BEHIND THE SCENES AND Q&A > THIS IS PAUL
This is Paul
Q&A WITH DIRECTOR DAN DOBRANSKY
1. What is your background in sketch/comedy/film?
At this point, I've probably accumulated about five years of training in improv through UCB and Magnet. Along with being a part of the video lab, I'm currently on a sketch team called Action Park and performing in various indie improv teams. I've been in a ton of short films and even was lucky enough to lead in two features so far. I actually got into acting to learn more about film. You can learn a lot about making films by being in someone else's. Plus, I think it's important for directors to know how an actors mind works. I also have a BFA in Graphic Design that I earned at Western Michigan University, which is where most of my aesthetics come from. All my production experience in design and art direction has made me really comfortable with playing with software and filming techniques. I watched tons of cartoons and TV growing up. I think things changed for me when I saw Forbidden Planet on USA Up All Night when I was 8 or something like that. I love improv for the single fact that it's always something new every time you do it, or at last should be.
2. Tell us about some of the challenges of making your film.
The challenges on This is Paul were pretty minimal. Being I had the actors interacting with the text, it was very important for me to storyboard it. It gave both the actors and DP a clear idea of where to look and how to frame the shot. I was super happy to get Willy Appelman on the project because I've always thought he was a great performer and he has a ton of experience, which made him an ideal candidate for the role. I was also fortunate to have my friend Jamie Northrup as the DP. He did an amazing job shooting and I'm looking forward to working with him again. I was hoping to get the whole thing shot in one day, but we had some misunderstandings with the schedule, which luckily worked in our favor being the weather would've really messed things up. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that 50% of film making deals with luck. Especially when you're shooting outdoors.
3. What would you do differently if you were to make this film again?
There's not much I would've done differently other then schedule more days to shoot. The only issue is that you can lose cast and crew when you have more then a day to work on something like this. I might have tried to find a better beatboxer then myself, but I had fun doing that anyways.
4. What's next for you? What's your next film project going to look like?
The video lab is actually starting to meet for our next round of videos right now and I have an one idea about a girl with social issues and another one dealing with a new drug on the market that has it's risks. Challenge on those is one deals with getting hit repeatedly with a dodge ball and the other needs some green screen work. We'll see what happens.
5. Tell us about the Magnet Video lab and its role in making this film happen
Ever since I started preforming I wanted to collaborate with people who I trusted and respected that would actually create something as a team rather then having all the responsibility on myself. Most of the time when you have an idea you'd like to produce, people are only on board if you already have everything ready to go and you just invite them along for the ride. We're all guilty of that. But everyone in the lab was coming from the same place, and that's important. We all had our own expertise and experience which we utilized in shooting our films. The experience turned out exactly the way I hoped it would. I really am looking forward to this next round and seeing what else we will all learn together.
The story of a man who is bad with words.
Actual Running Time: 4:22
Starring Willy Appelman, Monisha Shiva, Ryan LeVielle and Jessica Stark
Written, directed, edited, animated and beatbox by Dan Dobransky
Boom operation by Ruby Marez, Shalini Tripathi and Annie Quick
Special thanks to Armando Diaz
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