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Joseph Sims: Director, BAD BEHAVIOUR

February 18, 2013

jsims1Q: Tell us a little about the origins of BAD BEHAVIOUR, from concept to financing.

Bad Behaviour was originally an extension of a short film I made called Smiling Faces. It taught me a lot but in the end the film was a bit crap. The really cool idea behind it seemed to have been spoiled due to me over-stylizing and messing with shit that didn’t need to be there. The editor on Smiling Faces was a guy called Steven Caldwell and whilst we edited it he encouraged me to start writing a feature. We both seemed to be at a point in our lives where we wanted to commit to a large project. So in early 2009 I set about writing what eventually became Bad Behaviour. I met with Kris Maric who would later come on board as the second of the three producers right before going back to the UK where I finished the screenplay. It turned out pretty awesome and we managed to persuade some bigger names to come on board through Kris. I executive produced and raised all the financing. I originally thought it was going to be a $20,000 uber low budget kinda thing, but when we got John Jarratt (who in 2005 played Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek which found him worldwide recognition and friendship with Quentin Tarantino) and Dwaine Stevenson (from another Aussie cult movie called Gabriel) I was able to raise more money. I’ve worked as a bookkeeper as a means to an end since I left school and was able to pitch the project to some clients. Suddenly we got a nice chunk of cash to get this thing made and from there it snowballed.

2Q: It appears that the film has been screened at other festivals; how has it been received? Do audiences respond differently at some festivals than they do at others?

We’re now known as ‘that film where the scary man blood-voms into that chicks mouth’ which I’m extremely proud of. Who wouldn’t be? We wanted to shock audiences and stand out – which is generally what every film maker wants to do so it was our intention to take it as far as we could with every aspect of the film: the drama, the violence, the humour, the dialogue. The story is quite compact and fast so it naturally causes the audience to connect and stay engaged. The reactions we’ve found are incredibly vocal right there in the cinema both times we’ve screened. This really showed at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival Closing Night where we took 6 of the top awards. I got best director but it was the cast who took most of the nods with best lead actor for Lindsay, and others such as Aussie acting veteran Roger Ward (Mad Max, Turkey Shoot) who took best supporting actor at the age of 74 for playing Voyte in Bad Behaviour. That was an awesome night but now we’re really interested to see how an American audience will go with it at Cinequest (Friday the 4th at midnight is our international premiere). I have a feeling its gona be a friggin good night!

3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making BAD BEHAVIOUR?

Best from the point of view of a director would be directing Dominique and Nic in the scene where one of the characters sends his best friend off to break into a house during a party. It was strange because it was a pick-up day on one of the weekends during principle photography so there was hardly any crew, probably only 10-15 of us. There was a weird atmosphere on set and the characters were connecting beautifully. The scene was meant to be more of a ‘wedge scene’ but somehow developed a really terrifying undertone which shocked me. For me that’s the most scary scene in the film, and yet not one drop of blood. The worst would probably be finishing the film doing 36 hour days colour grading and sound mixing in Brisbane to meet a festival deadline that we eventually were rejected from. I ignored the rule where you’re not supposed to rush and I paid for it. I felt like shit for about 15 minutes and then decided to re-cut the film which turned out a million times better… so here we are now! Thank fuck.

4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?

Go see Bad Behaviour if you want to watch something completely balls-out fun. It’s fast, loud, violent and funny. That’s entertainment – plain and simple. The story in the end is a study of ‘The Villain’. Most of my favourite characters of all time are villains: Darth Vader, Col. Hans Landa, Anton Chigurh I could go on forever but you see my point. Villain’s are free to do what they want, there’s no rules and that’s what Bad Behaviour is about.

5Q: The current market for independent films is fractured, to put it lightly, and existing distribution models grow more ineffective with each passing moment. What are your hopes or plans for distribution?

I find it all very exciting to be honest – discovering all these awesome people teaching about this ‘new world’ of self distribution for independent films and how to really make money and reach an audience with it. At this point in time it’s a transitional period so we’re using a hybrid of both old and new models. Distribution can be terrifying if you don’t understand what you’re getting into, it’s terrifying even when you do know what you’re doing. Someone once told be distribution is like standing in a cold shower tearing up $100 bills, I don’t think that’s the reality all the time. I find it’s about staying in control of your movie and finding people who are willing to work hard for the project and making informed intelligent decisions. We’ve got a sales agent who’s awesome and we’re looking at doing great things there, plus we’ve got a team of amazing producers still slogging it! We’re interested in establishing career-long relationships as that’s what this industry seems to be about (and Cinequest clearly recognises and celebrates this). Movies have to be made responsibly and that’s it. The job doesn’t end until the bastard’s sitting on shelves in peoples homes and everyone’s paid, film makers have to learn that this is their job just as much as it is anyone else’s.

You can follow Joseph Sims on Twitter @josephsims

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