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- F: How much money did you get for directing Super?
A: Like everyone involved, I took only the guild minimums. I'm not sure how much that is, but for directing and writing I think it was under 150 grand.
- F: Is Ellen Page in Super a lot?
A: Yes, her role is extremely prominent.
- F: Do you have a particular casting agent/ agency you use or do you your own casting calls?
A: I almost always have used a casting person, but they've changed. On SUPER we used a local casting agent in Louisiana for a few small roles - but almost all the roles in the film were cast by me from stars either myself, Ted Hope, or Rainn Wilson would get the script to, or friends. A very good percentage of the film and most of the small roles are actually friends and people I've worked with over the years on other films, web stuff, etc. Some of these folks - like Valentine Miele, from Tromeo & Humanzee, are going to blow your mind. They're amazing small performances.
- F: When will SUPER be out?
A: We don't know. It will be finished this summer, but our distribution deal is not settled yet (and probably won't be settled until then).
- F: Seriously looking forward to SUPER. I know you just wrapped and I don't want to be a little piggy, but when is it coming out?
A: We don't know yet (answered earlier).
- F: What do you think of Rob Zombie?
A: I mean this in all sincerity - Rob Zombie is one of my very favorite people in this business. I think he's a talented guy, and, more importantly, he's just about the nicest guy around. He just gave us the use of one of his songs for SUPER for free. He's the best.
- F: How did your assistant/intern work out? Would you hold another online search again?
A: Justin was awesome!! In all fairness, he came to me through my friend Mary, but, still, he was great. From that same search, though, we got two other onset PA's who were also great. One of them, Will, even has a pretty hilarious featured extra role in Super. I would definitely do it again.
- F: What sort of comics do you enjoy? You mention them every now and again and I know SUPER is obviously based in the culture. Maxx fan?
A: I think Maxx is okay. I read a lot of comics, both underground (recently finished Joe Sacco's Footnotes in Gaza and David Mazzucchelli's Asterios Polyp) and mainstream comics (really enjoying Bendis's Siege stuff right now). If you do a Google search, you can probably find some lists of my favorite books here and there.
- F: When you write a screenplay, how often do you create characters with specific actors in mind?
A: Sometimes. In my new movie Super, I wrote the role of Hamilton with Andre Royo in mind, for instance. But most of the roles were written without specific actors. Sometimes I will imagine one of my friends as the characters, however.
- F: How did you and mia meet?
A: We met on MySpace two years ago. I friended her because she was cute, she wrote me, and I read her blogs, which I loved, and became interested. We chatted a bit, but lost touch. After I broke up with my last girlfriend, we reconnected again and started dating on a trip to New York. As a side note, I met Mia the same day I met Liv Tyler in person and Liv agreed to do Super! Liv was the most important part of our raising funding for the film, so it was quite a big, joyful day in my life.
- F: How involved are you in the editing of Super? And does your editing involvement vary much depending on the project?
A: I'm in the editing room every day for a few hours. I give notes, watch changes, and go back the next day for the same thing again. Yes, the projects vary. On Slither I was next to the editor the entire time, looking at every little edit. I give Cara Silverman, on Super, a bit more freedom. On PG Porn though, Pete Alton is truly in charge of the editing - I give him perhaps two rounds of notes, and that's it.
- F: Is it lucrative being you? how much do you make from a script?
A: It depends. I did Super for guild minimum, which is something like fifty grand (not sure). However, I've made over a million on other scripts. If you add in my residuals on the movie, I can make three or four million off a single script. This is the first time I've ever answered this question straightforwardly - like the relationship questions, I may regret it!!
- F: What's the best camera to shoot with? Is it the same as your favorite? If not, how do they differ?
A: I shot SUPER on the Red and really liked it for its ease and speed. If I had a bigger budget, though, I'd probably still prefer a 35.
- F: Will you take Super to the Toronto Film Fest?
- F: OMG James, is so many questions here! Thank you for your answers! Maybe you can persuade Michael Rosenbaum to be registered here? For short time))
A: I get asked to try and get my famous friends to do this or that all the time. I never do. Except Twitter. I did harass both Liv Tyler and Ellen Page throughout the filming of SUPER to sign on to Twitter. I was completely unsuccessful.
- F: Will you be infront of the camera at all for Super?
A: Yes, I do have a role in Super. It's not large, but it's larger than my cameo in Slither.
- F: Since you walked away from Belcoo and Pets, is there anything else on the horizon?
A: I'm trying to figure that out now. I'm ready for something new. Super has fucked me up!!
- F: Do you make your way into canada very often for projects? How else am I going to get a photo with you??
A: I've shot three movies in Canada! But, fortunately for us down here, the U.S. is now competitive in many States because of tax breaks, and I was able to shoot Super in Louisiana. I'm sure I'll go back to Canada sometime soon. Vancouver is like a second home - I've spent over a year of my life there shooting movies!
- F: What are you're thoughts about Kick-ass and how it may affect Super?
A: Not sure. It looks like it's going to make 19 million this weekend, which is not so great considering the amount of advertising they put into it, and the amount the movie cost. If it was a bigger hit, it might help us more. I am, of course, a little bummed out - I wrote the script for SUPER five years ago, and already had a producer attached, before Mark even began writing the Kick-Ass comic book. However, our movie is much, much different. It's an independent black comedy with a tragic, dramatic center. We'll see!
- F: Is Super going to get a theatrical release, limited or straight to DVD? How is this determined and do you have much influence on this?
A: We haven't sold to a distributor yet, but we certainly hope for a theatrical release.
- F: What are your plans for today?
A: I'm going to make notes on my cut of SUPER, mostly. It's an open day, which is nice. I have no plans tonight, so I think I might stay in and watch the second half of Red Cliff.
- F: I've been following you since I saw you were filming Super in my hometown in Louisiana. I was curious what you thought of the place-- the good and the bad? My beef with S'port is the airport situation.
A: I like Shreveport and think the people are kind. There are a couple of good restaurants (Bella Fresca my favorite of them), which really helps. The airport situation IS bad, because so many flights are cancelled. It makes it a huge problem when shooting there. Rainn was flying back and forth between us and the Office, and we could have had our film ruined by a cancelled flight at the airport, which almost happened so many times - we were just lucky. It's hard to make a movie there because there are no direct flights.
- F: How much does it set production back when/if you have had to fire an actor from a project?
A: It depends. I fired a huge actor a couple weeks before shooting Super, and replaced him with another big actor, and it didn't cost us anything at all. However, on Tromeo, we fired an actor after we shot for a day, and had to reshoot all his scenes, which was a pain. It really depends on how much work you've put into the person, or how much you've shot with him (or her).
- F: Will Mia be making an apperance in any of your future films?
A: She will make a very small appearance in SUPER, yes.
- F: How did you come to be so awesome?? Slither is my favorite movie! Oh, and will there be another Scream Queens?? You were too cute on that show!
A: I don't know how I came to be so awesome, but there will be another Scream Queens. Unfortunately, because I had to shoot Super, I couldn't be a judge, so my friend Tim Sullivan took over for me. I will hopefully be back for Season Three (if there is one - so be sure to watch Season Two!)
- F: Does Von Spears have a cameo in SUPER? Why the fuck not?
A: He doesn't because he wasn't in Shreveport with me, and the scenes shot in L.A. weren't conducive to a dog cameo.
- F: Would you ever work with Lloyd again?
A: I work with Lloyd all the time. I just shot the BluRay intro for Tromeo & Juliet, and he has a small role in Super.
- F: Who's the most under-appreciated person on set during production (not in post)
A: 1st Assistant Camera - because if that dude isn't keeping things in focus, you're fucked! On Super, we had once focus puller who was absolutely incredible, and he saved us a lot of time by being so great.
- F: Was Ellen Page your first choice for the role in Super?
- F: When will Super be out? I can't wait to see it!
A: We don't know yet!
- F: Do you and Mia plan to work on some projects together?
A: We've talked about one thing, and she has a small part of Super, but I'm more interested in partnering with her in life than I am with creative or career projects.
- F: Are you likely to go back to the studio well following SUPER, or do something else in the indie arena?
A: It could go either way, but my next project will likely be a studio project. SUPER was the thing I've been most passionate about, but it also almost killed me. I would like a little more down time and money on my next film.
- F: Just saw 'Kick Ass'. You think Super might be labeled a 'knock off' of it? Ideawise?
A: Likely. Even though Super was written and had a producer attached before Mark Millar ever wrote the comic book, and Mark even knew about it (because I told him - just a coincidence). Externally the movies seem similar but internally they are very very different
- F: Will we see a trailer for Super anytime soon? how much did it cost to make?
A: Probably not until Comicon. I'm not allowed to say anymore how much it cost, but it was very low budget. Everyone worked for scale.
- F: Was Mia Taft Hartleyed in Super?
A: No. She doesn't have any lines.
- F: Why did you not return for the 2nd series of Scream Queens? I thought you made that show.
A: I had to shoot SUPER, and they happened to occur at the exact same time. It totally sucked for me. But please watch anyway - if it gets picked up I'll be back for the third season. I HATED not being able to do that show. It was one of the most fun things ever.
- F: Have you seen Ellen's film Peacock?
A: I have not.
- F: Would you be willing to answer a short questionaire for my blog, Hollywood Bound and Down, regarding your success in Hollywood?
A: Ask the questions on here and copy them! I'm actually avoiding interviews right now. I know I'll have to do them when I'm closer with SUPER, so I'm holding off.
- F: What's your favorite part of making a film, and the most stressful part? Are you just a wreck until it's all over or are there times you can enjoy yourself in the moment? Have you nearly strangled anybody on Super?
A: My favorite part is definitely post-production. The hours are easier and I enjoy the process of editing. I very rarely enjoy making a film, and I get made fun of for it all the time. Even crew members and actors are surprised when I tell them I almost never have a good time doing what I do. It's the stress in part, but I also just become a sort of machine, and I don't filter in any sort of pleasure as part of the equation - how I "feel" becomes utterly important. All that matters is the piece of work I'm producing. Why do I do it then? (That's what everyone asks me). It's because I feel called to do it, and I'm happy with some of the things I've produced so far. But it's about as pleasurable as childbirth. SLITHER was more fun than SUPER because there was more down time and more time to bond, etc, because the budget was larger. SUPER was a sprint and was extremely physically and psychologically difficult because of that. As for the second person, there are probably about four people on SUPER I wanted to punch at one time or another. One of those people I wouldn't mind strangling.
- F: I saw the special effects making of Slither on You Tube and it was really interesting. I was wonder if the shots in Grants house was a house or was it a set? (sorry this was so long)
A: All the interiors of Grant's home were a beautiful set designed and built by our great production designer, Andrew Neskoromny. I love shooting on sets, which I didn't have the luxury of being able to do on Super.
- F: How long did it take you to finish the script for Slither? Not counting revisions/rewrites.
A: About a month or a month and a half for the first draft. It was quick (but not as quick as The Specials or Tromeo & Juliet, each of which I wrote in under a week. Super, too, was less than a month).
- F: Do you have a trailer almost ready for super? do you know when we can expect it? i havent even seen any screen shots or nothing yet for it.
A: The earliest anyone will see anything is Comicon in July. No screen shots or stills before then. It's like the Cloverfield monster, only with that guy from The Office.
- F: A lot of people tell me that Sasha Grey and Ellen Page (two people you've worked with) look alike,but I don't see it. Do you think they look alike?
A: Not in the very least.
- F: Is there ever a time that you miss the days working for Troma and wish you could go back to films at that budget level?
A: The budget for SUPER really wasn't much more than a Troma movie, especially if you take out the union fees. So I DO go back and do that. But I do often miss my days of working at Troma. I was discovering the joys of professional filmmaking for the first time.
- F: Do you have an idea what the rating of SUPER will be?
A: It will be rated R.
- F: You stated Ellen Page was your first choice for playing Libby in Super. Was there any special reason for this respectively did you wrote the character especially for her?
A: No, I didn't write the character for her. But Rainn and I thought it was an opportunity for her to play a different type of character than she usually does, and Rainn liked her a lot as a person (I didn't know her yet), and she was essentially the biggest star/box office draw in that age range/of that type who was also a serious actress.
- F: Did the actors of SUPER have any input on the scenes or certain things (stunts, violence, nudity) or did you film it as it was written a long time ago?
A: Every once in a while Rainn would improve a line, but everything else was exactly as it's been written for over five years.
- F: Are you going to be at comic-con this year? please say yes
A: I will probably be there with some stuff from SUPER, yes, but this isn't entirely certain.
- F: What's the hardest thing you've done in the entertainment biz? PG porn or movies?
A: PG Porn was EASY! The hardest thing I ever did in the entertainment industry was work for Troma, especially for the pre-production period of Tromeo & Juliet. Nothing else compares to that. The second most difficult thing was shooting the scene between Grant Grant and Starla near the end of the movie, where he's wrapping her tentacles around her. A million things went wrong on that day, and Michael Rooker was in agony, which killed me. The next hardest thing was the entirety of SUPER, which pretty much beat the shit out of me. Of all the online stuff I did, Humanzee! was undoubtedly the most difficult.
- F: I love elizabeth banks!!! did you expect her and n.fillion to become such big stars when working with them?? any chance you'll work with her again in the near future?
A: Well, Nathan is in SUPER. Elizabeth and I have been talking about working on something together in the very near future. Whatever the case, I'll work with both of them again. They're both good friends, and I love creating with them. And, yes, I expected them both to become huge stars while I was working with them.
- F: You said you dislike the works of Gregg Araki, but have you seen mysterious skin? because it's awesome.
A: I heard that. And it's written by Scott Heim, who I like a lot (the novel is very good) and shot by SUPER director of photography Steve Gainer. But I despise those other films so much I've had a hard time forcing myself to watch it.
- F: Do you storyboard your own films and are they detailed down to every cut or just loose approximations?
A: On Super I storyboarded every single shot very very specifically. I drew them all myself, and no one can understand them but me.
- F: What cameras do you use for shooting?
A: It changes from project to project. We shot SUPER on the Red.
- F: I'm such a character person in my writing, what's your favorite type of character to write?
A: The Machiavellian, darkly comic trickster (Murry Martini in Tromeo, Steve in Dawn of the Dead, the Mayor in Slither, Ellen Page's character Libby in Super, etc.)
- F: Describe Ellen Page's personality.
A: More of a command than a question, but - she's extremely serious and globally conscious at all times. She's quiet natured yet extremely energetic. She's massively charismatic and equally talented. She's sweet and funny and loves dogs, which puts her over the top in my book. I think she's incredible.
- F: When is the soonest we could see Super on the big screen?
A: Probably September - that's the SOONEST. It will likely be later than that.
- F: So I thought Kick Ass was a pretty good movie, a more "real" take on the super hero thing. What did you think?
A: I have not seen it.
- F: What is a typical day like for you?
A: My days change from day to day. Lately I wake up, eat breakfast, work out, take care of phone calls and internet stuff from home, take a meeting, go to the editing room and work on SUPER, come back and do a little writing, and then hang out with Mia, usually going out and doing something.
- F: Would you ever film in your hometown, or is it too expensive to film within the States?
A: I would, sure. I just filmed SUPER in the States. Most of the best deals are now in the States, actually.
- F: Are you planning on doing promotion of SUPER on talk shows? Or do you leave it up to the actors? I would love to see you promote the film on Chelsea Lately.
A: I'll do some shows, yes, if the release is big enough. I don't know about Chelsea Lately. I've never even seen that show.
- F: Over the course of a normal year (to average out highs and lows), how much of your time is spent writing, pitching/looking for deals, directing, and goofing off (non-work)?
A: This really changes from year to year. I've spent a LOT of time goofing off with Mia this year, perhaps a record amount. This year most of my time this year so far has been spent directing SUPER, secondly with goofing off, then writing, and in a very distant last place, pitching and looking for deals, which takes almost none of my time.
- F: What does the word "Muslim" bring to your mind?
A: Well, the first thing I thought of was my friend Shari Davani, who was the first A.D. on Super. She's Muslim.
- F: Why did you stop PG Porn on spike?
A: Because I needed to go direct SUPER.
- F: How was it working with Ellen Page??
- F: Update on Super? Hows it going? What part of the process is the film in now?
A: I've turned in the first director's cut, and have to turn in the second cut tomorrow. Tomorrow I lay some music in with the composer Tyler Bates, and I'm very excited about it! Basically, we're very close to being done with the edit. But there's a lot to be done with music, song rights, CGI and 2D animation, as well as the DI color timing and the sound mix. But we're getting to the place where we have a finished movie that we just need to make look and sound like an actual movie! It feels great!! People are going to freak out on Ellen Page, by the way. She is so fucking fun.
- F: A chance Old 97's on Super soundtrack?
A: Possibly. There's a very specific sound of the Super soundtrack - a lot of the songs were picked out for the movie in the script-writing stage. Some of the scenes were even shot to specific songs. It is also very Swedish-influenced. And, with that, I must go!! Mia is well awake and I'm ignoring her! Thanks for all your questions! Sorry if I didn't get to yours!
- F: Will SUPER be a 90min, 120min or rather 120+ movie? Or, to say it in other words, what is the estimated running time?
A: It will probably run around 95 minutes. It's to the point.
- F: What's the tone/rating of Super going to be?
A: It will be rated R, and it is funny but very, very dark.
- F: When you were filming Super w/ Rainn,Liv,Ellen,and etc did you guys have time to bond/do stuff when you weren't shooting?
A: A very small amount. On Slither I had a lot of time to bond with the cast. We shot for 47 days and had a lot of down time. On Super we only shot for 24 days and we were constantly going - sometimes doing over 50 set-ups a day (on a normal film it can be around 12 set-ups a day). I was moving constantly. So I didn't get to hang out with the cast outside of filming. That said, I hung out with all of them a small amount. I probably hung out with Liv the most.
- F: How did you convince Ellen Page to wear nothing but underwear on her first day on the set? :-)
A: How do you know about that? I didn't have to convince Ellen at all - she was game for anything! And it wasn't so wild that she wore her underwear on the first day, but that she had to wear it outside in the FREEZING COLD.
- F: Are there any "elements" from your past projects that we will see in SUPER again?
A: Unfortunately, tentacles will make a reappearance. I swore I was done with them forever after Slither, but they little fuckers wriggled their way back into another movie. Once again, they have been the bane of my existence. Other than that, many of the themes I've been interested in make a reappearance.
- F: Going to Comic-Con? If so, for fun, work, both?
A: I think I'll probably be there with SUPER, but this isn't 100% certain.
- F: Was it difficult to convince such big names like Liv Tyler, Ellen Page or Rainn Wilson (and their legals/agents etc.) to do SUPER for scale?
A: No. It was surprisingly easy. Rainn already knew me, so he was easy. Both Ellen and Liv read the script, were into it, and then they met me and we got along and they said they wanted to do it right away. Their reps were all surprisingly supportive, because the thought it was a cool, worthwhile project.
- F: How much is scale?
A: There are different levels of scale according to the budget of the film. For an actor on a low budget film, I think it's like a couple hundred bucks a day. There is also scale for writers, directors, editors, etc. Everyone on SUPER pretty much worked for scale.
- F: How far along are you in editing Super? How many effects shots are there?
A: We are almost done with the actual edit, but there is a lot left to do. We have many many effects shots - both CGI and 2D animation.
- F: How did you choose Cara Silverman to edit SUPER?
A: We had a LOT of editors, and many high profile ones, who wanted to edit SUPER. I chose Cara for two reasons: She came highly, highly recommended from my friend Ken Kwapis, and because I liked her personality a lot. You have to spend a lot of time with your editor, and you need to have good communication between the two of you. Oh, also, she understood the movie completely, which not everyone who read it did.
- F: Just to be curious. When did you send the SUPER script to the main actors (Wilson, Page, Tyler, Bacon) and when did they sign up?
A: Jenna talked me into giving the script to Rainn over a year ago, which I did. He loved it and we decided to try to get it going together before anyone else was involved. Rainn shared it with Ellen as a long shot. We didn't really think that it was going to happen, but she also was into it. Ellen and I had lunch, got along famously, and she decided she wanted to do it on the spot as long as we could work around her Inception schedule. Shortly after that my agency, UTA, gave the script to Liv. Again, we were shocked, but she was interested. I flew up to NY to meet with her. I remember the date, because it was the same day as my first date with Mia - July 31st. Liv and I had a three or four hour lunch, and she was on board. Kevin, however, didn't become involved until just a couple weeks or so before we started shooting. There was actually another actor attached to the role of Jacques, but some things went wrong and we had to replace him. Kevin had already read the script because we had earlier offered the smaller role of Felkner to him (eventually played by Gregg Henry). Anyway, we asked Kevin and he said he was in, after we had a phone call. And that's it!
- F: Why didn't you go with peter alton as your DP?
A: Pete had never shot with the Red when we shot SUPER.
- F: If SUPER does well at this screening will that help fast tack it into theaters?
A: No. The screening I talked about on Twitter this morning is only for me and the editor. We just want to see what we have so far on a big screen.
- F: One of your STL extras here. Thanks again for the opportunity it was great fun for my daughter and I. She did a paper on you for her directing class when she got back. Did I read somewhere that you were introducing the SUPER trailer at SDCC?
A: This is a likely possibility, but not certain. We will possibly show a scene from Super at Comicon.
- F: I think you and sam rockwell could make some hilarious and twisted stuff together. will you cast him in your next film?
A: Sam and I had conversations five years ago about him starring in Super, but things went in a different direction. I'd love to work with him sometime.
- F: Is Ellen Page really short and tiny like I've heard she is?
A: She's very tiny. Very small all around.
- F: To date, what do you see as your greatest professional achievement?
A: Getting SUPER made.
- F: I have a friend that was an extra on Super, I think she was a stripper did you guys have fun on the set with all the extras?
A: Yes! The extras were a lot of fun on SUPER. The most fun day was probably the day we used all the people from Twitter, who drove in from all over the place to be in the movie.
- F: Who is the leading actress in Super, Liv, Ellen, or are they both leads?
A: They're both leads.
- F: When was the last time you talked to Ellen Page?
A: About a week ago by email.
- F: For your next project, or even PG Porn, will you use people who are following you on twitter be extras like you did with Super?
A: Maybe for my next movie, but probably not PG Porn, as we only need a few extras for those kinds of shows, and a few extras are easy to find among my friends. It's only for the big crowd scenes where Twitter is helpful. We only did it in one scene with Super.
- F: According to the crew's tweets, you shot some scenes of SUPER in the middle of the night (3 or 4 AM). Was there any specific reason for this?
A: Yes - simply because these were scenes that took place outdoors at night. So we wanted all the night time darkness we could get, and shot overnight.
- F: Do you think the "Juno"-Fans will enjoy Ellen Page's performance in SUPER?
A: Yes, definitely. Although Ellen is very different in SUPER than she was in Juno.
- F: Will there be an official website for SUPER (besides a single page on your own one)?
A: Yes, there probably will be.
- F: Would you appreciate if the fan/websites dedicated to the actors involved in SUPER help you with promoting the movie? Or don't you want that kind of support?
A: Of course! I would love it!
- F: If Ellen Page would have dropped out of SUPER, who would be your choice to play Libby/Boltie?
A: Probably Kelli Garner.
- F: Since Ellen often plays characters younger than her actual age, how old is Libby/Boltie supposed to be?
- F: With the end of the post-production for SUPER getting closer, do you already have some "deleted scenes" that might be included in the DVD/Blu-ray release later?
A: Yes, we do. But not many.
- F: If Super gets Ironman box office numbers, what kind of car are you going to buy?
A: I like my car just fine, and Super isn't that type of movie at all.
- F: I just wanted to tell you that Slither is one of my favorite movies. Do you have any plans to make another movie with Nathan Fillion? I think you should
A: Nathan Fillion is in my movie Super, with Rainn Wilson, which I'm editing now.
- F: I'm curious, was there a test screening for SUPER in West Hollywood last night as announced by Dean Mozian or not? If so, how was the feedback?
A: Yes, there were two very very small test screenings in Los Angeles and New York. The response was overwhelmingly positive, as long as it wasn't someone offended by the extreme nature of the material.
- F: Do you plan on doing any future film projects with Nathan Fillion?
A: He's in SUPER. Hopefully, if all goes well, he'll be at Comicon with me, Rainn, Liv, and others.
- F: I'm really looking forward to seeing Super. But it's tough for me to see movies with sexual violence. You just mentioned the film's "extreme nature." I realize you can't really give away any details, but how extreme is "extreme?"
A: It's very extreme in a lot of ways - tonally, the violence, the philosophy behind it, everything.
- F: How could you cut Kaufman's one line in Slither!
A: He did it poorly and the line didn't work anyway. Don't worry: He has TWO lines in SUPER to make up for it.
- F: I thought Nathan Fillion was going to Comicon for Castle? Can he go for Super as well?
A: Of course.
- F: When will Super come out? And when are you releasing the trailers?
A: We don't know when the movie is coming out as we don't have a distributor yet. We will be showing some footage at Comicon on Friday, July 23, at 1 pm in Hall H. I am not sure how much of this footage will be available online.
- F: Which cast members attended the Super screening, if any?
A: None. But Rainn has already seen the film.
- F: So whats the deal- footage or trailer or both or none at comic con? do you have a trailer for super ready but might have to hold out on sharing it?
A: No, we don't have a trailer ready. We will be showing footage for sure, and maybe a short trailer as well. We're working it all out now.
- F: Rainn Wilson tweeted he'd seen an almost finished cut of Super - if you are that close of locking the picture, why aren’t you going to have a trailer for Comic Con? Wouldn't that be the smartest thing to have ready in terms of a marketing position?
A: Where did you get that we aren't having a trailer for Comicon? I said all along we're showing footage there. How that footage takes shape is still up for debate. But we're definitely showing something from the movie, and always have been.
- F: Do you have 100% control over the casting of your films? Say you like someone, but the producers don't; who wins? Or reverse that, the producers want someone, but you don't; who wins?
A: It depends on what the project is. On SUPER, I pretty much had total control over the casting as long as the lead roles made our financiers happy (that is, I couldn't cast unknowns in the roles Rainn, Liv, Ellen, and Kevin Bacon are in). On Slither I disagreed about one particular role, and I would have wanted to cast more American friends but was unable to because of Canadian guild agreements, but other than that I got everything I wanted. On PG Porn, etc, I am the owner and get to do whatever the hell I want.
- F: Do you think you will visit us in Paris France to promote Super ? Do you like the city ?
A: I have never been to Paris, though I have been to other parts of France a number of times. I would love to go there to promote Super! Or even just for a vacation. But we'll have to see what the future holds.
- F: Those of us not going to comic con,where else can we go see you release super footage?
A: We don't know where we'll be showing it again after Comic Con, but I do know it's not going to be immediately online.
- F: What do you think of director's cuts... shouldn't the best viewing experience be reserved for the big screen?
A: Well, sometimes the "director's cut" isn't the best cut of a film. Mel Gibson's cut of Payback is much better than the director's cut on Blu-Ray. Yuck! Sometimes producers DO know better than directors. Also, directors' cuts are often just cuts of a movie before the MPAA gets their hands on it - and those versions can't be shown in theaters. It is likely that the first MPAA viewing of SUPER will not receive an R rating and I'd love to have people be able to see the unrated director's cut at some point.
- F: Are you excited for comic con?
A: Yes, very!! I'm so happy Ellen is going to join us!
- F: How awesome is Ellen Page
A: VERY awesome.
- F: Has Ellen Page convinced you to visit Halifax yet?
A: Not yet, no.
- F: I saw Inception and Ellen Page was great, I'm really looking forward to seeing Super. Did she say anything about working with Leo D.?
A: I think we had a conversation about it one day, but I swear to God I can't remember what it was. I'm certain it wasn't negative - I would have remembered that. He's actually one of my favorite actors out there.
- F: Will Super come out in 2010? I can't wait to see it!
A: No. It will probably be out in 2011.
- F: What's the tone of super gonna be like? Is it going to be aimed more at adults? More comedy than adventure? That sort of thing.
A: It's a very dark, sad film, that still has a lot of comedy and violence. It's very much it's own thing.
- F: How likely are you to cut down the violence in 'Super' to meet a wider audience?
A: Not at all likely. I don't care about a wider audience. I care about making the movie I set out to make.
- F: Any chance Super will appear at a Fall film fest like TIFF this year?
- F: When will the Super trailer be released? I CAN'T fucking wait!!
A: I'm not sure if we'll do it when we play our first festival, or wait for distribution (which we'll try to sell off our first festival).
- F: Do you think with the success of Inception, it will help you with the release of Super since Ellen is in both of them?
A: Definitely - it already has to some degree.
- F: Would you be upset if Super ended up going straight to DVD or OD?
A: It depends on the situation, really. At this point I'm honestly just focusing on making a movie people love. I'd rather have a straight to DVD movie people adore than a huge theatrical film people hate.
- F: Are you still working on SUPER? And do you think it will be released worldwide?
A: Yes and probably throughout most of the world, yes.
- F: Would you premiere or show SUPER at SXSW? Or if that's too far in the future for a release, what do you think about SXSW as a film festival in general?
A: I like SXSW, but we will be premiering SUPER at another festival before that. Maybe we'll show it there too, though.
- F: If it's possible that SUPER might premiere at TIFF in September, is it also possible that the film may play the Mill Valley Film Festival in October?
A: Anything is possible. You will know all within the next two weeks.
- F: Any chance of a Super tie-in comic?
A: A small chance of that.
- F: Any updates on super for us?
A: I know where we are debuting. It will be announced late this week or early next week. It is not too far away.
- F: What kind of camera(s) did you use to shoot SUPER? On this subject, what's your preference these days? Are you a proponent of film or are you convinced digital's the way to go w/ the RED, and even Canon's 7D & 5D which seem better than most HD cameras?
A: The Canon 5D is great. We used the Red on SUPER. It looks great. I still LOVE film, but I'm pretty certain it will be non-existent in the next few years. SUPER has a very rough, realistic, hand-held quality, so the Red works in its favor. The camera has some technical glitches, and everything is exceedingly fucking yellow which means you need to use special makeup, and which is a battle in the DI, but I hear the new Red works a lot of those things out.
- F: At TIFF will SUPER be shown during other times aside from the midnight showing?
A: Yes. I'm not sure what those times are, however. But the only screening with me and the actors will be the midnight showing on September 10.
- F: Do you think Super will be at The Tribeca Film Festival?
A: Probably not because of Toronto, but who knows.
- F: dude Super premiers pretty quick dont you think now would be a good time to put out a trailer finally.... seriously whats the delay man?
A: Guys, we're not putting out a trailer for a while. I've answered this question a lot!
- F: How long did it take to film Super? You may have said at the panel I attended but I was totally zoning out at parts.
A: We shot for 24 days.
- F: If SUPER wins TIFF, how much will that help you get the big boys upstairs to help release it nation wide?
A: An awesome screening will help us way more than winning any awards.
- F: What Cheap Trick song were you talking about that you wanted in Super so bad? And did you end up getting it?
A: We got it, yes, thanks to the help of Cheap Trick themselves. You'll have to see the movie to find out!!
- F: Are you some what paranoid that people might think Super is just a rip-off of movies like Kick-Ass and Defendor?
A: Well, some people might think that. But considering many, many people in Hollywood read the script and I had producers and a financier attached to the same script seven years ago - well before the Kickass comic book, and even before the movie Special - that would be a bit ridiculous.
- F: Will you be at TIFF Friday?
A: Yes, I will be at the Toronto premiere along with Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Sean Gunn, Andre Royo, Stephen Blackehart, Steve Agee and more. I can't wait!
- F: When can we expect another horror film??
A: Last Exorcism just opened this week. But if you're talking about from ME, who knows. I don't know if my next film will be a horror film or not. I still don't know what that's going to be, besides the Farrelly brothers thing I did. Though I will say this - there are many horror film elements in SUPER. It is not what you expect.
- F: When is the Los Angeles premiere of Super and whee is it going to be?
A: We don't know yet. We still don't have a distributor yet (fret not, we haven't shown it yet to any distributors, so this isn't a bad thing). Hopefully we'll lock down a distributor in the next couple months and then figure out what our plan is from there.
- F: Do you feel better now that you have finished Super, or now are there new things to worry about?
A: I wish I did. But I always seem to find something new to worry about. I was talking to Mia about this last night. I seem to latch onto whatever part of my life is the most broken and can't stop dealing with it. It's a mental deficiency. All the major aspects of my life are going amazingly well, but I focus completely on the few small parts that are not. I hate it.
- F: Any chance of brining SUPER to Austin?
A: Not for the fest upcoming, unfortunately.
- F: Is the reviewer who mentions " Ellen Page as a sexually charged sidekick" telling the truth? Also do you add fans as friends on facebook or only people you know?
A: Yes, she is very sexually charged in the film. And I used to add fans on Facebook, but all my slots are filled so I just try and leave a few slots open for real life friends as they crop up. I don't add people on Facebook anymore, they have to go to my Like page: http://www.facebook.com/jamesgunnfans which is where I post things first anyway.
- F: Will there be a q&a session or a press conference for SUPER at TIFF? Thanks!!!
A: Yes, there will be a Q & A after the screening on Friday night. So if you have tickets to the screening, you can check it out.
- F: I remember a pic of your brother with hair that made him look like an umpa lumpa. Was it you that finally got him to change that? Good job if it was.
A: Was it the mohawk thing? That was for SUPER. I like my brother to get fucked up hair for my movies - three little ponytails for Tromeo, bald for the Specials, and a guido mohawk for Super.
- F: If Super finds a wide release do you think Kick Ass will have helped or hurt your film in terms of box office and critical success?
A: I don't think it really affects it. If people want to see the movie they'll see it, if not, they won't. It might affect how distribution sees it - with Watchmen and Kickass, two R-rated superhero movies have been box office disappointments. The thing about SUPER is, though, that it only cost a very small fraction of what those movies cost, so only making a fraction of what they made would be a huge success for us.
- F: Hi, James... what was the budget on SUPER and how many shooting days did you have? Also, was it shot on film or Hi-Def?
A: I'm not allowed to discuss the budget but it was very low budget. Not as low as a Troma film, but only a fraction of what I made Slither for. It was shot in Hi Def, on the RED.
- F: What comic books or works have inspired your superhero themed films?
A: I actually think that SUPER is more inspired by independent films than it is by comics, but Alan Moore is definitely an inspiration in everything I have done. So are the works of the 90's independent guys - Dan Clowes, Joe Matt, Peter Bagge, and so on.
- F: Can you talk about your feelings toward shooting RED as opposed to shooting 35? I've shot both now and I have enjoyed shooting digital more than film simply because I can shoot whatever I want without having my budget sky rocket because of film costs.
A: I'm with you on that. I like the look of film more, but the freedom of digital outweighs that on a movie like SUPER where we had to be shooting constantly, and we shot long takes. We could have never made this film on 35.
- F: You said "To see all of those people come out for a film that doesn't have distribution, doesn't have anything really, except for the passion of a handful of people who are involved with the film." in an interview. How important is passion in a film?
A: For me, it's extremely important, especially on a movie like SUPER. Obviously, no one did it for money, so passion is about all we had!!
- F: Did you storyboard all scenes for SUPER so that you knew exactly what you have to shoot?
A: Yes. And I went over and over the shot list with my DP and AD so we knew exactly what we were all going to shoot from beat to beat in what order - all three of us memorized it all, really - so that when we were on set there was no stopping and talking about what came next, just jumping quickly from shot to shot. Our DP, Steve Gainer, moved so quickly that we waited on set for hair and makeup and props more than we did on camera - and if you've ever been on a film set, you know how that just doesn't happen. To my mind, I owe this whole film to Steve Gainer, our DP, and Tyler Bates, our composer. Without those two guys this movie wouldn't be what it is.
- F: When Super comes out will your press tour go through St.Louis?
A: Not sure. I will probably travel personally to St. Louis at some point to promote the film, but I doubt the rest of the cast will.
- F: I've read Sergio Leone used music on set to help the actors get into the mood the scene needed... how do you get the performance you're looking for from an actor?
A: I actually did the same thing Sergio did on SUPER. Tyler Bates wrote parts of the score before we began filming, and we actually shot those scenes TO the music. We also have two montages in the film, and we shot those scenes to the music as well. It's not just for the actors, but for everyone on set, so that picture and sound are working together fully.
- F: Is there a contra zoom in SUPER?
A: No. SUPER is all hand-held down and dirty style. We don't have any of that kind of stuff in the movie.
- F: Final question from me, who were the easiest or generally the most entertaining actors you worked with?
A: The easiest was Kevin Bacon. The most entertaining is probably Nathan Fillion.
- F: At what scene is SUPER would be the best scene to get up and go to the bathroom? I mean, it happens, so I want to know where is probably the best place where I'll miss the least.
A: Probably the scene where he hides behind the trashcan. You don't want to leave the theater at all during the second half of the film.
- F: Did u have many abrasive sexual feelings towards Ellen Page on the making of Super?
A: Abrasive?!! Why would I have abrasive sexual feelings towards her? That said, I think Ellen is a very pretty girl, but our relationship is not sexual.
- F: Who is your favorite producer you've worked with on a film and why?
A: I like many of my producers in different ways: Miranda Baily on Super had my back like crazy, Ted Hope has the best aesthetics of any producer I've ever met, Eric Newman is one of the funniest people I know, and Richard Suckle is the very best at actual brass tacks producing. I will also always love Chuck Roven, who really got behind me as a director, and taught me a lot before many others did.
- F: Will Super come to European cinemas?
A: Probably, but we don't have a distributor yet, so don't know (we haven't shown it to anyone yet - they'll get their first chance in Toronto).
- F: Is Super a hard-r? Whats the running time?
A: Well, we don't have a rating yet. It's a hard R at least. People in Toronto will be able to see it before the MPAA touches it. The running time is 96 minutes.
- F: Do you think the MPAA would make you cut anything out of Super?
A: Yes, a couple things are pretty certain to go before we get the R.
- F: If you had a re-do button, not to necessarily just NOT do something, but just do it differently in terms of something you've done in film, what would you do differently?
A: There are millions of answers to that question. So many things I'd like to redo. I'd already like to redo things in SUPER. I'm never happy. So I guess I'd just leave the button alone.
- F: Hi James I write for Ain't It Cool News -- Have you considered writing a comic what with Super on the way?
A: I have. I almost did a comic for Marvel a couple years back. We had the deal drawn up and everything. But then I got busy and couldn't do it. I really have a story I want to tell, it's just about finding the time to do it.
- F: I saw you on "this week in movies". Why can't you say how much the budget of SUPER is?
A: Because the producers won't let me. Urgh.
- F: How come your mom isn't going to Toronto to see Super?
A: My sister-in-law Michelle is having her baby shower on the day after the screening of Super. She already had that planned. Unfortunately, the screening is pulling Sean's girlfriend Gina, and Mia, away from the shower. I feel bad about that. Michelle is actually in the movie and she's awesome. She couldn't make it anyway, as it's too late in her pregnancy to fly.
- F: If the MPAA cuts anything out of the current version of Super, is there any chance that an uncut version will be released later on DVD?
A: Of course.
- F: Does Boltie the Bunny have a part in SUPER?
A: Well, she's an extra in a scene in a pet store. No lines.
- F: hey how much to scorers make? like a big movie with hans zimmer? how much does he pocket per movie? how much does tyler make on your movies???
A: Between what they get paid upfront and royalties, they make millions off a big film. Tyler makes similar off a big movie. However, like the actors, he made almost nothing on SUPER (in fact, once he pays the musicians, etc I think he made literally nothing). Like all of us, he did it for the art, fun, and passion of it. Also, unlike some of the other big composers (like Zimmer), Tyler actually writes all of his own music instead of hiring smaller composers to write various sections.
- F: now that your film has found someone to get it out, do you get to pocket any of the money in the deal with IFC or do you have to wait and see what it grosses before you get some?
A: I'm close to pocketing money, because I put my own money in the film (not a lot, just a part of my directing and writing fee). This is due not only to IFC, but the over 23 foreign territories we've sold. It will be a little while before we see profit though.
- F: What is the release date for SUPER? This info is surprisingly hard to find from Google or the new, horribly designed IMDb.
A: Well, we JUST sold the rights yesterday to IFC so we haven't decided yet. My guess is that it will be early fall.
- F: Congrats on finding a distributer for SUPER. What does this mean for its chances of getting released in theaters?
A: Part of the distribution deal is that it will be released in theaters.
- F: I know this is far off, but any chance for some awesome features for the SUPER dvd like Slither? Audio Commentary, too?
A: Definitely! We have tons of behind the scenes footage. My assistant Justin filmed everything on a Flip camera. And audio commentary will almost certainly be included.
- F: With IFC willing to distribute films unrated does this mean you'll be able to release SUPER uncut, maybe even bypassing the MPAA ratings process altogether?
A: We've discussed the possibility of releasing the film unrated in passing. If the MPAA cuts are very minimal, I'm not worried about it. If they're extreme, it's a different story. We'll see.
- F: when is super going to be out on dvd ? Feb / March 2011 ?
A: No way. That's probably around the time it would come out in theaters.
- F: I'm glad Super is getting good impressions from critics. Congrats dude! Can't wait to see it in theatres.
A: Thanks! I can't wait for you to see it!
- F: how many interview requests do you get a day ?
A: It depends on the time. If it's around the time of a new movie in the news, like with SUPER now, perhaps 10 to 15 a day.
- F: Did you expect such high praise on super? (critics sometimes hate really good movies)
A: No, I went in with no expectations. Some critics DID hate SUPER, but the vast majority of them seemed to love it, which is great.
- F: I'm from Shreveport where SUPER was shot. What was it like working with our local talent?
A: It was great. Most of our actors flew in for their roles, but the actors we did use were terrific, and the crew was out of this world awesome.
- F: While filming SUPER, did you ever "accidentally" walk in on Ellen Page in her dressing room?
A: Dude, come on.
- F: dont movies have to go through the MPAA and get a rating? if super can be released unrated why dont all movie companies just do that and save the hassle...
A: Movies without an MPAA rating usually have some advertising restrictions. For instance, most newspapers don't take ads for unrated films. Also, many theaters don't take unrated films. So we're dependent on the MPAA. SUPER will probably be released with an R rating.
- F: Will you have some down time now or will post production keep you busy until the movie comes out?
A: Besides having to get our MPAA rating, we're done with post production on SUPER. The movie is finished. However, I am still working on editing my Farrely Brothers short, and I am working on a video game. But I have a little down time now (unfortunately, I am sick as I write this).
- F: I read your blog today and at the end you asked for people to support it by spreading the word. Do you think it's unreasonable to ask for support for something, a limited number of people have seen?
A: Of course not. That's silly. Why would that be the case? It's not like I'm forcing people to spread the word. They only do it if they want. AND there has already been a couple thousand people who have seen the movie.
- F: Are you working on a SUPER video game?
- F: If for some reason SUPER gets an NC-17, will you try to appeal it?
A: We will either release SUPER with a rated R with limited or no cuts, or we will release it unrated if it gets too many cuts.
- F: If SUPER gets a limited release can you please make sure it plays in Las Vegas?!
A: I will do my best.
- F: Let me tell you Mr./Ms. "Unreasonable", I only saw the previews for SUPER at Comicon (not the whole movie) and it IS well worth supporting!
- F: Would you shoot in Shreveport again?
- F: Do you plan on doing a tour to promote SUPER?
A: I will be doing some traveling in the promotion of the film, but I'm not sure about a "tour."
- F: is there a chance to see that movie on colombia (south america)??
A: There is. I am not sure if we have sold Columbia yet. We've sold over 25 foreign territories. Italy and France will have very good releases.
- F: Heard nothing but great things about Super. Sorry I've missed it and most other films at TIFF dues to working on a film- the irony! Do you use a 2nd unit?
A: I did not use a second unit on SUPER, as we didn't have the budget to support one. I had a very small second unit on SLiTHER.
- F: I CANNOT wait to see SUPER.. but fuck, Ellen Page is terrible! Please tell me you are the p.t. anderson to her adam sandler!!
A: Ellen Page is absolutely fucking amazing in SUPER, as is pointed out in every single review, even the bad ones.
- F: How much do you storyboard? How detail specific are you when it comes to your shots?
A: I storyboard everything, and I am very, very, very specific when it comes to my shot list. Especially on SUPER, where we needed to know everything we were going to do ahead of time.
- F: Are you really worried about Super getting an NC-17? I mean, I'm guessing Saw and Hostel are more grisly in terms of violence, and Super seems to have a dark type of fun tone.
A: SUPER is definitely gorier than Saw - much much gorier, actually. And it's possibly more so than Hostel, but maybe not. It also has sexual stuff in it that those movies do not.
- F: What are you most proud of when it comes to Super? Whether it be a scene or the making-of?
A: There are a couple of scenes I really love. For those of you who've seen it, I really love the scene where Rainn Wilson pulls Liv Tyler out of the car.
- F: Will the film open in Washington DC?
A: There is a good chance it will, but it's not certain.
- F: What was your experience working with a RED One?
A: I liked the RED okay. We used two REDs, one in Shreveport and one in L.A. The one in L.A. was a bit problematic, but the one in Shreveport worked well. The camera is very yellow, which can be a pain in the ass in the D.I. But overall I was happy with it.
- F: Did you and Cara throw down at any point during Post?
A: No way. Cara (the editor) and I got into some small conflicts over moments or scenes, and sometimes she changed my mind. But in the end both of us knew the decision was mine.
- F: How can that person say Ellen Page is terrible?? She is dead on fucking amazing in SUPER!! AND she is also a wonderful person.
A: You are correct.
- F: One thing that bugs me oddly in Super reviews is how it says Ellen Page goes against her normal quirky self, do you think that's an unfair pigeonholed? She's done so many different roles: Hard Candy, Tracy Fragments, Whip It, Peacock, and Mouth to Mouth.
A: No, I think there's some truth to it. When Ellen and I first talked she was excited because the role was something different than what she usually plays. She normally plays characters who are in one way or another "wise beyond their years." In SUPER, she plays someone who is extremely immature. This is one of the things that drew her to the role.
- F: Have you visit ellenpage.org lately? The webmaster wrote a great article on SUPER with photos, videos and excerpts from various reviews. What do you think of this site and do you sometimes check the fansites dedicated to the persons you are working with?
A: I just visited it now and it looks great!! Thanks!!
- F: I am willing to donate $10,000 to a charity of your choice to see SUPER before it hits theaters...
A: Well, if this is really true, then we could probably make that happen.
- F: damn that sucks about a trailer not being released anytime soon. why then did we see that small clip with rainn and ellen?
A: The small clip was released to the press who were doing TV stories on the premiere and pickup at Toronto. The piece was just naturally going to find its way onto the web, so we let some people put it up there uncut.
- F: I read somewhere that Super was being called "Taxi Driver in tights".. Is this a fair evaluation and if so, how does Rainn compete against DeNiro's brilliant portrayal of Travis Bickle?
A: I think Rainn is amazing in SUPER. I think he's in the same league as DeNiro, myself. And I don't know if it's a fair evaluation, but SUPER definitely has some things in common with Taxi Driver (certainly more than it does with Kick-Ass or Defendor!)
- F: With Super being an idea for webisodes, was it at all difficult taking that idea and creating a linear narrative?
A: Super was never an idea for webisodes. Where'd you get that? Interesting.
- F: How did Super change from when you envisioned tp when you got to the editing room?
A: It didn't. It's essentially the same movie I originally envisioned and set on paper.
- F: Apologies. Thought I read somewhere Super wasn't initially conceived as a film. Let me ask you this then, what's your writing process like? Do you have a planned schedule? How many drafts do you usually do before having your final draft?
A: No, THAT is true. I originally thought I was writing a short film. But, as I wrote it, it kept getting longer and longer. By the end of my first draft, which I wrote in just a few days, it was 57 pages long - way too long for a short. And there was a lot of stuff I wanted to elaborate on. So I went back in and filled out some stuff, and ended up with the script that we eventually filmed. As for the other questions, I change the way I write with every script. Sometimes I have a schedule, sometimes I don't. I usually write hundreds of drafts. On SUPER it was only a few, though.
- F: Have you ever written a script in reverse - started with an ending and worked from there?
A: I usually start with a premise, figure out the ending, and then write from there. The premise and the ending are usually the two things I know when I set pen to paper. However, this is not the case with some films. On both SUPER and The Specials I had no idea what the ending was going to be as I was writing it. On SLiTHER, the ending was originally very dark and I changed it to a much more positive ending as time went on.
- F: as a germophobe, are you concerned about the bed bug epidemic that's "sweeping across the nations" when you're planning the travel for SUPER?
- F: Are you finally able to release the budget of SUPER?
A: Maybe. I need to talk to IFC and see what they say. It seems some people out there have the correct budget, though. I don't know where they got it.
- F: What changed from your first draft to your final draft?
A: In SUPER? I can't completely remember, but I know there was a second sidekick, a little black kid. But I essentially combined his character with Libby. There were also other people who were inspired by the Crimson Bolt and started becoming Superheroes as well. But that seemed to make the script too complicated.
- F: Did you make a profit from selling SUPER to IFC?
A: No, but between that sale and the foreign sales we're doing pretty well.
- F: Are you dressing up for Halloween?
A: I might be Demonswill, my character in SUPER. We'll see. I have the costume!
- F: Where do you think you'll be traveling to for Super?
A: New York and St. Louis are likely. Who knows where else.
- F: Did you test screen SUPER? Do you like that process? I'd imagine it'd be stupid to do for Super, consider that type of tone is either you get or just don't.
A: Yes. I hate that process. We did do it for SUPER. We had to do it before Tyler Bates score was finished, which made it very difficult, as Tyler's score is what pulls everything together. That said, it was very helpful, and we made a lot of changes based on that that improved the film. Some of the changes were very very small but made a big difference to the pacing. However, we didn't add or subtract any scenes or anything like that.
- F: When shooting an independent movie like SUPER, who fronts the money? The bank? Or your pocket?
A: Our independent studio, Ambush Entertainment, financed the movie.
- F: Are you a fan of superheros having powers in films, or are you more of a vigilante fan? The Crimson Bolt seems a little more Charles Bronson than Superman. I saw that you might be coming to St. Louis ... would you be showing it at the STL Film Festival?
A: I like both vigilantes and super-powered heroes. Unfortunately, we are not showing SUPER at the St. Louis Film Festival this year. I tried to work it out so that we could, but it wasn't able to happen.
- F: Will SUPER be getting a Wide release? or at least limited? (LA's an hour away but I know it'll be well worth it)
A: Initially it will be a limited release, 15 or so of the top 25 cities in the U.S.
- F: How different would you say Super is to The Specials?
A: They are utterly different films. SUPER is a much, much darker and more dramatic and more tonally challenging film than The Specials is.
- F: Isn't Rain and Ellen super rich - couldn't they just put up the money?
A: Neither Rainn nor Ellen are wealthy enough that they could just put up a couple million dollars for a movie without thinking about it. That's a large portion of someone's personal fortune. And, in a sense, some of us DID put up that much money in doing the movie for almost nothing, since it's close to what we would have gotten paid to do a normal film.
- F: Do you think that Super may get nominated during award season? I'm thinking Best Actor - Rainn Wilson, Best Supporting Actress - Ellen Page, and Best Original Screenplay - You. I hope I didn't jinx it. But, why not release it this year for the awards?
A: I don't think SUPER is that kind of movie. It's too in your face and not for everyone. That said, I wouldn't mind Rainn and Ellen getting nominated for Independent Spirit Awards.
- F: IFC has the US right to Super but who has the international rights?
A: Hanway Sales is selling foreign. I haven't been up to speed, but I know Village Roadshow is distributing in Australia, M2 Pictures in Italy, Svensk in Scandanavia. We have very good deals in place with France and at least twenty other territories - I'll try to get the list and post it on my site.
- F: Have you seen Ellen Page last 4 films?
A: I've seen SUPER, Inception, and Whip It, but have not seen Peacock. So no.
- F: Can you get Super to come to Australia? I really want to see it, but am afraid it will only get a straight to DVD releasing here, or not at all.
A: SUPER is being released into theaters in Auistralia by Village Roadshow.
- F: Would the 15 of 25 cities in the US that SUPER would be released in include Philadelphia by chance or is that unknown for now?
A: Unknown for now.
- F: Assuming a date gets solidified for SUPER to make its way to St. Louis, how long before the set date will us fans and followers find out about it so that there is enough time for some of us to make sure we can experience the madness?!?
A: I'll let you know as soon as I can. And that goes for all the cities - I want those who follow me on Twitter or "like" me on Facebook or read my website to have first crack at all SUPER tickets around the world.
- F: I hear that Ellen Page steals every scene in SUPER. Is she really that good of actress? I didn't care much for Juno.
A: I don't know if she steals every scene; Rainn Wilson is astounding in SUPER as far as I'm concerned. And Steve Agee gets a pretty big laugh in one scene with Ellen. But there is no doubt that Ellen stands out tremendously in the film and did an incredible job. She's a psychotic, nymphomaniacal nutjob and she shines in every scene she's in. It's something no one's ever seen Ellen do, and everyone seems to be equally impressed by it.
- F: So i was reading roger ebert toronto journals- all 6 of them- and super isnt mentioned once... is this because he didnt see super or because he did and he didnt like it. did you se him at the screening in toronto?
A: I don't think he ever saw the movie. However, there were 1,600 people at the first screening, so I wouldn't have seen him there.
- F: When working with Tyler Bates, did you have specific instructions on where you wanted film score and what type, or did you just hand the films off to him and let him put it where he felt it was needed, like Hitchcock would do with Herrmann?
A: I'm very, very specific with where music goes in my films, especially SUPER. Not only do I sit down with Tyler and tell him exactly where I want music, I also make timeline charts of where music will become more and less intense, etc. On SUPER Tyler and I spent many hours in his studio going over every specific moment of music in the film. It's important to me as any anything in the movie, and I'm intimately involved with the writing of it. And I love working with Tyler more than almost any of my other collaborators. He's a truly great friend as well as a partner.
- F: Now that IFC bought SUPER do you have to re-edit the movie at all for them? I mean, are they allowed to give you notes, or do they but it as is?
A: They bought it as is. However, we might have to edit slightly for the MPAA R rating, if the edits are mellow. But we also have the possibility of releasing it unrated.
- F: To get MPAA R rating, do you more likely to cut violence or sex?
A: There is one sexual thing and one violent thing, both very minor, which are very likely to be cut. Other than that, violence is probably more likely to be cut.
- F: If the MPAA decides to cut a lot, does that mean that the "gushy" scene may be cut? And if that's the case, is there a possibility that it will be on an uncut DVD later on?
A: We would almost certainly release it unrated before allowing the gushy scene to be cut. But that's extremely unlikely that they'd want the whole scene cut.
- F: You mentioned in interviews there was an actor who really wanted to be Frank in SUPER when you had funding a few years back. Do you ever plan on revealing his identity?
A: There were a few - three at least. Two that the people financing it said would work, and one who didn't. But I don't really think it's fair to them to share their identities, all of whom I like.
- F: You said a couple weeks ago that SUPER's title is in all caps. So I tried update the IMDb listing accordingly, but I can't even submit it because apparently "Almost all titles should contain at least some lowercase letters."
A: IMDB sucks for a lot of reasons. That's one.
- F: How did Steve Agee and Linda Cardellini get involved with SUPER?
A: They're both close friends of mine - Linda is one of my three or four best friends in this world - and I asked them if they would do a cameo, and they both said yes.
- F: Assuming Super comes to St. Louis, would you be doing a Q&A after it's premire at the Tivoli or wherever it ends up showing?
A: I would love to do that but I can't say for sure that I would.
- F: What is the first thing you thought the first time you met Ellen Page?
A: "Oh my God, she's so tiny! Her head is the size of my fist!"
- F: Have you ever seen Hard Candy and if so, what did you think?
A: I think it's amazingly well directed, and an enjoyable film.
- F: If there isn't distribution for SUPER in my country yet, how will I get to see the movie?
A: There will probably be distribution eventually.
- F: Have you ever considered going into the editing room and making Super more extreme? And if it gets an NC-17, just return your original cut which would be less extreme? (it worked for Team America, a movie with puppets fucking none the less)
A: I don't know if there's any way of making SUPER more extreme. I think all the most extreme footage is in there.
- F: Any chance of a SUPER publicity tour in Britain?
A: There's a chance of it, sure, but I'm not sure we even have distribution in Britain yet.
- F: What's your favourite Ellen Page movie?
A: SUPER. After that, Juno.
- F: Any SUPER merch yet?
A: Not yet, no. People keep asking for the T-shirt, so maybe soon.
- F: Do you know if Super will be released in theaters and VOD at the same time? Thanks!!!
A: We don't know yet...
- F: Do you have plans for showing SUPER at the Philadelphia Film Festival by any chance?
A: Probably no, no, sorry. Right now we have two international festivals planned (Sitges is one, the other is yet to be announced), but nothing in the States for a while.
- F: I'm not sure why you guys are waiting until next spring to release Super. The public interest is really high right now, so release it Pronto, please!
A: Sorry, that's not the way it works. You can't just release a film immediately into theaters. There are steps that need to be taken beforehand, and we're just starting those steps.
- F: Hi James, not a question. Noticed IMDB doesn't have a poster image for Super. So you might want to update it with one. Cheers, Bryce.
A: We don't have a poster image yet. There will be one eventually.
- F: Where can I find the trailer of Super on line?
A: There is no trailer of SUPER yet, as we aren't coming out for a few months. However, you can watch part of the clip we screened at the San Diego Comicon on the SCREAM Awards tomorrow night.
- F: Do you think we'll see Super in the first or 2nd quarter of next year?
A: Late first or early second would be my guess. But it's just a guess.
- F: I read on Deadline that SUPER was at the American Film Market? What's the purpose of a film playing there? Thanks!
A: With an independent film like SUPER, you sell territories around the world one at a time. Although we have great distribution deals in many areas of the world - the U.S., Italy, France, Australia, etc - in many places we do NOT have distribution. So we show the film to distributors at the AFM for those other countries.
- F: Who is shorter, Ellen Page or Mia?
A: Mia is at least four inches shorter than Ellen Page - I think 5.
- F: Being Halloween, how would you react say 5-years from now you saw a pair dressed up as The Crimson Bolt and Boltie?
A: I will be happy, just as I will be next year when people are dressed up as characters from SUPER.
- F: If SUPER doesn't do well, are you gonna have to go movie jail?
A: Since SUPER was made for such an incredibly low budget, for it to even get a theatrical release, and to have sold in so many foreign countries, already makes it a big success. If it made just a few million dollars at the box office it would be enormous for us.
- F: Can I have Ellen Page's phone number?
A: Uh, no.
- F: Was the butting in line scene in SUPER that the clip portrays inspired by the incident and confrontation with Perry King, and ultimately represent what you would have liked to do to that cocksucker?
A: No. It was inspired by a guy who butt in front of me who I fucked with like crazy. It's very similar to the actual situation, except I didn't bash his head in. I did lick my fingers and poke his face a lot, though.
- F: Are you writing another feature yet? If not, how much time do you take after a big project like "SUPER" before you start on your next spec or screenplay you plan to direct?
A: I'm writing another feature, and planning out another one.
- F: Any idea of an international release (specifically the uk) for Super?
A: No world on any release date for the UK yet. I'm not sure if we have distribution there or not. I don't keep up with this stuff too well.
- F: Will You be bringing SUPER back to Shreveport for a premiere??
A: It's possible, but unlikely.
- F: Do you keep in touch with your Troma roots at all?
A: I see Lloyd every couple of months. I think there are four actors from Tromeo in SUPER - Lloyd, Sean Gunn, Valentine Miele, and Stephen Blackehart. I'm still good friends with Jane Jensen.
- F: Is there a place to buy "shut up crime" SUPER shirts? My wife and I were at the Midnight Madness premiere in Toronto and loved it.
A: No, those were just a gift from me and Ted Hope to the crew. But hopefully someone will actually make them soon.
- F: Is SUPER going to anymore festivals before its theatrical release?
A: Yes. At least one in Europe and one in the U.S. More news should be coming very soon (especially on the European showing, which is soon!)
- F: Would you consider working with Ellen Page again?
A: I'd work with her again in a heartbeat. We talk about it every time we hang out.
- F: What are your expectations for your new film SUPER?
A: If SUPER makes just a few bucks in the theater, we should do great on Video on Demand, DVD, TV, etc. Because the movie was made for such a low budget, we don't have to make much to get a profit.
- F: How did you come up with the idea for Super?
A: I don't remember exactly. I just remember wanting to tell a story about a guy with no powers who wanted to be a superhero. I remember trying to decide if I should set it in the real world, or set it in the world of superheroes (i.e. a guy trying to be super without powers surrounded by actual people with powers). I went with the former because I knew I could do the movie for less money.
- F: What's next for SUPER? Are you close to a release date yet?
A: Yes. I know the month, but I won't know the exact date for a few days. I'll share with you guys soon.
- F: Is it hard for you to watch The Office now?
A: God, you guys are so weird. You know that Jenna and I hang out all the time, right? That Jenna, Lee, Mia, and I go out together often, and we're all friends? The assumptions about divorce around here are so weird. Also, Jenna is the one who made SUPER happen by orchestrating the casting of Rainn. Of course I watch the show every week. I love it.
- F: Who would you mostly compare yourself to in terms of filmmaking style?
A: I don't think of myself as being like anyone, I only know who I'm most influenced by - Lukas Moodysson, Scorsese, Tarantino, Cronenberg, Charlie Kaufman, and a few others. But mostly I think I do my own thing. One of the comments I've heard most about SUPER is that it really isn't like anything else. It's its own animal.
- F: Hi James, I saw 'Super' at Sitges Film Festival and I really enjoyed it. Since then I've been promoting the film in my website and desperately looking for the tracklist. Could you help me that last issue? Thanks!
A: Okay, here you go - Calling All Destroyers - Tsar, The Lonely Ones - Aceyalone, Sick Clique - EKKO, Ain't Nothin' to It - Gregg Henry, Fake Fool - KHZ, Don't Touch Dead Animals - Kayo Dot, It Hurts Too Much - Eric Carmen, Speak Vernacular - The Icons, Starla - The Icons, The Hole - Rust for Luck, I Do - Jane Jensen and the Dolls, Here We Go - Copperpot ft. Pace Won, Now That I Can See - Couple, Stripes - J. Banks, God Knows My Name - Monster, Nobody Knows You Anymore - Terra Naomi, If You Want My Love - Cheap Trick, What It Was - Aceyalone, Born Under a Bad Sign- Moneybrother, Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White - The Nomads, Let Your Body Decide - The Ark, Potential - K Kutta & C.CL6, Parador - Wisely, God Knows My Name '11 - Moneybrother. Whew.
- F: When you said SUPER is going to one more festival in each the USA and Europe, does that mean JUST festivals, or screenings period? Because are you still planning a St. Louis stint (hopefully)?
A: Now, we're opening in numerous cities in 2011. There's only one festival left in the US. There may be numerous festivals in Europe, but there's at least one we've committed to.
- F: What kind of special features do you think SUPER's DVD will have? Commentary? Bloopers?
A: Commentary, bloopers, behind the scenes for sure.
- F: Are there plans for a SUPER sequel? Perhaps a trilogy...
A: As of now, no.
- F: Where is the next US festival that SUPER is going to be in?
A: I can't tell you yet, unfortunately, as they haven't announced their slate yet. But it won't be too long before the release date. And it will probably be the ONLY US festival screening before the release date.
- F: Can you announce the theatrical release date for SUPER yet?
A: Ummmm..... http://www.jamesgunn.com/2010/11/29/the-super-release-date-new-photos/
- F: With a release date locked in, how is the MPAA battle shaping up? If at all?
A: We are considering releasing SUPER Unrated. Will let you all know shortly.
- F: If SUPER releases unrated, can anyone get in to see it?
A: Yes, that is usually how it works.
- F: So, hypothetically speaking, though it might be impossible because of the deal with IFC, what and/or how much would it take to say, get a screening of SUPER, and possibly an appearance by the one and only James Gunn at a university (for the film school)?
A:That depends greatly on how it would fit in with my schedule, and where it is.
- F: What coast of the US (east or west or neither) is the next festival that SUPER is playing at on?
A: I cannot say.
- F: Any chance of a St. Louis - or even SLU - showing of SUPER?
A: Well, yes, we will probably open in St. Louis theaters.
- F: Do you know of any technical problems with the SUPER Facebook page? Because I can't seem to access it. It sends me straight to the home page.
A: I've never heard of this before. You can always go to the James Gunn page - http://www.facebook.com/jamesgunnfans - and find the SUPER page in my favorites and try that. I'm redoing the SUPER page to be more specific to the film. It was a bit messy before.
- F: Any chance of SUPER playing South by Southwest?
A: There's always a chance.
- F: Will you be re-approaching the project you were planning to do before SUPER in Brazil at any point?
A: Maybe, I've thought about it.
- F: Any news on a UK release date for SUPER yet?
A: No, unfortunately not. I get asked this question as much as anything. We have BIG releases in much of Europe, but don't have a deal yet in the UK. Part of it I think is the violence, which they're a little squeamish about. But the producers seem confident it WILL receive a UK release, it just has to be the right one.
- F: How do you actually write the title for your new movie correctly, is it SUPER or Super? Or does it not matter?
A: It does matter. It's SUPER, all caps.
- F: looooooooved super!! i was one of the lucky ones to see it at tiff. i adored frank's works of art. it added such a sweet element to his character. all of the performances were great of course, but rainn was stunning.
- F: Did you consider any other titles before settling on SUPER?
A: No. I think I had the title when I started writing the film. I just read Mike Leigh never titles his films until after they're finished. I almost never write a film without having a title.
- F: Just thought I'd let you know, when SUPER is eventually released her in the UK and it no doubt gets an 18 rating, I'll sneak in anyway. Even if I have to break the law and dress up or whatever, I am NOT missing your movie for the world.
- F: I can't decide what to watch, Juno or Hard Candy, which one?
A: All right, I love them both, but I'd have to choose Juno.
- F: I feel like this was asked once before but are you planning/considering a Crimson Bolt comic book to be tied in with the film? Have you recorded any commentary for a DVD?
A: No, I'm not planing on a comic book. The story in SUPER is pretty self-enclosed. As for the DVD commentary, I haven't recorded it yet, but will. Perhaps me and Rainn.
- F: What should I get you for Christmas?
A: You could do lots of SUPER promotion on the Internets for me. That I would appreciate.
- F: How do behind the scenes featurettes work? Is there just a crew member with a video-camera going round filming stuff or is it an external company?
A: It can be either. On Slither we have a company that did it for us. On SUPER I just had my assistant walk around with a Flip HD the whole time.
- F: Is there any actor/actress you REALLY wanted in SUPER but couldn't get hold of?
A: No. There was someone we cast in the Kevin Bacon role, but we let go of him a couple of weeks before shooting for various reasons. Then Kevin Bacon came on board at the last minute. But Kevin is actually the bigger star and one of my favorite actors.
- F: A lot of the reviews of SUPER seem to have said the same thing, the movie is brilliant but not for everybody and the big exclamated writing (BOOM, POW etc) doesn't work. Do you regret using this now, or do you stand by your previous decision?
A: I don't know what reviews you are reading but there are WAY more reviews that like the use of the animation in the movie.
- F: Do you think the hectic filming experience you had with SUPER affects the final movie? For better or worse?
A: On set we tried to create a "culture of speed." My hope was that the energy we used in filming it would be picked up by the audience. That seems to be the case, so I think it worked in our favor. It's also going to work in favor of our producers making their money back.
- F: Have you read every single review of SUPER? Or do you try and keep a reasonable distance, reading the odd few here and there?
A: No, I only read a few here and there.
- F: When is 'Super' coming to theaters?
A: April 1st in L.A. and NY, April 8 in 20 more cities.
- F: I'm sure the news stations in St. Louis, and for sure Show Me St. Louis on Channel 5 would do some promo stuff for SUPER... At least SUPER is more worthwhile than the majority of shit they have on those shows and the news these days...
A: If I'm in St. Louis, I'll do all that stuff.
- F: Now that SUPER has a release date, why don't you show us the trailer
A: THERE IS NO TRAILER YET.
- F: I saw SUPER in Turin (in the Turin Film Festival)! Amazing film! Where I can find the soundtrack? I would like to hear the main theme song (the one's with a female voice) that appears quite often in the movie!
A: We are working out a deal now to distribute the soundtrack. The song you're thinking of is part of the score by Tyler Bates. It is one of the things I'm most asked after screenings of the film.
- F: I was watching the SUPER clip with Ellen Page, and I'm wondering if the filming was funny. Who was funnier?
A: Yes, the filming of SUPER was often funny - that said, I rarely laughed as I was so hurried and concentrated on getting the movie done. For my money, the funniest person on set was Linda Cardellini during her one day there, or Andre Royo. But Rainn is also funny as hell.
- F: You've done two superhero movies SUPER and The Specials. What fascinates you about the genre and do you have plans for anymore?
A: I grew up with superheroes. They're a part of my childhood. Both The Specials and SUPER are ways of trying to cram the silliness of superheroes into my adult life.
- F: Will SUPER be going to Sundance?
A: No. We had to choose between debuting at Toronto and Sundance and we chose Toronto.
- F: I’m a big fan of you. My question is if SUPER will be in Italian cinemas too or Austrian?
A: I don't know about Austria, but we will be in over 100 cinemas in Italy in April, distributed by M2.
- F: Do you know if SUPER will release in France
A: Yes, SUPER will be released on over 500 screens in France.
- F: Do you have a speaking role in SUPER?
- F: Any chance of releasing old school style SUPER lunchboxes for merch?
A: I'd love to do that. But no lunchbox companies have approached us as of yet. Great idea, though.
- F: I know it may be a bit early to ask, but are you and the cast planning to make any talk show appearances for SUPER?
- F: When will we see trailer for SUPER?
A: No idea. I'm wondering that myself. Ask IFC.
- F: Could a SUPER 2 ever happen? When will we hear about your next film? Have you written anything new?
A: A SUPER 2 is unlikely, as I think of it as a contained story, but you never know. My next film is I'm one of the directors for Movie 41, the Farrelly Brothers movie. After that, I have a video game coming out. Right now I am working on a new feature script. I'd like for that to be my next film.
- F: Will SUPER be on ondemand like most IFC films before release? Also, does that (money wise) do well for them? I love the idea of a kid in Kansas having no indie art theater being able to watch indie films, but curious whether or not it brings in cash.
A: It will be available pay per view shortly AFTER release, but while it is still in theaters. Monetarily it works very well for IFC and, hopefully, for us.
- F: Do you have any possible roles in your potential next film your working on for any of the actors in Super?
A: Yes. I like to use the same actors over and over.
- F: Since you like to use the same people over again in films, does Rooker or Fillion have a cameo in SUPER? Are there any cameos in SUPER?
A: Rooker and Fillion both have major supporting roles in SUPER, more than cameos. My pal Linda Cardellini has a cameo as a Pet Shop Employee, and my friend Rob Zombie has a cameo as the voice of God, and Zach Gilford from Friday Night Lights has a cameo. And I have a cameo.
- F: Did you play with the dogs (or other pets) of the actors of SUPER on set?
A: None of the actors had a dog on set. However, I did play with the dog who lived at the big house where we shot the finale - a lot. I also played a lot with the many bunnies in the film.
- F: What is the easiest way to meet you in person?
A: The easiest way would probably to look out for promotional SUPER stuff in your area around the film's release, and show up there.
- F: Are you gonna be at the opening of SUPER when it opens in St. Louis by chance?
A: I am going to try to be there around that time (it's playing at the Tivoli starting April 15), but whether I'm there for the actual opening I'm not sure. Possible.
- F: Are you planning an L.A. or NYC premiere for SUPER, or was the Toronto the only one?
A: No, right now we're planning on a Los Angeles premiere for SUPER at the end of March.
- F: Are you submitting SUPER to Cannes?
A: SUPER has already played too many festivals to be in Cannes, and we will have already been released in most large countries. So no. Wouldn't even be possible.
- F: On the films you've made, about what percentage of dialogue has to be ADR vs recorded on set?
A: Less than 1%,I do as little ADR as possible. I care more about performance than I do audio perfection. On SUPER we were lucky - our sound guys were AMAZING. We had almost no problems with the recorded dialogue in post.
- F: Have you ever sold a spec script? Is it better to sell a spec or write on assignment?
A: Yes, I've sold a few spec scripts. For instance, The Specials, Slither, and SUPER were all spec scripts. I like spec scripts better because I have more freedom and less expectations on the part of the producers. But you can make a lot of (or a little) money on either.
- F: When you write a movie do you have an idea of the actors that you want or do you choose them after?
A: Sometimes I write for specific actors, sometimes I do not. In SUPER, I wrote the role for Andre Royo nearly seven years before I ever met him, and he ended up playing the part.
- F: Are you pleased you waited till now to make SUPER, with a lot of directorial experience behind you as opposed to trying to make it when you first wrote it?
A: Yes, definitely. I think it would have been very corrupted if I directed it before Slither, which I almost did.
- F: Is there still no confirmed distribution for the UK for SUPER?
A: Not that I know of.
- F: You said it's possible you'll be at talk shows for SUPER. But can you promote unrated film on TV?
A: Of course.
- F: Any of the girls from "Scream Queens" in SUPER?
A: Nope, unfortunately not.
- F: Are you aware that it seems the official SUPER fan-page on Facebook is only accessible in the U.S.?
A: I don't know why that would be. This is the Official page - http://www.facebook.com/jamesgunnfans#!/pages/SUPER/220426277804 - if you can't get there from here go to my page at www.facebook.com/jamesgunnfans and see "favorite pages'.
- F: Have you thought about making a twitter account for SUPER?
A: There is one coming, I believe.
- F: What is the easiest way for an obsessed UK fan to see SUPER as soon as possible?
A: Come to the United States, or go to Italy or France when it opens. We still do not have UK distribution, although we're being distributed throughout almost all of North America, South America, Europe, Japan, Easter Europe, the Middle East, etc.
- F: Do you know if the SUPER soundtrack will be available
A: Yes, it will be, and it is going to be awesome.
- F: Is Ellen Page vegan?
A: I think she is.
- F: Would you have considered touring with SUPER as sort of like a rock concert? Like Kevin Smith is going to do with Red State...
A: I don't see it as a rock concert, but I plan on making appearances at a few screenings as we open up around the country.
- F: If SUPER isn't playing in my city, how could I get it to?
A: Tell your theater you want SUPER there, and have them contact IFC. What's your city?
- F: Will you be heading down to Austin for the screening of SUPER? Will any of the cast be there?
A: Yes. I will be there as will Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page. Perhaps some others as well.
- F: Do you know which cities SUPER is going to play at in the US?
A: I know many of them, not all of them.
- F: Do you know if SUPER will be playing in Philadelphia?
A: Yes, SUPER is definitely playing in Philadelphia. It's starting for sure by April 15th, maybe earlier.
- F: Now release dates are abound when can we expect a SUPER trailer?
A: Ask @IFC. I wish we had one now.
- F: Will Super be playing in Connecticut?
A: Yes. It will be playing in New Haven starting April 8.
- F: Will they be a Super video game? If so when?
A: Right now we are planning on online/iphone video game, but nothing for the big platforms.
- F: Is Super playing in New Jersey?
A: It is for sure playing at the Cairidge in Montclair, NJ, starting April 8. I a not sure if we'll be playing anywhere else in NJ or not. Could be.
- F: Any chance that the fabled SUPER workprint could see the light of day? Perhaps a packed Blu-ray release...
A: What fabled SUPER workprint? We're going into theaters Unrated, nothing cut.
- F: Do you know yet when we will get to see a Super trailer?
A: Pretty soon. I just saw a cut last night I liked.
- F: Do you think I could take my 13 year old brother to see Super?
A: It really depends on your 13 year old brother. There is a lot of violence in SUPER, and some sex.
- F: Did the tone of SUPER make the violence hard to get past the MPAA? From the clip I saw, the violence is played seriously and brutally. Don't ya think it's ridiculous Piranha 3D or (a more serious tonal film) Hostel can get an R?
A: I know Hostel needed to tone down a lot for the R, and Piranha probably did as well. We're not going to do that. We'll leave it as it is. It's only a few small moments of brutality and sexuality that make the difference, but I haven't held back at all through the making of the film, and won't do it now. You'll get SUPER, completely undiluted.
- F: Any chance of a SUPER Superbowl commercial?
A: A SUPER Superbowl commercial would be more than our budget of the film (honestly).
- F: Can you confirm that music from TSAR will be on the movie's soundtrack? Thanks - looking forward to the flick!
A: Yes, we use TSAR's Calling All Destroyers during the opening credits of SUPER. We have a huge animation scene during the song.
- F: So is there going to be an early la screening of super and if so when? thanks.
A: The next screening of SUPER for certain in L.A. is the premiere, although others are possible.
- F: Did you make your brother audition for SUPER?
- F: Do you just offer parts to Rooker and Fillion? I would imagine they wouldn't have to read since you know them so well.
A: Yes, I just offered them the roles. They were both essentially doing me a favor. Rooker was there for a huge part of shooting in a supporting role (that he does a kickass job with) just so he could hang with me and Sean and Stevie Blackehart. Most of my friends in the movie didn't have to read, although a couple of them had to read for producers Ted Hope and Miranda Bailey, because I wanted them to make sure they liked the choices as well.
- F: Is Ellen Page as cool as she seems in interviews?
A: Yes. She's one of my favorite people.
- F: Rainn Wilson wasn't your first choice for the role, but what about Liv Tyler and Ellen Page How do you choose actors for your movies
A: Where did you get that Rainn Wilson wasn't my first choice for the role?!!! We had money to produce the film many years ago, before I knew Rainn and before he was on the Office, and we had a list of actors the studio ok'd, and the studio and I couldn't agree on anyone to play the role. Then I went and did other things for a couple years, Jenna mentioned that I should consider making the movie with Rainn, and it instantly sounded like the perfect choice. Not only was the first choice, he was the ONLY choice. I only agreed to do the movie because Rainn wanted to do it, otherwise it may have never been made. Likewise, Ellen and Liv were our top choices.
- F: When will 'thecrimsonbolt.com' be updated?
A: We have pretty much changed so we're going to focus the SUPER internet stuff around the Facebok page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/SUPER/220426277804
- F: Is the Sunshine cinema in NYC, where Super will be playing, the one on East Houston Street?
A: Probalby, but I only have "Sunshine" listed here.
- F: You wanted Ellen Page for the role or you made her audition for SUPER
A: I offered Ellen Page the role.
- F: Is smoking more prevalent among actors than the general population? If so, why? Also, do you have any qualms about including smoking in your films? What about asking non-smoking actors to smoke on screen?
A: I think it's probably slightly less prevalent among actors (working film actors that is, not theater actors who seem to smoke like chimneys) than it is among most people. I don't have any qualms about smoking actors in my films nor asking non-smoking actors to smoke. Liv Tyler's character smokes in SUPER because it's right for the character.
- F: Did you ever chat with Ellen on what it was like to work with Christopher Nolan?
A: Yes, many times.
- F: Would you like to work again with Ellen Page
A: I would love it. We talk about it every time we see each other.
- F: Do you and/or any of the actors plan to attend the Galaxy Atascadero Sneak Preview of SUPER on Saturday, March 5, 7 PM?
A: I am very confused by this - I do not think we are showing at that theater at that time but I did indeed look it up and they're claiming it is. I'm checking it out with my people now. I know Rainn and I won't be in town - we'll be at the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle. But, again, I don't know if we're actually showing there. I think it's a communications problem somewhere.
- F: Are you going to release two SUPER soundtrack (one with the music by Tyler Bates and one with the songs) or just one (and when will we be able to see the SUPER movie poster)
A: We are going to release one SUPER soundtrack, which is a combination of Tyler's score and many of the most prominent songs in the movie. I think you'll see a movie poster this week.
- F: In the event that you end up making it to the opening of SUPER in St. Louis, if you were able to set a little time aside, would you be opposed to going out somewhere & doing something for an official JGAS outing? Because that would be absolutely legit...
A: That sounds like fun, but not likely. If I'm in St. Louis that means my days are going to be jammed with press - radio, print, and TV - and will have almost no time for outings outside of that, except perhaps a dinner with my parents. I probably won't even be able to hang with my St. Louis friends.
- F: How important do you think online support (buzz, interviews, reviews, twitter chatter) is for a film like SUPER?
A: Very VERY important. Mostly the fan support online. We are a very low budget film and having the support of fans online is the difference between making our budget back and not.
- F: I'll trade you: a kiss for a new SUPER clip.
A: Well, you'll be able to see a new clip from SUPER this Wednesday night on Letterman, when Rainn Wilson will be a guest and will show something new.
- F: How long have you been trying to get Super made? (Sorry if already answered)
A: I wrote the first draft April 2, 2002. So since then I guess. I actually had backing back in 2005 from producers, but we couldn't agree on a lead actor, so I did Slither instead, because they let me choose whatever actors I wanted for the roles.
- F: The Super clip on Letterman was fan fucking tastic .
A: Thanks. It was very, very difficult finding something without sex, violence, or a multitude of four letter words. I was happy with how things turned out.
- F: Are you thrilled Ellen Page finally joined twitter?
A: Yes, I'm happy @EllenPage is finally among the aware. We'll see how long this lasts. But I appreciate her doing it right before SUPER comes out.
- F: Are you planning on putting the SUPER clip that will be aired on Letterman tonight online?
A: No, not currently.
- F: How involved are you in the marketing for SUPER (poster/trailer-wise)? Will we see something soon?
A: Extremely. You should see both next week, I would imagine. Both the trailer and poster are done.
- F: Will SUPER be also available On Demand upon release?
A: No. It will be available a few weeks after On Demand, however.
- F: Will the Super trailer be redband?
- F: Is there any nudity in SUPER?
- F: What was the word Ellen Page said which was bleeped in the Letterman clip?
A: She said "This is so fucking cool."
- F: When SUPER is available On Demand, will it be available to watch in the UK or just the US?
A: Just the US, I suspect.
- F: Was there ever a time between 2002 and now where you didn't want to make SUPER anymore?
A: There was never a time that I didn't WANT to make it. But there were many times when I chose not to make it because I thought it was too out there.
- F: Will you and the cast make more appearances on TV Shows and/or Radio shows as SUPER's release date gets closer?
A: Many many, yes.
- F: Will we get to see the alternative Ellen Page poster soon?
A: By SXSW at the latest.
- F: Who designed the poster for Super?
A: A company by the name of Mojo. They did great work, huh?
- F: Who was the biggest diva on the set of 'Super'?
A: Rooker, always Rooker.
- F: How difficult is it to get a small part or a walk-on role in a movie of yours?
A: I'll be honest. It's very very very difficult. Most of the small roles in SUPER are given to people who I know, many of whom I wrote the roles for. I've surrounded myself by talented people, and I love nothing more than working with my friends. There were only five or six roles in SUPER which people auditioned for, and that was pretty much because we were in Louisiana. If we were shooting in L.A. it would have been less.
- F: Will you be in Minnesota for the Super showing at the Lagoon Theater? Please?
A: No, I don't think I can make that one. I was just going over my schedule with IFC. I wish I could be everywhere. But it's not just a showing - it's a whole theatrical run, just like all of the other screens we're showing on after April 1st.
- F: Will you ever come to Germany to promote your film?
A: I would love to, but no one's offered to fly me there. We are opening in Germany.
- F: Any movement on a UK Super release?
A: Not that I know of, but I'm really not in touch with the foreign sales folks that much. I guess I hear the most from the Italian distributors, M2, who have been very active in promoting the film and keeping in touch with me. I love those guys.
- F: Play any good games recently?
A: I've been very busy preparing for SUPER, and I also just finished a brand new script. So I unfortunately haven't had any time to play anything. It may be a while.
- F: Yeah, Happiness makes The Squid and the Whale look like a Disney movie. With such subject matter, how involved is that young actor in the dialogue? Is it all just tricky editing to make it seem like the kid is there?
A: I don't know. I wasn't on set. I'll have to ask Ted Hope the next time I see him (Ted is a producer on SUPER and also produced Happiness).
- F: How can I attend the Super premiere in L.A.? Would I just show up or what? Idk how these things work :( I really wanna see it!
A: We are giving away a fair amount of tickets to the premiere, through giveaways and so forth. I don't know how you can get one other than paying close attention and waiting and a little luck. It's on March 21st, I believe.
- F: Super premiere in NYC? Anytime soon?
A: Yes. March 29th, I think. Something like that. Opens in theaters April 1st.
- F: Will you put Mia in a future movie, that would be cool!!
A: Mia is already in SUPER. A close up even! She drools green stuff. She's great! She also does the sex sounds of an anime girl getting raped by tentacles.
- F: Hey James, just wondering if you are planning anything for the San Diego Comic-Con 2011? Any new projects, Super video release or Troma related
A: I might be there with my forthcoming video game or SUPER DVD release, but no for-certain plans as of now.
- F: What can I do to get you to come to Starfest in Denver the third weekend of April to screen SUPER? You would have a blast and I can stock up on tentacle soap...
A: We're opening in Denver before then - on April 15 - so it's not too likely.
- F: What do you have in store for us after promoting 'Super'?
A: I just finished a film script. But after than I have Movie 43 coming out, with the Farrelly Bros, and I have a video game coming out soon as well. So there's lots of stuff coming down the pike.
- F: I Looked for Super screenings after the Late Show app. Are they listed somewhere. Any chance coming to the C2e2 Chicago comic show?
A: It opens in Chicago on April 8, if that's your question. I am trying to get there with Michael Rooker for the opening. We'll see.
- F: Do you think directing theater helps for film?
A: YES. I really do. You need to learn how to work with actors. So many film directors - big film directors even - don't know how to talk to actors. It's a problem. It's one of the reasons I was successful in getting big actors to do SUPER for scale - because I speak their language. I also think directors should take acting lessons to learn the basics of the craft.
- F: Any plans to come to Australia for the SUPER release?
A: I'd love to, but not plans now. I love Australia.
- F: Favorite moment shooting Super?
A: We lit a guy on fire, a stunt I had never done in my 15 years of professional filmmaking. It was quite a rush.
- F: What was the difference between the two SUPER posters you posted online?
A: The first one said "A Film by James Gunn." The second one said "A James Gunn Film." The first one was a mistake. It may not seem like a big deal but there's a big difference to me. The film is not BY me - a lot of people had a hand in making it - but it is my brand.
- F: How long does it take to set up for a shot where someone gets lit on fire?
A: About a half an hour on SUPER - it usually takes longer, but we move fast. Also we weren't using the guy for any shots after that, so if we lost him it wasn't a big deal.
- F: Whats the logline of SUPER?
A: On the poster it's currently, "He'll totally fucking beat evil" as well as "Shut up, crime." But there are others as well.
- F: SUPER is being released April 1st in select areas right, and then it's going to expand? Do you know where it'll go? Wasn't there something about how it'll be released for streaming online soon after April 1st?
A: I know many places it will go. I'll try to post a list if I can soon. You can ask now as I have the list beside me. It won't be streaming online, but it will be On Demand at the end of April.
- F: You don't like chocolate?! No wonder you wouldn't let me send you choc chip cookies on the SUPER set. You told me everyone was on a diet. You fucking LIED.
A: I like chocolate, I just don't love it. I do, however, love chocolate chip cookies.
- F: Will "Super" come to Tampa, Florida theaters? Or am I just betting on a dream?
A: The film is opening in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Boca Raton, and Orlanda - but right now I see now Tampa planned.
- F: Would you say if the the Oscar were unbiased and not political Ellen Page should be nominated for best supporting actress for Super?
A: We're only 2 months into 2011 so there's no way I could say that yet. She wouldn't be eligible for 2010.
- F: Can I expect to see SUPER in Washington DC-ish? I'm from Northeastern Virginia, and I figure DC is my best bet to see it on the big screen.
A: SUPER opens in theaters in DC April 1st.
- F: This might be kind of early, but are you doing any Q&A's in St. Louis for SUPER? Oh, and what do you think about the Loop (if you've been)?
A: Yes, I am very likely going to do a Q & A at the Tivoli when it opens April 1st. They don't know this yet, but I think they'll be agreeable. Come on down. And I love the Loop. Much of my misspent youth was misspent there. An my bands used to play there a lot as well.
- F: Will Super be released on Blu Ray as well as DVD?
- F: Do you have any plans to make a SUPER orientated picture for your website logo?
A: No, but one of the photos should be from SUPER, you're right.
- F: With the budget of the average film steadily increasing, and P&A prices becoming outrageous, do you see any potential ways of lowering these costs before it becomes nearly impossible for any film to make a profit?
A: We made SUPER for just a couple of million dollars. And our P & A is not large. It's totally possible to make a profit.
- F: when you wrote SUPER, did you (and do you) plan for it to be a stand-alone film, or plan to have sequels or other tangential work from it?
A: I planned on it being a stand-alone film.
- F: Do you have a single greatest day of your life?
A: I went on my first date with Mia the same day I met Liv Tyler and she agreed to do SUPER (Liv was the actor who got us our financing). That day is hard to beat.
- F: Any chance of SUPER coming to Iowa?
A: It's going to Des Moines starting April 22.
- F: What is the running time of SUPER?
A: Around 95 minutes.
- F: Trailer this week?
A: Yes, for sure.
- F: Any new informations about the French release
A: Honest to God, no one ever gives me any info about the international dates. I just know we're opening in a lot of theaters there, but no idea when.
- F: Is there a minimum length of run for SUPER in the cities you announced? In other words, is there any way to know "I have at least until X to go see it"?
A: I'm sure the minimum for most cities is one week. But we'd really love you to see it opening weekend! That's what would help the movie the most.
- F: So there is absolutely NOTHING at all cut out of SUPER? So is it unrated internationally as well?
A: It's not Unrated intentionally. I made the movie I wanted to make, without thought of rating, and that's the movie that's being released into theaters.
- F: Are you coming to Philadelphia to do press for SUPER?
A: Maybe. It's on the list of possibilities.
- F: If you do not get G4 how quickly will the trailer be online?
A: It will be online tomorrow evening on Yahoo Movies.
- F: When you say 7PM to watch the trailer is that Eastern time or is it 7 PM for everywhere?
A: Look up Attack of the Show and see what time it plays in your area.
- F: Will you be at any Texas showings?
A: Yes - at the SXSW screening in Austin on March 12 along with Rainn and Ellen.
- F: Do you know if either of the Laemmles are doing midnight screenings? If yes, will you be attending?
A: No, I don't. But I do plan at being at least one screening in LA the Friday night we open.
- F: How do you script a sex scene? Or more interestingly, how do you script a rape scene? I presume it's more than "They have sex"?
A: There are as many different ways to script a sex scene as there are sex scenes. You describe what happens, like you do any other action scene. Often times though you leave out the naughtier stuff, which can sound a bit pervy on paper.
- F: Super trailer was great. The line "ah this is so boring!" was delivered brilliantly by Page haha.
A: Thanks. You can all see it here: http://tinyurl.com/4tmzuev
- F: As I said, amazing trailer. One of the best I've seen in a long while. Just a quick question: Is the animated sequence(s) in the film done in the same form and fashion/similar to the animation we see in the trailer? Just curious...
- F: HAHAHA from the Lunatic who directed Sliter.... genius.
A: I was very surprised myself when I saw that line in the trailer! Pretty funny, IFC.
- F: Will you guys be making more appearances on TV? I know Rainn will be on Leno pretty soon, but what about you, Ellen, Liv, Kevin, and etc. ?
A: Yes, many. Ellen is going to be on Letterman, Ferguson, and (I think Leno). Liv is doing Kimmel and a bunch more. I'm doing Attack of the Show, and a few other things. There are many many appearances coming up, especially right before and right after the movie opens.
- F: Do you know if "Super" will be playing the Florida Film Festival prior to opening at the Enzian Theatre in Orlando, Florida?
A: I am pretty sure it will not be, sorry.
- F: SUPER opens on April 1st... are you worried about other genre movies (Insidious, Source Code and then You Highness, Hanna the week after) sucking your box office juice? Or do you feel SUPER owns a unique piece of Box Office real estate?
A: Well, I don't worry so much about that stuff. I do what I can to spread the word and leave it at that. I mostly hope that the people who DO make their way to the theater have a hell of a good time. PS SUPER is only sorta a genre film.
- F: Any chance you'll wing your way to New Zealand to promo the film? And any chance of a Slither 2? Thanks for being great by the way!
A: I'd love to go to New Zealand, but I haven't heard that come up. Almost no chance of Slither 2 at the present moment, sorry!
- F: You are an amazing director. SUPER looks amazing. How was it working with Ellen Page and Rainn Wilson?
A: Working with Ellen was one of the highlights of my career. She's an amazing person and incredibly alive actress. Working with Rainn was so-so (just kidding - Rainn's performance is brilliant and he's a good friend. There are moments while shooting the movie that he had me crying. It's a much much more intense performance than what people expect).
- F: When will Super come to Peru?
A: I'm not sure of the International dates, sorry.
- F: Are u coming to NY for the Super premiere?
A: Yes, which happens before the opening.
- F: Wait... You were surprised about the "From the Lunatic..." line in that it was IFC who threw that in there without you knowing anything about it?! Haha WTF?!
A: Yes, I was! I thought it was hilarious!
- F: Just wondering what the inspiration for the animated bits was... what place does it have in your film?
A: The opening credits are completely animated. The inspiration was Grease, because I loved those opening credits. The opening of the film is very sad and dark and indie and then these over the top animated credits start playing. It's a little hint for the viewer to expect the unexpected. This is not the movie you think it is.
- F: Whats the best theater to see SUPER in L.A. opening weekend. I'm unfamiliar with the area and will be seeing it there.
A: Mmmm... whichever theater I'm going to be at on opening Friday. But I'm not sure yet which theater that is.
- F: Any chance of a SUPER screening in Vancouver?
A: There's always a chance!
- F: Any ticket/premiere promotions or giveaways yet? I really wanna go to the LA premiere!
A: Yes, we are planning on giving away many tickets to the LA premiere! I want fans there as well as industry insiders. It will make the screening so much more fun for all of us who worked on it!
- F: How was it working with Bacon?
A: AMAZING. Seriously. Kevin is the most humble dude in the world. He's an icon in my eyes - I was a little intimidated by him - but he told me first day not to be afraid to push him around to get the performance I want. He's probably my favorite actor I've ever worked with.
- F: As an indie filmmaker with pet projects and small budgets how often/likely is it that you work with crewmembers and artists again and again? Do you keep in touch with those you worked with?
A: Crew members are hard, because they generally work in the area where you shoot. I had amazing people on both Slither and SUPER. On SUPER my grip (Ted) and gaffer (Bob) were inspirational. I'd love to work with them again. However, some people I plan on working with always - my composer, Tyler Bates, is a part of my team. I love Steve Gainer, the DP on SUPER, and Sheri Davani, my AD.
- F: What will u be doing in NY? Interviews ect.....
A: Yes, a premiere and tons of interviews.
- F: Would you work with Rainn Wilson again?
A: In a heartbeat.
- F: Are you going to be at Comic-Con this year? You rocked it last year!!
A: It's a possibility, if there's something to promote. I have a video game and another movie coming out (Movie 43), and the DVD of SUPER.
- F: No love for your editor?
A: I love Cara too. She's amazing.
- F: It was f ing cool working with Ellen Page?
A: Yes, it was f ing cool. She's a peach.
- F: Haven't been on twitter for awhile. Excited to see the opening for Super at the Tivoli in STL. Sure it was worth the trip to Louisiana for us to be extras.
A: I hope so!
- F: How come you and Rosenbaum haven't done anything together yet?
A: Rosey and I shot two episodes of PG Porn together. I offered him the role I ended up playing in SUPER but he couldn't do it for various reasons.
- F: Wait, what role did YOU play in SUPER?
A: I play Demonswill, the Satanic arch-nemesis of the Holy Avenger, played by Nathan Fillion. I'm a big Christian TV star.
- F: What should I get Nathan for his birthday? It's coming up quick!
A: A ticket to the opening of SUPER.
- F: Thanks for casting Kevin Bacon in SUPER. He gets so few comedic parts even though he's so good in all of them.
A: He is funny, but he's also dark as Hell in SUPER. He's amazing.
- F: Best moment while filming Super?
A: I lit a guy on fire for the first time. It was thrilling.
- F: Can I get the costume that Ellen Page used in Super? Not a pervert, just wanna use it for Halloween
A: No, but it's pretty easy to make.
- F: How big is Nathan's part is it a big part or did he just do a smaller part because your good friends with him?
A: He has three big scenes with lots of dialogue and humor and is a very important character.
- F: The trailer is amazing!!! you made this?
A: No, I just gave my comments to the great folks who did.
- F: Any merch for SUPER yet?
A: No, not yet. We're a small movie, so we don't have a big budget for stuff like that. There was a limited run of Crimson Bolt t-shirts with the Crimson Bolt's insane insignia on them, but we're all out.
- F: Are you familiar with the british director Ken Loach if so do you like his work?
A: I'm a huge fan of Loach's work. As strange as it sounds, the social realism of his films was a big influence on SUPER, as were the films of Lukas Moodysson.
- F: Where will Super be premiering in NY, will u be there and how can I get tickets?
A: We are having an actual premiere, although small, in New York before the opening. I will be there. I do not know if it is possible to get tickets. The film actually opens on April first, and I am probably going to be in LA that Friday and San Francisco that Saturday.
- F: Nathan's in SUPER! What else can I get him?
A: A Follow Friday on Twitter.
- F: I want a Super tee
A: Do it the SUPER way and DIY. Post it on the SUPER Facebook page or the James Gunn Facebook page.
- F: Wow, it says that he was his son in many different places on the net. I thought I could trust everything i saw on the internet.
A: Yes, I know, but Stephen Blackehart is truly not Marlon Brando's son. They never even met. He is a good actor though, and great in SUPER.
- F: Did you like Inception, The Social Network, and The King's Speech?
A: I like them all. I think Inception had the highest highs and Social Network was overall my favorite of the three. But I like Blue Valentine and Toy Story 3 more than all of them.
- F: I saw there was another showing of SUPER during SXSW on March 14th. Will you be at that one?
A: Yes, I will! (But Ellen and Rainn will not).
- F: Have any plans to something with Nathan Fillion again like a follow up to SLITHER? I know there will be quite a few people who would like to see a sequel to SLITHER.
A: No follow up to Slither planned, but I hope to work with Nathan on projects until we are both old men. He's a good friend who always goes above and beyond the call of duties in his performances. He is HILARIOUS in SUPER.
- F: EXCELLENT! I did not know Nathan was in SUPER. Well, I run a movie theatre and I will push to have that booked at my site. Got a hard date on the release?
A: April 1st in LA, NY, DC, Boston, and some other places. Many other cities throughout April. Check out http://www.jamesgunn.com/2011/03/02/super-u-s-playdates/ for a list of current dates.
- F: I recieved a screener DVD of SUPER and I loved it!
A: Good to hear!
- F: I like your taste in artwork and statues, a while ago you posted a picture of what looked like a mouse in a crimson bolt costume, where did you get it?? and how many original pieces of artwork do you estimate that you own?
A: That was made for me by a couple of the folks who worked on some of the animation in SUPER. It was a gift, and it sits on my mantle. I love it. I own at least 30 pieces of original art but a lot of great artists. I just bought three pieces last night you can read about here: http://www.jamesgunn.com/2011/03/04/art-i-bought-last-night/
- F: How did you make that guy cut in half in Slither?
A: We shot a fake man being cut in half and guts spilling out. Then using CGI we integrated that shot with the shot of the actor, Ben, reacting. Mixing practical effects and CGI is my specialty. I do it a lot in SUPER as well. It's the only way things look somewhat real - to me at least. The gore in SUPER is a bit more realistic and less cartoony than the gore in Slither.
- F: That was a pretty intense rench-to-the-head in SUPER!
A: Thanks. Also done through a mix of practical and visual effects, courtesy of Todd Masters effects and Modus VFX.
- F: My roommate really likes your raptor Jesus background. Do you enjoy dinosaurs and/or Jesus?
A: I love dinosaurs. I like Jesus best when he's cradling a baby dinosaur. Although he also has a cameo in SUPER which is pretty hot.
- F: What's your favorite song right now?
A: Tyler Bates song "Two Perfect Moments" which you can hear at the beginning of the SUPER trailer, and is coming out on the SUPER soundtrack album.
- F: OK...last one and will let others ask something. It appears that you running SUPER much like a road show like in the old days of theatre exhibition. Any plans to go wide? My site only deals with wide releases.
A: No. SUPER was always intended as an arthouse/grindhouse film. In this way we were able to make something extreme and dark and unusual and still make our money back. We're also going out Unrated to maintain the integrity of the film.
- F: I'm concerned being stuck in NH is going to keep me from seeing Super in theaters. Any non-Boston release plans?
A: Right now it's definitely playing in these places - http://www.jamesgunn.com/2011/03/02/super-u-s-playdates/ - we are adding more locations, but I'm not sure where.
- F: Can you please open SUPER to Bethesda, Maryland? Please!!!
A: That's up to @IFCFIlms. Feel free to harass them on Twitter.
- F: How did you come out with such an amazing movie as Super! So dark and so strong in character conflicts and such a great way to deal with the struggles in life - best movie i've seen in a long time!... wait thats not a question. when's it out in the UK?
A: A) Thanks. B) We have no distribution yet in the UK, although we do most other places in the world. I'm bummed out on this as much as you, because I get asked this at least 20 times a day, which shows there is some thirst for it there. I think in general UK distributors are a little more afraid of the extreme violence in the film. We got very lucky with IFC Films, that they were willing to distribute the movie Unrated, as intended, as opposed to having to tone it down. I'd rather have fewer people see the movie I want them to see than more people seeing a movie I have qualms about. I have no qualms about SUPER at all. I strongly believe in the film.
- F: What is happening in New York that makes it good for breaking into filmmaking? It seems iike it's not really much better than Chicago or Austin or Philly -- everything is still happening in LA. NYC has better food than those other places, I guess....
A: There is a lot of independent filmmaking in NYC, and a lot of the business in NYC. There are big film companies in NYC. It's overall much better to live in L.A., but NYC is a strong second place. IFC Films, the SUPER distributor, is based out of NYC.
- F: Most anticipated movies for 2011. PS. SUPER trailer rocked. GF and I have been fans going way back. Tromeo and Juliet!! Thanks.
A: Thank you too! All of you! And with that, I am signing off! Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I didn't get to yours! Good night!
- F: When people ask "what was it like working with X?" or "would you work with X again?" what are they looking for? Do they really expect you to say, "he was a huge asshole and I'd never work with him again"?
A: I've said it before about others, so probably. I'm pretty honest about these things. That said, I have never worked with a major actor I would never work with again. I do everything in my power to make sure someone is not an asshole before working with them. Many actors were interested in doing SUPER that had bad reputations, and I wouldn't even consider them. I'm careful with this shit. Making movies is hard enough without having a jerk by your side the whole time.
- F: Loved the screening last night, and thanks for the awesome poster, You mentioned how when your father saw Super there was a paticular scene he was in awe of, now that some of us have seen it can you tell us what that scene was?
A: I can't quite remember, but my Dad was pretty much in awe of the whole movie. He in particular liked the ending of the film. But there could be something I'm not remembering.
- F: Will you update us if more theatres are going to show Super?
- F: Does Ellen Page have any good fight scenes in Super?
A: Yes. She bashes with the best of them, numerous times. They aren't your typical fight scenes, however.
- F: Could you please keep this page SUPER spoiler free?
A: For me a spoiler is a real spoiler - a plot twist. I won't reveal plot twists. But I will talk about specific scenes, etc, in the movie. So if you don't want to know anything you might want to lay off this page until after you see the film.
- F: Do you have a release date planned for the SUPER soundtrack?
A: It should be out right before the movie.
- F: Did you design the title sequence for Super?
A: I wrote the script for the title sequence. Puny Animation did the sequence. Julia Vickerman and others actually drew the characters.
- F: Do Hanway Films own ALL international distribution rights to SUPER?
A: They don't own them, but they are are sales agents, yes.
- F: How many trailers were made for SUPER? How much input do you have into what's in the trailer?
A: Just one. I have a lot of input. We are also going to have a very short version that will be in front of stuff on On Demand and in front of Web content.
- F: Is the movie coming out in canada because i'm canadian like Ellen Page.
A: If it does come out in Canada, it would not be coming out because you're Canadian like Ellen Page. It would be coming out there for other reasons.
- F: Is Ellen Page coming to the NYC Super Showing? I read some where it's just you and Rainn Wilson? I'd love to meet you all and talk with her about a film I have planned to make with her...Sorry for Plugging myself and my film but Just was wondering.
A: Ellen might be coming. We're working it out. But if she does it is unlikely she'd have time to talk about your film. I just got back from SXSW and I was unable to talk to any of my three friends there for more than five minutes.
- F: What are the songs used in the SUPER trailer?
A: Two Perfect Moments by Tyler Bates and God Knows My Name by Monster. They're both in the movie.
- F: Are the cartoon segments from the SUPER trailer from the intro?
A: The actual cartoons are from the opening credits. Some of the other animated stuff is interspersed throughout the movie.
- F: Will you be doing Q and A's at all the SUPER screenings at SXSW? Any chance you'll come do one in DC?
A: Rainn, Ellen, and I will be doing a Q & A at the first SUPER screening on Saturday night. I will be doing one alone this forthcoming Monday. There are no plans right now to come to DC, but who knows?
- F: Did you design the Crimson Bolt costume?
A: I drew the original costume. Mary Matthews based the design on my drawings.
- F: Are you like Hitchcock and always do cameos in your films? Do you do a cameo in Super? What would it take to do a cameo in mine?
A: Yes. My cameo in SUPER is actually kind of big - I play Demonswill, the Holy Avenger's Satanic arch enemy. I have a lot of makeup on so may be hard to recognize.
- F: Can you tell us how it came to be that Kevin Bacon joined the cast in Super?
A: We had another actor attached to play Jacques who ended up being, in my eyes, risky. I wasn't sure he was responsible. I was afraid with how quickly we needed to shoot, he'd hurt the movie. So at the last minute - about a week and a half before shooting - I fired him and asked my favorite actor in the world, Mr. Kevin Bacon, if he would be interested in playing the part. He fortunately said yes, and has created a classic character in the form of the nicest-bad-guy-ever, Jacques.
- F: Who is sexier in Super Liv or Ellen?
A: Liv and Ellen are equally sexy in SUPER and in life, but Ellen's Libby is a bit sluttier in the movie. Liv's character Sarah is a little too doped up to be sexual at all in the film.
- F: Not sure if anyone asked but do you know when Super is coming out in the UK?
A: SUPER does not have a UK release date as of now. They are uncomfortable with the violence.
- F: Do you know the date when Super will be available on demand?
A: I think on the 13th of April.
- F: I think you had mentioned before that you're coming to San Francisco in early April... are you doing a special screening of Super?
A: I think I'll be at an actual screening of the movie in town. Not sure. Stay tuned for more info.
- F: Are you and Rooker really coming to Chicago for the Super screening? More importantly, will you stay for some pizza? I guess what I'm saying is that my wife and I will feed you guys (not by hand) some of the best pizza you ever had. Just say the word.
A: I am trying my best to be in Chicago opening weekend. We'll see.
- F: Are you touring with Slither as it shows, say in Eugene, OR in April?
A: You mean SUPER? I am going to a few select cities with the movie - New York, Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, maybe Chicago.
- F: I am bringing Grant ( young Frank) on Sat to sxsw and was wondering how much will l need to cover his eyes or ears during Super? He was nine when you met him and now he is 11! He is crazy excited!!!!
A: You will need to cover his eyes and ears through most of the movie (seriously). There is a lot of cursing, gore, and sex in the movie. Sorry!
- F: Some filmmakers, when they write their scripts, are at times ridiculously/overly methodical when it comes to deciding on character names. Others just are more random about it, laid back, & do what sounds good. How do you go about choosing character names?
A: I do both. I often times just pick a name that feels right and go with it. The first draft of SUPER was written in one day. All the character names just popped up. Other times a name doesn't feel right and I'll do some investigation.
- F: Will the SUPER soundtrack be a real CD or download only?
A: It will be a real CD as well as a download. It's very, very cool.
- F: I really want to see Super, but I live in Las Vegas :( How do I get the movie to show here?
A: Peter @IFCFilms on Twitter - tell them you want SUPER in your town!
- F: Who is your favorite youtube stars and have you thought about casting them in your future films?
A: My favorite YouTube star is Terra Naomi, and she does have a song in SUPER.
- F: What's your fav Kevin Bacon performance outside of SUPER?
- F: Do you need help promoting "Super" in comic book shops in New England?
A: Sure. Always.
- F: So, any update on the LA premiere yet? :) and any possibility of fans going :D
A: The LA Premiere is March 21st. I'm not sure how fans will be able to get tickets, but stay tuned via my twitter and facebook pages for the best chance of getting them. We WILL have fan tickets I'm just not sure how we're giving them away yet.
- F: Will you ever publish the original 57 page SUPER draft?
A: Almost certainly not. First drafts are always a mess and usually have no business being seen by anyone other than the writer.
- F: What camera did you use on SUPER
A: The Red.
- F: so---- red band trailer for super or what????
A: No, none planned. Our movie is the red band trailer.
- F: What's the problem with releasing a film unrated? Why don't more filmmakers do it?
A: There are many places you can't advertise if the film is unrated, and many theaters where you can't run it. For a small movie like SUPER, it's a lot easier.
- F: How wasit working with Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page ??
A: With Rainn it was a nightmare from beginning to end. Ellen was a dream.
- F: Oh yeah, and the poster for this movie is so simply genius, whose idea was that?
A: The poster was designed by a company named Mojo. They're amazing.
- F: What's the one question you wish the media would QUIT asking you during junkets? (so that I never ask it, lol)
A: If you could have one super power, what would it be. 50% of journalists ask this question, and I get asked it at every Q & A.
- F: Have you ever been to Quentin Tarantino's house? I heard a story about him watching Cabin Fever and inviting Roth over for a swim. I bet his house is pretty insane for a film buff.
A: No, I haven't, but I've talked with Quentin a lot. He's been a big supporter over the years, and I really appreciate it. He's one of my heroes. SUPER wouldn't exist without him.
- F: Do you have a timeline for the SUPER DVD release?
A: No. I'd guess August, but who knows.
- F: After SUPER comes out can you upload the screenplay to your site?
A: I'll consider it. Maybe. Or maybe we'll release it as a book.
- F: How excited are you about the buzz from Super?
A: I'm pretty excited, but it's measured. I don't get too overboard with these things. We created the movie we wanted to make and that's the most important thing. That said, SXSW was incredible. We supposedly had the biggest line of any SXSW movie ever at our premiere.
- F: Will you and the entire cast be at the World Premiere of Super? :) I'm really hoping to score premiere tickets so it would be incredible to meet any of you since the entire film is filled with names of people I love.
A: Most of us. I think Kevin can't make it, but he'll be at the New York premiere. And my brother Sean is unfortunately going to be shooting in Chile and can't make it. I think everyone else in the cast will be at the LA premiere - Rainn, Ellen, Liv, Rooker, Andre Royo, Nathan Fillion, Gregg Henry, Linda Cardellini, etc. I can't wait!
- F: Have you thought about developing something of a live SUPER stunt show, maybe as a Universal theme park attraction?
A: Well, SUPER isn't a Universal film. It is also a very very dark, fucked up, violent film, and not exactly right for that type of thing.
- F: Hey James, I'm at friend of Yarvos, I was at the Ghild premiere, we're screening Ghild at the Newport Beach Film Festival next month, would you consider allowing up to screen Super as well????
A: That would be up to IFC Films. You'd have to contact them. I think we'll already be out in theaters by then, however.
- F: Do you find it a better movie making experience on a "lower" budget or a more substantial budget? Would you say you have more freedom, one over the other?
A: Freedom is the most important thing to me. That said, I'd much rather have a few more million dollars. SUPER was made for a little over seventeen bucks, and it was HARD!
- F: Hey JG - when will super be hitting the UK?
A: Right now we have no UK distributor. It sucks. It's one of the few places in the world we don't have distribution, and I easily get 20 questions about it a day.
- F: Will there be another media screening of SUPER in L.A.? I'd been wanting to see it but after what bossman Uncle Creepy said, I'm DYING to see it and we're talking "punch mall Santa in the FACE" want to see it.
A: I don't know. Probably! But no one tells me these things.
- F: What are you up against, release date wise, for Super? Or are the release dates to far spread apart?
A: The release dates are spread far apart and we're a niche film, so I'm not sure. I know we're opening against my good friend James Wan's film Insidious. People should see both!
- F: When is the NY premiere of SUPER? Is it going to be at the IFC Center?
A: I think it's the 29th of March. I don't know where it is. It's not a complete premiere - it's a special screening hosted by Jason Reitman. It's not a big deal like the LA premiere.
- F: Do you know if there are SUPER posters/merchandise available for purchase anywhere?
A: I don't think there are at the present moment.
- F: Why did wouldn't of Super been made without Quentin? Did he help you get the film made or is it because it is similar to his style?
A: He was a big inspiration early on - SUPER is a mixture of arthouse and grindhouse filmmaking, much like some of Quentin's films. He's not afraid of making films that are tonally unique. He paved the way for me, and I was fortunately able to tell him this a couple months back.
- F: Are you in Super? if not then why the fuck not? it's your movie and your funny as hell !
A: I am in the film. I play Demonswill, the evil TV arch-enemy of Nathan Fillion's Holy Avenger. I am counting on an Academy Award nomination.
- F: Are there any directors you'd like to see tackle one of your screenplays? Or a screenwriter who's script you'd like to direct?
A: No and no, not really. I like writing and directing my own stuff, essentially. Although I wouldn't mind seeing Rob Zombie direct my script The Belcoo Experiment, a script I love but don't know if I have it in me right now to direct. It's a dark, dark film. Even darker than SUPER in some ways. I want to do something more fun next.
- F: Would you be willing to do more short segments of Holy Avenger as a bonus?
A: Yes, if we could get everyone and everything together, but that's a difficult thing to do.
- F: Was the "gushy" line in SUPER in the original script or improvised?
A: It was in the original script.
- F: What do you plan to do with the 2 Rainn Wilson costumes from Super?
A: They're not mine. They belong to Ambush Entertainment.
- F: Will you wave to me if I get a ticket to the SUPER premiere in LA?
A: Sure. Just yell out my name and wave and I'll wave back.
- F: Do you know when any cast members of Super will be making Late Night Television appearances?
A: Yes. Rainn is going to be on Leno soon (maybe tomorrow or something?) Ellen is going to be on Letterman the night before we open. There are going to be more appearances on Craig Ferguson, Kimmel, etc. Lots of stuff coming up. For a movie made for a couple million bucks, it's awesome!
- F: Best experience... Tromeo and Juliet.... or Slither?
A: They were both great, but I was fully in charge on Slither, so maybe that. But T&J was new and exciting... hard to choose. Both were a lot more fun than SUPER, which was a bitch to shoot!
- F: How was it to work on Super with actors you have worked with previously (Fillion, Rooker)? Were you all able to work together easier because of your past experience?
A: Yes, it was much easier. They're two of my close friends now - I hardly knew them when I started shooting Slither. I can push Rooker around a lot more now. I trust Nathan more today, knowing he always does awesome work.
- F: What are you doing for St. Patrick's Day tomorrow?
A: I forgot it was St. Patrick's Day until you just mentioned it now. I'm hanging out with Mia and having a pleasant day before another shitstorm of press comes along for SUPER next week.
- F: What was your impression of the Seattle 'Hero' Phoenix Jones? It seemed slightly awkward from the crowd when he crashed the ECCC panel...
A: Yes, it was a little awkward. There's video of it on my web site (jamesgunn.com). It was confusing. But he's a fascinating dude, so I was happy he crashed the party.
- F: Are there any plans for a comic book adaptation of SUPER?
A: No, not right now.
- F: How graphic are the sexual situations in Super?
A: One is very lovely and one is very intense.
- F: Hey James I just wanted to tell you that SUPER was the highlight of my SXSW experience and I can't wait to see it again when it opens next month!
A: Thank you!!
- F: Will there be any detailed SUPER figures being released anytime soon? I'm a big time figure collector (Play Arts, Hot Toys, etc.) so I would love to add Super ones to my collection. :)
A: I would love those too, but there are no plans for toys in the near future.
- F: Ellen Page's character in Super was ... VERY enthusiastic. How was directing her as this character? How hard/easy did it seem to you that she was able to portray this character?
A: By enthusiastic, I suppose you mean psychopathic? Ellen was extremely easy. She came in with a clear idea of how to play Libby. She told me she was afraid she was going to go too far. I told her to go as far as she could, and let me worry about pulling her back if she goes too far. She's amazing in the movie, and is deserving all the attention for it that she's getting!
- F: Funniest thing that happened behind the scenes while shooting Super?
A: There really wasn't much funny happening behind the scenes! We were all working our asses off and moving as quickly as we could moving from shot to shot while living in squalor.
- F: Ever consider doing a contest for your fans where they win something neat for creating their own homemade hero costume?
A: You're never going to believe this, but this very topic has come up in our weekly SUPER marketing meetings. How weird is that? I don't know if anything is going to happen with it though.
- F: Is there any chance of Ellen Page getting an Oscar nod when it comes down to it, or perhaps the movie itself?!? SUPER may be a "superhero" movie, but it's not a COMIC BOOK superhero movie, so the Academy can't hold THAT against it!
A: SUPER is way, way, way too dark and extreme and violent and unusual to get an Oscar nod. It's not an Oscar film at all.
- F: Is there nudity in SUPER?
A: Yes, some. But this is a weird question to be continually asked. Why is it such a big deal?
- F: I asked this before, but i'll try again. I asked a couple days ago if 16 year olds could get into SUPER since it'd unrated, and if not...if i gave you money would you buy my ticket for the STL screening?
A: I think they can get in, but I am not sure.
- F: I've not seen it yet, so as usual I don't know what I'm talking about but... SUPER sequel? Any talk there, or too soon?
A: See the movie for yourself and decide. I think it's a complete story and telling a sequel would probably be unnecessary.
- F: Has anyone ever told you that your autograph looks like chicken scratch?
A: Actually, not. I think my signature is by far the most legible of folks on this SUPER script in the AICN contast: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/48887
- F: Thinking back to these film seminars I went to in The Loop awhile back w/ the producers of/others from "Up in the Air", would you ever consider making/shooting a film here in St. Louis? That'd be badass, but is that more or less very fiscally dependent?
A: I'd consider it if it fir the script and it worked out financially. We discussed shooting SUPER in St. Louis, but it wasn't right for a few reasons.
- F: You guys should release a SUPER iPhone app! You can add the cool photo mask thing and a soundboard and the trailer and promo pics! It would be sooo cool!
A: I think the Face-in-the-Mask app will be out on iPhone soon.
- F: Do you think that SUPER will be your biggest hit thus far?
A: Biggest hit in terms of overall dollars? No way. It wasn't created to make that type of money. It's a very extreme movie made on a low budget. That said, I think SUPER has a chance of having the largest percentage return on any film I've ever made, which is what we hoped for from the start.
- F: Considering you finished SUPER quite a while ago (a number of months) do you ever watch it and think that there's certain bits that could be tweaked?
A: Yes, every time.
- F: Is there going to be a QA or any surprises at SUPER screening tonight at New Bev?
A: Not a Q & A, but there might be some very big surprises for you.
- F: Hi James's Assistant, please pass along the following message: James, Super looks like an absolute hit. As a comedy writer, my question is this...How did you get the top talent for Super with such a low budget (2M as I heard on Carolla)?
A: Just simply, they liked the script and the opportunity to play such messed up characters. It was a passion project not only for me, but for each of them as well. We all spend a lot of time in Hollywood hustling and doing stuff for money - it's nice to be able to do something simply because you want to do it every now and again.
- F: How many times have you seen SUPER?
- F: How was the premiere?
- F: Is there a car chase in SUPER?
A: Sorta but not really.
- F: SUPER was incredible, really moving actually. After seeing it what did you think the MPAA would have want cut?
A: There is a little violence they'd want cut - two major spoilers if I'd share - and one small sexual thing in the Libby-Frank scene.
- F: Is it true the Rainn actually dressed up as the Crimson Bolt during SXSW to go look for real crime?
A: Yes. They showed footage of it last night on Jimmy Kimmel.
- F: Have you really seen SUPER in its entirety HUNDREDS of times?
A: Yes. That's how you edit a film.
- F: When you watch your own film hundreds of times don't you get sick of it?
A: I sometimes get very sick of it. I actually still like watching parts of SUPER. By the time by time I got to the sound mix on Slither (a movie I saw even more times because of all the effects and a lot more time to edit) I was ready to slash my wrists if I had to watch it again. It was seriously torture. Watching things with an audience is less boring however, because you're seeing it in part through their eyes, and watching how it plays.
- F: When you and the actors in Super do promoting in other cities and states, who pays for their travel?
A: IFC Films does.
- F: When Super is on demand will you be able to rent through iTunes?
A: No. On April 13, you'll be able to see SUPER through all of your basic cable and satellite services (Comcast, DirecTV, etc). It won't be available for actual download on iTunes, Amazon, etc, until later.
- F: When the DVD and blu-ray of SUPER are released, is there any chance that they will be region-free?
A: No. We have distribution in most countries, so IFC will not be distributing the DVD and Blu-Ray elsewhere, but others will.
- F: Since Super is being shown in London soon does this mean a release date will happen soon?
A: The two aren't related, but rumor is we're working out a UK deal now. Stay tuned.
- F: What do you mean by "held over" on the SUPER playdates? Does that mean it's playing there for longer?
A: That means it did well there and is being held beyond the first week (i.e. it will still be playing there this weekend). None of the dates anywhere are guaranteed behind the first week, so you should try to see it as soon as possible when it comes to your town!
- F: I noticed you like to use scenes where a group singles out one person/thing and laughs at them (Peanus/Humanzee) is there a scene like this in SUPER?
A: There is! For a few brief moments.
- F: Mikeala Hoover has the best boobs i have EVER seen
A: If you're asking me if I agree then, yes, they are pretty damn good, and I must say I utilize them well in SUPER, as I've received many compliments.
- F: How often did the actors in SUPER improvise? Could you share some of your favorite improvised moments, if they aren't significant spoilers?
A: Not so much. We were a very tight film and we had to move quickly, so there wasn't a lot of room for improv. That said, we would do some. The scene where Rainn Wilson comes into the library with a beard is largely improv - some of it Rainn's, some of it ideas I came up with on set. Rainn was pretty much the only one to improv - and it was always ADDING lines, not CHANGING lines (big difference).
- F: I thought the over-the-top violence in 'Super' really took away from the overall comdeic effect of the film. Do you think that is a fair criticism? If not, why?
A: SUPER is only partially a comedy. If you don't see that, you might not really get the film. It's a film about extremes in all directions, and tonal contrasts. It's also about the actual ramifications of violence, not fake superhero movie violence. BTW - I don't believe our violence is over-the-top at all. It's just realistic. I think that's too brutal for many, but that's a part of the spine of the film.
- F: Serious question. Any reasons why a feminist would want to see SUPER? (I want to want to, but don't, currently.)
A: I'll just tell you that the reason that Ellen Page and Liv Tyler both wanted to do this movie (for no money) is because the female characters are real, full characters - and that's an extreme rarity in Hollywood. Unlike most films in which females are either "the girlfriend" or the femme fatale, Libby and Sarah have as many subtleties as any of the male characters in SUPER. It's not about making a feminist statement, if that's what you're looking for. It's about creating three dimensional characters of all sexes.
- F: When will we be able to see Super in the UK?
A: It's coming to the London Sci Fi Festival early in May.
- F: What inspired this movie?
A: Mostly my own spiritual visions, which I've had since I was a kid, and trying to figure out the place for them in my own life. Frank has the same thing in the movie.
- F: Why is Super only in 2 theaters in NEW YORK CITY!!! and now Kevin Smith is calling it quits! Will indie films be in theaters in the future or will they only be released ondemand!
A: I don't know anything about Kevin Smith, but SUPER is a small film, it only cost a couple million dollars. It's also a very extreme film with a specific audience. But if we play our cards right - limited distribution, Video on Demand, etc - we can still make a small profit. To go too wide with a movie as extreme as SUPER would be a mistake. It was always meant as an arthouse/grindhouse film.
- F: Did you use any local actors from Louisiana when filming SUPER? Not extras but actual speaking parts.
A: Yes, quite a few: The librarian and Nathaniel the drug dealer and the other thug with Sean Gunn just to name a few of my many favorites.
- F: There seemed to be a lot of camera movement in Super. Was this intentional or something that was due to a smaller budget? The one scene with Rainn praying on his bed comes to mind.
A: It was very intentional. The film is almost entirely handheld, and it was always supposed to have that gritty feel.
- F: Is there any way you, Rainn and Ellen can come to the UK premiere of Super at the Sci Fi festival in London?
A: No, we tried, but the festival doesn't have the budget to fly us in.
- F: I was blown away by the tonal shifts in the film - particularly the prayer scene with Rainn (brilliant). How are you inspired to create your specific style? Especially in terms of using god in your movie as well as scenes that make the audience uncomfortable.
A: I just like going emotional places that films don't usually go. I like something different that pushes the boundaries. As far as the God stuff goes, I think it's a rich landscape - very few movies mention God, much less discuss how various people might incorporate belief in God (or non-belief) into their lives.
- F: Saw the movie and loved it. But I was sitting next to someone who laughed consistently throughout, including all the violence and pain and suffering and (to my mind) thoughtful and heartfilled non-comedic ending. What do you say to people like that?
A: I think both approaches are fine - that's part of what the movie is - you can come at SUPER from different angles. Rainn's prayer is the perfect example. It IS heartbreaking, and it IS funny. You can do both at different times. Same thing with the violence.
- F: Hey James wondering is Rainn or Ellen or even you doing another Q and A at Laemmle's sunset 5? I did'nt catch yours cause i was working but caught the Saturday night one with your brother and Micheal Rooker.
A: "Even me"? Haha!! No plans, but we might do something again in the future.
- F: What are the chances of a double bill of Slither / SUPER at the new beverly? Or a midnight screening?
A: Not now, but maybe after SUPER's theatrical run is over. Thanks for capitalizing SUPER. That's the right way to write it.
- F: Why do you find rape appropriate for a scene that is "supposed to be funny"?
A: I find anything appropriate for a comedic scene - if you know anything about my work, you'll know dark comedy is my thing. And dark comedy is always about finding humor in the absurd and horrible. But I think you ought to see the movie before you judge what's called "rape" in SUPER (and, yes, your judgment is obvious in your questions, as is the fact that I don't think you've seen the movie). There are scenes which are not funny at all in the movie as well.
- F: I saw SUPER last weekend and loved it! I noticed that at three points in the film, the screen was cut to entirely red or yellow. Was that intentional?
A: Of course! We fade to specific colors as opposed to fading to black in the movie. It depends on where we are emotionally and thematically.
- F: Have you thought about making SUPER into a comic book and publishing it?
A: I've thought about it, but never put the effort into doing it. I'd have a hard time turning it over to someone else.
- F: Hi James! I program the Edmonton Int'l Film Fest here in Nathan Fillion's hometown! I would maim my family for the chance to do a special screening of SUPER here...whaddya say?
A: That's not my call! It's Ambush Entertainment's or whomever is distributing in Canada. I'd love it of course.
- F: I'm not the one calling it rape, you are (see AICN interview). I've attempted to familiarize myself with your work (Slither, PG Porn). Not sure that I agree that *anything* can be funny. As for not seeing the film yet, SUPER has not been released near me.
A: Calling it rape is shorthand - Ellen, Rainn, and I call her forcing herself on Rainn in the movie "the rape scene" but there are a lot of elements in the scene that aren't that. All people have things they think are off limits in comedy (even me, by the way). But it's subjective. I mean, honestly, there are a million dark comedies that make murder funny. But something else can't be? It's silly.
- F: ellen has said in a few interviews that she felt "uncomfortable" doing 'that scene'. did u put all your faith in her acting abilities or did u get the sense that she was uncomfortable and feel like she might not be able to pull it off as well as u wanted?
A: No, we talked in great detail, her and Rainn and myself, about how the scene was uncomfortable. We established boundaries and made sure we all knew exactly what I was going for. And in the end the result is something extraordinary.
- F: I can't help crowing about SUPER, for it is genuinely brilliant. It is a masterpiece of your genius. It touches deep archetypal chords of the hero within, with empathy, compassion, terror, tears, and hilarity. Thank you for another classic film, James.
- F: I walked out of SUPER and was blown away with Ellen Page! You directed her like no other. Truly amazing performance!
A: She is incredible, thanks.
- F: what has been your favourite moment with a member of the cast of SUPER - that hasn't exactly involved promoting or talking about the film. eg: partying, going for a meal etc!
A: I had the best (very small) fourth of July party ever at my house this year, and Ellen was there. Rainn and I have shared a lot of deep stuff in our many travels. I went out to dinner and smoked cigars with Kevin, Rooker, and Stevie. But my favorite moment may have been my first meeting with Liv - when we had like a five hour lunch in NYC and had an amazing time. There are many more I'll probably remember as soon as I hit post -
- F: When Super opens next Friday, (4/15) at the Tivoli in StL will you be here? Will any of the others attached to the film be here for the showing and a Q and A?
A: I will be there, yes, but no one else from the cast will be.
- F: Apparantly Mark Millar showed Super at his Kapow Comic Con. I wasn't there so don't know if its true. Were you aware of this? It happened today.
A: Yes, I was aware of it because Mark asked me if he could show it a few months ago. I had forgotten about it though!
- F: How did you find the interns for SUPER?
A: On Twitter and through my web page.
- F: There's been like a million premieres of SUPER, when was the first time YOU saw the movie in its entirety. Did you sit down and watch it alone nit-picking it?
A: Well, by guild rules there's something called an "editor's assembly" where the editor assembles pretty much all the footage you have for two weeks (usually the two weeks right after shooting, which gives the director a welcome break). So I saw Cara Silverman's assembly a couple of weeks after we shot the movie. We had already watched separate scenes together before that. And, yes, I watched it alone and took notes. But it was a good first assembly - a lot changed, but some things stayed the same.
- F: I don't really know how VOD works, but will SUPER be available worldwide on the 13th?
A: No, just in the United States.
- F: How much of SUPER did you cut? Will there ever be a 'Director's Cut'?
A: We're unrated. What you see in theaters IS the director's cut. I cut almost nothing out of the movie - a couple lines, once real scene, and one very small scene (couple lines). You'll be able to see them on the DVD and Blu-Ray, but not in the movie.
- F: When was the first time someone other than you (like a cast member) saw SUPER as the finished film it is today?
A: After Cara Silverman (the editor) and I, we then showed the movie to the producers Ted Hope and Miranda Bailey, and the associate producer, Amanda Marshall. We then showed the movie to Tyler Bates, who started to work on the score. And then we showed it Rainn. This was a first cut, much messier. We made some changes and showed two small test audiences, one in LA and one in NYC. We made more changes, and then showed it to the producers and Rainn again, as well as Ellen, Liv, Nathan, Kevin, Rooker, and our agents and managers. That cut was WAY better, and everyone was very happy. We made a few more very minor changes, and finished the score and effects, and that's what you see in theaters today.
- F: Did Ellen improvise all that orgasmic screaming? I can't imagine that would be easy to yell "I want to cum!" in a room full of people (pornstars notwithstanding). It was a little bit "Straw Dogs" meets "don't look know." Menacing yet erotic.
A: Well, each of her orgasmic screams weren't scripted, but all the dialogue was scripted.
- F: What editing system did you use to cut SUPER?
A: The Avid
- F: Was the tentacle-rape cartoon Frank watches on TV real, or made for the film? If real, was it difficult to clear the rights to it?
A: We made it for the film.
- F: Is the revenue from OnDemand counted with the theatrical grosses?
A: No, it's completely separate.
- F: Is SUPER as violent as the trailer? Because the trailer is not
A: It's much much more violent than the trailer.
- F: If SUPER were to lose money (theoretically), would you personally lose money? I am confused about who pays for these things.
A: No, I would not. But the stars, the crew and I do MAKE money if it makes money.
- F: i was in the theater the other day watching SUPER and was sitting behind a father and his son (no homo). i couldn't help but overhear their conversation and i could clearly tell they had been misguided about the movie. do you think a warning was in order?
A: The movie is UNRATED and every single article on the film talks about how violent and extreme the movie is. How much more of a warning do you want??! And what's with the "homo" thing??
- F: Why is SUPER playing for such a short amount of time at some places?
A: It's a very small, extreme film so we're just playing at small theaters.
- F: Do I have your permission to marry SUPER?
A: Okay, sure. But know that SUPER is a polygamist.
- F: How long did it take to animate the opening sequence? It's amazing!
A: It took quite a few months, and thanks.
- F: what's your opinion about Kevin Bacon as a person?
A: He's an incredibly humble, soft spoken, and cool guy.
- F: Why is Ellen Page wearing her bra in that scene in SUPER?
A: Because she's halfway through getting changed back into her regular clothes in the backseat of the car.
- F: what do you think about kids being a fan of your work? (not scooby-doo) do you not really like it or does it make you happy knowing even 14 year olds liked super?
A: I think it depends on the maturity of the 14 year old.
- F: I know you probably do not care that much but as a Batman fan what do you think of the cast of The Dark Knight Rises? People are complaining about Nolan reusing the actors from Inception but it seems like a lot of directors reuse actors even you do.
A: Anyone who would complain about directors reusing actors is strange.
- F: Did you know that the two main characters in SUPER are on Twitter? @CrimsonBolt and @SidekickBoltie promote the film and parody the characters really well.
A: Yes, I have seen that. Very nice.
- F: Did you ever consider using an Alice Cooper song in SUPER?
A: I love Alice Cooper, but the tone of his stuff wasn't exactly right for SUPER. Also, it was VERY difficult getting Cheap Trick. Having two big name acts would have been even harder.
- F: We will get to see the winners of the Ain't It Cool News competition?
A: I heard it's getting posted today.
- F: I'm sure the question has been asked, but any date on a DVD release of SUPER?
A: No confirmed date yet. We're estimating August, but who knows.
- F: Is there a place where we can ask you SUPER questions with spoilers?
A: You can start a thread in my forum at JamesGunn.com, just label it SPOILER.
- F: I noticed that you thanked Amber Tamblyn in the special thanks at the end of SUPER. How was she involved?
A: Her uncle wrote the song "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White" and she helped us to get the rights.
- F: Which part or scene of SUPER is the most personal to you?
A: The ending.
- F: Do you see yourself working with Ellen or Rainn again?
A: Absolutely. Like Nathan Fillion and Michael Rooker I hope to continue working with Ellen and Rainn for the rest of my life.
- F: I was watching Showtime and they had a bit and filler between movies where they advertised/talked about SUPER, and had Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page talk about it a bit... Nice!
A: That's good to hear. I didn't know about that.
- F: do you find the sad scenes as funny or actually sad? (not the praying one, that gets mentioned a lot) i mean like other sad/dramatic scenes (i wont give any away) but what is your personal feeling on them?
A: I find them all sad and funny, but I think the core of the film is more sad than it is funny. For me, though, humor and sadness are always very closely related.
- F: Do you tire of telling the same stories again and again? (e.g. how Rainn got involved with SUPER etc.)
A: Yes. But it's the nature of the beast.
- F: First off I just had a super time watching "Super." And now for my actual question: What films were your major influences in the making of that film?
A: There are many - Taxi Driver, Lukas Moodysson's films Together and Show Me Love, all Quentin Tarantino Films, The Heroic Trio, Napoleon Dynamite, Hero at Large, Ratcatcher, Breaking the Waves - to name just a few.
- F: From the box office and VOD numbers so far, do you project SUPER to be profitable?
- F: Do you have any cool behind the scene pics or videos from filming SUPER that you'd put on your website?
A: Sorry - We're saving it all for the DVD and Blu-Ray!
- F: Is Ellen Page doing anything special for the DVD?
A: Yes, there is some special footage of her and Rainn as Boltie and Crimson Bolt at SXSW for the DVD, as well as some behind the scenes and other stuff.
- F: How come Kevin Bacon was not any of the Super events like festivals, premiere etc.?
A: He was shooting X-Men First Class. He was at the New York premiere.
- F: Will you be attending either of the London SUPER screenings on Monday?
A: No, I will be here in Los Angeles.
- F: The end dialog between Bacon and Wilson was the strangest dialog to ever tear me up. Was that ever the intention when you wrote it?
A: There was no intention, but I know it was emotionally powerful for me when I wrote it. Their dialogue there is the crux of the entire film.
- F: If Ellen Page writes and directs a movie, would you accept to play in it (even a small role), if she asks you?
- F: Is Bolties laugh supposed to be more of a mocking laugh or is meant more to be a more maniacal laugh?
A: It's either one, depending on the situation. She laughs more than once in the movie.
- F: Was the gushy scene uncomfortable to shoot? Were Ellen and Rainn nervous?
A: A little uncomfortable, and yes, we were all nervous, but we talked about it very specifically beforehand.
- F: Did you ever recognize the similarities between "Super" and Scorsese's "Taxi Driver?" Was it a conscious thing? (I'm not accusing you of ripping it off, by the way. It's a compliment.)
A: It wasn't conscious, but I realized it by the time I was done with the first draft.
- F: Did you ever recognize the similarities between "Super" and Scorsese's "Taxi Driver?" Was it a conscious thing? (I'm not accusing you of ripping it off, by the way. It's a compliment.)
A: It wasn't conscious, but I realized it by the time I was done with the first draft.
- F: How many takes did you usually do per scene for Super?
A: Just two or three. Usually two. We didn't have time to do more than that.
- F: What's your favorite song from the SUPER score/soundtrack?
A: Tyler's score from the end of the film.
- F: Did you or the cast do any thing fun whenever the mood during filming was bad? Super is a wonderful movie but some of the stuff it deals with is pretty heavy. LOVE LOVE LOVE Two Perfect Moments btw
A: I would joke around with the cast and crew, but just basic stuff like you'd have in any work environment. And there was very little time for that.
- F: So I am moving soon and I would love to get a Super poster to hang up in my room, as it's now a film that I consider close to me. Know where I could get one?
A: I don't, sorry!
- F: I noticed that Ellen Page wore scarves in several scenes in SUPER similar to her character in Inception. Coincidence or intentional?
A: Coincidence, or Ellen's preference. We shot SUPER long before Inception was out.
- F: Were you able to include your whole vision with Super or did somethings not make it to the screen ? Thank you for making an amazing film that does make me tear up at the end.
A: Yeah, I was able to do what I wanted.
- F: Do you have a particular favorite scene in SUPER? At the end when Rainn screams at Bacon "You don't butt in line, you don't deal drugs, you don't molest kids..." I thought that scene was very powerful
A: Yeah, that might be my favorite. So is Rainn's first prayer.
- F: The scene in which Libby dances (with the weird shoulder movements) is rather similar to the way Ellen Page dances in Hard Candy, is this a coincidence or a de liberate reference?
A: No idea what you're talking about, so no.
- F: What are your immediate plans to follow Super now that it's in the can and available to the public? Are you developing any new projects for the immediate future?
A: I have a movie with the Farrelly Brothers coming out at some point, along with a video game. But I'm working on another script now.
- F: Another heavily moment I thought, was the look on Rooker's face during the attempted rape scene... I loved that he played his bad guy as just another human being opposed to playing a typical bad guy.... was curious was that all Rooker or your directorial?
A: It was both of us. But I knew all along the character had feelings for Sarah.
- F: I really love Super and it's one of my truly favorite films to come out in the past few years. I would love to pick your brain as I have many questions to ask you is there a way I could email you/send you a letter? If not,it's cool.I wouldn't want to bug
A: Thanks very much - but the best way to ask questions is here or on my Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/jamesgunnfans. I unfortunately don't have time for private correspondence. I do tend to get the same questions often - I almost never get asked a question I haven't been asked before - so it's good to be able to share with others.
- F: How did the short film differ from the final one for Super?
A: There is no short film. I set out to write a short film but got so into the characters and story I wrote a feature instead.
- F: I'm having a brainfart - I don't think I've asked this question... Is the reason the movie moves so fast in the beginning (with her leaving him just within minutes) have anything to do with the fact that the script was originally for a short?
A: No. The beginning is essentially a flashback, story-of-his-life. The movie opens, essentially, with Frank already left by Sarah.
- F: Do you actually own the rabbit from SUPER?
A: No, I don't. I bought one of the baby rabbits in the store as a gift for my awesome 1st AD, Sheri Davani. She named it Boltie. It was cute as hell. Here's a pic: http://tinyurl.com/3sm4k58
- F: Any updates on the SUPER DVD/Bluray release?
A: Nope! It will probably be end of summer. We're getting all the extra features together now - a commentary by me and Rainn, extra footage of Ellen and Rainn, behind the scenes doc, cut scenes, and a bunch of other stuff.
- F: Would you be mad if I had a Crimson Bolt logo t-shirt made?
A: No, I'd like it.
- F: Will Super become a comic book series spin-off in the future?
A: Probably not, but it's possible. I think the movie is pretty much the entire adventure of the Crimson Bolt.
- F: Will 'Super' be opening in any more theaters or will it arrive as a VOD on iTunes or XBOX Live in the near future? I already know it's on IFC on demand, but I don't subscribe to cable. (more specifically, will it ever have a run in Oklahoma City)
A: I'm not sure about Oklahoma City, but it will eventually be on iTunes on Xbox, closer to the DVD/Blu Ray release, just like a regular film. Our VOD schedule is unusual (and has worked very well for the film).
- F: How would you break down the number of people who have seen Super because of social media versus traditional movie advertising?
A: We spent almost nothing (literally) on advertising for SUPER. So by far most of it comes from social media, as well as free press. That's how we're able to make a profit on such an extreme film.
- F: Big fan of your work. Loved Super and Slither is one of my all time faves. Also liked DotD remake quite a bit. What is the favorite thing you've done and why?
A: My favorite thing is probably my novel, The Toy Collector. I just think it told the story I wanted to tell exactly as I wanted to tell it. After that, it's SUPER.
- F: Any particular reason behind why SUPER is officially all-capitalized?
A: Because it's really intense.
- F: The Holy Avenger comic.. do you think that would ever be printed for film fans? Or if not, would a pdf of it ever be made available that we could print our own book?
A: I posted all the pages of the comic that exist. It's not a full story. It's only those few pages. Feel free to print them if you want.
- F: What's your favorite film that starred Ellen Page? (besides SUPER of course.)
- F: Will the SUPER blu-ray and dvd be released in Europe as well? if so, at the sameish date?
A: I'm sure they'll be out in Europe, but almost certainly not at the same date. SUPER is having a fairly wide release in France, Italy, and some other places in July, so I don't think the DVD will be out so quickly on its heels.
- F: What do you say was the hardest or most costly shot of SUPER?
A: The car crash stunt was the hardest. It looks pretty good in the movie, but I thought it was a fucking mess on the day. It looked totally fake. It might be the most expensive as well, because of the wrecked car.
- F: Have you ever downloaded a pirated movie? SUPER is out there sadly, how do you see the future of non pirated vs pirated movies and music?
A: No, I've never downloaded a movie. Well, because movies are pirated people are going to be making many, many less movies in the future. There isn't a profit in filmmaking anymore. That's one of the reasons we put SUPER out on VOD right away - so we could make money before everyone started taking it for themselves. But I don't think other people will be able to make low budget films like SUPER in the future. I think the era is almost completely over, due to people pirating movies.
- F: think you'll ever make another film as personal as "SUPER"? or would you rather work in "straighter" genre fare for awhile?
A: I might, but it won't be my next movie.
- F: Hmm... how to ask this without giving spoilers... that shocking event near the end... was that always the plan, and what is it about shocking people that attracts you to it so much.
A: Yes, that was always the plan. I don't do anything to shock people. I mean, I like surprising people - that's what part of storytelling is, being taken by surprise with a plot twist we didn't expect. If people are shocked in the process, so be it.
- F: Would you say Rainn Wilson's Twitter with over 2 million followers contributed the most to SUPER's social media campaign?
A: It would be part of it. But a lot of the support we've gotten from many awesome fan sites and big twitter folks like Doug Benson and Chris Hardwicke has also helped - not to mention great press in the L.A. Times, New York Times, and other places.
- F: What's with you and Perry King? I heard he once cut in line in front of you and was that incident put into the SUPER script?
A: No, the incident in SUPER is based on another guy who cut in front of me with his girlfriend a long time ago. I was a bit more fucked up back then, and it ended unpleasantly for him. But, yes, Perry King also butt in front of me at line, and was a real dick when I called him out on it.
- F: Thanks for all the answers, you seem like a cool guy. Just can't wait to see SUPER, lets hope the hype is still on when i finally get to see it. As it is now, it feels like a party and i'm not invited ;)
A: Well, thanks, but the movie should work whether there's hype or not!
- F: Ellen Page seems to be shy, is she really like that
A: Yes, she's a quiet person who only gets wacky when she's very comfortable with you.
- F: How much creative input, if any, did Rainn, Ellen, Kevin etc have during filming? Were they able to change things, make it their own in some way or was it pretty much straight off the page?
A: Straight off the page. Everyone who did the movie knew that the script as it was was what I wanted to shoot.
- F: Is it true Jacques was originally supposed to drive an Aston Martin? Why was it cut out?
A: Yes, that was in the script. We couldn't afford to rent the Aston Martin, so we got the Mercedes instead.
- F: When will Super get a DVD release? I'd love to see a comentary by you and some special features and stuff!! I need to buy this DVD for the collection so bad! Please tell me that's in the works! Amazing film btw, really bold!!
A: It is in the works, there's a commentary by me and Rainn and tons of special features, but it probably won't be out till end of summer or so.
- F: Did you write SUPER with specific actors in mind?
A: Other than Andre Royo as Hamilton, no.
- F: Is it true you had no playback on the cameras when shooting SUPER?
A: Now, THAT'S a new question! No, we had playback available I just rarely used it because we didn't have the time. You don't get 54 setups done in a day by watching playback. I decided if I had what I wanted by watching it the first time around. However, with stunts, and occasionally other times, I would use playback.
- F: Super will obviously meet a DVD release but i'm just curious, will it also be released in Blu-Ray?
- F: Mr. Gunn! I absolutely love Super, one of the best films of the year! Just a quick question, what kind of cameras did you use for the movie?
A: We used the Red 1.
- F: In the Finger of God scene, what is the thing that looks like a corn dog that the tentacle rolls on Franks brain?
A: A spiritual paintbrush-roller-thing.
- F: Okay thanks - I don't want to boast, but I think I am good at screenplay-writing - I've been writing for quite a while, and have read a lot of books on it - will SUPER be unrated everywhere, when it comes out to buy?
- F: Couldn't you argue that the rape scene in SUPER is a misnomer?
A: Sure, you could.
- F: What's the thing that's showing on the TV in SUPER when Frank's getting dressed? In the trailer it kinda looked like the opening scene from Lost.
A: The movie Troma's War.
- F: Who came up with the design for the posters? It's totally amazing.
A: A company called Mojo. They did an incredible job.
- F: I want to shake your hand for the 'Shut up, crime!' line alone. What was the budget for SUPER, or would you prefer not to say?
A: I want you to know but I'm not allowed to say because of my agreement with the producers. It is in the very VERY low millions.
- F: In all honesty, I think you chose an awesome cast for SUPER. Now, here is my question for you: Where was SUPER filmed? I believe I heard something about it being filmed in Louisiana? Or is that just me losing my mind.
A: 20 days were shot in Shreveport, Louisiana. 4 Days were shot in Los Angeles.
- F: What IS a toro?
A: Toro is the finest part of tuna - fatty tuna - and can be some of the best sushi there is. (My personal favorite along with Uni and Kanpachi).
- F: Seeing how SUPER almost has a dogma style to it, have you watched (and enjoyed) any of the films by the Dogma '95 collective?
A: Yes, tons of them. They were very influential on SUPER, especially Celebration and (not really a Dogma film) Breaking the Waves.
- F: When you say that Breaking the waves influenced Super are you mainly talking about the religious element?
A: That's part of it, but the shooting style as well. But, yes, I was very moved and disturbed by Breaking the Waves' story of a woman who was doing something that seemed right to her but seems so incredibly wrong from the outside. It was a seminal film for me, relating to it on an emotional and spiritual level more than a logical one. I related to her deeply, and Frank's story is, in the end, my own.
- Q: When Frank is making is own superhero, and Libby names off all those Marvel characters, do you have to secure rights to even mention those names in your film? Or is it one of those things that are so well known you don't have to?
A: You never have to secure rights to mention a character or a product. As long as you're not doing so disparagingly it's fine. You just can't show it without getting the rights first (although as part of a background - say as a sign in Times Square, it's okay as long as it's not the focus of the shot).
- Q: If I was to hypothetically create a film which referenced a bunch of other films, including SUPER (using the odd line of dialogue, talking about them in detail) would I have to pay the owners of each film?
A: If you're just talking about the films and quoting a reasonable amount of dialogue, probably not. If you're actually recreating scenes, possibly. It very much depends on the film. You could possibly even do who scenes, slightly changed, and call it satire and get away with it. Also, if it's a fan film people usually turn a blind eye to that stuff, as it helps promote the original product.
- F: Will SUPER be released unrated in the UK?
A: I don't know. I hope so. Or I hope that our cut can get a UK rating.
- F: Will you be doing press in the UK when SUPER is released over here?
A: I will be doing some UK press, but I am not for certain going to BE in the UK.
- F: Do you expect SUPER to generate more profits from theaters + VOD or Blu-ray + DVD?
A: It's already made way way more money on VOD than in the theater. Blu-Ray and DVD should do well as well. But I'm not sure which one will make more money.
- F: Has SUPER earned back it's budget?
A: We're close.
- F: I got a reply from the BBFC saying that SUPER is yet to be submitted for classification. Due to the fact that it's being released here in the UK on July 8th, do you think there is still time for it to be submitted, or does this mean it'll be unrated?
A: I have nothing to do with the British release - I've never talked to the distributor, and I definitely don't know the ins and outs of the BBFC. So, no idea.
- F: Did you have any say in the choice of artwork for the SUPER Blu-ray? If so any particular reason you decided not to use the poster art?
A: They asked for my opinion on the art, which I gave, but it was basically up to IFC.
- F: You wrote SUPER in one day! Would you suggest that as a way to write screenplays? Or, was this just a particularly inspired moment for you that drove you to write it out in a day? Also, did you later revise it (maybe a number of times)?
A: Yes, I revised it many times over the next few months. The first draft was only 58 pages long. I usually write fast, but not that fast.
- F: Do you think Super will do better in the UK than it did in the US?
A: Unlikely. SUPER did (and is doing) amazing in the US because of the VOD. That isn't a real option in the UK.
- F: When will you have merchandise available for SUPER on your site?
A: I don't really sell stuff on my site, so probably never.
- F: The SUPER French release is cancelled, do you know why?
A: Yes, I just found out. It's because the theater owners became very squeamish about the violence in the film. So sorry. That sucks. We're still coming out in theaters in Italy, the UK, Germany, Japan, and other places.
- F: What the f**k! SUPER is not as violent as Machete or Tropic Thunder! Do you know how to contact them (the original French distributor or the one who told you that). We're gonna make some noise.
A: SUPER, unfortunately, is much more violent than both those movies. It may not have as much violence throughout, but the violence there is much more graphic and brutal.
- F: The SUPER French DVD release is cancelled too?
A: No, it's still being released on DVD in France.
- F: I'm very ashamed to be French
A: Unless you're the one who decided SUPER was too violent for French cinemas, I wouldn't worry about it.
- F: It is said on imdb that the SUPER Blu-Ray and DVD will release on july 13 in France, do you know something about it? And have you seen the new Linda Cardellini?
A: I don't know anything about it, sorry. Yes, I've seen Return with Linda. She is astoundingly good in it. I was incredibly proud of her.
- F: Is SUPER being distributed at all in New Zealand?
A: Village Roadshow is distributing in Australia - I'd imagine they have New Zealand as well.
- F: I have the SUPER app, made three 'SUPER yourself' posters, seen the trailer endless times and seen loads of interviews, but haven't seen the film. :( but I want you to know: when it comes to a cinema near me, I'm going to watch it
A: You can watch it on On Demand now! (only through the beginning of July though!)
- F: Do you ever get random people in the street shout "Shut up, crime!" at you?
A: Yes. I also get the occasional "Hey, Minute Man!" pronounced incorrectly.
- F: How'd you come up with the name D'Arbo? Do you know someone with that last name?
A: His name isn't D'Arbo, although that's a misprint in some of the materials. It's Darbo. And, no.
- F: When is Super coming out on DVD
A: August 9 in the US, August 1 in the UK.
- F: Hi, James, two questions and a statement: 1) Are there any cameos in any of your films of your unfamous friends or family? 2) I'm pre-ordering the Blu-Ray of SUPER tonight! 3) If I sent it to you via your agency when I get it, would you sign it? Thanks.
A: 1) Yes. In SUPER, for instance, my parents can both be seen in the gun store montage, looking at Frank and Libby as if they're freaks - we see them both when they first walk through the door. My Mom is wearing a purple outfit and standing with a guy, and then we push in on my Dad, wearing a flannel shirt and baseball cap. Also in SUPER, my friend Beef is one of the schoolgirls. My friend BenDavid Grabinski is in the comic book shop, as is my nephew Griffin (Griffin's parents were also in the comic book shop, but they basically got cut from the movie). My sister-in-law Michelle Martin Gunn, an established actress although not famous, is the girl Frank hits with the pipe wrench in line. In something like HUMANZEE, the entire party scene is filled with friends of mine and friends of the crew. In the SPECIALS, my brother Brian is one of the Eights and Lee Kirk is a reporter. And there's many more instances of that I can't quite remember now. 2) Thank you. 3) I used to do this but I had to stop, because too many things to be signed we're being lost in the shuffle. If you see me in public, I usually sign everything, but I had to stop taking stuff by mail. Sorry!
- F: From the first thought about it to the very first showing, how long did SUPER take to 'get out there'?
A: About nine years I suppose.
- F: Are you going to post the others SUPER posters, like you did with the Slither posters?
A: Oh, that's a good idea. Maybe. I'll have to see if I can get permission to do that around the DVD Blu Ray release.
- F: Financially, how is Super doing? Is it on track making what it needs to at this point in time? How much did it cost to make?
A: It is doing very well, because of the large volume of On Demand orders.
- F: SUPER has been rated '18' in the UK, the highest certificate a film can receive. Any reaction to this?
A: That sounds about right.
- F: Do you or some of the actors receive residuals for SUPER from every place in the world it is shown, Japan, UK, Europe etc, and in all the formats, VOD, theatrical and DVD/Blu-ray? I hope you all do well financially for your amazing personal efforts.
A: No, we don't receive Guild residuals from every format - but we all do from TV showings, DVD & Blu-Ray sales, and downloads. Also, many of the people involved in the film - from many of the actors, to the producers, to the production designer and DP, etc, all own an actual piece of the film, to varying degrees. So when the movie goes into profit, we all start making a little piece of change.
- F: Are The Crimson Bolt and/or Boltie in the deleted scene that will be on the SUPER DVD?
A: No, it's Frank and Sarah when she first starts drinking again. It's a scene I like a lot but didn't seem to fit in the movie.
- F: Any idea for the Italian release date?
A: I believe it's September. There is a small chance I will be in Rome for this. They have a Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_176686619026330&ref=ts
- F: SUPER got four stars in Empire (UK)! Thoughts?
A: Empire is a smart magazine.
- F: If you were a teenager today and watched the films you've made (if they hadn't been made by you, of course), which one do you think you would have enjoyed the most and why?
A: I absolutely would have liked SUPER the most, because it's the most unusual, emotional, and extreme.
- Q: When do you think you'll be completely done with SUPER? By which I mean, no more promoting or talking about it and just on with another project entirely.
A: Well, I still promote all films I've been involved with, so never, not completely.
- Q: Was the gushy line originally in the SUPER script or was it improvisation?
A: It was in the script.
- F: What can we expect on the SUPER dvd? making of? Commentary track?
A: Commentary by me and Rainn, a making of film, a making of the opening credits film, deleted scenes, stuff at Austin with Ellen and Rainn and more.
- F: What's up with the exclusive DVD from Best Buy?
A: Best Buy is supposedly releasing a special DVD of SUPER with an extra disc. I'm not sure what the extra disc has on it besides at least one extended scene that's not on the regular DVD. I know Rainn and I did some interviews with Best Buy that will be playing in their stores, and those might be on the extra disc as well. Maybe other stuff.
- F: Did you get any shifty people trying to sneak on set during filming of SUPER? Or any other movie you've been involved with for that matter?
A: I don't know. I'm not usually privy to this type of information - if it happens, it's taken care of without my knowledge.
- F: Is it true you really injected something into Liv Tyler's foot?
A: Yes. We injected vitamin B12 into her foot in the movie instead of heroin. That's actually a closeup of Liv Tyler's real foot in the film as it's injected. Liv very much wanted to use her real foot, despite the producers' objections.
- F: Please don't ever make a SUPER sequel, it's perfect exactly as it is.
A: Thanks. I pretty much feel the same way. But I try not to say absolutely no to things, as that's when I always change my mind. But it's very unlikely as far as I'm concerned. I think SUPER is a complete story in and of itself.
- F: Was any of the behind the scenes footage from SUPER worth a damn?
A: Yes, for sure. Our making of video, directed by our producer Miranda Bailey, is awesome.
- F: What's your favoritest movie that you've written/directed? Also who is your favoritest actor or actress you've worked with?
A: SUPER. My brother Sean, I suppose.
- F: Gotta say, the last half an hour of Super - one of those things that can only be described as an 'experience'. The reason I watch films at all. Amazing! Did you feel you had something special when you watched Rainn Wilson's performance?
A: Yes, definitely! We shot Rainn's first prayer to God scene on the second day of shooting and it made me cry. I was so, so happy, and proud. He's amazing in the film.
- F: Do you think because of Rainn's role as Dwight on The Office, people kinda took SUPER as a comedy, thinking he was trying to be funny and not serious?
A: I think because SUPER is such a strange mix of comedy and drama, and because Rainn is primarily thought of as a comedic actor, many people went to the theater expecting something very, very different from what they got.
- F: The release of SUPER in Japan is coming up this weekend, any message to the Japanese audience??
A: Wow! I'm excited! I forgot about that. Yes - Japanese people (all three of you reading this right now) I hope you enjoy the film. I'll be visiting your fine country in October.
- F: Who would win in a fight- Bill Pardy(Super), The Crimson Bolt(SUPER), or Minute Man(The Specials)?
A: Probably Minute Man, due to his extensive combat experience. Bill Pardy, you may have noticed, is not the greatest ass-kicker in the world - he would most surely lose the battle. Unless the battle was picking up chicks, then he would win.
- F: I met you at Comic Con and you signed my Slither DVD and the Super poster. Thanks again for that, but have you ever thought of doing more comic book-themed movies in the future?
A: I've thought of it. It may happen. We'll see.
- F: Why does Kevin Bacon look so sexy in Super?
A: Because Kevin is in great shape, and he works out a lot.
- F: Nice, more ooze always = funnier! One more: Did it piss you off at all that both Defendor & Kick-Ass came out just as you finished Super?
A: It was only irritating because so many people thought we were ripping them off, even though our script was written much earlier than they were.
- F: Who drew the illustrations on Frank's wall? Can you share online?
A: Danielle Griffith did the original two "perfect moments", and a team of folks copied her style for the rest of the drawings. I don't own the drawings - I think Ambush Entertainment has them - so I can't share them.
- F: I'm getting desperate to watch Super, any idea when it will get a release in Australia?
A: No, I'm sorry. Village Roadshow has the rights, but no one has let me know what's going on there.
- F: Super is being released here in canada in a week or two (still can't believe it didn't make it to any theatres here in calgary). What kind of mood should I set for me and the lady when I bring home my copy?
A: Some candlelight, fine wine, and dead animals hanging from the ceiling.
- F: Will you be doing a SUPER signing on August 9th in LA?
A: I think we might be doing a signing on the 13th in LA. But it's not a sure thing yet. I will also probably do a signing at Dark Delicacies at some point.
- F: I love the scene where Frank's puke forms into Sarah's face in the toilet.
A: Me too. That was a difficult visual effect. It probably had more drafts than anything else in the movie.
- F: How do you film scenes where there's stuff on a TV? (as in the Holy Avenger segments in SUPER) Do you film the scenes, put them on the TV and film that, or just film a blank TV and add it in post production?
A: Sometimes we just put the stuff on the TV and film that. With the Holy Avenger segments, we filmed the blank TV and we put the show on the TV afterward. We did it this way because the Holy Avenger segments were the very last thing we shot, back in L.A.
- F: I'm so excited for the DVD release of SUPER. My question? Oh. What made you choose Shreverport Louisiana as a film site?
A: Louisiana has great tax breaks for filmmakers. And because we were shooting in the middle of winter, it isn't as hellishly cold as Detroit, where I originally wanted to shoot.
- F: Thought Super was mind-blowingly awesome and can't wait for the DVD/BluRay release. Am a huge fan of yours and of Kevin Bacon, so seeing him in one of your films was like Christmas came early. Hope I'm not wrong to read some depth into Jacques.
A: I hope you're not wrong too!
- F: Where did you film SUPER?
A: Shreveport, Louisiana.
- F: Thanks for making SUPER, favorite movie of 2011 so far! :D Is there a possibility for a SUPER 2 or some type of movie or animated short in the same creative 'universe' of SUPER?
A: Unlikely - I would like to do more with the Holy Avenger character, but I don't know if I'll ever have the chance.
- F: Is the Blu-Ray of Super going to include a DVD or digital copy? (Have got a Blu-Ray player for my TV but not the laptop, want to watch the movie on the laptop as well, to make a long story short.)
A: I don't know, sorry.
- F: How is Kevin Bacon's character in Super spelled? Jacques or Jocks?
A: Jacques. But Frank calls him "Jock" throughout the film, as he misunderstands his name from the beginning.
- F: How soon can I buy a hard copy of Super?
A: If you're in the US it's out August 9. If you're in the UK it's out August 1st.
- F: I know SUPER was filmed in Shreveport, but fictionally is it supposed to set anywhere in particular? Or is it just sort of an anytown? I don't recall the city ever being identified.
A: No, it's not anywhere. We sort of think of it as being in Ohio, but that's it.
- F: What was the song in the beginning of super???
A: Tsar's Calling All Destroyers (if you're talking about the song playing over the animated opening credits).
- F: What editing software was used for SUPER?
A: We edited on the Avid.
- F: Why is it going to be out in the UK first? Are you secretly British?
A: I am secretly British. Or as British as someone can be who was born and raised in Missouri. But it was simply the distributor's choice.
- F: I heard writers can hundreds of thousands of dollars off residuals. That sounds like a little much. Have you made alot per year off residuals?
A: Yes. To be frank, I've made millions off of residuals, but only because I was a part of some enormous movies. I'll make a lot less off of something like Slither or SUPER.
- F: What was it like working with rainn Wilson and Ellen paige
- F: sorry if you've already answered this, but is the US blue ray for Super region locked or region free?
A: I'm going to assume region locked.
- F: Any specific scene or moment in your films that you're particularly proud of?
A: Many. I love the Brenda-bursting scene in Slither, Frank's prayer and the "rape" scene in SUPER, Murray's death in Tromeo, the body-switching scene in Scooby, the opening ten minutes of Dawn, and more!
- F: What was your favorite part of filming in Shreveport (if any)? Would you ever return to film a project down there?
A: The people there are very nice. And my crew was the best I ever worked with. I would shoot there again, sure.
- F: Really loved Super, I'm deffinitly getting the blu-ray but was hoping there would be some merchandise released along with the movie, (posters, t-shirts, anything with Crimson Bolt or Boltie) - was there ever or will there ever be any Super merchandise?
A: SUPER is a pretty small movie for there to be merchandise. Maybe someday.
- F: What was the first thing you changed in the SUPER script when you knew it was happening for real?
A: I changed absolutely nothing about the script.
- F: I don't suppose you could tell me where I might find SUPER's script on the internet please, I want to put a page of it on my wall?
A: The SUPER script is not on the Internet. It may be released at some time but not now.
- F: What do you think Boltie would look like as "The Creeping Bam"? I was thinking of drawing some concept art of that, yeah? :D
A: Well, that sounds fine, but my guess is Libby's Creeping Bam costume would probably look exactly like her Boltie costume!
- F: I'm buying SUPER tomorrow. I should probably ask a question as well... How much profit has SUPER made?
A: One trillion dollars.
- F: Is there anywhere the Holy Avenger comics are for sale? Do want!
A: No, sorry. We've talked about doing this but I've never gotten around to it (besides the few pages on my web site).
- F: About your answer about pitching... Did you do a pitch like that for SUPER? If so, what did you compare it to? And what scenes did you highlight for them?
A: No. I wrote SUPER on spec and sold it that way. SUPER is a unique film and wouldn't work as a pitch. I sold pitches for Scooby- Doo, Dawn of the Dead, Pets, The Newlyweds and other stuff. As a side note on pitching,though, you can't really pitch something until you're an established screenwriter. You're better off spending your time writing specs. You almost always need to be noticed for a good spec (sold or unsold) before you can pitch something. The first pitch I sold was for Spy Vs Spy, shortly after Warners and Jay Roach read my script for The Specials.
- F: Did you make the Holy Avenger comic look character like Fillion or was it made before he was cast?
A: The costume was designed before Nathan was cast, except for the long flowing Jesus hair - that was Nathan's idea.
- F: Was it Mia's idea to let Heung-Heung Chin design the Kayo Dot poster used in SUPER?
A: Yes, I believe so.
- F: Can I have your permission to marry Boltie? I mean, she's too awesome and bad-ass to NOT want. :D
A: No. She's fictional.
- F: What interviews with you would you recommend check out? Also, have there been many cases of what you had in mind initially you weren't able to capture, but turned out well or even better?
A: I think some of the best interviews with me are on the Best Buy exclusive disc to SUPER. They're long and indepth. I think my interview with Stryker on his podcast was good. I think the interview at Film School Rejects up now is very good. And I posted a blog a week ago with a bunch of shorter interviews I think are okay. I'm sure there are a ton I'm forgetting about now, those are just off the top of my head.
- F: Is the Best Buy exclusive release only on Blu-Ray? If not, do you have a link for the DVD? Also, is it correct that the bonus disc for the Blu-Ray release is a DVD?
A: I don't have a link for the DVD, but the bonus is in both the DVDs and the Blu-Rays at Best Buy locations. I imagine this is also true if you buy the disc on Best Buy's online site, but I can't be sure. I think the extra disc is a DVD in both, but I'm not sure.
- F: Does the Best Buy bonus disc only come for blu-ray or is it also available on standard DVD?
A: It's available on DVD as well.
- F: Is "superhero" without the "hero" your interpretation of the title SUPER?
- F: In SUPER, if Frank was running around dropping cinderblocks on people's heads etc. dressed as The Crimson Bolt in broad daylight, how did the police not capture him when his face was all over the papers?
A: His face wasn't in the papers. The first police sketch looked nothing like him, and the second police sketch looked a little like him, but had the mask on. Frank doesn't have many friends - I don't think he would have been recognized from either drawing.
- F: Why don't you come to the SUPER screening at the Fantasy Filmfest in Berlin, Germany on Saturday?
A: I was there! It was a great time!
- F: Who's your favourite character in SUPER? Mine's Frank, but the guy he cooks with is so funny.
A: They're like my children. I love them all in a certain way. I certainly feel closest to Frank, but I also have a special love for Libby.
- F: Did you base THE rape scene on your own experience that you talked about on a podcast a couple months ago?
A: No, I based it on a friend's experience. I wrote the scene long before my own.
- F: Frank almost seems to enjoy the rape towards the end. Is it still rape?
A: That's a question of semantics meant for someone better than me.
- F: Just got the SUPER DVD from Best Buy. Which special feature should I check out first?
A: I like the long interview with me and Rainn together.
- F: You have charcoal t-shirt with "XX" on the front. You have it on in the SUPER making of and you also wore it to a screening of SUPER in Boston. I really like it. Where can I find one?
A: I think that is a Killers Never Die T-shirt.
- F: What song is playing during the sex/rape scene between Crimson and Boltie...?
A: Let Your Body Decide by the Ark.
- F: How come you don't own the Crimson Bolt and Boltie costumes? I thought SUPER was an independent film?
A: I don't know what the two have to do with each other. SUPER was independently produced by an independent financier - Ambush films - and they own the costumes.
- F: When Frank smashes the window of Jaques' house after seeing Sarah shoot heroin, it looks as if he throws his wrench through the window, and then he doesn't pick it up again. Is this right? Doesn't he have it again later on in the film?
A: Frank does lose his wrench. The wrench he has later is clearly different. It only has the top of it painted red.
- F: A question and a comment: First, thank you for SUPER. It gets better every time and I finally have a movie that pretty much defines my taste in film. And second, why the "special thanks" to Amber Tamblyn?
A: Amber Tamblyn's dad Russ helped us to secure some song rights - and it was Amber who helped us get to her dad.
- F: Besides SUPER, what do you think are the best superhero movies of all time? There's a theory that Donnie Darko is a superhero, hence the ability to see the future etc., so I guess you could include that. I'd probably say The Dark Knight is my favourite.
A: Probably Iron Man.
- F: Was Taxi Driver an influence on Super?
A: Yes, a huge one.
- F: Is Ellen Page nice??
A: Very nice.
- F: I think you mentioned in an interview about completing 45 set ups one shooting day. How was that achieved?
A: Fuck that. I did 55 setups in one day on my Farrelly Bros project. And I did 54 setups in one day on SUPER. It was achieved through me and my DP, Steve Gainer, knowing what we were going to do every second of the day beforehand. And moving quickly. And not watching playback. And being able to tell your actors what they need to expect ahead of time.
- F: Ok, so despite the film being really wonderful, there seems to've been a relatively muted response to "Super". I personally feel it should have had an impact like "Kick-Ass" in terms of its crossover appeal. Will your next move be reactive?(i hope not)
A: I think in terms of dollars made, versus our budget, SUPER is a much more successful film than other films like it. You have to remember SUPER is an arthouse grindhouse film, made for a couple million bucks, yet we were selling tons more DVDs and Blu-Rays and getting more VOD downloads than studio films .
- F: All the fans want the sequel of super, is it possible?
A: Probably not. I see SUPER as a self-enclosed film. I think a sequel would probably be pushing it. But you never know.
- F: I'm a big Roger Ebert fan but I think it's horrible how he spoiled SUPER in the opening paragraphs of his review. Have you communicated/complained with him about it?
A: Well, we tweeted at him about it. And it was tweeted so much his name trended on Twitter. And so many people complained on Facebook (marking his site as offensive) that his site was actually blocked from Facebook for a week or so. Eventually - after a few weeks - someone put up a spoiler warning.
- F: Was the final shot of Ellen Page in super a digital effect, or was that makeup? Super was awesome by the way.
A: A combination of digital and practical effect. I think I go into it in the commentary.
- F: What was the biggest set up on Super?
A: Probably lighting the guy on fire.
- F: Who was the actor originally cast as Jacques? Or are you not legally allowed to reveal that?
A: It's not that I'm not legally allowed to reveal it, it's just that I have some respect for the person, and he apologized to me later on, so I don't feel like it's nice to reveal who it is.
- F: How did you make Super on so little of a budget. It is my favorite movie made this year.
A: Because I am fucking insane. Honestly.
- F: In super the "n-word" is said. did that cost trouble?
A: No. He's a bad guy saying a word he shouldn't say. I think more people were offended by Libby's language, simply because she's (sort of) a good guy.
- F: I am an artist in my free time. Could you throw me a random idea for a painting, drawing, or sculpture you would like to see interpreted by a complete stranger?
A: Well, I always love to see the Crimson Bolt and Boltie drawings showing up on the SUPER Facebook page.
- F: Super has a wonderful script and I can't stop mentioning it. just alone the "between the panels"-scene was fabulous. how long did it take you to write it?
A: I wrote the first draft in a day. Probably took me another month or so to finish it.
- F: What is your favourite Ellen Page movie (except Super of course)?
- F: How do you choose music in your films? Do you ever write a scene around a specific song?
A: I do that all the time. The opening credits animation in SUPER was specifically written to that song by Tsar, for instance.
- F: How did you go about choosing Steve Gainer as your cinematographer and Tyler Bates as your composer?
A: Well, Tyler Bates has been my composer for a while now. We met around Dawn of the Dead, hit it off, and he's done everything for me since - Slither, PG Porn, SUPER, and so on. As for Gainer, I saw his work on the Larry Clark film Bully when it came out. I loved the way the movie looked, and I thought that was the same type of look I wanted for SUPER, even while watching the film. So many years later when SUPER was in motion, I mentioned this to producer Ted Hope, who had known Steve. We sat down and met - I liked him - and the rest is history.
- F: Is it true that you asked XFX to do the SUPER special effects? How do you choose people for these effects in your movies?
A: I don't believe that's true. Our VFX Supervisor, Louis Morin, had just worked with the company we ended up using, Modus, on another project, and although other people may have had conversations with me or Louis, I don't think anyone else was offered work. Modus was incredible and well worth it.
- F: Just received a 2004 SUPER script. Did you send this one to the cast, or did you write a "2009 version"? I mean, did you rewrite it between 2004 and 2009?
A: It's almost exactly the same, but there are a few differences in the 2009 version.
- F: Will you put the first draft of SUPER on your website?
A: Will never happen. I don't post my scripts on the internet, and I would definitely never post a first draft.
- F: Will you put SUPER behind the scenes photos on the facebook page or on your website? That would be great
A: I can see if I can get some.
- F: Was the scene in the new ep of The Office where Dwight drops the paper on someone "planking" inspired by SUPER (the bit with the cinderblock)?
A: I highly doubt it. People have been inflicting pain on each other by dropping things on them for the amusement of others for hundreds of thousands of years.
- F: Is it possible to buy a big SUPER poster from you or Ambush Entertainment?
A: Not from me, and probably not from Ambush either.
- F: Was Sarah Silverman's tweet today about you? It read : "When great actors work w the same crappy director a lot it's a compliment to the dir b/c he must be a SUPER fun guy!" I don't know if you two have a beef or something.
A: God no. Sarah is one of the biggest supporters ever of SUPER, and we're very friendly.
- F: Who played Frank's prom date in SUPER?
A: Honestly, I can't remember her name. But I remember she was a nice girl.
- F: Was watching Super and realized in a couple of scenes Ellen would bite her thumb. Was that scripted or something she added to the character?
A: That was Ellen. It would be unusual to script such a thing.
- F: Why are Sarah and Frank surrounded by animal cages in the wedding scene?
A: Frank and Sarah got married in Frank's parents backyard, where his parents run a puppy mill.
- F: Have you ever thought about getting the Crimson Bolt emblem tattooed on you?
A: I would never do that in a billion years.
- F: Just noticed that the title of SUPER has been changed to all-caps on IMDB. Did you ask them to or did they just pick up on it? Do you have any influence over your IMDB profile or your movies' profiles?
A: I heard one of the producers was trying to do this at some point but, no, I have nothing to do with IMDB.
- F: What is the benefit of a producer or investor getting involved with a low budget project (like SUPER)? Is it solely a desire to invest and make a profit?
A: Well, financing producers usually get some fulfillment out of being involved with the movie. But the main object is usually to make a profit, just like any other investment.
- F: How much do well known actors make on low budget indie films?
A: It depends on how low budget they are, and it varies from film to film. On SUPER, they just got paid guild minimum wage - that means the actors who were in a lot of scenes got paid about ten grand a piece. Other low budget movies however, spend the majority of their budgets on actors alone. I heard of one film that cost a million and a half - and the actors took about a million of that!
- F: Did you intend for Super to feel like a fairy tale? It did for me. I mean this in a positive way though just so you know.
A: I think of it as a fable of sorts.
- F: Were there any scenes in SUPER that were unscripted but decided to include anyway?
A: No. I don't shoot unscripted scenes.
- F: Why did you decide to kill Libby?
A: It just seemed to be what was supposed to happen. The whole movie was written without an outline. It's the way it would be. It was real.
- F: What is the next project you are considering pursuing and will it be as "gushy" as SUPER?
A: Well, I have a movie called Movie 43 coming out in April, done with a bunch of other directors for the Farrelly Bros, and then I have a video game Lollipop Chainsaw coming out shortly after that - which is pretty crazy like SUPER but without the serious elements. But my next feature film is a bit more mainstream than SUPER in a lot of ways. I basically consider SUPER an arthouse/grindhouse film. Or, more specifically, an anti-genre film.
- F: What was the music playing when Rainn crossed the gate onto kevin bacons property before getting shot?
A: Tyler Bates' score - Two Perfect Moments - which he uses three times in the film.
- F: Was there a moment where you thought of the idea of SUPER? If so, how did you react? Like did you immediately go write things down?
A: It started pretty mellow. I don't remember the moment. I was going to make a short film about a guy without powers who wanted to be a superhero. I just started writing it and it grew and grew and became the movie that SUPER is. What attracted me to the story wasn't so much the superhero stuff, but Frank's spiritual journey, and the morality stuff. That was all stuff I discovered through writing it - I didn't plan on it being in there.
- F: What ultimately happened to Libby's body? Did you leave that purposely ambiguous?
A: I just don't think it's that important.
- F: Are you happy with how Super has been received by the public?
A: I've been pleased by it. It's what I set out to make - a movie that's powerful to a small group of people. It's certainly not a film for everyone, but many of those people who like it seem to really love it. I've never been involved with a film where people are so intense about it. I love that.
- F: Did the actors improvise a lot or was it mostly from the script? Any memorable scenes where there was a lot of improvising by the actors?
A: Almost all from the script. The one scene where there was more than a line of improv was the scene with Rainn wearing the beard. But even that scene was mostly scripted. I like to stick to the script for the most part.
- F: How long did it take to film SUPER?
A: We shot the movie in 24 days.
- F: Was it in the script for Rooker to love Good & Plenty in Super or did that funny bit come up on set?
A: I'm not sure if he was munching on candy in the script, but I know he was munching on candy in my storyboards - both in the scene outside the strip club and in the scene at Jacques' ranch. However, I do know that him offering the candy to Rainn at the end of the strip club scene was something that Rooker just did.
- F: Do you think you'll do another live tweeting of SUPER or even SLiTHER, maybe invite Rooker or the cast along? The j'amigos would love it!
A: At some point maybe. It was harder than I thought!! I did invite Rainn along, and Ted Hope, but neither of them could do it.
- F: If you couldn't have had Ellen Page (Who was freakin amazing in the movie by the way!) play Libby, who would you have chosen?
A: Probably Kelli Garner, who is an amazing actress I talked to about the role. There were a couple of other cool folks out there too.
- F: Do you play a significant part in the casting of your movies?
A: Oh yeah. Most the roles in SUPER were cast simply by me calling up friends and asking them to play the roles. If not I see many many people audition for a role, or I go through many possibilities. On SUPER we didn't really have a casting director - it was mostly done by me and Ted Hope.
- F: Do you remember the exact moment in which the concept for SUPER came into fruition? What was included in that first thought for the film?
A: No, I can't remember the first thought at all. It might have been the Crimson Bolt sitting next to the trash can waiting for crime with no crime anywhere, but I'm not sure.
- F: You know someone was going to ask. Why did you almost quit Directing after SUPER?
A: Not after SUPER, after Slither. SUPER made me want to direct more. After Slither I just wasn't sure I saw the point. It took so much time. I was burnt out. I was shooting content for the web, which was fun. And I just wasn't sure if I had that much interest in making films anymore. I think I put my entire self into SUPER in a more meaningful way. I found a reason to make films that didn't have to do with only my comfort level. It isn't really about 'having fun' for me.
- F: Why did Libby take her top off in the car? It's hilarious that there's no explanation but I was curious if there was a scene missing.
A: Frank already changed from his costume back to his regular clothes. Libby is in the middle of doing that, but she's blabbering so much she hasn't gotten very far. There's no missing scene.
- F: What was the hardest scene to shoot in "super"?
A: The scene where Rainn and Ellen are next to the blue trash bin was hard - that day was hellishly cold. The scene with the car crash was also hard, because, in person, the car crash looked like shit, and I was worried as fuck. Also, I felt bad for Ellen hopping around in the cold in her bra.
- F: Can you tell who had the role of Jacques before Kevin Bacon?
A: No, I can't.
- F: Was there anyone you really wanted to cast in super but they ether passed on it or they were busy with another project?
- F: What's your favourite single shot in SUPER?
A: Probably the car crash - not because of the shot, but because of what's in it. Which is strange, because it was a shot I hated while shooting it. I also love Ellen's CU over the shoulder of Rainn when she reacts to Rainn telling her he doesn't want to make out with her. I love the shot of Rainn in the bathroom near the end, cleaning his hands in the sink, covered in blood. Those are off the top of my head.
- F: Do you plan on doing any merchandise for SUPER?
A: No, not really. Sorry.
- F: Hey, I've just read your screenplay for SUPER (which was FUCKING AWESOME, by the way - Though I thought some of the gore drew too much attention away from everything else) and noticed you described the credits sequence, is that okay to do on a spec?
A: Usually it's not the best thing to do, no, especially for a first time writer. But it was an important part of the film for me, so I included it.
- F: Would you ever consider releasing a film online like Louise CK did?
A: Sure. I almost made SUPER with Sony a few years ago as an online film.
- F: Of your body of work, is there one project which us your favorite? Or rather, what one film would you show to someone who asks, "who's James Gunn?"
A: My movie SUPER and my novel The Toy Collector are my favorite things I've done.
- F: Are you surprised Rainn Wilson isn't up for a Golden Globe under Best Actor - Comedy or Musical?
A: No. SUPER is a very small, very edgy, an very violent film. Those types of movies don't usually garner much Golden Globe attention.
- F: Whats your favorite thing that you have written for screen play?
A: I like most of them, but I loved SUPER and Dawn of the Dead and The Specials most of things I've had produced (as screenplays - I love Slither as a movie, but don't think the screenplay itself was quite as good as those ones). I also love the one I'm working on now.
- F: I noticed SUPER playing on showtime alot. Do you get residuals for these showings even though it was an independent film?
A: Yes I do.
- F: Is Ellen Page really that tiny?
A: She's very small, but she was a good four or five inches taller than my ex-girlfriend, so there are many smaller girls. Ellen is very slim and small-boned though.
- F: Is Ellen Page's portrayal of Libby exactly how you envisioned it would be when you wrote the character or was it a surprise to see how she approached the role?
A: She inhabited the character very much as I imagined Libby - but, of course, there were many surprises along the way.
- F: On a scale of 1-10, just how annoyed were you when Roger Ebert spoiled that VERY important and shocking moment in Super within the first two paragraphs of his review?
- F: How do you describe to your composer the type of music you want in your movie? Tyler Bates did a brilliant job with SUPER and Slither, was it difficult getting the tone right? As Haywire taught me, the wrong kind of music can totally ruin the movie.
A: I simply describe the type of music I want. For SUPER I was influenced by the post rock of Godspeed You Black Emperor, Explosions in the Sky and more. Tyler is very knowledgeable musically and knew what I was talking about. For Slither, it started as "fucked-up Bernard Hermann" and went from there.
- F: Who decides which names get put on the poster and how do they decide? Like Linda Cardellini's name is on the SUPER poster but she's only in one scene. James Cameron's name was on the Sanctum poster but he was barely involved. Is it whoever's most famous?
A: It really depends on whomever is in charge. Sometimes actors make placement on the poster part of their contracts (for the first few names this is almost always the case). In the case of SUPER, a few of the names had been decided by contracts, but all the rest were decided by me, Ted Hope, and Miranda Bailey. In Linda's case, Linda did the movie because she was my friend and flew to Louisiana to shoot on her own dime. The poster was a thanks of sorts to her - and the fact that she's a 'name' didn't hurt either.
- F: What is your favourite fim that you've made?
- F: Were you surprised that the popular reaction from SUPER was that Ellen Page stole the show or did you see that reaction coming?
A: Boltie was the scene stealing character in the script - there didn't seem to be a young actress in Hollywood who didn't want to play the role. So, yes, we to some degree knew that was the situation from the get-go.