Glen Popple has worked nearly four years on his first feature, Port Of Call. He came up with the concept, wrote the script and co-directed with Adrian Lilly. Now with his film ready to premiere this October he sits down to reflect on everything that is Port Of Call.
MIFS: Where did the idea for the film come from?
Glen Popple: The idea for Port of Call came from the many years wasted...I mean "spent doing research"...shaking bar dice with a long-time friend, the infamous Gary "Dirty" Ward, portrayed by Rex Sikes in the movie. After years of shaking dice for money, drinks, and every combination thereof we decided to shake dice for control of the entire universe. Hence the idea for Port of Call was born! For the record, it's currently my universe.
MIFS: How much did the concept change from writing to editing?
Glen Popple: Characters needed to be added, the cup had to come from somewhere...there were quite a few changes not only from concept to shooting but from shooting to editing as well. And the changes keep on a-comin'!
MIFS: Sounds as if there might have been some challenges while filming?
Glen Popple: Every day was a challenge of one form or another. The length over which we shot was a challenge and because we lost a major location we had to work with green screens in VERY tight spots. It all combined to make the process more difficult, but on the flipside it really forced me to think through how we're going to do the next film. But with a great cast and crew, along with the people giving us free reign at other locations, it was overall a pretty positive experience. Hell, I'd do it over again. Just without the CGI and such.
MIFS: What was the post production process like?
Glen Popple: I'm one of those weird people that actually likes the post production process. All of the green screen shots and related CGI made it much tougher than a normal shoot but it's still fun. George Lucas gets to have a roomful of people doing special effects and I get me with two Apples and a PC networked together. But it was worth it for one compliment received from David Oplinger, who plays Steve in the movie, when he said "It looks even better than in my head". You have to understand, though, that David's head is kind of a scary place.
MIFS: With the film completed, what has been the most rewarding thing about the whole experience?
Glen Popple: Oh lord, I don't think I can narrow it down to one "most rewarding" experience. Everyone involved was just a blast, the businesses that allowed us to shoot at their locations treated us very well, quite a few people jumped in to help out...it was just a blast. And even with Port of Call done and post production winding down the rewarding experiences keep coming. Port of Call gave me the opportunity to work with other filmmakers on projects such as Petty Cash and the documentary 99 Bottles. I've been learning quite a bit from these experiences and having fun!
The Milwaukee Independent Film Society is sponsoring the premiere of Port Of Call. You can see the film October 29th at the Lubar Auditorium in the Milwaukee Art Museum. The film starts at 9:15. Tickets are $10 and on sale soon.