The Movie Waffler Waffling With SASQ-WATCH! Director Drew Hall | The Movie Waffler

Waffling With SASQ-WATCH! Director Drew Hall

Drew Hall, director of the new comedy Sasq-watch!, tells us why filmmaking fuels him, his comedy idols, and what lies ahead for 2018.

sasq-watch poster

Why filmmaking? What is it about this game that fuels you?

My grandfather gave me a super 8mm cam when I was a kid. Little did I know it had film in it. I flashed the mag - who knows what was on it, but my family was fortunate enough to own a VHS bag camera so I was able to start making films - mostly WWE (WWF at the time) matches we made with our Wrestle Buddies. Then I graduated to making new episodes of Spencer for Hire - no joke. But what really got me hooked was one Sunday I was set up to go see the Saints play in New Orleans, as my buddy (actually the First AD on this film) had tickets. My bag was packed, which included, for some reason, a bunch of pictures I cut out of Playboy and Penthouse. I think it was my buddy's turn to have them. My mom went to check my bag to see if I packed it and found them. I panicked and rushed to the front door. I threw them out telling her they were Nintendo maps - she knew better. I was not allowed to go see the Saints - she grounded me for lying or having porn - probably both. That night, although still on restriction, my parents decided we should see a movie. Despite the turmoil at home, for that 1.5 hours we were united. We left our frustrations behind and that made a mark on me. I wish I could say it was an epic movie like a reprint of Citizen Kane or Chinatown, but alas it was Three Men and a Little Lady. Go figure.

I dunno if it’s the same for everyone that wants to be in film, but for me it’s swag. I do it all so that I can get swag from festivals and possibly it’s that I have these ideas in my head that I just have to get out otherwise they tend to sour and lead me to make irrational decisions like attempting to continue a Star Wars RPG for 15 years.

Is there anyone in particular whose career you've either idolised or even unconsciously tried to mimic?

I have a ton of influences both newer and old, but I still appreciate the works of Richard Donner, Steven Spielberg, Antoine Fuqua, and Alfred Hitchcock - great influencers of modern comedy right?

Do you consider yourself a 'type' of filmmaker?

I don’t really consider myself any type of filmmaker. I just enjoy interesting stories. I work a good bit in advertising and thus I have been forced to adapt my range a bit to include everything from docustyle content to serious narrative. If I could be any ‘type’ it would be like Denis Villeneuve.

What sorts of films do you find you're usually brought in for, or are you getting your own stuff up?

I started out just being a fill in guy - that sort of “he’s competent” enough, but the last two films have been stories I’ve been interested in from the get go and helped develop towards production. Typically, I’m in that psychological/action/horror space - Sasq-Watch! was a nice reprieve.

How did this one come about?

I had just finished my most personal film to date called Convergence. It was not just a dense heavy film, but it also had a considerable amount of violence and was…as I said dense. The tone of that film was pretty heavy, so I had reached out to my buddy Jarrod Murray who sent me the script for Nigel and Oscar Vs. The Sasquatch (original title). It was charming, nostalgic, and a wonderful departure from the past works. I really wanted to work with Jarrod so we got the ball rolling from there.

Can you talk about the tone? I imagine it must be difficult at times to ground a genre film?

Tone is tough. Again, having just done a film where we shift the tone completely at the 51 minute mark I wanted to find a feature that was a bit more consistent throughout. That’s what I love about Sasq-Watch!, it is equal parts funny as it is charming. It relies upon the actors to carry it along instead of set pieces. I will say comedy is by far the hardest of any genre. There are so many funny options, but also you find yourself dangerously limited at the same time. It's so subjective and precise in moments that you lose the benefit of what an action or horror film has in the cutaways - everything in a comedy better line up to either sell the joke or move the story.

As the year ends and a new year begins, what do you hope for for 2018?

I have another couple of films in development - a horror film about Black Eyed Kids and another somewhat nostalgic action film that combines all of my favourite action styles of movies into a single narrative - it makes sense as it’s a frame story. But most of all I can’t wait to see more innovative cinema from directors old and young. I just love to see the ever evolving language of film progress.

And finally, plug the movie and tell us where we can find it!

It’s out on all the VOD platforms like iTunes, Google, Target, etc.