Casting agency comedy to cast a spell
‘Edgy and flashy’ movie submitted to film festivals
AN INDEPENDENT film starring Paul Snodgrass, set in the world of casting agencies and filmmakers, is the product of a production company choosing to take distribution into their own hands.
Cape Town production firm Chasing Migada has wrapped Casting Me, an “edgy and flashy” blackand-white comedy loosely based on the experiences of one of its creators, Quinton Lavery.
The Good Weekend visited Lavery at the casting agency where he works with his business partner and cinematographer Darren Wertheim. The surreal goings-on at the Woodstock agency appeared to be material enough for a film about a casting agency worker trying to make a film and win back the love of his life.
And, with similarities to raunchy comedies such as The 40-Year-old Virgin and American Pie, the production company is considering distributing the film to campuses overseas.
“We are looking at international distribution, not specifically South African. The film is not a specifically South African film and can be set anywhere. It’s just a comedy,” says Lavery.
Cape Town is never mentioned and South African jokes are few. The characters speak with South African accents but there are no “ja’s”. Unfortunately, a mention of the word “siff ” could not be deleted.
“Comedies outside South Africa don’t really work. However, comedies like The Office appear in many countries in the same setting.”
He explains that they are looking at distribution options such as video on demand.
“Cinema would be great, but it is not the biggest thing,” he says.
They have a different plan for South African distribution.
“In South Africa we want to have fun with it, taking it to film schools.”
Chasing Migada is submitting the film to film festivals including Sundance, Glasgow, Miami, Rotterdam, the Cape Wine, Durban and Bermuda.
A key part of the film’s production is the casting of Snodgrass in the role of Paul, the casting agency worker.
Snodgrass attended the casting in a Speedo at the agency at which Lavery works. It was here that Lavery realised he and Snodgrass were quite similar.
They are now so comfortable with each other in public that Snodgrass has taken to jokingly dryhumping Lavery when they see each other.
Wertheim says: “Everyone trusted everyone. There were no fights on set and no arguments. Everyone contributed.”
The filmmakers say some of the gags in the film were made up by the cast on set.
“I think I am a good writer. This needed some impromptu work to make sure it was funny. If we laughed. It worked,” says Lavery.
Wertheim says the shots were planned to the Nth degree and filmed with two hand-held cameras.
The film is not short of winceinducing comedic moments.
“We wanted to push the envelope, take it past a certain point and then take it further,” says Lavery.
“We are equal opportunity offensive,” says Wertheim.
Interestingly, Lavery says his grandfather asked for a copy of the DVD to show to women in a frail care centre.
For updates on Casting Me follow @chasingmigada on Twitter. email@example.com Twitter @Wendylmartin
ALWAYS ON CALL: In-between takes Paul Snodgrass relaxed with his smartphone… and who knows what else.