In his feature film directorial debut, filmmaker Daryn Tufts takes on an all-star cast including Alyssa Milano, Beau Bridges, Christopher Gorham, and Oscar nominee Carol Kane, in his upcoming film release, My Girlfriends Boyfriend (limited release on May 10, 2010) and Hollywood the Write Way was thrilled to discuss this project and more! Keep reading after the photo for more!
How was the concept of the film, My Girlfriends Boyfriend created?
The concept went through several variations. Essentially, movies are very conventional and really written for universal, large audiences. But I've also seen movies that are really different, challenging, and really try to define convention. I thought, wouldn't it be interesting to write a film that blended those 2 concepts?
You mentioned there were many variations. How many re-writes were there on set?
There were no major re-writes on set. Alyssa Milano is a producer of the film and when I sent her the script, she loved it and right away wanted to come on board but she had a couple of ideas that she thought would make the script stronger which worked so well. Nothing fundamentally was changed about the script but Alyssa Milano had some interesting, strong ideas for the development of her character.
Did you have Alyssa Milano in mind from the start?
I wrote the script a long time ago and I wasn't writing it with any particular actors in mind. As soon as I partnered with my producer, Rick McFarland and we decided to make the movie, Alyssa Milano was high on the list. I have been a fan of hers my entire life and as we spoke, it seemed her name come up at the beginning. We had no connections to her whatsoever but we sent her the script not really expecting to hear back but the casting director called back and said that Alyssa would love to set up a meeting.
What was it like in the editing room?
The first round was myself and Rick McFarland putting all of the footage together. The next round, we sat in a room with Alyssa Milano and she contributed to the editing as well. She brought a tremendous performance in the movie but I was taken with how much effort she put into the film not in front of the camera. This is a person who knows how to operate, she is so focused. She knows how to make scenes tighter and sharper. She really understands the dynamics of storytelling.
What was the most challenging aspect of directing this film?
We had a very smooth shoot. I wanted to shoot the whole film in Salt Lake City and we really were lucky to get all of the locations we wanted and the weather was great all of the way through.
What do you want the audience to get out of the film?
I want the audience to really identify with, see it as challenging, and something to talk about afterwords. It's a clean film, it's not sexual and there is no violence but it is very thought provoking.
Speaking of thought provoking...American Mormon (2005) is a funny and insightful look at religious misconceptions across the United States. What did you learn about yourself while filming American Mormon 1 and 2?
It was an attempt to make a film on a very limited budget, and as there is only so much you can do with that, I decided to pick something fun and also something personal. I grew up in Los Angeles and I went to BYU in Utah for college. I had never really defined myself by my religion but I started to see that there are a lot of misconceptions. I thought that it would be a fun project to take my mic and camera across country but it grew to become something much bigger. I was surprised that there were so many misconceptions and I was also very taken by how open and welcoming people were about me interviewing them and everyone was very eager and open to understanding.
Will we see more documentaries, perhaps exploring other religions in the future?
Possibly. I possibly will work on more documentaries but I have no interest in exploring other religions. What I really want to do is tell stories.
What do you do about writer’s block?
That's a great question. I find that anything that I can do to turn my brain on is a good thing. Getting away from the computer screen and discussing ideas with intelligent friends, reading well written books and watching well written films, that is very stimulating.
What do you enjoy most about writing and directing?
Writing and directing...there's something about them that really ignites something in me. Writing is so creatively freeing. With directing, really watching those ideas become something that I can see is like nothing else in the world.
What are your upcoming projects?
I have 2 projects coming up...one script I have already written which is a dark thriller. I am also writing a dark comedy about community theatre and I am really looking forward to both projects and the release of My Girlfriends Boyfriend.