FROM SPONGEBOB TO MORRISSEY – ANDREW OVERTOOM WORKS WITH THE BEST

How did you cast your film? 
I used a lot of cast and crew from “Spongebob” — I’m a big John Waters fan and I love how he cast his early films by just using the big personalities he had around him. So I went for the same thing, which is why so many people compare the film to “Female Trouble,” or say it has a John Waters quality, I think. So about half the film was cast that way and half was cast using the usual routine — ads in Back Stage West, big auditions with scores of people. It was fun to cast — we would get literally hundreds and hundreds of headshots a day, and me and Jackie and Ed Acosta would sit in my office and do casting instead of doing our “Spongebob” work. Oh, and the role of Jackie is actually played by the PA Jackie who met Morrissey at the Cat and Fiddle.

Has it been easy getting your film seen?
I’d say yes and no. This film is very politically incorrect, which is one of the things I admire about it, but at the same time it makes it a target for axe-grinders of every stripe. People either love the film or hate it, and that both helped us and hurt us on the festival circuit. Because the film is shocking in a psychological sense, but not in a blood and guts Hollywood way, a lot of people couldn’t compartmentalize it. So when you’re in a festival situation and people are picking films by committee, it makes it a tough sell. A lot of people are scared off by the lesbian schoolgirl scene, which always makes me laugh because it is really so benign compared to Hollywood product. I’m convinced that if I had the same scene, but played it with lots of gratuitous violence and then had a murder at the end of it, that people would accept it without so much as a blink of an eye, because they’ve been de-sensitized to that kind of senseless violence through TV and blockbuster Hollywood product. But because my scene is a little more real, a little more date rape-ish, it plays as a little more possible — and that is very disturbing for some people.

We played about a dozen festivals, and the crowds got bigger and bigger at each one, so by the end of our run we were actually selling out shows and having shows added, which is what you want in a festival situation! So you need to have a champion within the festival, someone who “gets it” and is willing to fight for it, and luckily we found a lot of those. And we had some great reviews right when we finished the film, one of which was from you, so that helped a lot.

What sort of special features can we expect from the DVD release?
The DVD has a great 33 minute documentary called “Real Life With Morrissey”, which chronicles the lives of real life Morrissey fans and gives a great perspective on the present day cult of Morrissey. That’s what makes this guy so interesting, there are literally legions of fans around the world that literally ADORE him. So you’ll see lots of tattoos and look-alikes and sing-alikes, and the annual morrissey convention packed with thousands of fans, and beautiful teenage girls who hang out at his home waiting to talk to him — the whole nine yards. I must say, after working on this project and seeing what this guy puts up with on a daily basis, I think he is a very, very good sport. He is really so kind to his fans — I never heard anything, but good things about him from everyone I interviewed. The DVD also has a Director’s commentary and some deleted scenes and a production stills slide-show.

Was it spooky interviewing all the die-hard Morrissey fans?
For the most part, all the fans I spoke to were a real blast, and very good sports. Some drove for hours to be interviewed. But I don’t recommend it for just anyone. If you want to try this at home, start out with something easy, like some Duran Duran fans, and graduate slowly to the Moz fans. Because some of them can be very, very ummmmm… well, I think you know what I mean.

What ís up next for you, Andrew?
Well, I’m working on the “Spongebob” feature, and after that I will begin work on my next live action project, a 35mm feature about an inept peeping tom who moves to Hollywood to “find himself”. It’s a dark comedy too, but not as dark as My Life With Morrissey. Well, not yet anyway — stay tuned!




Posted on August 27, 2004 in Interviews by

Buffer


If you liked this article then you may also like the following Film Threat articles:
Popular Stories from Around the Web

Tell us what you're thinking...





Comments are governed by the Terms of Use of this Site. Click on the "Report Comment" link if you feel a comment is in violation of the Terms of Use, and the comment will be reviewed appropriately.