What inspired you to write the movie Auggie?
Initially, the idea came from being single in Los Angeles and wishing that I could have an "on-demand" companion - someone who was there providing comfort when I wanted them to be, and who wouldn't be there where I wanted space or didn't want to have to provide comfort to them. I'm a big fan of technology and had read about Silicon Valley companies such as Facebook, Apple, and Snapchat developing augmented reality smart glasses. Google had already given it a shot with Google Glass, so I thought it would be interesting to explore how this technology might be able to provide companionship. My writing partner Matt Kane (who also directed Auggie) thought of the idea to make the lead character married and older, adding a layer of "infidelity" with the device and showing how the vulnerability of a significant life change might make one especially susceptible to the technology.
How did you get the film from concept to completion?
Getting this film made required the help of our entire community. We raised production funds on Seed&Spark as part of the Hometown Heroes Crowdfunding Rally, which required our networks in Connecticut, Los Angeles and the UK to come together and make the project a reality. We were overwhelmed with the support, which continued when filming. Neighbors opened up their homes to LA-based crew members and Fairfield small businesses opened their doors for donated film locations (The Pantry, Super Duper Weenie and Las Vetas Lounge to name a few). On a film this small, every crew member mattered. Our incredibly talented crew was assembled from friendships and connections we've made over the several years we've been in LA and their dedication was a huge reason the film is not only completed, but something we're proud of.
Why did you choose to film in your hometown of Fairfield?
Firstly, there's something really special about filming outside of Los Angeles. It lends incredible production value to have the world of this film set in a gray, cold February in CT. On top of that, when making a film at our budget level, it's incredibly important to rely on support wherever you can get it. The amount of in-kind donations we received make the production value of the film significantly higher than what it actually cost.
How were you able to recruit the quality of actors such as Richard Kind to be in Auggie?
One of our friends in Los Angeles, Alice Merlin, is a casting director. She came on board and immediately increased the legitimacy of the project. She shared the script with the bigger agencies and as the script was read and passed around, Richard's manager liked it and recommended we consider making an offer to him. Thankfully, he also liked the script and accepted the role, which then increased our value for other great actors to sign on, such as Susan Blackwell.
AUGGIE is a thought provoking excellent movie!
Be sure to see it at the Greenwich International Film Festival!!
May 29 - June 2
"It!" Woman Kyle