Wednesday 21 June 2017

Interview with Joe McClean - Writer/Director of The Drama Club

Joe McClean is an American screenwriter, director and producer under his company Ginger Beard.
McClean has written, directed, and produced two indie features, as well as short films and web-series.
He is best known for: The Drama Club (2017), Life Tracker (2013) and How to Make a David Lynch Film (2010).

Joe tells us how he found time (he manages an apartment building!) to make a movie.

Is there any interesting story about how you got involved in The Drama Club?

My boss at my day job (managing an apartment building) owns the lake property we shot the movie on. He’s been kind enough for the last 7 years or so to let me and a bunch of my friends (Dane Bowman who plays Aaron, Jon Thomas who plays Cory, Chris Ciccarelli who plays Luke, and Barry Finnegan who plays Nathan all included) go up there to play for a weekend.

Is it a personal movie?

Very much so. I am each and every one of the characters in some way shape or form.

What interested you in telling this particular story?

I’m the walking stereotype of a mid life crisis. I needed to tell this story to stop myself from divorcing my incredible wife and taking out a load to by a hotrod with no back seat for my kid. We all go through it! We all wish for life could “be like it was,” or feel like a drastic change will be the needed bandaid to make us feel like our lives mean something. The one constant I’ve come to for the worth in my life is friendship. Friends everything to me.

What kind of research did you do before scripting, if any?

Honestly not much of anything. This was a story about relationships and human emotions. There was nothing historical or technical about it. I did cursory things like looking into a couple cases of bankers going to jail, but the rest was just emotional analysis.

Were you a fan of these ‘old friends’ reunited movies?

Yep. I’m certainly a fan. Don’t get me wrong, the other motive to make an “old friends reunite” movie was because I’m an indie filmmaker with very little access to funding. This kind of story is cheaper to tell. I wrote this knowing that I wanted to make a movie, not simply write a script.

How many actors did you see for the lead roles?

None. I knew them all personally. There was no auditioning.

Are you going to stick to this genre? Or try something completely different next?

I’m definitely a character driven storyteller, but they won’t all be talky melodramas. My movie before The Drama Club was a Sci-Fi movie called Life Tracker, and I’m currently dusting off an old thriller to see if I want to rewrite it and shoot it next.

The Drama Club Now Available on VOD