Interview with Director Rob Carpenter

We're excited to introduce you to Rob Carpenter.  The writer/director of the next short film in our series.  Inspired by Hitchcock and a funny conversation with friend and actor, James Tyce, Rob dreamed up, DIRTY BILL OF HEALTH.

About Rob:  A recent alumni of University of British Columbia for screenwriting with the addition of a fourteen year time line as a producer of independent films. Also a continued acting career throughout the same time line with current appearances on TV Series' (Rogue, The Killing, Psych) and feature films (Date and Switch, The Hard Cut).
As a Producer with a collection of five indie feature films on the global market (with independent film company CS Films) lends an above average result for a small 'off the radar' studio in the current industry climate.

How long have you been directing/writing? I've been unofficially writing/directing for 15 years. Officially, my 'first' effort was a short named ANNA LYNN. It was the first tale in an indie horror feature film anthology called HELL HATH NO FURY. We kicked off with an official selection screening at the Fantasia Film Festival (2006) and moved onto a global distribution deal.

How many short films have you directed? According to IMDB I've done three, but it's more like six.

What is your top advice for first-time directors? All I can really say is that the passion for telling the story will pull you through. Surround yourself with great people and be grateful for their efforts. Get creative, be flexible, adaptable and a problem solver. Take it serious but have a sense of humor about it all. Most of all don't forget to have fun, you're making a movie!

Is there any one part of the process that you enjoy more than the others? I'm pretty much a team player when It comes to anything film. So I'm always genuinely excited anytime I can gather a group of talented individuals (from set design to sound design) to collaborate and throw ideas around. That being said, I guess if I'm only allowed to pick one thing of enjoyment this time around, it would be working with the cast. In the end, the actors are telling the story that the audience is watching. They are why I think the film really works. They got what I was trying to do and gave me their trust to do it.

Dirty Bill of Health

A stranger on a road trip stops in for a random medical check up looking for everything but a clean bill of health.

A stranger on a road trip stops in for a random medical check up looking for everything but a clean bill of health.

What drew you to wanting to tell this story?  If memory serves me right, I believe the idea spawned somewhere between an awkwardly funny conversation over a beer with James Tyce about the worst part of a doctors check up (Can you guess?). Then being in the midst of an obsession viewing binge of old cinema. Specifically a whole slew of Hitchcock originals. Some short time after that I wrote a 50 page pilot that ended up being a 13 minute short film. In the end, to answer the question, I get very clear and vivid visuals in my head (like any story I'm drawn into wanting to tell), They latch on to me until I shoot it and have a film.

What kind of camera did you shoot on? A cannon 5D... but more importantly A Director of Photography (Sasha Popove) who knows it very well.

What were some of the challenges in getting this film made and how did you overcome them? A limited budget is always a challenge but we took the time to prepare and organize all the details for a month before the shoot days. Also, the fact I had a great friend and mega talented producer (Cynthia Potvin) was key to tackling all of it together. The Cineworks film society in Vancouver is always great for an affordable studio space and some equipment rentals. Additionally, I also started directing the cast three weeks prior to filming in rehearsals. All the cast and crew were great with meeting ahead of time and were all willing participants. We were like a well oiled machine by the time when we went to camera. It all went pretty smoothly during filming.

Watch DIRTY BILL OF HEALTH now!

To learn more about Rob, check out his site.