Director Interview – LOUIS DOERGE
I’ve been fortunate to have met some very creative people in my life, and definitely count Louis Doerge as one of them. Louis and I work together at Vulcan Video, a DVD/Blu-Ray rental store and a true-blue mom-and-pop operation. Surrounded by a library containing cinema’s greatest and not-so-greatest, we invariably stumble into conversations about our favorite TV shows and films. I’ve always loved talking to Louis, whether about films, comics, or the latest Buffy season finale that blew our minds. This cat’s got factoids coming out the wazoo, yo – A real sponge for tidbit and ‘lore. Did I mention he writes his ass off? From reviews on the Boxing Uwe Boll blog to his own original material, he’s a prolific producer of the written word. Here we go back and forth in typical interview fashion as he discusses his new project, a short film called Lily and Lucille’s Hip Creature, starring (and executive produced by) actress Madison Burge of NBC’s Friday Night Lights. The tale of a young woman desperate to experience something supernatural in origin who comes in contact with a paranormal investigation team that’s a “hipsterized” version of Ghost Hunters.
Well hello, Louis. After many talks about TV and cinema, it’s good to see you have something brewing. How did you start “Lily And Lucille’s Hip Creature”? And was it always intended to be live action? Lily and Lucille is a short film that serves as a companion piece for a feature that I’m also developing called Way of the Gemini. After Madison Burge attached herself to the feature, we began discussing ways to increase interest. We thought making a short film– sort of a preview of what to expect– was an excellent way to go. It was always intended to be live action. However, my writing partner Per Berg and I have many animated and motion comic ideas in the works. One day… One day and money…
Was casting her difficult? That “Friday Night Lights” was a pretty big deal… I dug her on that show. Madison was sort of a lucky break, and I got in touch with her through a more unconventional route. No agents or anything like that. My good friend Dave McComb knew her from working on Friday Night Lights, and told her about some of my scripts. She agreed to read them, liked them, and now we’re making movies. And yes, I dug her on that show too.
Should this lead to a full-length film, will you direct? And if not, who’d be your dream choice as director? Me directing is definitely a possibility. Originally we were developing the feature with a really brilliant director named Amat Escalante (Los Bastardos, Sangre), but his current feature has been put on hold, so he may not be able to for scheduling issues. Right now we are also talking to Gustavo Hernandez and Jorge Michel Grau (We Are What We Are) about directing the feature.
Nice! Will this be a “fx” film? If so, are you busting out the CGI or relying on practical in camera magic? Not many special effects. There are doppelgangers, so that will require a mixture of digital and practical techniques.
During filming do you intended to be rough and tumble, like handheld/guerrilla style or can we expect a solid flatfooted approach? It’s funny that you ask that. I feel like a lot of filmmakers feel this strange pressure to pick a style. I’m really actually trying to avoid doing that. I just hope to do whatever works best for the movie. If it demands shaky cam, we’ll go with that. If we need a long 2 minute static shot, we’ll do that as well.
How big of a crew are you juggling on this short? It’s pretty bare bones. 10-12 people.
Any red shirts? Expendable crew to make “examples” of? I think Shinedown taught us that “ target=”_blank”>every one of us is expendable.”
(laughs like a loon) Well played, Sir. Will this be funny in tone? Or are you playing it straight, letting the comedy come naturally? A little bit of both. It’s a serious movie, but I can’t escape jokes.
How hard was it to raise money on this bad boy? I noticed your awesome star is a producer. Madison is the Executive Producer. She’s in charge of anything money.
Did you find it intimidating to talk to an established actress, or did she put you at ease right away? Madison is one of the nicest people I’ve met… and I don’t mean just in this industry. She’s very down to earth, and very intelligent. She has an insight into films and art that a lot of actors I’ve met don’t possess or even care to possess.
I hear Stephanie Hunt, also from Friday Night Lights, is joining the cast. How did that come about? Yeah, Stephanie’s a friend of Madison, so that’s how she got involved. She also just did another Austin movie with Bob Byington and Nick Offerman from Parks and Rec.
Where will you be shooting? Austin, TX…all over…
Are you a slave driver on set? Are you going to break your actors in a week from pushing them too hard? I don’t know how I’ll be actually. I feel that because this is my script and it’s being realized as an actual film, I’m too grateful to be a slave driver. I feel very lucky and privileged to be working with everyone involved, so I can’t help but be appreciative and nice.
Once completed, are you going to shop it around, or can we hope to see it at coffee houses or better yet, the mighty ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE? There doesn’t seem to be too heavy a market for short films. We’ll make it available for people to see online at some point, but mainly use it as a way to insure the feature gets financed.
Interesting! So when this project becomes a feature, will I have a small cameo? If you answer no, explain yourself. Of course.
I know you’re from the Midwest, but will you go wherever you’re career takes you, or are you a Texas talent now? I’ll go wherever it takes me. Ideally, back to the Midwest one day.
Thanks for letting me pick your brain, Louis. To say I want you to succeed would be an understatement. May this venture prove fruitful.
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