The Movie Waffler Interview - GO/DON’T GO Star/Director Alex Knapp | The Movie Waffler

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Interview - GO/DON’T GO Star/Director Alex Knapp

alex knapp
Writer/director/actor Knapp discusses his directorial debut.

After an unknown cataclysm, Adam (Alex Knapp) is alone. The sole inhabitant of a vacant, unchanged world, or so he thinks. While attempting to stay grounded in the desolate landscape, visions come to him—the fateful night his best friend Kyle (Nore Davis) introduces him to the love of his life, K (Olivia Luccardi).

As Adam’s mental state starts to unravel, he is plagued by lingering questions and uncertain realities about his world. His grip on what’s left starts to slip away—sending him spiraling towards a series of unforeseen consequences and unexpected truths.

Go / Don't Go is a post-apocalyptic psychological thriller, oscillating between a forgotten love story and inescapable paranoia.

We spoke to star, writer and director Alex Knapp about the film.

 
alex knapp

 

Remarkable concept for a film – who came up with it?

Thanks! I actually came up with the idea and wrote the film.

From the beginning I knew I wanted to write an isolation thriller, a genre-bending sci-fi film.

It definitely came from a bit of a personal place, and I drew upon some feelings and emotions I had been dealing with surrounding isolation, longing, and trying to get over a past relationship that never really blossomed. Writing the script was a very cathartic experience, and then making the film and editing it really allowed me to let go of some things and move forward, much like Adam tries to do in the film.

 

Did you always plan on starring in the film?

Yes and no. I wrote the character from a personal place and felt like if needed I could do the role, or at least attempt it – knowing the source material and emotions so well. But one of the initial hopes of any project in development is to get enough interest and funding to be in a position to cast legit named actors in your film. And during that process I think my impatience of wanting to get the film made kind of pushed our hand into the direction of me playing the role.

I also got a very good piece of advice from a former mentor, director Laurie Collyer (Sunlight Jr, Sherrybaby), who told me that when I was ready to make my first movie, it should be my calling card, and really be every piece of me that I can put into it. I remember her saying “If you can write it, write it. If you can direct it, direct it. If you can act in it, act in it.” And that served as both a challenge and motivation for me.

 

Hard to wear multiple hats?

Definitely. I wouldn’t totally recommend it – and would probably shy away from doing it again. But, the real trick is to just surround yourself and build out a crew that is super talented. I was lucky to have people like Frankie Turiano and Derek Brown shoot the film, and someone like Collin Davis edit the movie. These are people who are accomplished directors in their own right, have incredibly aesthetic opinions, and great work ethics. Having them involved allowed me to be more selective with my focus, and maybe only juggle five things at a time instead of nine.

 

It’s a hard film to categorise. How did you pitch it to the cast and investors?

It really is, and that’s been a lingering struggle throughout the life of this film from the very beginning. It’s a genre-bender in the truest form. It’s not a full horror film, but it has a few horror elements. It’s not a fast-paced thriller, but there are moments of that. It’s post-apocalyptic in its setting, but that isn’t what the film is about. While some could look at these things and see them as a negative, instead, I felt like that could be pitched as a unique take on an amalgamation of multiple genres. It’s not that it’s a film that doesn’t know what it is, it’s that it’s confident in the pieces it pulls from different genres, and tries to create a unique experience by not being shoe-horned into a specific type of movie.

 

Any comparable films in your opinion?

We have a huge list of comps for every part of the film, both visually and narratively.

Some films like The Rover and The Road come to mind. Z for Zachariah is in a similar vein.

The Sundance hit I Think We’re Alone Now came out during post-production of our film, and I think is very comparable. And then a more commercial comparison would be something like A Quiet Place, without the monsters.

 

Is this a personal project?

It is, in every sense of the phrase. I wrote the film in a very personal way, personally secured financing, produced the project, hand-picked the crew, directed the film, acted in it. It really is kind of a culmination of everything I can do creatively and business-wise all wrapped up together.

I mean, I still build the social media assets and balance the films QuickBooks, ha. It’s basically been my life the last few years – something I’m ready to see out in the world.

 

What’s on your dance card next?

I’m in the writing process and development on a few projects, one of which I’m really excited about called California City. It’s about a person waking up in the desert covered in strange markings on the outskirts of a dusty run-down town. Their search for answers and identity, and how that may be tied to more mysterious cosmic and secretive forces happening around them. It’s a much larger scope than Go/Don’t Go, and I’m really hoping someone will take a chance on us to make this next level of film.

I also run an independent commercial production company A+M Creative (www.amcreative.nyc) with my producing partner Max Gardner. We produce broadcast spots, branded content, music videos, short films, and other projects. So, there’s always different things of various levels and scope going on. 

 

Go/Don’t Go will be released on US digital and cable VOD platforms on January 12th. A UK/ROI release has yet to be announced.