What becomes of your love life after kids are born, or when they leave the house, or when you are a single mom? Those and other sex-related-to-children scenarios are explained with humor, raunch, and care in this indie comedy, whose ensemble cast of actors you will soon know better pulls it all off with authenticity.
I’m assuming you or many people you know have gone through adjusting to life in a relationship after kids. Are there any specific experiences from your life that led to this movie?
I’m a father of a nearly four-year-old and a one-year-old, so this falls under the “write what you know” category. I think, especially with your first child, every couple goes through a shock to their lives, and especially their relationship. And while each couple’s story is unique to them and their situation, I think there’s a very universal aspect of that to every couple’s story who has parenthood thrust upon them.
In truth, I have a collection of more stories than I could fit into one film from myself and others. It’s an untapped wealth of riches. Out of fear of my wife’s wrath I’ll plead the fifth of which story lines are closest to my own life, but you can imagine that I’m somewhere in the mix. What the hell, I’m a lot in the mix.
Are any real life couples involved? Many of them have authentic charisma.
A lot of the cast have worked together on other projects, and are friends in real life, but none of them couples in real life. I think they just adore the hell out of one another.
Overall, the acting is very solid, and seems to be an ensemble cast of actors we should expect to see in growing prominence later. How did you find them all?
Thanks! I think they’re pretty great too, and, in certain circles, are quite established already. A number of the cast is carried over from my first feature The Untitled Work of Paul Shepard, and others are actors I’ve worked with on other projects (not as a director), or they’re friends of mine or connected to someone else on our cast. We had a very low budget on this film and didn’t have the luxury of doing auditions so every single part in this film, large and small, was an offer.
They all have to ensure some fairly compromising scenes. Were they all immediately game for the project or was any convincing involved?
For the most part, I cast the film before I wrote it. I wrote up a very short treatment that was, essentially, a breakdown of the various story lines I was interested in exploring. Then I approached the members of the cast that already knew me and my work, but held off on approaching others until I had a draft in place.
Ironically a lot of the more compromising scenes were the results of the cast pushing me to go further with certain moments than the other way around. Not that I needed convincing, but it was important for the cast to push things and not pull any punches. If you’re going to do a film about this subject matter, there’s no point in going halfway. They were incredibly brave and generous.
The storyline involves very realistic situations. How was the script developed?
Real life, absolutely, and from various sources. I had a lot of my own stuff, but I encouraged the cast who had experience in this situation, as well as friends, to throw me stuff from their real lives. I like to collaborate and my general rule is “best idea wins” when it comes to where we go with certain things. Not that the film was loosey goosey. We had a script that we stuck to, but during the writing and rehearsal time I was always open for debate and revisiting things to make them stronger — taking ideas from all over and filtering them through my point-of-view. Sounds a bit helter-skelter, but I assure you I’m an anal bastard when it comes to writing through-and-through.
Though the title and storyline is very much focused on sex, there is a lot more going on, about growing up, getting old, raising children, etc. What do you hope is the greater message that the audience takes away?
Like the man said, “Sex sells!” and hopefully that’s the case moving forward with the film. But yes, beneath the humor and wonderfully awkward sexuality of the film is a heart.
The message hopefully isn’t heavy-handed in the finished film, but for me it’s a film for anyone whose ever had a wrench thrown into their relationship, kids or not. If I did it properly, it should speak to the fact that relationships are hard — sometimes impossible. But if we take these obstacles that are thrown at us, and we don’t let them get us down, hopefully we can become something better than what we previously were.
What’s your next project?
I’ve got some television stuff that’s in various stages of development, but in terms of film — I don’t want to give away the title just yet (it makes me pretty happy) but it’s another edgy ensemble comedy. The wheels are in motion, but let’s not jinx it just yet.
For anyone who wants to keep up with me my Twitter handle is @LaLondeJeremy. I’m a bit of a whore so I promise the second my next project is a go I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops of cyberspace.
Sex After Kids screens on Sat., Jan 26, 7:20 p.m., Fri., Feb. 1, and Sat. Feb. 2, all at the Metro 4. See sakmovie.com.