Evan Katz gives us Cheap Thrills
We catch up with director Evan Katz, whose film Cheap Thrills is playing in the Incredibly Strange section of the New Zealand International Film Festival.
Tell us about Cheap Thrills It's a film about a desperate man who's flat broke, and ends up trying to escape his troubles at a bar - only to run into an especially troubled friend from his past. They end up partying with a rich couple who have no problem throwing their money around - initially for triivial bar bets, or dares. Things go from fun to fu**d pretty rapidly from there.
What was the filming of it like? And was it a smooth shoot? Shooting was incredibly difficult. It was during a heatwave, we had blackouts. Far worse, was we only had 14 days to shoot the damn thing, so sometimes we would only have time to get 1 or 2 takes of really important stuff - which reallly cranks up the addrenaline. When you're juggling stunts, gore fx, children, animals, and strippers on a tight, it can definitly get a little crazy.
The upshot was that the cast was so talented and hilarious, that I would have to fight to not bust up laughing when they'd be doing their thing. One thing I learned a long time ago was that, no matter what, it's going to be stressful and tough to shoot a film, so you better make damn well sure that you enjoy and care about what you're capturing, or else it's just miserable and a waste of time.
I have to ask, how far have you gone for some free money? There's no such thing as "free money", but I will say that I mooned the audience at Boston Underground for 80 bucks. No requests for an encore please, for everyone's sake!
What's the best reaction you've had to a film of yours from an audience member?
I had somebody get so sick from one of the more intense scenes that she had to lie down in the theatre lobby. As soon as she was able, she raced back into the theatre so she could catch the rest of the film.
Conversely, what's been the worst? At one of the earliest test screenings, one of the attendees passed out, and started snoring. I wanted to cave his head in, but that's not really okay, so I just had to sit there and listen to it. When he woke up, and was asked to give his comments on the film, he gave it a great review. You never know.
What's next for you? Taking Cheap Thrills to different festivals, waiting on my letter for ABC's of Death 2, and developing a couple projects with friends.