HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH CLYDECYNIC?
ALEX WEINER: I got a call from Omari Newton, who I had worked with in 2011 on a television show. At that time he was playing the lead in CLYDECYNIC and he introduced me to Ramiro, who was looking for someone to take the supporting role of Kevin. A week and a half before we started shooting, Omari couldn't work on CLYDECYNIC anymore, so Ramiro offered me the lead role of Clyde.
JESSE CAMACHO: This is actually a funny little story. I was sitting at home one night when I got a call from my buddy Alex Weiner, who plays Clyde in the movie, asking me if I would go to Quebec City for a few days to shoot a movie. I had no idea what was going on. He'd left me like 3 messages and kept texting me. I was lucky enough to get involved from there.
RICHARD ZEMAN: About 6 years ago Ramiro asked me to play a part in his first ever film, a short, bizarre science-fiction film. I think what got me interested in it was more Ramiro - his character and his energy – than the film itself. One of his great assets - aside from directing - I think is his ability to listen to ideas. We have remained friends, and he often told me he wanted to shoot a full length feature film with me in it. After several years of writing and changing the concept many times, he came up with CLYDECYNIC.
HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU FIRST READ THE SCRIPT?
ALEX WEINER: When I first read the script, all I kept thinking was that I wished I could play Clyde. I was in love with the character’s torment, and the script had this raw tone to it. I knew I wanted to be a part of it in any way, really. When I got the part, I really started to delve into the script, and I realized how naturally the words flowed out. The writing was meticulous and obviously very deliberate. Before reading the script, I had never really come across a character like this, and I knew it was a unique piece of writing.
MARK KRUPA: I was drawn to the dysfunctional father-son relationship: the story of a father who loves, yet abuses, his son, which perpetuates a cycle of violence.
JESSE CAMACHO: I REALLY liked it. It was intense, dark, simple, with a great story. I could tell Ramiro knew his characters and their arcs. When you read a script you always look for great characters and Ramiro created a bunch of them. It was one great scene after another.
HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR YOUR ROLE?
ALEX WEINER: There were two aspects that I needed to solidify in the character right off the bat. The first one being his expertise: hypnotism, and the second being his history with his abusive father. Hypnotism is a huge part of the film and is the skill that Clyde has mastered, so I needed to be credible in that sense. I went to a hypnotist and underwent hypnotherapy, I read a book on self-hypnosis and another more academic one featuring more specific case studies, and I tried to hypnotize members of my family. I also consulted a lot of "performance" hypnotists, particularly Marshall Silver. The rest of Clyde I worked from within, spending long hours on the floor of my bathroom crying or in the corner of my room letting the character arrive in some way that I still can't fully understand.
MARK KRUPA: I thought it would be challenging to portray a father with a subtle yet undeniable mental condition. As a dramatherapist, I am familiar with several dysfunctional behavior patterns, so I chose to explore an intense and unique form of Obsessive-Compulsive disorder that would match the character in the script.
FRANCIS GOULD JR.: Ramiro made me watch a lot of movies and study them. He also coached me with acting for weeks before the shoot and made me look for the character’s personal story.
JESSE CAMACHO: I'm gonna sound a little silly here, but I didn't really want to, and I'll explain why. Kevin is the comic relief of the movie. His purpose is to come in and lighten the mood slightly for the audience before the shit really hits the fan. I didn't want to prepare him too much one way or the other as I didn't know exactly what Ramiro would want when I arrived on set. It also gave us more room to play with the characterization, which we did.
HOW WAS IT ON LOCATION?
ALEX WEINER: Ramiro and Virginie built the set in their home, and I went to sleep and woke up in my character's office, which was great. Virginie is a great cook (she took care of all the craf), and we all loved the film and the process. Every day was focused fun, like a group working on a really cool project.
RICHARD ZEMAN: For me it was a fun process working with people I knew. Our common goal was to create as much as possible with the little we had: a script, a camera, and some talent. A little patience helped too.
JESSE CAMACHO: SOOO much fun! I was already friends with Alex Weiner, who plays Clyde. But I also got to work with Richard Zemen and Francis, who are both awesome. It was interesting actually, because I only really came down for like 4 days and shot my scenes, which are mostly very comedic. So my experience was one of making a comedy. So it’s gonna be really cool for me to see all the dramatic stuff I didn't get to work on.
HOW DID YOU LIKE WORKING WITH SCREENWRITER-DIRECTOR RAMIRO BÉLANGER?
ALEX WEINER: Ramiro and I just clicked. We challenged each other when we needed to, but we mostly have the same ideas in terms of good films. He respects my preparation methods in terms of character-building, and I let him direct me in the right direction. I love having a good director who knows how to give direction, and he does a great job of showing me an objective point of view in terms of scene-building and dramatic action. We make a very good team.
CARA REYNOLDS: Not only is he wild, and likes to push limits, but he knows what he is doing, and the coolest thing about the fact that he is so knowledgeable is that he is completely self-taught. It was his passion for film that led him down the road to filmmaking and he learned everything he knows about it on his own by watching and re-watching many films and studying his favorite directors. He is a big fan of doing many takes in order to capture the most subtle aspects of every performance. At times it was challenging because you need a lot of stamina to work in such a way, but I had full confidence in him and his vision.
HOW WAS IT WORKING WITH PRODUCER VIRGINIE LAVALLÉE BÉLANGER?
JONATHAN SIMARD: She did all the thankless work in addition to her responsibilities as a producer. She made sure everybody had something to eat, that we were on schedule and also assisted during the filming, taking care of the continuity and other stuff. I don't remember ever seeing her take a break actually. I kept telling Ramiro how lucky he is to have her. The movie couldn’t have been completed without her, that’s for sure.
CARA REYNOLDS: She was like an older sister I never had, and the cool young mom of the entire film.
WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON WORKING ON A NO BUDGET INDIE FILM?
ALEX WEINER: It depends on the team. Some people can make a great set with no money, while others do a terrible job. Same thing goes for big budget sets: it depends on the team. Some films require a big budget, of course, but smaller sets can be so efficient for some projects. I will say that if the project speaks to me and I think it's a worthy investment of my time: then let's do it, let's team up and make a movie. I would do it again with Ramiro and Virginie in a heartbeat.
MARK KRUPA: I am a strong supporter of indie film. I ask many people to work on my indie productions so I try as much as possible to return the favour. Unfortunately, in English-speaking Canada, we are in somewhat of a cultural coma, but film-makers like Ramiro and Virginie remain part of the solution.