The following are 20 questions asked to
John Foutz about "Dirt Cheap Therapy" From Stuart
Bannerman and Harold
Leavitt of FromPage2Screen
1: The title, "Dirt Cheap Therapy" is a punchy title,
where or who came up with that?
Dexter Goad came up with that.
2: Every project comes from a single spark, what was the initial
spark that caused "Dirt Cheap Therapy" to enter the
world and when?
Dexter pitched the project to me back around May of this year.
I thought the concept was genius, and signed on. Dexter has been
working with so many great comedic actors for his audioplays
and I think that's where sow of his inspiration came from. Talented
people tend to inspire you like that.
3:When you make a project, who is the first person you show it
The people who will tell you, straight up, what works and
what doesn't. If I want a warm-fuzzy review, I'll show it to my
mother. LOL! I don't show it to the haters, mind you. Just the
talented people I trust to look at it from the angle of their
expertise. Two of the people at the screening at my house have
strong audio backgrounds and they made a lot of suggestions there.
I'm more focused on the "look" of the film, so I near
to hear from those guys.
4: People ask 'whats it about' How long does it take you to get
that 'concept phrase' perfected to sum the film up for them.
It's changed a little since pre-production. Characters on
the page come to life through the actors and sometimes your opinions
change through that process. I wound up playing James Krugar,
the main character's nemesis. He was a profane bastard on the
page and I decided to give him a reason for being a douchebag,
his high IQ. He's still a prick, but you can almost feel sorry
for him while loathing him.
5: Every film has a destination and a plan that you have in mind
for it. - What's the journey you'd like "Dirt Cheap Therapy"
Fantastically, silver screen release. But, realistically more
along the lines of domestic and international distribution. We
have it on BluRay and DVD.
6: Woody Allen thinks of his films like infants. And once you've
released the film into the world, you move on to the next project.
How hard is it to move on from a film, if in fact you do move
on from them?
Project-wise, I have to not over-think things. With nonlinear
editing, you can make changes easily/quickly which adds to the
number of possibilities for a scene. Different camera angles bring
about different emotions from the audience and would one be better
than another without losing those who don't see things the same
way. Sounds convoluted, but you want your movie to be the best
it can be.
On the personal side, movie making is so much fun when you're
surrounded by the right people and "Dirt Cheap Therapy"
had that group in front of and behind the camera. Those are the
good times you remember.
7: Once Dirt Cheap Therapy is done. What's next for you?
I have two scripts that I'd like to finish writing. One is
old-school monster/scifi and the other is an conspiracy theory/action/thriller.
8: What scares you (if anything) when making a project and how
do you overcome that fear?
Comedies are tough because you wonder if a joke is too much
on the nose or too "inside" for people to get. You want
your audience to relate in a positive way. When I heard the audience
at the screening laughing at every scene, I felt accomplished.
But that was a specific answer. Overall, you have to truly care
about the project, immerse yourself in it until you know the story
and it's characters intimately, and tell the story sticking to
your vision. Eddie Van Halen once said he wrote for himself and
people could listen or not. I think there's a mid-point where
you can keep your vision while respecting the sensibilities of
your audience. Making money without selling out.
9: If you had to pick a single element of film making that you
would happily do for the rest of your life, what single element
would that be?
That's a tough call. If I had to ditch all my hats but one,
I'd keep the directing hat. But that hat would be my pass to everything
else as well, so I guess I can't chose.
10: Do you read reviews, listen to radio reviews of your projects
and whats your routine for those? Pile them up, or read them as
I'm honored to have a project worth reviewing so I'll read
it. I take it all with a grain of salt, though. If the scenes
continue to move me, I'm pleased.
1. What was the inspiration for this film?
To make people laugh.
2. Compared to your other movies is this a romantic comedy?
Not really, although "Mere" does love her patients
and they love her in return.
3. How did you enjoy filming this over your previous works?
We were extremely fortunate to be allowed to use the home
office of ERA
Four Seasons Realty in Albemarle, North Carolina as our main,
practical set. It's a short distance from my house so I wasn't
losing sleep in a strange bed. The lake house location is owned
by my folks so I spent the night there and was not late to the
set (LOL). Besides the convenience, I enjoyed the positive energy
the cast brought with them. Funny people in funny scenes.
4. What did you learn from your last project that you used on
the film, and what did you learn on this film that you will use
in your next film?
I guess this is the result from learning from GUERRILLA! and
Trim Reaper and rolling that knowledge into "Nerds of Steele".
We used actors and crew that we had 100% faith in which sped production.
With "Dirt Cheap Therapy", we had a story that would
5.By the end of the movie do we ever find out what the psychologist
needs the money for?
Yes. Total Disney moment, for 12.3 seconds, and then it's
on to more comedy.
6. In the teaser trailer you have a couple that reminded me of
the husband and wife from Friday Night Lights?
I've heard of that show but have never seen it, but thanks
for thinking Jennifer Rossoli and Will Baker look like prime time
broadcast network actors.
7. Does this movie make fun of any other movies you've done or
anyone else has done?
We make fun of Dexter in a special way. Not as disrespected
as his character in GUERRILLA, though. One character makes fun
of "Vampire Diaries" and one character talks about her
boyfriend's addiction to "The
Black Guy Who Tips" podcast.
8. In the teaser trailer there is a guy in a garbage bag and a
black women making crazy noises. Do we see more of them in the
Definitely. All a part of the zany cast of characters that
roll through Mere's office.
9. Will there be a sequel to the movie?
We certainly hope so. I think a TV series would work nicely
10. What are the plans for this movie, Sundance Movie fest or
some Indi film fest?
Dexter is shopping the film at AFM
for the next week. The outcome of that trek will define where
we take it next.
11. Where can we find this movie when it comes out?
We plan to have a premiere in Charlotte [NC] and one in Raleigh
[NC] sometime in December. After that, it could be on DVD, BluRay,
or streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, who knows.