Sunday, December 27, 2009

On the Set of Imposter

I often get asked when working with famous people "what are they like?" So let me talk about some of the people on the set of "The Imposter," (soon to be released in early 2010).

Kevin Max-- I first met KMax at a hip LA restaurant, where you paid big bucks to have green things mixed into your beef burger. Kevin was interesting to talk to and extremely approachable. Later, when he got to the set, he got hammered with the flu while shooting, so I pretty much tried to leave him alone. Didn't spend much time with Kevin.

Kerry Livgren-- I was so excited about having Kerry agree to do this movie. And it wasn't as hard a task as I thought it might be. We had talked to several other "founding fathers of Christian Rock" but this one I was really excited about. To get in touch with Kerry began with a simple google search for Kerry's manager, which came up with Dutch Dehnert.

I sent off a hasty email of introduction and he responded pretty quick. Though he didn't think Kerry would end up doing it, he was intrigued and passed the project along. Long story short, Kerry liked the script, the message and the role he was to play is not too terribly far from who he is in real life.

I first met Kerry late one night right before we started shooting. He and his wife Vicci drove down from Kansas and got a little turned around in the metroplex. So Jeff Rodgers and I went out and found them, then we had dinner at Fuddruckers talking about all sorts of things. I will always remember this dinner-- a very special night. I asked him about covers of Carry On Wayward Son that he actually liked through the years, and he mentioned, of all tings, the Oakridge Boys. I still haven't heard that one. I need to check it out.

Kerry was a great rpesence ont he set. A quiet gentleman. I recall there were a few times, while shooting at Bethesda Church, the piano would come alive. I peeked inside the sanctuary, and it was Kerry. Very cool.

Then, I remember the first time through shooting his guitar playing for the COWS music video. My then 6 year old daughter, upon completion of take one, said in a loud voice... "Hey, you're pretty good!"

Jeff Deyo was a surprise. I had heard of Sonicflood but didn't know much else before Jeff Rodgers brought him to the table. Jeff turned out to be another great find. He is a man who definitely loves God and it shows. I know in our first face to face on the set, I overloaded on him, about the backstory of his character, the philosophy of the movie and about a billion other things. He must have thought me pretty intense and strange.

I also remember when on the set, I got a phone call that my wife and son had been in a traffic accident (that they were okay but going to the hospital in case), it was Jeff asking if he could pray that really touched me.

Tom Wright, who plays the crazy homeless guy is also great to have around on a set. Tom has been around for and his movie and tv show credit list is extremely long. I hired Tom to act in my first movie and out of my first four movies, he's in four. Tom challenges me to be a better director and I feel like I've improved with each movie. I knew when about to do his scenes, I'd better have done my homework, because Tom was going to ask great and tough questions.

So that's what it's like on the set with some of these people. If you've had some experience with one, tell us about it.


  1. I was blessed to have worked at Nickelodeon for three years and got to work with and meet a great number of very talented people. I realized they're people first, artists second and if I treat them as a fan, they'll treat me as a fan. If I treat them as a person, they'll treat me as a person. That simple approach allowed me to have conversations with people like Spielberg, Shaq, etc.

  2. I've been fortunate that Dan has allowed me to do some things on the sets of his movies. I got to meet most of the actors he used. I thought that they would have the "I'm just here for the check on this low budget/indie/dive movie". Boy, was I surprised. Except for a couple actors, they all treated the movie/director/other actors as if it were a multi-million movie. They even helped give newby actors tips on presentation/relaxing, etc in front of the camera. I was especially impressed with Sean, Lou, Mimi, and Tom. They treated Dan with total respect and cooperation. I found out that MOST actors are just people and that acting isn't that much more different than having a 8-5 job. And their great attitude really shows through in their characters and bring them to life.