Dinello: Content-wise, I'd say that that's a whole lot different. I tried to give it a cinematic quality, and we could have set pieces that were more elaborate. When we were shooting the show, we had $18 so we had to write scenes around a classroom and a bathroom, which helped creatively in a way because you were really limited. So I hope that the film feels cinematic.


Dinello: It's easier to direct when you know you've got people watching your back, like Amy and Stephen. It would be harder if it were a bunch of strangers.

Sedaris: He was always dressed in character and directing, you know, in his gay gay gay clothes and trying to direct. Sometimes, it was impossible to take him seriously, but when it was time for Paul to do his scene, he'd need us to help him, so Stephen and I would direct Paul, which was a blast.

 

Dinello: We're all friends and when we were thinking about doing the movie and talking about it, people just said, "I'll do something in it." It was that kind of thing. Even from the beginning stages we knew that Philip, Matthew, Sarah and our friend Justin Theroux would do something in it.

 

[Dinello: So we had limited time. We're lucky that people are enthusiastic about "Strangers." For whatever reason, they seem willing to bend over backwards for it. We exploit that… to the full extent of the law.


Dinello: Yeah, he looked like a 40-year-old Merchant Marine.

CS: Is Jerri going to be doing anything else in the future?

Dinello: She's going to be selling waterbeds.Blackfilm.com Interview by Kara Warner June 23, 2006

 

[Dinello: They bought the movie at Sundance and then I went to LA and sort of worked on it with them. Then, they claimed at one point there was a clearance problem and they asked us to clear like eight thousand things in the movie. It became impossible, so it was a separating of ways.

Dinello: The Sundance version was a rough version. The film wasn't really finished and I submitted a rough edit and it got accepted so I sort of put something together to show at Sundance, but it was never really the finished product. I watched it with all of the audiences there and it was clear it was a little too long. Blackfilm.com Interview by Kara Warner June 23, 2006]

Sedaris: I get to do his show on the 10th and I'm looking forward to it. It's his territory and I don't have anything to do with it, so it will be great. I'm so happy for Stephen and for Paul because working on the show, I'd always get the attention because I was Jerri Blank, and it was so hard because they were the ones who did most of the writing and what we refer to as, 'chopping the wood,' and that didn't make me feel very good because it was all of us. I'm glad that Stephen and Paul are doing so well.

"We shot on digital video, so that freed us up to improvise when you could just let it roll; the budget was actually tighter on the movie relatively speaking than it was on the TV show, so we had to be more careful sort of. And really after the first 10 episodes of the TV show, for some reason, people stopped paying attention at Comedy Central, so it was really like no adults around. We weren't around because we were writing the next episode."

“Amy and I had always hoped that Paul would direct some of the series, but it was never practical because we were always re-writing up until the cameras rolled,” Colbert explains. “Paul was wary about wearing multiple hats for his first film as director, but I think it turned out great.” Dinello agrees, “I would probably have made my part smaller if I had known that I was going to direct, but it helped that Amy and Stephen and I have such a great and trusting relationship. Amy has her character down, and they are both hilarious, so they don’t need a lot of direction.”

 

[DINELLO: Finding more of a story. You can get away with a lot more in 22 minutes. You need less of an arc, and you need less character development, because you get out so quickly that they don’t know what hit ‘em. With a film, you know, you have to pay more attention to story. Not that we did, but supposedly you should pay more attention to story, and the peaks and valleys of (laughing)… you know, of the tone of the movie.

DINELLO: I mean it, it wasn’t a difficult script to write. We had, I think, at one point 300 pages. We had plenty of ideas. Most of it’s just fear. I guess the biggest challenge was to stay truthful. You like to stay true to the television show, because there’s a lot of core fans. And we liked what we did on the television. Just stay true to that, and then find something new and cinematic to do.Quick Stop Entertainment June 30th, 2006]

 

["That was far easier to do than cutting Sarah (Jessica Parker)," Dinello said of 20 minutes of deleted scenes that appear on Candy's DVD, released this month.

"Geoffrey is a frustrated director," Dinello said. "Sometimes I think he directed this film."

"Prequel wasn't my term," Dinello said. "You do see Jeri in prison and coming home for the first time. But it's sort of a prequel, a sequel and a NyQuil."

"It's like Monty Python. It's not a reflection of pop culture, so there's nothing to pin us down in time. Regardless of which generation watches, it seems sort of timeless because of that — and because the writing's good." Candy director finally makes the cut with DVD extras Houston Chronicle || by Bruce Westbrook November 22nd, 2006]

 

"Directing is a lot easier — acting is a crapshoot," he said. "Acting on stage is easier because of the audience ... you know right away if you're failing. Film acting is in a vacuum. [As a director,] I have a better sense of what's funny or not behind the camera."'Candy' a delicious off-color comedy The Daily Princetonian || by Amelia Salyers November 30th, 2006

 

[Paul Dinello: I had directed before and part of me wanted to direct the film, but then I was worried. I had a more significant role acting wise at one point and I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew. But there was part of me that always wanted to direct, but I guess it came about because we couldn’t get the director we wanted. Then I was looking for directors. A lot of possible candidates had maybe one film under their belt or they had directed television. Then Steve [Colbert] and Amy [Sedaris] were like “Why don’t you just direct it?”

PD: Yeah, I was trying to find some middle ground, but I definitely wanted it to feel different than the show because otherwise I didn’t see the point. I think people will have the criticism that it’s still too much like the show, but I wanted to be true to the fans and be true to the show because I liked it but still make it feel like it was its own thing.Strangers with Candy director Paul Dinello SuicideGirls || by Daniel Robert Epstein Jun 27, 2006]

 

Dinello claims that the team has been mindful of the "Strangers" faithful, but they also knew that they had to tell the story of Jerri from the beginning--for the uninitiated. In a way, the movie is a prequel to the series. Scenes depicting Jerri's prison life were shot in a Bronx correctional facility. "We were interested in seeing Jerri's backstory," Dinello says. "We kind of vaguely knew what it was, but we had never really shown it. So it was fun to see her in jail. She seemed so natural there." (Strangers With Candy: Changing the Wallpaper in the Kitchen backstage.com September 3, 2004)

 

SAG Low Budget Affirmative Action agreement. Was having a diverse cast important to you?

Paul: Shooting under that agreement didn’t add any pressure, we would have cast that way anyway. I think we like a diverse cast because it’s just more interesting that way. We’re looking for interesting people, and that’s a lot more broad than having just white people. A Sitdown With "Strangers" sagindie.org

 

"We needed to get money in a week. We called Worldwide Pants and they said, 'We'll pay for the whole thing and you guys can do what you want,'" Dinello said at the CineVegas film festival last week. "The only thing we had to do was we had to put in Explod-O-Pop."He gives that money to charity," Dinello said. "I mean he didn't like say, 'Either you put this in or we're pulling our funding out.'" 'Strangers with Candy' finds funding with Explod-O-Pop plug ASSOCIATED PRESS LAS VEGAS June 12, 2006

 

They had to open up an account, stick money in it and work on the details later. And they did. They were great partners. They essentially said, "You guys have done 30 episodes. We're going to assume you know what you're doing, and we're going to let you do it." It worked out great, and we were happier. Letterman's an idol of mine, and if I could pick any partner in the world it would be Worldwide Pants.How to Talk to Strangers with Candy
GreenCine || by Andy Spletzer June 30, 2006]

 

["We're such fans of twisted dialogue, which needs to really be thought about and written out, because that stuff's harder to improv. And we shot in 24 days, so I didn't really have the luxury of going, 'Take your time,'" he explains

"A lot of the comedy is broad, and a lot of the dialogue is absurd," says Dinello, "so we try to infuse it with a sense of drama in a way that parodies what I think is the biggest crime in a lot of mainstream movies: manipulation. They use a lot of tricks to manipulate the audience and make them believe there's drama happening even when the quality of the material would never make anybody feel moved. I wanted to use those same tricks to undercut the drama."

"I don't like to have grownups around when I work," Dinello explains. "It was better when we knew we could work for a few hours and then knock off and swim in a creek. We made our own hours, and it really led to a relaxed environment.".Sweet Post on Strangers with Candy VIDEOGRAPHY.com || by Elina Shatkin July 1, 2006]

 

[Paul joked, "We never decide anything; it was a short period of time that we gathered that material in. After the show wrapped, we sort of made a conscious effort to move as far away from Jerri Blank as we could. There was talk initially; I think if we had been aggressive, we could have done a studio version after the show. And there seemed to be that kind of enthusiasm in Los Angeles, but we weren't really interested in pursuing that. I don't think that - we had just done 30 episodes and we never really wrote with the thought that it's television. We did write them as short films because that was sort of the inspiration with after-school specials. Not sort of, that was a large part of the inspiration. So it was like we had written 30 short films of it, so we were sort of burned out. Besides, Stephen was having a moral collapse at the time."

Paul jumped in with , "We shot on digital video, so that freed us up to improvise when you could just let it roll; the budget was actually tighter on the movie relatively speaking than it was on the TV show, so we had to be more careful sort of. And really after the first 10 episodes of the TV show, for some reason, people stopped paying attention at Comedy Central, so it was really like no adults around. We weren't around because we were writing the next episode."

Favorite Scene: For Paul, "It's the dinner scene because it seems closest to what we're familiar with, like suburban family having dinner, but then it's so weird and dysfunctional. I kind of like that."The writers and stars take the cult series to the big screen Movieweb || By Steven Chupnick July 10th, 2006 ]

 

UW: How was it revisiting these characters after a few-year absence?

PD: It was like visiting a crazy old aunt, you know, that's family, and you feel an obligation towards but you can only spend so much time with her. So it felt familiar, and nice, and creepy at the same time. Strangers Talk Among Us Long Beach Union Weekly || by Conor Izzett November 6th, 2006

 

 

"I didn't know any knights," Dinello says of Holm. "Now I know one." Constructing a Comedy in Blank Verse LA Daily News || By Evan HenersonJuly 9th, 2006

 

“It’s weird—we write each other’s characters,” Dinello says. “We all have the ability to speak in their voices.” So, will they soon be channeling another episode of the Blank saga? Sedaris just finished a book, Colbert has his show and Dinello’s writing a screenplay about “two hotshot exorcist priests who break from the church and then come crawling back …it’s a comedy.” But, he adds, “Jerri’s like a rash—you put ointment on it and it goes away and then it comes back. If people clamor for a sequel, maybe we’ll oblige.”

-One of the film festivals that "Strangers With Candy" was accepted into was NEWfest, which is the NY Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual film festival.

-Paul described Jerri Blank once as "almost like a dangerous Alzheimer's patient" -Getting Deep Inside Jerri

 

-Paul took the temporary music for the Strangers With Candy movie from Shawshank Redemption and Schindler's List. "We knew we always wanted the music to be overly dramatic, to play against the ridiculousness of the situations." How to Talk to Strangers with Candy
GreenCine || by Andy Spletzer
June 30, 2006

 

"Stephen and I convinced Paul [Dinello] to do it," Sedaris said. "Paul's a great director."http://media.www.dailytexanonline.com/media/storage/paper410/news/2006/07/19/LifeArts/strangers.With.Candy.Show.Blooms.Into.Film.Promises.Laughs-2132789-page2.shtml

 

 

 

 

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