Read Shockya's interview with writer/director David Robert Mitchell and producer Adele Romanski, who are making their feature film debut with the upcoming comedy-drama ‘The Myth of the American Sleepover.’ The movie, which is scheduled to be released in New York City on Friday, July 22, 2011, and in Los Angeles the following week on Friday, July 29, follows four teenagers on the last night of summer. During their final night of freedom before the new school year starts, they spend the night with friends, exploring their suburban Michigan town for love and adventure. Mitchell and Romanski, who attended the coming-of-age drama’s New York premiere at the Museum of Modern Art on Monday, July 18, discuss, among other things, how they cast the largely undiscovered cast, and why they didn’t set the film in one particular year.
Written by: Karen Benardello
Question (Q): The performances are so natural and so easy. Where the actors friends and acquaintances, or did you put out a call? Can you talk a bit about the casting process, and where you found the actors?
David Robert Mitchell (DRM): Yeah, sure. A couple of the people were friends, but the majority of the cast were just kids we found in Michigan, high school and college kids from the area. Adele and I had a big, open casting call, which was advertised through community papers and word-of-mouth. We held them ourselves, basically, Adele and I and a camcorder. (laughs)
Adele Romanski (AD): We decided to tape the auditions.
DRM: My mom was at the table, greeting people (laughs), so that’s what it was. But we found these kids who were excited about the idea of being in a movie. But the truth is most of them had never acted before. Some of them have never been in front of a camera before or had done anything. They thought it would be a fun thing to do over the summer. It was, for sure.
Q: Did it take you all summer to make the film?
DRM: Yeah, we shot for four or five weeks. We were in Michigan for three months, finding locations, finishing the casting and just trying to finish the linguistics. It was a lot of locations and a lot of actors. So it was a lot of work.
Q: Did the actors get together and have sessions before you began filming, so that they could get to know each other?
DRM: Yeah, we had some rehearsals. It wasn’t a ton, but we had a few.
Q: What year was the movie set in?
DRM: I don’t know. (laughs) I don’t know, it’s a blur of a lot of years. We didn’t want to set it in any specific time period. Jeanine (Nicholas), our production designer, she did a great job. She brought a lot of elements from different decades into the movie. There’s things from the (19)50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, and some current things, too, to kind of make people wonder, when is this happening? The idea being that it’s something universal, so people of different ages who grew up in different decades can see a little bit of themselves in it.
To read the rest of this interview, please click here.