MIFS: Where did the idea for the film come from?
Konkel:The inspiration for the Bully came out of the collaborative effort between myself and my good friend Derek Kimball, the director and co-writer. I would be horribly remiss if I did not give Derek an equal amount of credit for the story and screenplay that became the Bully. It is a true meld of our individual ideas and without that unique synergistic process the Bully would not exist.
After winning The Milwaukee Show in '08 with I Want You To Know, Derek and I found ourselves with an opportunity to make another film. Derek lives in Maine and I'm in Wisconsin so to start collaboration, we each sent one another a list of five ideas that we might want to pursue further to make into a film. We didn't end up using any of those ideas, but we did use elements from several of them, particularly this one idea I had about about a boy with a cape and this confrontation he has with a group of older teens. I Want You To Know is, in one way, about a child's first peek into adult hood. While dissecting our ideas Derek and I found that we were both fascinated with the experience of what it's like to be a child. Apparently Derek and I have some things in that realm of life that need exploring. So the Bully continues this same theme but carries it a little further. Truthfully though, both I Want You To Know and the Bully aren't about anything except, hopefully, what the experience of being a child is really like.
MIFS: How much did the project change from concept to final edit?
Konkel: There were no major changes from script to final product. There is one early sequence with Kelly, the main character, that Derek Kimball (director and editor) excised from the film. One other moment was cut because it just wasn't working on the set, but now, seeing the final film, it doesn't suffer for it at all. So, most of what we wrote on the page in the final draft is currently on the screen.
MIFS: Where there any challenges during production?
Konkel: When weren't there challenges? There were numerous challenges everyday. But, for the most part we were pretty well organized and things went smoothly most days. We only had to pick-up two audio pieces because of sound problems. But there were no reshoots necessary at all. Not bad for ten days of shooting. Probably the most difficult challenge was having to replace an actor. It was a hard and difficult choice. Luckily we were early in the shooting process and no reshoots of scenes were needed. We also had a lot of rain on one day we were supposed to be shooting outside, but, all the actors and crew were flexible and we were able to switch some schedules around pretty easily.
MIFS: With the film completed, what has been the most rewarding thing about the whole experience?
Konkel: Seeing all the elements come together for the final product and, soon, seeing it with a large audience for the first time.