The Movie Waffler Interview - LOVE IN DANGEROUS TIMES Director Jon Garcia | The Movie Waffler

Interview - LOVE IN DANGEROUS TIMES Director Jon Garcia

Love in Dangerous Times
Who shoots a movie during the worst pandemic in 100 years? Jon Garcia that’s who!

Love in Dangerous Times is the newest film from acclaimed indie director Jon Garcia (The Falls Trilogy). As a virus spreads quickly throughout the globe, Jason remains ambivalent about its danger. Unable to travel and with his family on the other side of the country, he decides to spend the pandemic working on a play that resembles his life and current circumstances. As writers-block and loneliness ensue, he begins to turn to online dating to find a buddy for the apocalypse where he meets Sorrel. With the infection rate worsening and fate looming, the two begin to lean on one another for support while they try to make sense of the times they live in. Ian Stout and Tiffany Groben star.

The Portland-based filmmaker tells us about filming a “love story during the pandemic”… during the pandemic.

jon garcia interview

Was this film even an ‘idea’ this time last year?

This film was definitely not even an idea last year. I was working on two other films I’d shot back to back and was trying to navigate through post-production of two completely different motion pictures.


I’m assuming the numbers were still pretty low when you decided to shoot?

The numbers were around 10 or 20 thousand when I started writing the script and about 80 thousand or so when we completed principal photography.


Did those emptier roads and lockdowns pose any complications for the shoot - or did it actually open doors to get the movie done?

Oh, the emptier roads were so eerie. I remember walking out into industrial Portland in the middle of the day and I felt like I was in Night of the Comet or something. It was strange, just completely desolate. My first inclination was to go outside and shoot some time-lapse footage when the Governor called for a quarantine. If I had a partner or a family or if I lived with someone who was immunocompromised, I may not have done that. I do think it was on one of those ventures out into downtown Portland to film the empty streets that made me decide I wanted to tell a love story that took place during the pandemic. I don’t know if the lockdown opened doors because we were still making a movie with a crew of only two people so we had some obstacles to overcome but under no other circumstances would we have gotten footage of Portland as empty as it was.


And that’s beautiful Portland, on screen, right?

Yes it is, the film was shot mostly in downtown Portland while (actress) Tiffany Groben stayed mostly in her Southeast Portland apartment.


Would you consider the city as much a star of the film as Tiffany and actor Ian Stout?

Yes, I would consider the city as much of a star as Tiff and Ian! There are two or three films I’ve made now where Portland is kind of the third character of the film, Tandem Hearts, Sex Weather and now Love in Dangerous Times. I have a complicated relationship with the city, always have. Ultimately, I love it though.


Speaking of, how did you discover Tiffany and Ian? Are they local Portlandians?

I had worked with Ian before. Ian is a filmmaker and working boom operator and sound mixer in the area. We are pretty good friends actually. I hadn’t worked with Tiffany however and she ended up being the most sweet and genuine of souls.


And is there a message to the film?

I think one of the messages of the film is love prevails over all, and I know that’s kind of cheesy but I think it’s true. I feel a lot of us have been spending time with our families and loved ones during this time and many of us I imagine have been reaching out to people we care about to let them know we are thinking of them. Overall I want people to leave the film with a sense of hope.


It’s not your first movie – but I imagine it was one of the hardest to pull off. Is that a fair statement?

This was one of the hardest films to pull off because we basically pulled it off for about 2K as our production budget and we had a small crew and we were making the movie in a 390 square foot efficiency apartment during a pandemic. There were also pressures in both the making of the film, as there always are, but also pressures away from the film as well, so we never really had a chance to truly relax during the production, there was always something. Since we were filming in my apartment, I would usually spend the first hour and change of the day cleaning and disinfecting the apartment and turning over the set, however it was nice to be living on the set and have the actor and our one crew member meet me at home to start our day filming.


Love in Dangerous Times will be available in the US from November 3rd on all major VOD platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube and Vudu from Dark Star Pictures. A UK/ROI release has yet to be announced.