Day 3: Gavin McInnes’ Errant Life Tips in How To Be A Man; James Ponsoldt’s Advice to Filmmakers
Director Chadd Harbold’s brazen new comedy How To Be A Man made its world premiere on day three of NEXT WEEKEND, and actor/comedian Gavin McInnes stuck around after the screening to extend the unruly behavior. McInnes stars as Mark, an eccentric New Yorker who is so certain that the lump in his man boob is in fact breast cancer that he hires a young cameraman (excellently played by Liam Aiken) to document a series of instructional videos on life for his unborn son. Unfortunately for Bryan, Mark’s life tips range from how to fight a bully to lessons on picking up women, and the impressionable 20-something is coerced into playing an active role in the teachings.
Director of Programming Trevor Groth kicked off the post-screening conversation with a question of ‘how far is too far’ when taking a comedic approach to gloomy subject matter—in this case, cancer. As Harbold attempted to respond, McInnes interjected with the assertion that nothing is out-of-bounds when it comes to comedy, and proceeded to digress into comedic diatribes on everything from the inefficacy of contraceptives to the incessant blaring of fire sirens in New York, but a curious lack of fires. Ultimately, Harbold and McInnes settled on the notion that perhaps the best way to endure life’s misfortunes is with a smile on one’s face.
Perhaps the biggest surprise from the Q&A session involved an admission from both McInnes and Harbold that they rarely deviated from the script and employed almost no improvised scenes. Staying true to his dry wit, McInnes commented, "We stuck pretty close to the script because we didn't want to waste anybody's time." Frankly, if that's the barometer of success that the How To Be A Man team is using, then they're doing just fine.
James Ponsoldt and Illeana Douglas Offer Advice at ShortsLab: LA
Taking place throughout day three of NEXT WEEKEND at Sundance Cinemas on Saturday was ShortsLab: LA, a full-day seminar of Sundance-organized screenings, panels, and discussions to offer firsthand insight and access into the world of story development, production, and exhibition of narrative short-form storytelling. To kick of the workshop, director James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now, Smashed) and filmmaker/actress Illeana Douglas shared insights to the audience of aspiring filmmakers. Here’s some of the takeaways and tips from the morning:
"In the design of the story, I would try to write a something you can actually execute." on how to make a short on a budget @jamesponsoldt— Sundance Institute (@sundancelabs) August 10, 2013
"This idea that you can go into to production with $500 because the Duplass' did it, it's just not realistic...— Sundance Institute (@sundancelabs) August 10, 2013
"Editors are editors for a reason. Final cut does not an editor make. I have felt more like a filmmaker in the editing room." @Illeanarama— Sundance Institute (@sundancelabs) August 10, 2013
"Your own life story is a thing nobody can write for you. If you can figure out how to get it on paper, you'll be successful." @Illeanarama— Sundance Institute (@sundancelabs) August 10, 2013
"Whatever that spark is, bottle it and never forget. It's important to stay inspired." @jamesponsoldt— Sundance Institute (@sundancelabs) August 10, 2013