Interview with Brian Dorton

Me: So what is TRASHOLOGY about?

Dorton: It is about a female college student that receives an assignment in film class to write a report on her favorite film genre which is trash cinema. In her research for the project she discovers a book called “Trashology” that contains three stories. The audience is then taken into each story.

How was the process of writing each story?

Basically the stories are about characters that are very trashy but really have no idea how trashy they are. I decided to created interlocking characters so that the three stories would also tell one big story with a final surprise ending.

Why did you decide to work on three stories about trashy characters? what attracts you to this “genre” if you think it is a genre.?

A character in the film actually asks that question; “Is that a genre?” …and to some it is. I love trashy southern characters that gossip, smoke cigarettes, and do hypocritical things. Normal people are boring to me. Living with normal folks is great but, watching them on TV is a real snoozefest.

Is there any filmmaker that influences your work?

The film is a tribute to filmmaker John Waters, he was the biggest influence for the project. I am happy that many of the reviewers so far have picked up on the connection. His films have very trashy characters that find themselves in very trashy scenarios, like in “Female Trouble” or “Serial Mom”.

Any other influence you might think of? I can think of Lynch? Almodovar…in their beginnings?

I believe their films are bizarre, have off the wall characters and are filmed with an artistic approach… so, if someday I am named in the same category of these great filmmakers is will be very flattering.

How did you cast your film?

I worked with actors I had worked with in the past and got a few from internet casting sites. It was funny how many actresses were offended by the dialogue and declined. One even said that after saying the words out loud, she feared what her religious family might think. I guess the screenplay has very offensive material to some. My question is why did they show up to the audition? They received the dialogue ahead of time!

Do you think actors are more self conscious about their image than directors?

Some are, actors are usually pretty willing to expose themselves. It goes with the territory. I think any actor that isn’t willing to be somewhat exploited.. might be in the wrong industry. Directors need to be able to pull the core of an actor to the surface and help them feel comfortable.

Do you think of the audience when making your films? I mean, do you think to yourself: If I do this, people will be “WOW” and if I do that, people are going to be saying “WTF”?

Whenever I think an audience will say “WTF?” ..that is when I am sure that it needs to be in the film.

What’s your next project?

Right now I am working on “The Horror Network” and next we hope to begin filming on “Crazy Fat Ethel”. I also have 2 short films in the works.

What leads you to make shorts?

Sometimes there are good stories to tell that aren’t long enough to be a full length film. I enjoy the work and working with great people, it is just that, sometimes it comes in a smaller package.

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