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Out Takes feature interview: Casper Andreas

Wed 30 May 2012 In: Movies View at Wayback View at NDHA

Going Down in LA-LA Land filmmaker Casper Andreas tells us about making the film, and why he feels telling gay stories on screen is so important. Casper Andreas Tell me about how the film came to be – you’re friends with the author of the novel it’s based on? I had known Andy Zeffer who wrote the novel Going Down in LA-LA Land for year. We both did extra work in New York before ending up moving to LA around the same time to pursuit careers in film and TV. Once there we lost touch however and not until I read his novel years later did I find out what he had been up to in LA. What is it about the story that attracted you? Having lived the life of a struggling actor in Los Angeles I thought it would be very interesting to make a film about that life and the struggles of trying to break into Hollywood. But Andy's book also depicted a darker side of the city as the main character gets into porn and prostitution. I thought it was a very interesting story that lends itself very well for a film adaptation. Matthew Ludwinski is STUNNING, but he can sure act too! What made him perfect for the role? It's a very demanding role as the character Adam is in every scene of the film and gets to express a wide range of emotions. I feel very lucky to have gotten Matthew to take on the role. Not only is he a great actor, he had the look needed for the role -- he really had to be quite good-looking for the story to work. But a lot of the young, hot male actors in Hollywood were scared on taking on this role. Not only portraying a gay character but also having to do some nudity, sexual situations, etc. As an added bonus Matthew is the sweetest guy and he was so easy to work with. I love the actress who plays Candy, and the role, how important to the film is she and her humour, in your eyes? The character Candy in the novel was my favourite one and also a major reason for me wanting to make this film. She is a little less of gold-digging user in the film -- I wanted to make sure that she doesn't come off too ugly of a person but she is still a total self-serving, and self-centred wannabe actress. It was very important for me to show how Candy is a good friend to Adam but also is a total enabler. In no way is she the moral centre of the story. Played by Allison Lane though she couldn't be more likable. Candy is a very funny character and Allison is an amazing comedic actress. It was very important to me to show the humour in these characters lives, and situations. I think of the film as kind of a dark comedy in the sense that it touches on some very dark subjects but at the same time finds the humour in those situations. The character you play is probably the most complex in the film – what attracted you to that role? Nick was a very fun character to play. He is a director wannabe who shots porn for a living, and who seduces Adam both literary and also into doing porn. Nick is a crystal meth addict and not a very good person. We hopefully still feel for him as he descends deeper into his drug use. Nick is very different from me -- and as an actor I loved the opportunity to play this character. A very different role from most of what I've played in the past. Is it tough to act in a film you direct? How do you make it work? Well it's of course tough not to have a director there guiding you. I ended up watching some takes though and adjusting if I didn't like what I saw. But of course that takes you out of the character a bit. It's hard to be 100% focused on portraying the character when you are also observing what the other actors are doing in the scene. And of course you are somewhat compromised as a director as well. You can't pay as much attention to every detail like you would if you were just sitting behind the scenes watching the monitor. I made it work by taking some more time with those scenes I'm in, maybe giving everyone a few extra takes so we had more material to play around with in post-production. How tough is it to get by making gay films? It's easier than ever for anyone to make a film since everything now is digital and the costs have gone down. Which means that there are more films being made than ever -- including many gay films as many gay writers and director would like to tell their own stories. This also means though that it's harder than ever to make anyone take notice of your film once done -- there are just so much stuff out there. And these days when less and less people purchase DVDs and many people feel it's totally acceptable to just steal other people's work and download it online illegally it's tougher than ever to make any money on a gay film. This is my sixth gay themed film that I made over the course of 8-9 years. I've worked hard to produce quality product on low budgets hoping to be able to make it a sustainable career out of it but it's not easy and I decided to take a break from producing any new films after this one. How important is it to you to tell gay stories on film? It's been very important to me. I think we deserve to have our own romantic comedies and dramas where gay people are at the centre-stage and not the occasional sex-less supporting character in mainstream projects. But having made six gay-themed films I also feel now that I kind of done my part. There are other gay stories I would like to tell and I get scripts sent to me all the time. But since as I mentioned above, it doesn't make much financial sense to make these films I'm also looking into doing other things and tell other stories. Any message for aspiring gay filmmakers out there? What’s the best advice you can offer? I would say to have passion for your project because any film is gonna take a lot of time and energy to make. Make sure it's a story you feel it's worth spending a year of your life (and perhaps much longer) to tell. But if you got the passion and drive for it -- then just do it. Don't wait around for other people to give you permission to get started. Make it happen! Where to next for Casper Andreas? What’s the next challenge? Though I decided to take a break from producing -- I'm hoping to keep directing and I'm actively looking to get hired to direct -- be it another gay film, mainstream stuff, TV or even commercials. I love working with actors and I love figuring out how to tell the story in the best possible way. I'm also getting more serious about acting again after having spent the last decade immersed in the filmmaking. And I'm working on writing a new script. So I'm basically looking to spend more time on the artistic stuff -- writing, acting, directing and hopefully dealing less with the business side of things, the producing and distribution, etc. Check out my blog on and I will keep you up to date with how that goes! Jacqui Stanford - 30th May 2012    

Credit: Jacqui Stanford

First published: Wednesday, 30th May 2012 - 12:22pm

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