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D.B. Sweeney – Interview – KillerFilm

Donny Broussard: What prompted your decision to jump behind the camera as a director after many years in front of the camera as an actor?

D.B. Sweeney: It was the most expedient way to get it done.  I wrote the script ( with Brian Currie) in order to play a different kind of a role.  Not a happy-go-lucky guy per se, but a guy who doesn’t dwell on things.  Kind of rolls with the punches and gets on with it.  Billy McGriff is the kind of friend everybody should have.  A great winger.

Donny Broussard: I really enjoyed the movie, and one of the things that made it stand out was the music. Did you have a lot to do with the music choices?

D.B. Sweeney: As the producer director and financier, I had everything to do with it.  Having all three jobs saves you a lot of time that would have been spent on meetings and maybe arguments, but it costs you a lot of sleep.  I love road trips and some of the best ones I’ve ever been on can be defined by a particular song or cd.  I knew it was essential that the music be first rate.  Iconic.  But never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get ALL my choices.  Springsteen, Dylan, Dire Straits, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Del Amitri.  Okay not all of them.  U2 approved a cut but the record company slow boated me and I had to make a move (hence the Georgia Satellites, no slouches themselves)

Donny Broussard: The casting is phenomenal. John c. McGinley is great, Moira Kelly, Ed Harris, Paul Hipp and you. Were these actors who you had in mind when you and Brian Currie were writing the script?

D.B. Sweeney: Johnny C. is one of my oldest friends and I always knew I wanted him in there somewhere.  Ed Harris, too.  Making a movie is a fluid process.  A lot of names were proposed by potential funding sources up to the point I decided to finance it myself.  And then I just went to my buddies and they graced me with their presence.

Donny Broussard: How was it working with Moira Kelly again?

D.B. Sweeney: A dream.  She’s all class and I wish I could do five more movies with her.  Fifteen.

Donny Broussard: One thing I really liked about this movie is that all of the three main characters are people I know. They are easy to relate to. Where did the inspiration for this authentic characters come from?

D.B. Sweeney: I’m not the first person to observe that the success in high school doesn’t always translate to success in later life.  It’s almost axiomatic that the prom Queen and King get bald and fat and disappoint at the 20 yr reunion.  Maybe even sooner…I liked the idea that there’s 30,000 high schools in America, 30,000 quarterbacks being worshipped on Friday Night under the lights, but only 30 jobs in the NFL.  That’s an awful lot of guys who are hitting their peak at age 18.  The valedictorian and the rock and roller are parallel archetypes.  The sheer numbers in the music business are as daunting as sports and lets face it: book smart is not street smart.  They kicked Bill Gates out of Harvard but can anyone name the valedictorian from his Class?  These are guys who had to come back to reality and figure out how to earn a living at something else.  You find these guys in every high school lunch room.  I wanted them to be specific and pungent enough to evoke a familiar response in audiences.

Donny Broussard: The film plays out like many of my favorite coming of age stories, only the characters are way past adolescence. I think it was extremely admirable to make a movie that highlights the difficulties that come with middle age, but were you ever tempted to make the characters younger in order to try and connect with a broader audience?

D.B. Sweeney: Not for a minute.  This is a story about guys bewildered by the buffeting they’ve gotten in real life after living a charmed life in high school.  In your twenties and even early thirties you still can pretend you’ve got the tiger by the tail.  On the verge of forty, cute doesn’t fly anymore.  Which is not to say I wouldn’t like to tell a story about guys or girls in their 20′s and 30′s. Or their 60′s…  Just not this one.

Donny Broussard: I’m hoping the answer to this next question is yes. Are you planning on directing another feature?

D.B. Sweeney: Yes absolutely.  Now I know how to do it.  And thank you for helping get the word out.  If I sell some dvds maybe “they’ll” give me another shot.

Killer Film

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