„You can’t have the past back” – interview with Glenn Porter, the screenwriter of „I Melt With You”

I gotta admit that the teaser of „I Melt With You” made quite an impression on me. It has really stunning atmosphere and is perfectly made. And – what perhaps is the most important thing – it gives hope for really powerful emotional kick in the ass. We invite you to read an interview with „I Melt With You” screenwriter, Glenn Porter.

I know „I Melt With You” is your screenwriting debut so first of all could you in few words introduce yourself?

I am a writer living in Los Angeles and New York. I come from an advertising background, where I wrote commercials to sell all sorts of garbage to consumers, from Vodka to Candy. I started writing scripts a few years ago, as I love to write long form and I love film.

Can you tell us about origin of the whole project? How did you teamed up with Mark Pellington? What was your inspiration and goals while writing the script?

The inspiration was various things, including my divorce, and seeing how unhappy all my friends seemed to be as they got older. Some of them might be considered quite successful by society’s standards, but they aren’t very happy. Now, I know happiness is a silly word, and a relative idea, but it seems that we men die inside as we get older, and it was about that impossible desire to go back to happier times, when there was still time to „right the ship” as they say. One day you wake up and realize that you’ve take a course in life and you’d do anything to hit the re-set button and do it again. It was also a moment in my life when I said to myself, „wow, I could put an end to all this.” But I’m sure everyone including the village fool has contemplated what it would be like to end it all, and this film is about that idea in the extreme. The goal in writing the script? The goal is always to get it made! If you’re lucky you get to put some demons to bed, but the goal is to write and get paid for it.

I teamed up with Mark as we have been friends for years. We have a somewhat similar world view. We don’t agree on everything, that’s for sure, but our views are alike in many ways. We’d written another script together, a thriller called „Dolly Dimple” about the creative process and plagiarism, and while a producer was hunting for the money to get that going, Mark asked me if I wanted to revisit this one.

Thomas Jane, Carla Gugino, Sasha Grey, Jeremy Piven. You’ve gathered quite an impressive crew for the movie – especially considering the fact, that’s a microbudget, independent drama? How did you guys pulled it off with only 1 million $ in the pocket?

1. The script. 2. Mark Pellington

From the scraps of informations which can be found over the Internet it seems that „I Melt With You” will be quite specific „male friendship” movie. Can you tell us about the elements which will let you avoid the cliches of this kind of cinema?

The elements which allow us to avoid those cliches are Mark and myself. And to be honest, I’m not sure I know what the cliches are. There are buddy movies and heist movies and stories about brothers and older men and coming of age films that are amazing, so maybe I don’t see too many of the cliche ridden films that come out.

This five minutes promo teaser with Thomas Jane is quite dark and beautiful at the same time. „Decadent”, I would say. I understand this is also foretaste of atmosphere of the whole movie?

Yes. I mean, that was shot in Mark’s office. The movie will have these emotional sentiments, but seen on a larger canvas. Thomas Jane is a remarkable actor who is more than willing to take chances, and I think that teaser is a taste of where he goes in the film. The man is not afraid. The rest of the cast was killer as well. Rob and Jeremy, and Christian made the characters funny and sympathetic, and sad, and insanely alive.

I’d like to ask you about Sasha Grey – we could say many things about her, but surely not that she’s typical porn starlet. What can you tell us about her character and cooperation with her?

Her character is spiritual and dark and witchy and sexy. I’m not so much into porn, therefore I’m not familiar with all of her work. I saw one thing that was extreme, and related more to the nihilism of it more than the sexuality. It seemed more a comment on sexuality than something sexual. For this project, she was a real professional and I thought she was sharp in the role of Raven. I don’t think Steven Soderbergh would have cast her in „The Girlfriend Experience” if she didn’t have something beyond what you see in the porn clips.

Can you tell who will provide the musical score for the movie? The trailer owes it’s phenomenal mood partly to the sounds it incorporates. Did you consider using some tracks from Sasha’s industrial/ambient project (aTelecine)? In my opinion it would fit pretty well…

That’s a nice idea, but all the music decisions will be made by Mark and Mark alone.

When can we expect the premiere of „I Melt With You”?

I am hearing that it will be premiered at Sundance. Wish us luck and thanks Przemek!

Well, good luck then! Thank you for interview, Glenn.

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