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Interview with Steve Balderson for his movie "The Casserole Club" coming out 2011

I am proud to write this interview I had with Steve Balderson.  He, in my opinion, is a great director!  Please enjoy this interview and even leave comments.  Thank you…
WB:  What were some of the funniest moments during the filming of “The Casserole Club” or any of your other movies?
SB:  My sets are always a load of fun, from the first moments of the day to late at night.  We’re all very serious when we’re working, but there is nonstop laughter and everyone really enjoys themselves.  I try to create that kind of environment on purpose.  There’s nothing more lame than a movie set where everyone is “soo serious” and cranky all the time.
WB:  Awesome, a fun working environment is always good and healthy.  No one likes a stick in the mud…Out of all the performances you’ve filmed, which one stuck out the most?
SB:  Starina Johnson.  She is a genius.  I remember the first time she went before the camera while we were filming “Stuck!”– she blew everyone away.  I knew she was a great actress but I didn’t know she was beyond great.  After filming her first take, I looked around and people on the crew were crying…it was incredible.
WB:  And it showed! I loved her performance in the movie.  “Stuck!” was a great movie and I recommend it to all my friends to check it out.  It blew me away.  Who were some of your favorite actors/actresses you have worked with?
SB:  I love everyone I’ve ever worked with.  The only exceptions were a couple of mean people, who I am no longer working with.  But everyone else is great.  We’ve built a company of sorts (like a theatre company) and I like using the same people over and over.  Once we have the team well connected, I’ll bring in new people and see how it goes.  Luckily on “Casserole Club” the new people hit it off so well with the regulars that they became the new regulars!
WB:  What actors or actress would you like to work with in the future?
SB:  Anyone that is kind, serious about their work, but also fun and enjoyable to be around.  Famous or not.
WB:  When casting for a movie do you generally have an idea of who you want for a part?
SB:  Yes.  In “The Casserole Club” we wrote a few of the parts with actors in mind… I like to hand pick each player instead of doing traditional casting.  It’s just as important to pick people who fit in with the group off the set, as it is to pick good actors.  Just because someone’s a great actor doesn’t mean they will fit in and get along with the others.  So it’s a really sensitive process and I have to be really careful.  On “The Casserole Club” I nailed it.  Everyone fit together perfectly on the set and off.
WB:  I understand what you are talking about.  Its that chemistry that you have to maintain on and off screen. it’s what creates the magic us viewers watch when your movies come out.  Thank you for that.  It reflects in your films and it builds a great reputation.  More people should do what you do and be proactive.  Do you write most of your scripts? Do you ever adapt them from books?
SB:  I work with screen writer Frankie Krainz usually but I have adapted before several times.  A few companies have hired me to do adaptations that I didn’t direct, and I adapted Joseph Suglia’s best-selling novel “Watch Out” for the screen, which I did direct.
WB: I’ve seen “Watch Out”, it too was amazing.  Very daring!  “Firecracker” was based on true events, so where did you get the idea for “The Casserole Club”?
SB:  “The Casserole Club” was also based on actual events, although by the time we got down to actually writing the script and telling the story we through out the real story, so essentially it’s pure fiction.  Even though it’s historically accurate for the time period.
WB:  What was your budget for “The Casserole Club” and shooting schedule like?
SB:  If you count in all deferred payments, equipment, out of pocket expenses, marketing, etc., the budget for “The Casserole Club” was about $1 million.  We shot in September/October in Kansas and in California.
WB:  “The Casserole Club” sounds like it will be a fantastic romp of backstabbing and competition, what can we expect with the film?
SB:  It’s a pretty heavy drama, but there are some really fun moments and the music, costumes, sets are also out of this world… I’m pretty sure we’ll have a few people nominated.  There are some scene shooters in this one…
WB:  That’s great news!! I hope so… I can’t wait to see this movie.  Are you preparing for a new movie after this, I ask because I’m a huge fan of your work?
SB:  Yes, there are a few projects in line to do next.  Not sure which one will be ready first.
WB:  I’m excited to hear that.  I can’t wait to read about them when you start production.  I’m sure you’ve been asked this a lot, but what influences your work?
SB: Travel and food, art, soaking up other cultures and seeing the world.  I just got back from a trip to Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean.  It was incredibly inspiring.
WB:  I noticed in the synopsis you mention the movies “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “American Beauty” both great movies I have to say.  I’ve watched “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” a ton of times.  I can’t get enough of the lie the characters were living.  Elizabeth Taylor an icon.  “American Beauty” was about perception–the perception of each character as they enter act with each other–whether misleading or not, is this the direction you are heading with “The Casserole Club”?
SB:  It’s really hard for me to verbally discuss the film because it’s all there on screen.  And I’m still in the thick of making it.  Usually it takes me a few years after a film to be able to talk about it from totally outside it.  “The Casserole Club” is an accurate and historical story set in 1969… It’s about what is going on then in relationships and inside suburban life…it’s also about what happens to people who don’t take responsibility for their actions, which is timeless.
WB:  I understand what you are saying.  When I was writing BANG it was hard to express what it was all about, because of so many elements in the story.  But now that it is finished and edited I can express those elements and share them.  So when you say that I completely understand.  I have to go back to your previous films for a second.  I have to say I discovered you when I saw that Karen Black was in your movie “Firecracker”, I love her! What was it like working with her?
SB:  Working with Karen is a blast.  We had such a great time on “Firecracker” and on “Stuck!” and I cannot wait to work with her again.
WB:  I hope that means she will be in another one of your movies soon… : )…Sorry for asking about particular actors and actresses, because you have so many great talents in all your films.  I wanted to focus on Kevin Richardson.  He’s building up a nice resume with making movies, what was it like working with him?
SB:  First of all, Kevin was incredibly professional and a really nice guy…He fir into the team perfectly.  As an actor he blew me away.  He’s got a real gift and I’m working on a couple of future projects with him in mind.  There’s a scene in “The Casserole Club” where he and Susan Traylor are fighting and…without giving anything away…it’s just one of those incredible Oscar-worthy scenes.  When we were filming it everyone on the set had chills.  It’s amazing.
WB:  Well this is great!! I can’t wait to see his performance.  I wanted to thank you once again for this interview and for sharing with us.  It has been a pleasure.  I’m looking forward to watching “The Casserole Club” and I encourage everyone else to go out and see it when it’s released.  Thank you Steve…
SB: Thank you, Will.
This concludes my interview with Steve Balderson…it was an amazing interview and I am so glad he agreed to  it.  Once again go out and watch his new movie “The Casserole Club” coming out 2011!!  Thank you.
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