The Movie Waffler Waffling With THE DRAMA CLUB Writer-Director JOE MCCLEAN | The Movie Waffler

Waffling With THE DRAMA CLUB Writer-Director JOE MCCLEAN

Writer-director Joe McClean discusses his new ensemble drama.

The first “must see” (Film Threat) independent movie of the year, The Drama Club arrives on VOD this June from Leomark Studios.

“Bringing to mind The Big Chill" (Indie Film Minute), The Drama Club features a solid ensemble cast in the story of a high school drama club that catch up 20 years on.

It’s been 20 years since they met in their high school drama club, but the teenage romances, egos, and quarrels are lying just beneath the surface waiting to prove themselves once again. Touching on topics from male/female double standards, to politics, to LGBTQ and race relations, the group grows more this weekend than in the last two decades. In a twisted maze of ex-lovers, old grudges, and new spouses, the friends are thrown down a rabbit hole of alcohol-fueled bad decisions.

This June, “quality indie cinema” (The Independent Critic) can be found within the frames of writer-director Joe McClean’s The Drama Club, available on VOD now.

When did you come down with the filmmaking bug?

I was an actor before I was a filmmaker, and as my career progressed I simply recognised that I preferred overseeing the whole story more than telling one part of it. It was hard to give up the “actor” in my resume though because it somehow felt like failure. First I wrote things to act in, then I slowly started to write characters I knew I wasn’t capable of playing.

Had you had family or friends in the industry?

Apparently I had a great grandfather that moved to Hollywood to be a screenwriter, but I don’t know anymore than that.  I wish I had connections because I would have loved to use nepotism. It’s quicker!

Do you remember your first camera?

In high school Barry Finnegan’s parents (Barry plays Nathan in The Drama Club) had an old camcorder. It wasn’t one that held a full VCR tape, but it was pretty big. We proudly used it to make some of the worst movies in history. Years later when I actually decided on this as a career I bought a Cannon XL1.

Most filmmakers, especially when they’re starting out, have to hold down another job at the same time – at least until one of their films hits big. Was that the case for you?

It’s still the case for me! I’m a building manager in Hollywood. I worked for years with my uncle as a handyman so when I got out to LA I used those skills to my advantage and eventually landed a gig as a building manager. I collect and deposit the rent and I field issues from tenants. It’s actually wonderful. I spend 15 to 20 hours a month being a manager, and the rest of the time I’m home writing or prepping the next movie.

How many films have you made?

I’ve done two features; Life Tracker and The Drama Club. I’ve also done dozens of shorts, web videos, etc.

How did you get The Drama Club up – was it a privately financed film?

Yes. We funded it ourselves. We did everything from hosting an Oscar Pool where half the entry fee went to the winner and half went to our production, to having a roof top fundraising party at the W in Hollywood where we were able to get a space and sponsored booze for free. It was exhausting but we got it done.

Is it a movie based on personal experiences?

Yes… No. Yes and no.

Where and when will it be available?

It is currently available to rent or purchase on iTunes and Amazon!