'I Like Films About Naked People Yelling at Each Other'
What turns 'LoH' producer Megan Gilbride on
"I know at first he didn't like me," confesses instantly likable Lovers of Hate producer Megan Gilbride, who initially met Poyser when the two "were shoved together" during the making of the Jacob Vaughn-directed/Poyser-penned The Cassidy Kids at now-defunct Burnt Orange Productions.
"He didn't know me, he didn't trust me, and he was, like, 'Who's this person giving me script notes who doesn't know anything about the project?!' It was like any filmmaking process in that it was its own little war, but eventually we came through the war and we've been working together ever since."
Gilbride, a Virginia native who moved to Austin in 2000 to attend UT's graduate film program before going on to a three-year stint at Burnt Orange, has been busy: associate producing Steve Collins' remarkable coming-of-age feature (and festival favorite) Gretchen, producing Poyser's short "Grammy's," working on a "long-standing project with Kyle Henry," and – natch – dealing with the Sundance success and recently announced IFC pickup of Lovers of Hate.
"Bryan sent me the script one morning during the summer, and I literally read it, did a quick budget, made a couple of phone calls, and then called him back and said, 'Let's do this.' Five months later we were shooting the film."
What was it about the script that locked her in so immediately?
"It just really built on itself. It was so layered, and the characters were so awesome and horrible. My standard joke is that I like films [about] naked people yelling at each other, and there seemed to be a lot of naked people yelling at each other. And it was doable. It was achievable. I had the passion to do it right away."
Whoa, hold up. Naked people yelling at each other?
"Yeah. I really love Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; The Night of the Iguana; Suddenly, Last Summer; and All That Jazz. I kind of came from a theatrical background and so I like things that tend to be a little more theatrical. It's funny because Bryan and I do not have the same film tastes, but we really agree about his work. We really see eye-to-eye on his voice, and that's created a really great working relationship."
There are, indeed, naked people yelling aplenty in Poyser's film, which deftly strip-mines a trio of highly emotional characters in what, for lack of a better word, will most likely end up being marketed as a comedy of catharsis. Which it's not. Until it is.
Gilbride: "The thing about it is that it's not trying to answer anything for anybody. And I actually really appreciate that and think that that sort of open-endedness can be cathartic. ... Friends of mine that have seen it will say something like: 'Yeah ... it was good. I don't know that I enjoyed it, but it was good.' And then three days later, they'll want to talk to me about it.
"For me, that's great. And I think it's because the film is true to life, and because it doesn't answer all the questions, and because nobody comes out with their hands clean it stays with you in a way that's really great."
Festival Favorites, Regional Premiere
Monday, March 15, 11am, Paramount
Thursday, March 18, 9:30pm, Lamar 1