What inspired you come up with the idea for the film? Why did you want to tell this story?
A number of years ago I was attacked by my parents goose and from there the story began. Who are geese? What are they thinking about? Are they people just like us? And most critically- what does GOOSE stand for?
How do you relate to your characters or subjects?
Two legs, check. Two eyes, check. Two glorious powerful wings? No yet.
What aspect of the story changed the most during writing and production?
Probably the biggest change was removing the GOOSE almost entirely from the film. We put out a casting call and very few geese came in, and the ones that did just didn’t give us what we wanted. That was when we started thinking- what if we use humans instead?? So the next day we put in an order for 30 human sized goose outfits.
What was the most courageous decision you or your crew made during production?
I would have to say the most courageous move was the day we burned all the goose outfits. It was the first day of the shoot when the head of wardrobe informed me that 80% of our goose outfits had been heavy soiled, ironically enough, by some actual geese. Who, on seeing the goose outfits hanging in a barn, assumed they were being invaded by some giant goose species and mercilessly shat on the whole lot as a first form of defense.
The smell of flaming polyester and fresh goose excrement will, for me, live long in the nostril. But in hindsight it was probably for the best that our cast appear on-camera in mostly human attire, mostly.
Where there any risks that you faced during production and how did you find a way to embrace them?
The local geese, still alarmed by their encounter on day one with the giant goose costumes continued to hassle us throughout production, and even well into-post. I remember a particularly difficult foley session in which the assistant was bricking-up the windows to stop the geese from breaking through when Andrej Bako, our sound designer, said “hang on a minute, if we record that teeth shattering sound of beak on glass, slow it down, up the pitch, ruffle it up then finely sieve it, i think we might just have the new Wilhelm scream on our hands.” And guess what, he was right. Listen out for it throughout The Great Unwashed.
What influenced the visual style of the film?
The camera was constantly moving, never staying on a subject for long and the reason was that, more often than not, a goose or pack of geese would saunter (or swoop) into shot, deliberately trying to slow us down and put our actors off their performances. Olly Nice. Our DOP, actually learnt to speak Goosish so he knew what they were planning for the next shot.
What risks did you take to tell your story?
The greatest risk of all, death by goose.
How would you encourage others to tell their story or manage through the process of screen writing or film producing?
Do not. I repeat DO NOT, work with (or near), geese.
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