Mori has 10 days to find a wife and get green card so he can stay in Venice. He loves it that much. Watch what he does. It may not be what you are expecting…
What made me decide to do a movie about Mori? It was a story he told me when we were back in school together. He told me that he rented a hotel room and was waiting for the call girl to come and was “making sure everything was right”. He told me he did some push-ups and checked his hair, like he was waiting for a date with a regular girl, not one he was paying for sex. I thought the idea that he was trying to make it romantic both fascstinating and endearing. The juxtaposition of something seedy like calling a hooker, but going about it an a chivalrous way was great from a character and story point of view.
Mori really only had 10 days back in America, so it would be a way to capture that time with my buddy. We filmed very little, the airport stuff was the actual airport stuff. Those girls on the street where just random girls. Mori isn”t an actor, he plays himself. We shot it in a very “Curb Your Enthusiasm” type of way. It was largely improved, which I think adds to the naturalism, I hope. There was an outline to each scene, and I would have them get a couple lines in there that were pertinent to moving the story to the next scene and for the general arc of the story. It was a fun shoot cause it was very raw. For being a non-actor, Mori really got there. The same goes for the way in which it was photographed, all hand held, it’s just that kind of story. But he plays himself, so the casting was perfect, ha. I also thought that it was interesting to break the 4th wall and treat it like a real documentary, and not pretend that cameras are actually there photographing the scene; that the people who were holding the camera actually cared about the person the were shooting. Both performances were amazing I thought. Audra really gives dimensions to a character that could be very one-note. It was a lot of fun.
Mori is back in Japan and still looking for a wife. Any takers?
Interview with director, Ryan Philander
The next project on tap is an hour long dark comedy drama which is currently in post production with a stellar cast of up and coming very talented actors including Reid Scott (The Big C, a Showtime show/ and Veep, HBO), David Rogers (Cougar Town), Jaime Harris ( The Green Hornet, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Andy Dick (Old School), Sonia Rockwell (Spread, The Passing), Lije Sarki (Greek, For Whom He Tolls), Lauren Ziemski (Nip/Tuck), Vanessa Evigan (The Young and the Restless, Sandsharks) , Phillip Jeanmarie ( Passions, Workshop), Greg Evigan ( My Two Dads, Desperate Housewives), and introducing Stephanie Rae Anderson.
Underbelly is an LA story about the intersecting lives of LA’s inhabitants told in a Altmanesque/Crash way. It’s sort of like “The Wire” set in LA, revolving around 8 completely different walks of life.