The Swellers’ Anto Boros and Fake Problems’ Derek Perry on the making of “Political Punishment”
When he's not slapping the bass for THE SWELLERS, Anto Boros is an aspiring filmmaker. Taking advantage of the copious amount of downtime afforded to touring bands—lest we forget how normal it is for bands to drive several hours from show to show, only to play for thirty minutes and have nothing else to do in between—Boros, armed with a video camera, some editing software and game tourmates, has turned his other passion into a reality that's often ridiculously hilarious and oddly captivating.
Last year, Boros wrote, directed and starred in Les Incorruptibles, filmed during The Swellers' European tour with Anti-Flag. An homage to classic spy thrillers, it cemented Boros as the premier amateur filmmaker/bass player of our generation and left fans hungry for another chapter. Now Boros has followed it up with Political Punishment, filmed during the band's recent US tour with FAKE PROBLEMS and DAYTRADER, and starring Fake Problems bassist Derek Perry as Mayor Robert "Bobby" Keith, a man who must simultaneously juggle the stesses of an imminent mayoral election and the horrific kidnapping of his beloved son, Bobby Jean. Altpress.com caught up with Boros and Perry for a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Political Punishment. Read their thoughts below and then watch the movie!
Interview: Bryne Yancey
Anto, what influences your direction the most?
ANTO BOROS: A lot of great film directors shaped my film making; directors like Jan De Bont, Sheldon Lettich, and of course Andrew Davis are among them. Their passion and devotion to the craft inspired me to not only go above and beyond my wildest dreams, but to also make them proud of my accomplishments. Accomplishments like Political Punishment.
How did you come up with the story?
With regards to the story, it just sort of came to me. It was election time in Canada, so everywhere I turned I kept seeing election signs on peoples' lawns. Eventually I thought to myself, "Whoa, I wonder what would happen if the mayor of a city had his son stolen from him during election time." I guess you could say the rest is history. Or maybe you can watch the movie and then you could say "Oh, that's what would happen."
How did you deal with casting and egos on the set?
Casting for the film was pretty easy. I just need to take a look at my cast to know what roles they would have. Take Sean Stevenson from Fake Problems for example; I wouldn't mind having him as a mother. So naturally, I casted him as Derek Perry's wife. The egos on set got a little out of control at times. Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It. put up quite a fight when he found out that his character was going to be killed. In the end, I needed to remind him as well as others (all of Daytrader and The Swellers excluding myself) that this is film. This is art. This is real life, you know? Sometimes cops get shot and sometimes evil henchmen can get killed in the heat of the moment.
What would you like viewers to take away from the film?
If I could have the viewers take anything away from my movie it'd be this: Sometimes family should come first before elections. Maybe you should be more careful when you put your baby to slumber. It really is my take on the world we live in, what with all this internet technology and wifi hot spots. Think about that.
I'd also like to take this time to plug another movie I have coming out shortly. All I can release at this time is that this new movie is a sci-fi wonder. No more questions.
Derek, How would you describe your acting style?
DEREK PERRY: I try to focus my energies and harness them in a way that (I feel) gives Dick Van Dyke a run for his proverbial money. He's a huge inspiration. As for the serious scenes, I tend to channel Tina Fey. She does serious like nobody's business.
How much of Derek Perry is in Mayor Keith, and vice versa?
I pour myself completely into everything I do, so there's over 100% of Derek Perry in Mayor Keith; however, I try not to let politicians influence me at all, so there is 0% of Mayor Keith inside of Derek Perry—aside from the Mayor Keith that is in everyone.
How hard did Anto push you during filming?
Anto pushed me pretty hard a few times during the filming. He can get rather aggressive on set, particularly if you're late. He's much stronger than me, so I certainly fell victim to physical altercations with him a few times. I guess a lot of other actors were complaining, so the execs got involved. They seem to agree that Anto's style of directing, although brilliant, can sometimes pose an insurance liability.
Who was the easiest/hardest to work with on the set?
Sean Stevenson (Fake Problems' drummer, who played my wife) is very difficult to work with, mostly because of how meticulous he was with the scenes. He'd watch a take we had just shot and no matter how good it was, how flawlessly we executed the scene, he wanted to reshoot. He would see a bird flying in the background and lose his mind.
Since the set was filled with prima donnas, I can't say that anybody was the easiest. I can say that the staff, people, and "Bartender 1" from Asbury Lanes were instrumental in creating this wonderful work of art. They were truly kind to us. alt
Be sure to check out the Swellers on this fall's AP TOUR, where it's very likely that Anto Boros is busy crafting his next masterpiece. Buy your tickets here!