Excited is Canadian director/writer Bruce Sweeney's latest film. A film that explores the nature of sexual dysfunction.
Dallian: Can you tell us a little about your film background.
Sweeney: I have a visual arts background. I got an MFA in Film Production in 1996. Live Bait was my thesis project and that went well so I continued to make films after that.
Dallian: Where did the idea for this film come from.
Sweeney: I wanted a character to have to overcome a problem to get a girl, within a comedy structure.
I started reading a bunch of case studies of men who suffer from premature ejaculation. There are two different kinds: primary and secondary. With secondary you get some nerves, with primary there's some kind of physiological problem there.
What I found interesting about this one case study is that this guy had a sensitive tip. In our culture, in contemporary culture, there are tons of jokes about the penis, and men and sexuality and it's just a big joke. If you have that problem then it's not a joke. It was far from a joke. He lost a marriage and it was an all encompassing problem. That attracted me to it.
These stories were achingly honest and very interesting in that these men really did shut down a part of their life. They shut down their sensual side, their sexual side.
The character, Kevin Staal (Cam Cronin) in Excited threw himself into his business and kind of neglected that part of himself. Here's a guy who's almost 40 years old, was married fifteen years ago, and now he's finally met the woman (Laara Sadiq) that's stirred him out of his slumber.
We watch a man who tries to overcome a deficiency, in a romantic comedy.
Dallian: Can you tell us about the script writing process.
Sweeney: What I do is write scenes and then rehearse the scenes with the actors. Instead of writing the whole script in one shot, I write twenty pages and then workshop and rehearse with the actors and put it on tape.
Dallian: Is that how you've always done your films.
Sweeney: Yes. It's how I've always done it.
Dallian: What has been the response to your film so far.
Sweeney: At festivals it's been fantastic. I can go with the cast and crew which makes it fun because you get to do those things together. If it was just you it would be kind of punishing.
Dallian: What was the most surprising thing about making this film.
Sweeney: That technology allowed me to take a lot more time. Instead of rolling film we shot on a RED camera and with that camera, which is a file based format, I got to take that from square one right to the end. There was definitely a learning curve because the technology is changing so fast. It was my first feature shot on a RED camera. It was great to do a project like that front to back.
Dallian: What is in the future for this film.
Sweeney: Basically it's run its course. It was more or less a festival film. There's not a great market for Independent film. What it'll do now is be on PayTV and DVD and that'll be it.Union Pictures has a web site where you can see the film.
Dallian: What would you like your audience to take away from your film.
Sweeney: I hope the engage with the film and think about it afterwards. If they just think “where did I park my car,” then that's great, but I hope they talk about the film.
Live Bait won the City TV prize for Best Canadian Film at TIFF in 1995. Sweeney's filmDirty, won Best Canadian feature at VIFF in 1998. And Excited recently picked up four Leo Awards: best actor (Cam Cronin), best actor (Laara Sadiq), best film, best director.
Excited can also be seen at The Ridge Theatre June 16th and 17th.