I recently had the chance to interview director Dan Karlok for his latest feature Crappy Mother’s Day. The film follows three generations of women who get together to celebrate Mother’s Day together only for things to go comically awry. We discuss motherhood, home-made vokda and the finer points of script writing.
Q: Who is your filmmaking inspiration?
A: Frank Capra. His mix of comedy and drama were always right on.
Q: How would you describe the film in a word?
Q: What was your catalyst for making this film?
A: The writer/producer Bill Rutkoski approached me with the script. I thought it was funny. We had done numerous other projects; documentaries, short films and projects for tv etc., but this was our first feature film. The big challenge was shooting the whole thing in 8 days!
Q: Do you have any funny on-set stories?
A: Too many. Some would be too incriminating! Let’s just say, one of them involves a gorilla head, boxer shorts and home-made vodka.
Q: If you could go back in time to when you were starting out as a filmmaker what advice would you give yourself?
A: more aggressive and take more chances.
Q: What was the worst Mother’s Day that you were ever a part of?
A: I wish I had a good funny story for this, but unfortunately I don’t. Not to be a downer, but probably the Mother’s Day right after my mom passed was the worst.
Q: What other crappy day of the year films would you like to make next? Crappy Father’s Day? Crappy Christmas?
A: Crappy Father’s Day would be great. It writes itself! (don’t tell the writer Bill Rutkoski that!) I actually think it could become a tv series. It’s a crazy film family and the stories would be abundant.
Q How did you balance the comedy and the more sincere elements of the script? What was your mix?
A: With this script, the funny is in the words. The actors don’t have to be funny, they just need to say the lines with believability and the funny will come materialize. The same with the sincerity. You need to find the truth in the words whether or not it’s supposed to be funny or serious but then be able to change on a dime. It’s very tough to get the right mix. Sometimes it’s a happy accident. We were very fortunate to have an awesome ensemble of talent who could do both and I’m very proud of them and what we accomplished.
Q: If you won an award for this film who would you thank in your acceptance speech?
A: There would be a lot of people! One person doesn’t make a film. It takes quite a few people and as a director, you need to trust them and let them do what they do. If you’re smart, you hire the right people and let them do what you hired them to do. But in answer to your question, it might sound corny, but I would thank my mom and dad. When I was growing up, I wanted to make movies since I was 7 or 8. My parents never tried to talk me out of it and were always very supportive.
If you would like to check out Crappy Mother’s Day it can be found on all good VOD platforms and storefronts and as always check out my review of the film on site now.