Film Courage: Where did you grow up?
Chris Craddock: I was born to a religious family in Kitchener Ontario. It was loving, but strict, and I was always being rebellious. There were music and movies I was not supposed to listen to and watch, and those restrictions probably played into my becoming an artist.
Film Courage: What were your plans after high school?
Chris: I planned to go into Theatre, and I did. I was always intimidated by the cost and expertise needed in film, and when I was young, it just didn’t seem reasonable. My heroes were the local playwrights who performed their work, touring around, making a living off your wits. I did that for years, before I ever made any TV or films.
“Hard times can be very productive
for a writer.”
Chris Craddock, Writer/Director of
Film Courage: Are you an avid lover of self-help books, seminars and audio learning?
Chris: I read many such books, trying to find myself in my youth. These days, I read mostly graphic novels, if I’m being honest, though I do love novels, and even the odd non-fiction book. If you want to know what happened in the world, an in-depth book by a respected journalist is always your best bet.
Film Courage: Comedy character most like you?
Chris: I think I’m a bit like Bob from Bob’s Burgers. He just wants to do his specific thing, all his own, and to take care of his family.
Film Courage: Which do you prefer, sarcasm or self-deprecating humor?
Chris: As a Canadian I have a black belt in self-deprecation, and sarcasm is tough, because you could be considered (gasp) rude (GASP!)
Film Courage: What inspired the story for It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway?
Chris: The play was inspired by another solo show I saw. The script was Irish and the actor was Australian, and it just told the story of a single crime. I was riveted. My own had elements of fairy tale and politics in it, as it would. This was during a time in politics, when Conservatives were talking a lot about ‘taking responsibility, but taking very little of it, when it came to climate change, specifically. There were even philosophers working on denialism, trying to find a way to think about it. “Animus against humanity’ was a phrase that came up, which basically meant that people don’t trust themselves, and therefore all of humanity, and therefore all of our product was suspect. It sparked something, the fancy footwork sophists could perform, to literally talk us out of saving our species.
Film Courage: How long was the idea floating around in your head before you started writing it?
Chris: Not long. I like to get right to it.
Film Courage: Why do you think some people turn to hero worship or helping professionals as a higher power? When is it healthy? When does it become unhealthy?
Chris: Guru-ism is always something to be naturally wary of. You give a person a lot of power over you when you make them a teacher, especially if they are teaching you a way of life, rather than a skill. We see this in religious leaders that cross the line into cult leaders, and even in more mainstream settings. But non-totalitarian leaders can offer students a lot of positive skills, mindsets and coping strategies.
Film Courage: How is writing equal or better than therapy?
Chris: I’d recommend getting your thoughts out on paper to anyone. I have used it many times to process confusion and grief, particularly after the death of my brother. Hard times can be very productive for a writer. That said, I wouldn’t consider it a treatment for any actual mental health issues, because your keyboard lacks the skills and perspective of a trained therapist.
Film Courage: How did you calculate what the budget was going to be? Where did the funds come from?
Chris: The producers could speak to that more than I. I am lucky and sheltered. I know we were supported by SuperChannel, the Alberta Media Fund, and Canadian Media Fund and several private investors.
Film Courage: How did you meet Alan Thicke?
Chris: He agreed to do a guest spot in our small TV show. It’s called Tiny Plastic Men, and Alan did a ‘Judge Dredd’ thing for us. The episode is on YouTube and I heartily recommend it. We met for dinner the night before to talk about it. He was very friendly and warm.
Film Courage: How did you get him the script/offer him the role?
Chris: The producers maintained a relationship after the guest spot and he read the script.
Film Courage: What was your favorite Alan Thicke television show or film?
Chris: I was one of the 35 million Growing Pains fans watching every week.
Film Courage: Actress Leah Doz was excellent as Alan’s rebellious and neglected daughter Diana Spencer. Was she aware upon accepting the part of some of the scenes she’d be performing in? How did you make those shooting days/scenes more comfortable for her?
Chris: Leah had the script and knew the demands of the role. Nudity and sex scenes are handled very carefully, with a closed set and special garments to make you seem more naked than you are.
Film Courage: The character of Quentin Aaron was equally charming and compelling to watch. How did he audition for the part?
Chris: Quentin did not have to audition. I started adapting the screenplay when he reached out to the producers with a screenplay he had been developing. I knew he was perfect for the Giant.
Film Courage: Where was the film shot?
Chris: On various locations in Edmonton and Banff, Alberta.
Film Courage: How helpful is the Canadian Government to filmmakers versus other countries? What are some helpful things filmmakers abroad might not be aware of?
Chris: I don’t have the knowledge base to speak to how films are made in other countries. But here in Canada, there is a great deal of support. We have a massive cultural behemoth to the south of us, and so it it is considered a national good to have some Canadian expression on the airwaves.
Film Courage: How many actors did you secure for Alan Thicke (aka Patrick Spencer) seminar scenes?
Chris: We were to have a full house of 200 audience members for the seminar scenes. We ended up with a little over 60. We moved them all around and used a special composite shot to establish it as a full house.
Film Courage: What stage was the film at during the unfortunate passing of Mr. Thicke? How did this affect you?
Chris: We were finished the film, and we were showing it at festivals. We had just been together at the Whistler Film Festival. Away from the pressures of shooting, it was easy to relax and have fun. To hear about his death a week later was devastating, especially knowing the effect it would have on his family. Alan was a father above all else.
“I like to write at home, usually several drafts. I’d guess I average around six drafts per project, depending. I get lots of notes from producer and friends. I listen to it all, and change what feels right.”
Chris Craddock, Writer/Director of
Film Courage: Can you share a bit about your writing process?
Chris: I like to write at home, usually several drafts. I’d guess I average around six drafts per project, depending. I get lots of notes from producer and friends. I listen to it all, and change what feels right.
Film Courage: Since you have directed stage plays, how is it to switch gears as a director of film, with a camera instead of a live audience?
Chris: It’s quite a different way to tell a story. In Theatre, also, you always have another chance. Even when it’s open, you can change something. In film, what you get is what you got. The trade-off is on the audience level. When the play closes, it’s gone, while films hang around.
Film Courage: How long did the entire film take to finish? What took the most time?
Chris: It was a very quick movie, as these things go. Three years. Post production took a lot of time because there were infinite ways to cut the film. Also, we had Mr. Thicke in front of a giant projected green screen, which was a colorist’s nightmare.
Film Courage: Did you hold a table read with the actors?
Chris: We did. It was very exciting. I was very nervous.
Film Courage: What camera(s) did you use? Lens package?
Chris: Red Epic. We used Angenieux Compact Zoom lenses and Sony Prime lenses.
Film Courage: Where is It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway it currently available to watch?
Chris: It’s on iTunes as of today! And so far, also HBO in Eastern Europe.
Film Courage: Have you submitted it to festivals? What was the response?
Chris: We have had lovely responses! People like us, for the most part. Feedback was warm and I learned a lot.
Film Courage: What was the funniest or most fascinating truth you received from Alan Thicke while filming?
Chris: I heard something recently through his son, Carter. “Always be smart, and always be decent. And you can’t go wrong.” Wise words.
Film Courage: What’s next for you creatively?
Chris: I am always working on something. There’s a screenplay about Child Soldiers, a kid’s show about geniuses. I just made a VR short about being trapped with a zombie inside an escape room. Soon, I am going into rehearsals for my first new play in six years. It’s an adaptation of Irma Voth by Miriam Toews. My last improv show was last night and my next one is tomorrow.
Famous motivational speaker Patrick Spencer (Alan Thicke) refuses to pay the kidnapping ransom for his only daughter Diana, leaving only the unlikely friendship between Diana and a goon-for-hire standing between her and a body bag.
Patrick Spencer is famous for his philosophy ‘It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway.’ His book of the same name has earned him a lot of money and the adoration of his enormous fan base.
When small-time crook Johnny 3-Fingers discovers that he’s been selling drugs to Patrick’s daughter Diana, he hatches a plan. Johnny enlists “Giant Man” Brian Calhoun (Quinton Aaron), an intimidating yet gentle heroin-addict, to help kidnap Diana and demand a ransom.
Unfortunately for Johnny, he underestimates Patrick’s “I don’t care” philosophy.
In this dark comedy, unlikely friendships are formed and selfishness is taken to the point of no return. Could it be that Patrick is right, and everyone only cares about themselves in the end?
About the Cast:
Alan Thicke: was an actor, singer, songwriter and television personality. Perhaps best know for his role as Jason Seaver in the ABC sitcom Growing Pains, Thicke appeared in an array of feature films and hit television shows. In 2013, Thicke was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Quinton Aaron: is an American actor who made his film debut in 2008’s Be Kind Rewindand went on to find success starring opposite Sandra Bullock in 2009’s The Blind Side. Aaron has kept himself busy with a dozen projects on the go, several in post-production.
Leah Doz: is a National Theatre School of Canada graduate. She also trained at Seacoast Theatre Centre in Vancouver and Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts in Edmonton. She has performed at the Stratford Festival, the Soulpepper Theatre Company, and the National Arts Centre.
About Writer/Director Chris Craddock:
Chris is a friendly bon vivant with a penchant for weightlifting and a large Incredible Hulk action figure collection. He was born to a religious home in Kitchener Ontario, and has been a writer ever since.
His background is in the theatre, where he has penned over thirty plays, including musicals, solo shows and plays for young audiences. A highlight was Bash’d! A Gay Rap Musical which played Off Broadway and won a GLAAD media award.
He has since added TV and Film to his pursuits, co-creating Tiny Plastic Men with Mosaic Entertainment for SuperChannel. It’s now in its fourth season and looking towards a fifth. We’ve been nominated for the Canadian Screen Award for Best Comedy three times in a row, so it can longer be attributed to clerical error.
Chris is also the writer/director of It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway starring Alan Thicke and Quentin Aaron. He has written an action feature called NinjaGirl (currently being pitched by Mosaic Entertainment) a romantic comedy called Dorothy, combining elements of comedy, fantasy and science fiction.
CONNECT WITH IT’S NOT MY FAULT AND I DON’T CARE ANYWAY:
COLD LOVE – Cold Love highlights three expeditions spanning many years of Lonnie Dupre’s career — the first non-motorized circumnavigation of Greenland, the first summer expedition to the North Pole, and the first attempt of a solo January ascent of Denali. The film’s powerful footage reveals up-close the beauty and life-giving forces of these icy realms. And in seeing, we can’t help but be inspired to love and protect our earth’s frozen places. Not only are they beautiful and fragile, but they are the global engine that regulates the climate and provides a stable environment for all life on the planet.
IT’S NOT MY FAULT AND I DON’T CARE ANYWAY – A rich and famous self-help guru’s controversial philosophy of extreme selfishness is put to the ultimate test when his only daughter is kidnapped and held for ransom (featuring the late Alan Thicke)
VALLEY OF DITCHES – A young woman bound in the front seat of a parked car watches helpless as her captor methodically digs a grave in the desert ground. The bloody lifeless body of her boyfriend lies framed in the rear-view mirror, a fate she will fight at all costs to avoid for herself. But this is only the beginning of a brutal struggle where survival could be worse than death.
From The Film Fund – Get up to $10,000 to make your short film by writing one sentence. The Film Fund is providing funding up to $10,000 for a short film in a way that’s a lot simpler than screenwriting contests, crowdfunding, or applying to grants – read more about Founder and CEO Thomas Verdi’s The Film Fund here via his website.
LEFT ON PURPOSE – Midway through the filming of a documentary about his life as an anti war activist, Mayer Vishner declares that his time has passed and that his last political act will be to commit suicide— and he wants it all on camera. Now the director must decide whether to turn off his camera or use it to keep his friend alive. Left on Purpose is an award winning feature length documentary that confronts the growing issues of aging, isolation and end of life choices through an intense character driven story of the relationship between filmmaker and subject. With humor and heart it provides a rare cinematic look at what it means to be a friend to someone in pain.