Sleeping Dogs Lie : Director’s Statement

Why did you decide to make SLEEPING DOGS?

I had actually written the script a year prior, and early last year I gave it to my friends Sarah and Marty to read. They were convinced we could make it in very little time, and for very little money. We started hustling a crew, locations and anything else we would need together. We filmed the whole thing in 16 days. It was financed by many friends’ investments and a few trips to the pawn shop.

What was the process of making SLEEPING DOGS?

We worked 16 to 18 hour days with very little downtime on set, but I think everyone had a good time (and, by the end of the first week, a ridiculous nickname). We found a good part of our crew on Craigslist. The hardest part of crewing up was finding a DP that got the right balance of comedy and drama. It would have been easy to make this a different movie… a more slapstick/shock comedy. We met with a number of people that brought up various horrifying comedies they found similar, and we were starting to panic just before we met Ian Takahashi. Ian brought in a lot of the crew with him. They all drove into town and crashed on his apartment floor. The balance of comedy and drama in SLEEPING DOGS has a lot to do with him, and with all of the cast and crew who were there to make the kind of film we wanted.

What was it like putting your cast together? They have great chemistry - especially, Melinda.

There were plenty of great actors that showed up to read for all the roles, but a lot of them would have set a different sort of tone. Melinda Page Hamilton was the second woman to read on the first day. Even after a week of tapes, we kept going back to her. I think we had our hearts set on her within the first minute of her audition. She just did a sincerely moving read. As far as casting the mom, we saw so many great women, but Bonnie Friedericy was our first choice. In addition, I actually had Geoff Pierson in mind when I wrote the script. His agreeing to play the dad was the greatest thing ever.

While the opening scene is hilarious, provocative, it primarily serves to generate a discussion about honesty. Please comment.

Total honesty for the sole sake of getting a weight off your chest, even at the cost of hurting someone close to you may not always be the kindest thing. A lot of damage can be done under the guise of being honest.