Where are you from?
I’m originally from south-eastern Massachusetts, but I’ve been living in Los Angeles.
How did you come to make a film in Montréal, Canada?
Montréal is such a great city. The film was originally written for Downtown LA. I visited a friend who had just moved into a loft space downtown, and I looked out his window, and across the street, there was this couple wandering around their apartment completely naked. I looked at him, “do you know that they’re naked?” And he’s like, “yeah, they’re naked all the time. We just all co-exist here.” He had these vintage binoculars and asked if I wanted to take a look. I said no, I wanted to, but I shouldn’t!
The spark came from that and figuring out how to create a believable reality where you have these two apartments side by side. It was a giant technical challenge. We knew we would have to build two sets in a giant sound stage. There wasn’t a sound stage big enough and available anywhere in North America except for Montréal. We went and started scouting. The city was just so beautiful, multicultural; there’s just so much beautiful texture that I fell in love with.
I was shocked. There’s a whole industry there, many French Canadian TV shows and movies are made in Montréal, though [in the States] we only get a small fraction of them. I thought, “Why would we want to hide this? Why don’t we embrace it?”
We had a local crew, and when we’re trying to build shots and pick our locations, we’d suggest things like, “how about a drone shot of the Five Roses Sign”, or, the character walks in front of the Notre-Dame cathedral, and all the locals were like, “dude, you can do that, but that’s just for tourists. You need to show the real Montréal.” So hopefully, we avoided all those tropes.