Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Interview: Screenwriter-Director Nick Tomnay Talks 'The Perfect Host'

Read Shockya's exclusive interview with filmmaker Nick Tomnay, who is making his feature-length directorial and screenwriting debut with the upcoming psychological thriller ‘The Perfect Host.’ The movie follows John Taylor, played by Clayne Crawford, who just robbed a bank and is trying to escape capture from the LAPD. He shows up at the doorstep of Warwick Wilson, portrayed by David Hyde Pierce, who is preparing a dinner party for some friends. As the night progresses, the two men both discover how deceiving looks can really be. ‘The Perfect Host,’ which is based on Tomnay’s 2001 short film ‘The Host,’ is currently available through VOD and is scheduled to hit theaters in a limited release on July 1, 2011. Tomnay discusses with us, among other things, what Pierce and Crawford’s relationship was like in real life, and why he wanted to cast the two actors.

ShockYa (SY): The main relationship in ‘The Perfect Host’ is between Warwick and John, and it’s a tumultuous bond. What was David’s relationship with Clayne like in real life?

Nick Tomnay (NK): It was, you know, because we shot the film so quickly, there wasn’t a lot of time for anything but the movie. I think that Clayne and David and I were sort of obsessed with the process, and were very involved in making the movie. I mean, we were immersed in it. It was a lot of joint enthusiasm for it because of that. Because of that, we all had a great time. We all got along well and were making jokes. It was a real sense of camaraderie when we were making the film. We worked with the actors and the crew so well, I think, because we had to shoot it so quickly and had no money. We had two trailers, and that was it. There was no real luxury in all that. We all just stuck together. I remember at one point, we were shooting a shot of Clayne, and he was really enjoying himself. He said “this isn’t like making a film, this is like making a film with my buddies in Alabama,” where he’s from. That sort of feeling, just for the joy of it. That was really good, I think that helped. I wanted the film to have that joy too.

SY: You only had 17 days to shoot the film. What were some of the challenges in having such a sort shooting period?

NT: Well, you know for me, one of the challenges was shooting the exteriors, because we didn’t have a lot of time. I would have really liked to have more time to shoot some of that stuff. The opening sequence was basically in-camera edits. We got from point A to point B, and just shot in chronological order. We just did a couple of takes, and moved on. When we came to edit it, I just took off the top and splashed it together, and that was the beginning. So there was that aspect of it. It was very quick, and we were running out of time. So that was the constant thing throughout the whole movie, the time, the clicking clock was just kind of over my shoulder the entire time. For me, the challenge was to make the film without the audience feeling that we had rushed through this. We hadn’t rushed it, there was just no time for experimenting.

To read the rest of this interview, please click here.

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