What inspired you to come up with the idea for the film?
Father’s Day started after a particularly rough year between me and my father. Getting older and having some issues between my father and I’s relationship.
How do you relate to your characters or subjects?
I very directly relate to my characters, as they are loosely based on myself and my own life. Rosie is in a mode of avoidance. She has dismissed a real relationship with her father because of their past, but still goes through the theatrics of a good daughter with none of the emotions. “Dad” is based on my real father, but heightened for sure. My father and the father in the film are both very clever men. They are aware what is going on with the relationship, but don’t want to call it out directly. Humor and games are absolutely a way that both my real father and the father in the film deal with any real “issues” in our family and in our lives.
What aspect of the story changed the most during writing and production?
The biggest change was tone. From the start I knew the tone of the script was unique and one that I had trouble explaining. I wrote and would direct the film and closer to production I decided to also act in the film. I would go back and forth with how subtle or dark to make the production design and direction for the other actors as well as my own performance. I had a very specific tone I wanted. A dark comedy, but a comedy for sure with a happy ending. It was only once we started looking at dailies that it was feeling too dark and sad and low energy. So I made a few changes in Rosie’s behavior and idiosyncrasies that made her lighter and more likable as well as the whole film – I hope!
What influenced the visual style of your film?
There was this Lorde video I was obsessed with at the time, “Royals”. I thought the cinematography was lovely. The colors and the mood. I sent it to my DP, June Zandona. I think we did well. There was more sunshine than I would have liked on some of our shooting days, but we made it work.
What was the most courageous decision you or your crew made during writing and production?
I could be boastful and say deciding to direct AND act in the film. But truly it was courageous. I was absolutely terrified and doubted myself a lot. I knew I could direct it and I could play Rosie, but the focus to do both at the same time was very hard. I am happy with the results, but I would say I would not do it again until I have “Affleck” money. Also, my producer Shannon was a brave soul parking a boat on the street in a Los Angeles neighborhood and placing a large important actor in it.
Were there any risks that you faced during writing/production and how did you find a way to embrace them?
I had a lot riding on this short film personally. I raised money via Kickstarter. Literally in my life, family, friends, co-workers, knew about the short film and donated to it. Everyone was waiting to see how it turned out. No one knew much about the story, they just blinded trusted me with a donation. I had people emailing and calling all the time wanting to know how it was going, and when they were going to get to see “their” film. It was also a very personal story about my relationship with my father that not a lot of people knew about. Far more personal than the all the comedy work I had done before. It was bearing my soul a little hoping that I could prove I could do more than just comedy and showcase an emotional story as well. Shannon Riggs, the producer of the film is also a close personal friend and was very encouraging. She really believed in me and that meant the world. I would turn to her and say, “Is this too corny? Is this too sad?” and she would say, “No! It’s real!” I worried that I would seem a “show off” acting AND directing and would question my skills and without fail Shannon would tell me, “You’re talented. Get over it.” She gave me confidence.