Outsiders Productions Interview

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Let’s start off at the beginning. How did you guys get together and start Outsiders Productions?

Jason: I was supposed to do a senior project in college, Adam had already graduated and Kenny had already graduated, and I had asked Adam to write a script for me and I was going to pitch it to do it, and that kind of fell through. The only way we could do it was for Adam to come back and enroll in one class, so it kind of started from there. And Kenny helped out with that project, and after that was done, we just kind of kept it going.

Adam: Yeah, it was just a stupid endeavor to jump into the deep end of the pool. But we started with a full length movie originally titled Thunder Road, cause I am a hug Springsteen fan. We ended up changing the title to Looking for Hope and that was our first. We were involved in a couple of other full length projects and a short, but we formed the LLC for Charlie. Before then, we had to form a production company for college for the course, and then we formed the LLC for Charlie.

Starting off with a feature length, instead of a short film, is kind of backwards from the way a lot of college students go about it.

Outsiders ProductionsAdam: I don’t know, I think that there is probably bad and good that accompanied that choice. I think if we had known what we were getting into we probably wouldn’t have done it, but you know sort of getting that under your belt, I mean you go out and you make a movie.  Maybe it is not very good or maybe nobody sees it but you have done it, you have accomplished it.

It really did teach us a skill set that we had to carry with us, which is you have to wear more than one hat. And to wear a lot of hats, you have to communicate, you have to be able to get in and get out, especially if you are shooting guerilla. We shot a lot of it guerilla. So, we learned a lot shooting that and I think kind of each project we have done, it has added some other angle, some other course we have had to graduate from.

How many films had you shot before you got up to do a Beautiful Day?

Jason:  two other ones of our own, three all together that were just ours, we had Looking for Hope, the Cellar which was kind of a short, it was like an hour or so in that range, and then another feature, a comedy bowling alley and we had helped out on one other one.

Adam: As far as what was under the Outsiders label was Looking for Hope, The Cellar, Bowling Alley and then we shot A Beautiful Day. We did Killing Yourself Slowly, a super short.

Kenny: I think maybe one of the biggest reasons, and maybe I am wrong, of not doing a lot of three minute to five minute shorts is because, after college when we formed the group we were all spread out and we were becoming men in the real world.

(LAUGHTER)

Adam:  he is speaking for himself

Kenny: But seriously, we were all spread out. A lot of people, I think, who do shorts like that are usually concentrated together and if we would have all been in the same town immediately after college, and we had money for a camera, we probably would have done a few more shorts. And that is a big assumption, so we just kind of put a lot of importance on doing a full length. I mean, if we are going to drive an hour to work on it – that is how we usually did it, from OKC to Ada to Shawnee, that whole area.

Did you have any festival success with those early films?

Outsiders ProductionsJason: The Cellar and Hope got into a couple, it kind of grew. Hope got into a few, The Cellar got into a couple more than that. And then, each one has kind of done better and better.

Kenny: The Cellar won our first award.

Adam: Part of the reason we formed an LLC was to try to raise some money for Charlie. Before that, we would get to the end of those shoots and all of us were putting everything we got into the movies, we are paying for everything, so by the time we get finished and it is time to send it out to festivals, the festivals are costly. We would get finished and then we would say “ok, let’s send it to 10 festivals, which you know, if you are lucky you get into a couple – especially with the level of our budgets and what we were dealing with. So, I feel like by the time we got to the point where we needed to have some cash to put it out there, we didn’t have the cash to put it out there. So we were on to the next project. But yeah, we started developing, that is when we started making our contacts as far as our sound guy, out in California at the time, then he went to Nashville, and other filmmakers. That is how we started building our contacts.

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About the Author

Shawn S. Lealos
Shawn is a film critic with over 25 years of experience in print and online media. He is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and loves everything from critically acclaimed movies to B-level action flicks.
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