The story of Bellflower is as interesting off-screen as it is on.
Evan Glodell, the writer, director and star originally started working on it in 2003. He had cast most of the roles but through the fate of filmmaking, it never happened. Cut to 2008: They start filming; editing took two years and once they were done, everyone they screened the film for shot it down.
Finally, with no money, Evan scrounged the fee together to submit the film to Sundance and it became one of the ‘go see’ movies at the festival.
The film is about two friends (Glodell and Tyler Dawson) who spend their free time building flamethrowers and a working on a souped up car named Medusa in hopes of a global acoplyapse. When Milly (Jesse Wiseman) enters the picture, things take eventually take a turn for the worse.
I talked to Evan, Tyler and Jessie along with the rest of the cast – Rebekah Brandes and Vincent Grashaw – at this year’s Comic-Con where they talked to me about getting into Sundance, how their acting careers have changed and how they’ve finally found a “home” in Hollywood by working together.
For the full interview, click the audio link above or download it from iTunes
I want to ask you about casting. Evan, were you the guy who cast the film?
Evan Glodell: Yes.
Did you know the actors prior or to filming?
Evan Glodell: Yeah, everybody has a different story where they came from. It’s a long process because I originally thought I was going to make this movie in like, late 2003-2004 on a camcorder with my brother. Me and him we were making short films together. I’d started trying to cast the main roles back then. So these two both [Tyler Dawson and Jessie Wiseman] were on the project, since like 2004. It didn’t happen.
Tyler and [Rebekah] went to school together. And so Tyler recommended calling her in for an audition on a short-film that me and Tyler worked on years ago and then we were stoked on with her. And after I worked with her, I was like, “Oh shit, that’s going to be Courtney.” And then Vince came on last even though I knew him longer than almost everybody. Just because I knew Vince as a filmmaker and the idea came up very late to ask him to come on to play a part. Because I was so close to everybody else, to the remaining cast, I wanted to find someone else that I was close to, to play the other part, but I didn’t know. I was like, “Who am I going to cast as essentially one of the bad guys?” To my character in the movie.
And so someone suggested Vince. When I first heard it, I was like, “No, that would be rude. I’m not going to ask Vince. Vince isn’t an asshole.” But then I thought about it and I was like, “He could play that part.” And then I called him and then we had the full cast.
You mention working together on other projects. Did that help a lot in this film?
Tyler Dawson: Oh my God, immensely, yeah. It was like super important. Just in the sense, like Evan was saying, we had originally met to make this movie in 2003, 2004, and we didn’t shoot until 2008. So during that time, we actually just became very good friends and had all worked together. Our whole crew, we all met working together but we’ve actually become like a little nucleus. Like a little family.
And so I don’t think we would have been able to shoot this movie… because we were put through a lot, you know, there were a lot of trying times and if we weren’t that close, I think it would have fallen apart long ago.
And as far as acting goes, it just made it so much easier because when we had the script for so long and I know we had all talked, like the three of us had talked extensively about preparing for that…
Evan Glodell: We never stopped talking about it the whole time.
Tyler Dawson: So, by the time we got to shooting, it was just like we knew each other. We worked together so much that we knew how we worked and we knew the script so well that intrinsically, we could just show up and no matter what chaos was going on, you knew the scene, you knew what you’re supposed to be doing, you knew what the characters wanted. So, having that experience of really being close and working all the time together made it possible to even make this movie.
Evan, are you going to pursue acting now?
Evan Glodell: No, I don’t have any intentions of pursuing acting.
Jessie Wiseman: Really?
Evan Glodell: Yes, I don’t.
And you guys getting more auditions now?
Vincent Grashaw: I’m not even an actor, that’s the thing. I met Evan because we were both filmmakers and I had seen a short film he made and I had wanted to meet him after that. It was just an insane short film and so that’s how we met, like eight years ago, I don’t remember how long, 2004. I’m a filmmaker as well, so I’m not really going out on auditions like them.
Tyler Dawson: I just got offered the lead role in the next movie that we’re making so things are looking good! [laughter]
Jessie Wiseman: It’s just crazy. People that wouldn’t ever talk to you before are now calling you.
Rebekah Brandes: Oh yeah, and like the auditions… I go into auditions and I do the exact same thing that I did before and look the same and everything, but they’re so much more…
Jessie Wiseman: Receptive.
Tyler Dawson: I also think that one of the reasons that we all ended up together working as a group was almost because we couldn’t find our place in Hollywood or whatever that is. Because I auditioned, like, extensively for years, and never… I always do well, get call backs, book things here or there but nobody ever really knew what to do with me. So I feel like we all sort of realized that we’d have to do our own thing to hopefully get in the door and for me, I hope that now, when people see me, they will have a better concept of what to do with me.
Rebekah Brandes: I always knew besides just how fun it was to film, I was always like… this is the goal as far as actually having the ability to have a career based on… you have to find a group of people that are talented because that’s always how it happens. If you look at the really talented people, they know each other from way back and they have worked together. And when I met Evan and Joel [Hodge] and everybody, it’s like, “Ohh, it’s a group! How can I get in there? This is perfect.” [laughter]
Tyler Dawson: Does anybody read Kurt Vonnegut? I forget if its Cat Cradle, but he talks about how you have to meet your group of people to travel through the world with and grow and live your life with.
Jessie Wiseman: Your misfit, your crazy group. When you’re in the group, you don’t feel crazy.
Tyler Dawson: So we like being in a gang, I guess, that’s what we’re getting at.
Look for Bellflower in theaters!