By Mark Saldana
It gave me great pleasure to speak with Dru Brown, director of The Suicide Theory, a film which will most definitely be one of my top favorite films of this year’s Austin Film Festival. The Australian native spoke with me briefly about his sophomore feature and how he discovered the incredible and bizarre script by writer Michael J. Kospiah and why he had to direct this movie.
Mark: First of all, I have to extend my compliments to you and Michael on this movie. I absolutely loved it. So far, it is my favorite film of the festival.
Dru: Wow! Cheers, mate.
Mark: How did you get a hold of this screenplay, and what about it made you want to turn it into a movie?
Dru: A mate of mine had posted a script on a website called Simply Scripts. It’s a website where amateur guys put their scripts up and other filmmakers can critique them, give them advice, and steer them in the right direction. I got a few pages into the script and it wasn’t for me, so I started looking around the website and saw this one (The Suicide Theory) and all the comments. I finished the script really quick and was like, I got to contact this guy (Michael J. Kospiah) and see what’s going on here. That’s a unique script. What you see on the screen is pretty close to what you see on the original script. It is just so bizarre and different.
Mark: Were there any obstacles or limitations in the filmmaking process that caused any changes to the story?
Dru: There’s a few bigger setups, but for the most part, I reckon ninety percent of the script is on the screen. We didn’t have to take too much out or sacrifice any great part of it.
Mark: Do you know anything about what inspired Michael to write the script?
Dru: He said (at a screening in L.A) that he was going through a pretty dark time, and short of saying that he potentially was considering attempting suicide, he was thinking a lot about it and what would be involved. I think a lot of that spark made something in his brain that mixed with the creative and really saved him from this really dark time because he put together this amazing script.
Mark: Were there any difficulties balancing the gallows humor and the more dramatic and serious elements of the story?
Dru: I probably only identified three lines that I thought people may have a chuckle about at the cinema. There’s more areas that I didn’t realize how funny or ironic it is. There are five or six areas where it gets good laughs every time it screens and I was surprised. You never know how people are going to respond because it’s dark.
Mark: Fate and the crossing of people’s paths are central themes of this film. Have you ever had any experiences in your life where you felt fate lent a hand or any moments that you feel were meant to happen?
Dru: Everyone has moments where you entertain the idea. I am not a believer in fate. Still, you know if I hadn’t been reading my mate’s script online, I never would have clicked on this one. I never would have known Mike existed and I may have eventually heard that someone else was making this film.