Grimmfest Interview with Keeping Company star/co-writer/producer Devin Das and director/co-writer/producer Josh Wallace

Grimmfest’s first Easter Edition kicks off on the evening of Thur April 1st, 2021 with our preview night, and then continues across the evenings of 2-5 April, with a series of feature film premiere double bills with supporting shorts and Q&As with the cast & crew of each feature. In addition, there’ll be an exclusive pass holder double bill and an ARROW double bill both of which can be accessed any time across the weekend.

There’s so much to watch you won’t have time to get bored this Easter!

A fateful chain of events begin to unravel after two brash insurance salesmen go knocking on the wrong door and find themselves trapped in a stranger’s basement.

How did this project get started, where did the idea come from?

Devin – We started working on Keeping Company with the intention to independently produce it from day one. The both of us started out as assistants in the Hollywood studio system, which is where we met and started working together, and we found that we didn’t really want to wait around for one of our scripts to get greenlit by some other entity because we knew how painstakingly slow and uncertain that process can be. Fortunately for us, we were naive enough to think doing things independently would be any easier and we continued to push forward.

The original idea for the film was a buddy comedy where two friends get kidnapped by a strange, possibly dangerous person and the story started out as a broad, studio-like buddy comedy. As we got to writing, we found our tone was getting muddy because the darker elements of the story were becoming the most intriguing aspect overall. We found ourselves at a crossroads and decided to do a full page-one rewrite where we focused heavily on theme and creating something that uniquely showcased our strengths and voices as filmmakers.

Was the intention always to write and star, and do you have a preference?

Devin: The intention was always to write and star. It’s hard to say if I have a preference! Writing is my first passion but I have fallen in love with acting because it requires you to dive even further into the psychology of a character in order to bring them to life properly. As a writer, I like to think of acting as a tool and vice versa, especially since I started out making short form films and sketches where I would have to act as well as write and produce. That’s how I approached acting in this film at first because we were working with a micro-budget and we didn’t want to have to worry about who we could afford or depend on when playing the role of Sonny. I’m really happy I did because it was such a fun role to play!

How would you sell KEEPING COMPANY in one sentence?

Devin: Keeping Company mixes insurance salesmen with sadistic, cold-blooded killers and asks if you can tell the difference.

Were there any filmic influences in how you approached KEEPING COMPANY?

Devin: With Keeping Company being a social satire, our biggest influence came from the Coen Brothers. We’re both huge fans of their films, especially their writing and the way they execute the genre of farce. We specifically looked to BURN AFTER READING and FARGO as we worked on balancing everything from genre and tone to story structure and weaving together storylines for an ensemble.

We can’t wait for cinemas to be open again, what film would you love to see the guys at Grimmfest screen to a packed audience?

Josh: I would love to see THE GUEST in a packed theater again. Such a fun film and I imagine it would be an awesome experience with a Grimmfest crowd.

Devin: THE CONJURING. One of the most terrifying films I’ve seen in general and feeling the tension and thrills in a packed crowd makes it that much more terrifying.

What’s the best horror film you’ve seen for the first time recently?

Josh: A couple years old now but one of the best that I’ve seen this past decade was THE RITUAL. An awesome psychological horror that doesn’t skimp on the horror part and has one of the best creature designs I’ve seen in a long time.

Devin: More of a thriller but I recently watched THE CLOVEHITCH KILLER. It landed a really great performance out of Dylan McDermott and I really loved the fresh angle it took on the serial killer genre.

What have you got lined up next?

Devin: We are producing another independent feature together (a dark comedy/crime thriller) that we hope to be shooting some time next year.

Interview by Sean Luby. Find out more and book your tickets HERE and check out the trailer below:

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Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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