Lights! Camera! And interview with filmmakers Adam Hampton and Kenny Pitts of Outsiders Productions on their movie, Rough Cut, for the 2014 deadCENTER Film Festival.
First off, tell me a bit about yourself and your role in the movie.
ADAM: I’m Adam Hampton. I’m the writer/director of Rough Cut and I’m also playing the part of Fran.
KENNY: My name is Kenny Pitts with Outsiders Productions. For “Rough Cut”, I was producer and also played the part of “Susie”.
How would you describe the movie to people?
ADAM: Rough Cut is a web series; we’re screening the hour-long pilot episode at deadCENTER. So this particular episode is, essentially, the beginning of the journey, the decision to undertake it. It’s a comedy but I think it’s also true to the independent filmmaking experience. Moreso, it’s an underdog story about chasing your dreams that anyone can relate to in one way or the other.
KENNY: The movie on surface is about Oklahoma filmmakers, but it goes beyond that into following your dreams. The movie is a comedy, not slapstick, not goofy, but a serious comedy that pokes fun or exposes those little tragedies that happen to everyone who does things outside the norm and it also exposes some things about filmmaking that non-filmmakers didn’t know, but can understand and be entertained.
Why should one see it?
It isn’t escapism in terms of watching a super hero flying across town or some goofy comedy but it is something that I think people can get engaged in; it’s fun to watch these guys try to get their act together in a way that’s relatable.ADAM: Good question. I think it’s funny. And I think it’s honest. It isn’t escapism in terms of watching a super hero flying across town or some goofy comedy but it is something that I think people can get engaged in; it’s fun to watch these guys try to get their act together in a way that’s relatable. I think everybody has, at one point or another, wanted to do something that they knew wasn’t the smartest thing or the best thing but it was some thing they needed to do, like some kind of irresistible magic. These guys are funny and sad and true and I think it’s a story you can get behind.
KENNY: Whether one is a filmmaker or not, there is something for everyone within the characters and story of “Rough Cut”.
What was the most challenging aspect you had in the production?
ADAM: Having no money and trying to make a movie is about as silly an undertaking as you can have. We’re, as broke filmmakers, telling the comedic story of broke filmmakers. The hilarity of that isn’t lost on us.
KENNY: The most challenging for us production-wise (in a poetic parallel with the film-makers portrayed) is the time and money management. Everyone volunteers their time on top of having full-time jobs and families. With a low/no budget like we utilize, coordinating the whole production really becomes the hardest part.
Acting-wise, was a change up from the previous characters I’ve played (Charlie Christmas in “The Unusual (Calling of) Charlie Christmas”) and also a departure from my normal persona. My character “Susie” is an anger management needing camera-man who is being persuaded to re-join the dysfunctional film crew after leaving on bad terms in the past. With Adam both writing a great script and then having a good handle on directing/knowing exactly what he wants from his actors, he really helped and honed me getting through that struggle of finding “Susie” within myself.
What was the best part about filming in Oklahoma?
ADAM: Oklahoma is home. I love working with the filmmakers here. I love working with people here; we have a superb cast and crew. I enjoy working with people who have never acted but are trying to have some kind of creative experience. It’s honest. And the people in our community are exceptionally supportive. It feels like the whole town is making the movie sometimes.
KENNY: The best part of filming in Oklahoma is just that – doing it in our “backyard”. All resources are usually friends OR if they are a new acquaintance/contact, they eventually become friends and become part of the Outsiders Productions extended family. It’s really a blessing to have such love from the Oklahoma community where we film. Having that trust and confidence with each cog of the filmmaking machine, from Producers, Director, Crew, Actors, Community… really shows in a project from the preliminary talks of pre-production to each day on set until the very first screening.
What scenes were fun for everyone to film?
ADAM: I had a blast filming the scenes at the Paramount in Oklahoma City. We had a couple of dozen extras and some brilliant performances from our actors, Pete Hounslow and Sam Baker and Beth Edgeman. I loved shooting those scenes and cutting them together; those were the first scenes I wrote for the series and it was incredibly rewarding.
KENNY: Multi-person scenes with humor and/or action are always fun. We filmed a serious scene in a bar that ended with a punch and then we also filmed a scene of a “film crew making a rap video” that portrayed the intersections of a Rap Crew, Hipster Director, Angry Camera man and volunteer PA’s.
What are your thoughts on the deadCENTER Film Festival?
ADAM: I love deadCENTER. It’s a tough festival, man. It’s the prom queen, you know? It’s bigger and better and more elite every year. We all want to get in to deadCENTER and screen there and it’s such a challenge because of the bar they set. It’s a tremendous, tremendous honor to play with these other films and to screen in Bricktown. I’m proud to be here and I think everyone who plays here is.
KENNY: Because of the quality of films playing, deadCENTER is a great film fest to attend and it’s an honor to play. It’s the closest to our hometowns of Shawnee & Mcloud, so it’s definitely a fest.
When and where can people see your movie?
“Rough Cut” will play at this year’s (2014) deadCENTER film fest twice at the Harkins Bricktown Theater in OKC.
The first showing is Saturday, June 14th @ 1pm.
The second showing will be Sunday, June 15th at 8:30pm.
Anything else you wish to add?
ADAM: I can’t wait to see how people respond to Rough Cut. We – Outsiders Productions – are raising our game across the board. Jason Alexander’s camera has never looked better and we have terrific performances from our cast. I cannot wait to screen Rough Cut in Oklahoma City.
KENNY: We will have an after party immediately following the first showing on Saturday across the street at Moonshiners Music Hall in Bricktown. We will have raffles and live acoustic music. The music will be from 3 of the local musicians that lent their songs to “Rough Cut” – Gabriel Hancock, JC Hopkins, TJ Mayes and Patrick Winsett.
Gabriel Hancock will also perform songs in the theater at Harkins before the first showing and TJ Mayes will perform in the theater right before the 2nd Sunday night showing.