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My interview with the director of Billy Boyd’s Carmel by the Sea!

Billy Boyd as Bernie in Carmel by the Sea

Billy Boyd as Bernie in Carmel by the Sea

I did a telephone interview with Carmel by the Sea director Lawrence Roeck yesterday.  Here is the transcripts from the Interview!

Lawrence: so what do you want to talk about first?

Penny: Well I was gonna ask you about your voice, you lost your voice and we had to reschedule our interview!  Does that mean you had a really great time at the Carmel by the Sea screening the other night then?  😉

Lawrence: yeah, it was a lot of fun!  The weather right now in CA is a little bit stormy, it finally cleared up today.  I got a bit of a cough a couple weeks ago and it just been lingering because Ive been traveling so much doing interviews and doing the Red Carpet thing in LA but its been fun, I wouldn’t change a thing

Penny: I can imagine!!  What was it like to film with Lauren Bacall?  That must have been pretty amazing!

Lawrence: It was!  Filming with Ms Bacall was a dream come true, such a Hollywood screen legend!  Her career spans…. I don’t know if its proper to say the age of a lady but its twice the age I am!  And you have to have a lot of respect for that.  She really lit up the screen and she was fantastic in the movie and overall it was a pleasure to have her.

Penny: the stories she must be able to tell must be incredible

Lawrence: She has incredible stories about Humphrey Bogart, she spoke about how she really was in love with him, she spoke too about her current family.  She is quite a screen legend

Penny: How difficult was it to get the locations to film in Carmel?  Was the town cooperative with you and the film crew?

Lawrence: Extremely cooperative.  I lived in Carmel since I was a year old, I knew the majority of the people that luckily were instrumental in helping and then some of the people that were involved with the project were involved with the city as well so it was really helpful.  And that was the one thing I was the most worried about, how it would go over.   Its part of the reason why the production was successful and that we were able to pull it off in such a small town

Penny: Right a film production can cause a lot of commotion doesn’t it, when they are filming somewhere?

Lawrence: It can!!  And when you’re in a town like Carmel, the people there are very particular about their place.  Everybody loved it, the residents embraced the movie, you know and became a part of it so in the end  I think everybody just kind of enjoyed it together, which was cool.

Penny: yeah, you know, they become a part of it and then people feel like its part their movie  too!

Lawrence: Yeah, exactly!   The townspeople, I want them to feel a sense of ownership for the movie because it was made with them in mind.  It was a love letter to Carmel.  You know there are a lot of jokes in there and hidden humor in there that only a person that lives in Carmel knows!

Penny: The film looks kind of dreamy, I don’t know if that just Carmel or if it is a period piece or is that just the look of Carmel?

Lawrence: no it’s a modern day film but I set out to make a movie, the screen writer and I, Carlos De Los Rios he did a really good job with the script, I really gotta give him a ton of credit for the whole thing.  He and I really wanted to make a Hollywood classic, so Lauren Bacall , Josh Hutcherson, Hayden Panettiere ,   Billy Boyd incredible actors themselves, Scott Eastwood.  Scott Eastwood is really, really talented.  You know they  all stand on their own.  So we tried to make a classic film, try and tell a story without a lot of gratuitous sex and violence, lets show the intrigue of the international art forgery  and tell the story of a  kid that really finds himself.

Penny: The storyline is interesting too, the art forgery.  You wrote this, how did you know how to write about this?

Lawrence: It was Carlos’s idea, Carlos came up with the idea.  I wanted to write a story about a boy who was an art prodigy, an incredible artist and he needed to find a home and Carlos came up with the idea,  a kind of precursor play so to speak where was an oil portrait dealer and an older artist that would want to keep the history pure, the art pure and the boy didn’t know what path to travel down.

Penny: Oh ok!  Its also such an interesting cast you have from Lauren Becall, Billy Boyd, Alfred Molina…. Did you get everyone you wanted in this?   Was there anyone you wanted that you couldn’t get?

Lawrence: Well interesting enough we had big actors that were interested in the film, Dennis Hopper at one point was serious we were told.   We had “Hopperized” the script and toned it up for him so Alfred Molina delivered some of the best lines that we wrote for Hopper!  So when Alfred Molina was available, I didn’t think he would do it, so when it came up that he was available, I was thrilled.    I couldn’t hope to have a better cast, Hayden Panettiere was amazing, Josh Hutcherson, Lauren Bacall, they were all incredible.  Scott Eastwood is the most natural actor in the whole film though, and of course Dina Eastwood !

Penny: was it hard getting funding to do this film?

Lawrence: Any movie is difficult, but if you believe in the project, it eventually gets done.  No more difficult than any one else’s movie,  no more easy, but it was a lot of fun, a great journey.  A lot of good friends were made during the process, you know putting the project together and I still have those relationships.  They are all joining me now in The Crags movie Im doing starring Scott Eastwood and that movie is a direct result of the team I built with the first one.

Penny: well that was my next question, I was gonna ask you what else you had coming along the pipeline

Lawrence: well were doing The Crags, were gonna shoot that in 2012.  Right now we are in the development stage putting that project together, that will be Scott Eastwood’s movie, he will be the lead and Dina Eastwood is joining us as well.   We’re in preliminary talks with Billy Boyd but we don’t know where that’s gonna lead us or what exactly will transpire, its way too early to tell.   I’d be thrilled to work with him as well.  It’s a very exciting movie, Its about a guy who inherits a huge fortune and runs away from his family and they end up finding out 10 years later after they thought he died that he’s still alive and pan handling in Morocco, he shows up in a National Geographic magazine and they try to hunt him down, it’s a real fascinating movie, its kinda like Bourne Identity.

Penny: is that the one you told me you were thinking of filming in Michigan?

Lawrence: That is very possible actually.  The main trouble I have filming in Michigan is whether they are still gonna have the incentives.

Penny: Oh we are fighting for that right now!

Lawrence: yeah, yeah, you know we want to go to Michigan to shoot a lot of our interior and urban landscapes, it’s a beautiful state, I’ve heard nothing but good things.

Penny: oh yeah we have it all here.  Michigan is so unique.  It has so many different looks ya know?  There’s farm country, there’s urban, small towns, the great lakes look like oceans.  We have 4 seasons; we have great forests, rivers, lakes.  You can really do just about anything here.  Hopefully we will have film incentives too!

Lawrence: if it happens I would love to!

Penny: As far as Carmel by the Sea goes, do you have any other plans for it to go anywhere else?  Any other film festivals or any other distribution?

Lawrence: Well the movie company that is handling all of that would be better to comment on all of that, they are really in charge of rolling out the film and releasing it.  I as the director, I’ve already started on my second project but they have indicated that there will be a theatrical release coming and I really hope it happens!  They also indicated they want to release it to more film festivals and I’m sure that will happen as well.  I’m also hoping… I really think that we are so early in the game having only screened it twice  and it sold out and I’m so incredibly happy about that.  We’ll find out what’s gonna happen!

Penny: Oh that great, I’m looking forward to it, I really cant wait to see this!

Lawrence: Everyone in LA, it was a private screening and the theater was packed, that was really cool because we realized there was a lot of interest in this film.  And we screened it in Carmel and that was a public event and that sold out and there were 200 people on the waiting list!

Penny: Wow, so cool!!  How long ago did Billy sign up for it?

Lawrence: He came on board probably in Nov or January 09?   The moment I saw him I recognized him from Lord of the Rings, I am a huge fan!  I said Oh Carlos, there’s Billy Boyd, and he was looking at him thinking the same thing, we wanted him right off the bat!  When he agreed to do Carmel, we were thrilled!

Penny: I don’t know much about Billy’s character other than Billy said Bernie was a “posh” kind of a guy and possibly a bad guy!   Is there anything else you can tell us about his character?

Lawrence: Yeah, Bernie is someone who serves as a devil’s advocate for the art forgery dealer.  Alfred Molina kinda plays a brash man and a forceful character who is used to getting his own way in every situation and Bernie is there to kinda let him know “hey, there is danger ahead, we’re moving ahead too quickly.”  He has a way of warning him.  I think if he had listened a little bit more to Bernie, we might not even have a movie!   Hahah!  They work together they are in this together, they are both committed to the same cause.

Penny: They are kinda the bad guys of the film?

Lawrence: Yes they are, but they are an intriguing sort of bad guy, they don’t know they are the bad guys.  In their minds, they are doing what’s right, they are saving their company; they are putting art out into the world!  Hahahha!  And they are helping the kid!  I’m always intrigued by bad guys who don’t know they are bad guys!

Penny: Yeah, every bad guy has some good in them, they aren’t pure evil, so there is a good side to them too so you can kind of identify with them a bit.

Lawrence: yeah, Alfred Molina’s character never hits the kid. There are times when he is so angry he wants to and he raises his hand but he always pulls back.   And it gives the character a bit of a nuance that really added to the film that only Alfred Molina could do.

Penny: you promised me some Billy storied so lets have them!

Lawrence: Sure!  Alright what do you want to know?

Penny: Well I guess whatever you have!

Lawrence: Well I had the pleasure of having dinner with he and his wife and their young son and really showed me what a regular guy he was, what a committed family man he was.  And people recognized him at the restaurant. You know people in Carmel…  you know Clint Eastwood can sit there and no one will bother him, but Billy somehow to them is special, cuz they are like “Oh Lord of the Rings!”.   They will come up to him but respectfully and want to speak with him and I think one guy asked for his autograph but it was kinda fun we had some good times.  It was cool just to see him relax with his family.  Now on the set, he was probably the most easy going actor I ever worked with.  He was very aware of what he himself was doing and how he fit into it and he’d watch the direction I’d give the other characters and really try to create his own thing that stuck out and was exceptional amongst all the other characters.  He’d create really cool characters and many times he’d steal the show!   It’s just the little things!

Penny: yeah, I’ve always thought that too!  He does have a way of doing that!  Even if the part is really small, you cant take your eyes of him!  He really does steal the scene!

Lawrence: Yeah, yeah, exactly, even if he’s just sliding the food across the table, he really makes the character come alive.   It was just a lot of fun working with him, he was so professional, he made me feel comfortable which made me want to work with him again

Penny: That’s important on a set, isn’t it?  Working with people who are easy going and follow directions and are creative you know?   It just makes working with them a pleasure.

Lawrence: You are right!  That makes for an enjoyable set but I tell you a little intensity too really ramps things up! The neat thing about Carmel was almost like the production there were some really intense moments.  I liked working with Billy but I also liked the intensity of Molina.

Penny: did you guys ever get to go surfing?

Lawrence: No we never did!  I was supposed to go surfing with Billy during production.   I had a really bad sciatic nerve problem in my lower back, my total right leg was numb all the way down.   So I couldn’t surf at all, it was really bad.   But we’re gonna do an Art symposium this coming week, on the 30th back in Carmel and talk to the students.  Im gonna talk to them about directing and Billy’s gonna talk to them about acting and hopefully them we can get some surfing in then!

Penny: oh cool!  Have you had a chance to hear his band, Beecake
Lawrence: Beecake?  I have never heard his band!!  Or his music!

Penny: Oh my gosh, he hasn’t given you a CD?

Lawrence: No he hasn’t!!!

Penny: Well I’m shocked!   They are really, really good!

Lawrence: Yeah, Im gonna have to

Penny: The last time I saw Billy in Dec on another movie set he told me that he’s pretty much finished another album so hopefully they will have that one out pretty soon!

Lawrence: Wow!

Penny: Yeah, I asked him how he was doing it because he has been gone so much and his band is in Scotland!   He just writes stuff while he’s gone and the he sends it to them and they work on it and they have just been doing it long distance!

Lawrence: Wow!  What a terrific guy!  Working with him was a pleasure, its always great to work with a guy with that level of professionalism and ability, he really adds a lot to every movie and I’m excited to see what the future holds for him!  They are few and far between and the cream always rises to the top!

Penny: I so agree!  Well thank you so much for your time, Lawrence!   I really appreciate it!

Lawrence: You are welcome!  I’ll talk to you soon, my Facebook friend!

Penny: Yeah!  Hahahaha!!

Lawrence: I feel like I know you through everything on Facebook!

Penny: Hahahaha, I know, I’m pretty prolific there!

Lawrence:   So funny!!

Penny: well you take care of your back and your sciatica and your cold and you keep making some great movies!  And come to Michigan!!

  • Lawrence’s next film, The Crags will begin shooting on 2012.  Its an action, adventure, thriller starring Scott Eastwood and Dina Eastwood about a man who inherits world largest fortune and runs away from it.  Billy is also in talks to star in this as well!
  • Lawrence and Billy will be attending a symposium at a private school of the arts on the 30th of March to talk to the students about filmmaking and acting.   Lawrence promised me some photos of the event!

8 Responses to “My interview with the director of Billy Boyd’s Carmel by the Sea!”

  • Elaine says:

    What a great interview Penny. Nice work!

  • 離婚諮詢 says:

    do you have twitter or facebook;I want to be your fans in hurry.3$4

  • Sandi says:

    Penny???…Are you absolutely sure you’re in the right job babe???…lol…This is the second brilliant interview you’ve done in the past 3 months!!!…It’s, interesting, fascinating and you ask the exact right questions without it getting boring!!!…You are ten times better than a lot of professional interviewers who nearly always manage to bore the pants (and I mean the knicker variety!..lol) off me!!…Probably because they just love the sound of their own voices and aren’t really interested in what their interviewee is saying!!….Sweety, If the acting doesn’t pan out afterall, you know what to do!!!…Thank you for this and all your hard work!!…Loveya Babes!!..((Huggggsss))…xXXx

  • Penny says:

    Wow! Thank you Sandi!! xoxox

  • june says:

    I agree with that but don,t consider giving up filming for reporting.We need to see you in more films as well as Billy.

  • Penny says:

    Hee! Thanks June! :)

  • Sharry says:

    Nice interview, Penny. Thanks for posting it for us. :)

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