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Vanessa McMahon


Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)

 


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Keith Bearden on MEET MONICA VELOUR


Meet Monica Velour

Director Keith Bearden of the American indie film MEET MONICA VELOUR (2010) attended the opening of the Aruba International Film Festival (AIFF) to usher in the opening of the fest with the screening of his film, starring the sensual Sex And The City actress Kim Cattrall. I interviewed Keith just before the screening of his film on his way up the red carpet. Here is what he had to say:

ME: Hi, I’m Vanessa with Film Festivals.com. How are you?

KEITH: Oh, I know your website very well. Hello.

ME: Awesome! So, can I ask you some questions about your film?

KEITH: Yeah, just don’t make me sound stupid.

ME: LOL. No, don’t worry. We’re only here to make you look good. So, can you tell us a little bit about your film, MEET MONICA VELOUR?

KEITH: Well, MEET MONICA VELOUR is a story of a teenaged misfit who is in love with a forgotten sex star from the 1970’s and he finds out where she is and drives across country to find her and meet her. And she turns out to be a 50 year old divorced single mom in a custody battle living in a trailer home.

ME: Wow!

KEITH: So, his fantasy and reality sort of collide.

ME: So, what inspired you to write this story about a woman at her wits end?

KEITH: When I decided to make my first feature film I decided I wanted to write a film with a good part for a woman and I wanted to write a part for a woman over 40 because women over 40 don’t exist in movies really except the mom or real minor parts. I wanted to write a part for an older woman. I used to be a film journalist and I interviewed an old adult star when I was a film journalist and I said, ‘did you ever used to do B action movies under a different name?’ And she told me, ‘oh no, I never did that but if you want to spend the night with me it’s $200’. And so this was a big adult star from the 80s who’s now reduced to a desperate life and I started hearing more and more of these stories but people weren’t really talking about it and movies are general so I said, ‘well, a story not being told is one I should tell’.

ME: Wow! So, hard is it to make an independent film in America today?

KEITH: It’s impossible. I mean, it took 6 years. You know, I was already an award-winning filmmaker and it was still really impossible. The key for me was the plot of Monica Velour sounds like something Hollywood could get behind, you know, a nerdy kid in love with an adult porn star. The movie is a very different story. It’s a lot more sensitive and a lot more nuanced and it’s a lot more political. But you know, you give people a hook they can hang on and then someone says, ‘yeah, I’ll give you 3 million dollars’.

ME: Right. And then you have a big star to go with it.

KEITH: Yeah, that was a big part of it too. A lot of actresses were interested in this part but Kim really got to me and we hit it off and so yeah, she was a big part of it.

ME: How did you come across Kim to read the material?

KEITH: She read the script and we both live in NY and she said, ‘I want to meet this guy’, and we had lunch and she asked a lot of tough questions and she was really committed to the part and committed to gaining weight for the part and looking bad for the part and that kind of attitude is really hard to find and so we took a chance on each other and it came out great so.

ME: Well, I’m gonna see the film now so I’ll tell you what I think after. So, how do you fee to be opening the Aruba Film Festival?

KEITH: It’s steamy! No, it’s great. Opening a film festival is fantastic and it’s great to go to different parts of the world and hear different reactions. It’s seems like a really unique and diverse kind of crowd. And also there’s a lot of really good journalists here so that’s good.

ME: LOL. Not a bad ambiance.

KEITH: Not bad at all.

ME: Well, thank you! See you inside and good luck!

Keith added this about the film after one more question on the carpet before going inside:

KEITH: Well, I was thinking about all these different things when I wrote this film. I was thinking about wanting to make a movie with an older female character. I was thinking about how young men are fed so much fantasy about women that isn’t really real with sexy images of women and how kids live in media more than they ever have before you know with the internet and DVD and I started writing it when I was in a traffic jam with my friend when we were coming back from going backpacking up a mountain and I took pieces of an old traffic ticket from the inside of her car that I hadn’t paid and I started writing it and six weeks later I had the first draft of the script. And six months later it was done and it came from the heavens. It’s like a slow boiling pot and you think of these things and that’s how they happen. Anyway, I hope you like the movie.

 

Interview by Vanessa McMahon, June 10, 2011

 

Keith Bearden on MEET MONICA VELOUR

 

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