan Entertainment and it will be on DVD in Austrailia around the same time.  We'll be releasing in both Canada and the US on multiple platforms early in the near year, and our international sales rep is busy making sales all over the world - Russia, Germany, Eastern Europe, and many more are in the works.  The film has really been embraced and I'm proud of the fact that it's resonating with audiences around the world. 
What would you say or do to someone who is talking or texting during a screening of your film?

I'm not one to yell across the theatre, because that's way worse.  If they're beside me I think a simple glare is enough or a "Really?". Whatever you do should be as simple and subtle as possible so not to further disrupt the film for the audience. 
There are a lot of up and coming filmmakers reading our site. I was curious if you had any advice to aspiring filmmakers?

If you want to be a filmmaker, be a filmmaker.  Do it right now.  Start writing something, find a way to find like-minded people.  Community is key.  I'm really proud to be going to Whistler this year in particular because I'm surrounded by filmmakers I'm friends and/or fans of.  It's such a great crop.  I think collaboration is key no matter what point your career is at.  Work hard, don't give up, and tell a story that only you can tell. 
And finally, what is the single, greatest movie that you have seen at a film festival?

Okay, this is tough.  I'm going to go with AMERICAN BEAUTY, which I saw at TIFF and it's the first real film festival memory I have of seeing this great film, and feeling like I was in on something -- getting to see it early - and then going on to be this big sensational thing, but I always felt like it was mine first. That's the beauty of film festivals and the power of them. 

SEX AFTER KIDS plays tonight at 9:30 pm at the Rainbow Cinema and on Sunday, December 8th at the Village 8 Cinemas.

Be sure to follow director Jeremy Lalonde on Twitter @LalondeJeremy!

Check back on efilmcritic.com over the next few days for some interviews and photos from yours truly while on the ground at Whistler. Also by the end of the festival I will be posting my top picks and events of the festival on the site. If you're attending the festivities, I can usually be found at Zog's Dogs inbetween screenings. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more immediate updates!

For more information on Whistler Film Festival, films screening in competition and information on screening times and events, point your browser to www.whistlerfilmfestival.com.

Jason Whyte, efilmcritic.com

link directly to this feature at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=3598
originally posted: 12/05/13 11:09:46
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