Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hollywood Film Festival 2011 Feature Film 'The Trouble with the Truth'

Directed & Written by Jim Hemphill
Producers Daniel Farrands, Thommy Hutson
Cast- Lea Thompson, John Shea, Danielle Harris, Keri Lynn Pratt




 Q& A session after the screening some questions from myself Jasmina Nevada.

This film centers on a divorced couple who meet up and have a long conversation on the eve of their daughter's wedding and discover that there are still plenty of unresolved issues with their relationship...


(Audience member)-What was it like working with Jim Hemphill ?

(John Shea) This was an amazing accomplishment Jimmy wrote the script and we were going through the timeline and this is a road wrecker. This film is from page to screen in 2 years. Jimmy wrote this film, raised the money shot edited it did all the stuff. That is a miracle as most films take longer (John Shea)

I loved working with Jimmy (Jim Hemphill)

(Lea Thompson) Jimmy had this really strong vision when I read the script and I was like really... So it's just us talking mostly and it was really great to see the final outcome... the way you wanted it to be.

(Jim Hemphill) I was always curious to know what you guys thought we sent you the script, read it and were offered it did you sort of think ?.. that you were the movie. The whole point of me writing it was to survive my directorial incompetence as long as I had 2 good actors...It was all on you guys...

(Lea) I thought it was really daring and it was a daring choice so I was willing to try....

(John) I had a rare opportunity because we had both made a lot of movies and had never made a movie like this and probably never will again There hasn't been a movie like this since 'My dinner with Andre'...

(Lea) There is the 'Guy in the box'...

(Jim)...The whole time they were shooting this they were nervous about the fact that it was so enclosed and they kept saying we have to go outside we have to shoot some exterior.... I said look there is a movie with a guy in a box (laughs) for 90mins that people will sit and watch

(John) we had these real big production moves from the hotel to the restaurant and vice versa. Roberto shot this film and did a good job together with the crew and the secret was that we started with a good script and I know that when I read the script and you either fall in love with it or you don't...

(John) I knew immediately that the writing was good and we could have fun doing it. I heard it was Lea who was going to work with me. We had worked together before, we did a film together years ago so we were already friends. So that ice was already broken and so we hit he ground running and it was kind of great that way..

(Audience member)-For how many days did you shoot (audience)?

12 days but one of the days was 2 half days

(Jim) The 1st day we shot, I purposefully scheduled it so that it was very light, so we just filmed the phone conversation and that was the 1st day. We finished that in the morning and the first afternoon we went through the script as I didn't meet John until the morning we started shooting. The whole pre-production period was extremely compressed to say the least and Lea wasn't cast until a week before we started shooting. John wasn't cast until 3 days before and I didn't meet him until the morning of the shoot so we did our phone conversations that morning and John and I sat in the afternoon with the script and worked out what issues there were with the script. The other day was a half day as John had his family visiting and came to our AD and asked whether we could break our lunch we just kind of said that is between you and Lea if you can knock the pages out by lunch then you can leave...

(John) We talked really fast and we did it

(Jim) It was really like 11 days

(Audience member) -What was the editing process like?

It was Michael Benny Pierce, editor and he was the perfect editor for me He had been cutting it during the shoot and a week later when I went to his house it was 10 minutes longer than you have seen just now. Then it was just a matter of whittling it down. I honestly did not have to work with him that closely as he pretty much gave me the movie which was nice

(JasminaNevada)- What inspired you to take this kind of theme on board for your feature and make it very comedic and do what you did with it?

(Jimmy) Honestly it was initially inspired by purely pragmatic impulses. There was another script I was trying to get made which was a thriller, that was going to cost a lot of money. I couldn't raise the money for it so I started to get frustrated, so I said I am going to write a movie that just has a couple of actors in it just talking for 90 mins. I know that I can make, then I started writing in a sort of strange way that I ripped off from the Japanese director Yasujiro Ozo.

(Jimmy) I always feel like the actors always write the final draft of the screenplay....

(Jasmina Nevada) -So would it be fair to say that there was a little bit of improvisation during the shooting process also? 

(Lea) I don't feel like there was that much..

(John) A little bit... I think that the secret as actors is to try and make all seem as though it is improv.
But of course, Jimmy wrote 99 per cent of that and Lea and I threw in little things here and there and we would always do a take exactly as Jimmy wrote it. Jimmy would say lets have fun with it and we would throw things in and improvise little things so there was that and we knew that at the end what we were doing was giving the editor raw material for the edit...

(Lea)I felt like the acting even if the words were not improvised the acting was improvised because you did not have to match as a lot of takes I would cry at one spot and laugh and the next take I would laugh at one spot and it really incredibly freeing for me and felt very free..

(Jimmy) we shot it on DSLR the Canon 5D's which are basically still cameras that we shot video with and it was great as they are very unobtrusive and I think the look they get is fantastic

(Lea) I think that there was a real honesty that we got to have with each other as actors as we were not trying to match each other. We could do whatever we wanted to, we could improve emotionally is what I was trying to say..

(Jasmina Nevada).. -What attracted you both as actors to this particular script.... what made you fall in love with it to take it on board?

(Lea) I think the script was great... I really do and now I see it, I enjoy it even more. I did not even realise it was funny. I didn't... that's one way to approach comedy often but I just thought it was really interesting and really daring.....

(John) I have to say that I am both a romantic and a cynic about some things. The character was the opposite of who I am in real life so I wanted to play someone who was different from me and had a different world view, make that believable and bring that to life and that was really fun to do. Although there were some things that I could relate to like being in love and having a divorce.  I had certain experiences that I could draw upon emotionally that helped and so I thought that Jimmy had put his finger on a lot of human truths and I thought those human truths would resonate with an audience and we were happy to hear your laughter tonight that's what we are here to do...

(Audience member)- What do you think happened after the end of the movie? Will there be a sequel?

(Jim) What do you think? ....If I knew I would have written it I ran out of ideas at that point that's why the movie is over honestly I did not know.

(Jim) We actually shot 4 or 5 different endings believe it or not and the one that is in there was written and we figured whilst we were out there, we could do some different ones we did - one happy, one that was kind of in the middle...





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