Casting Me… (a J!-ENT DVD Review)
December 4, 2013 by Dennis Amith
If you are into crazy sexual comedies and are open to low-budget indie films, I definitely recommend giving Quinton Lavery’s “Casting Me…” a shot!
© 2011 INDIEPIX. All rights reserved.
DVD TITLE: Casting Me…
DATE OF FILM RELEASE: 2011
DURATION: 97 Minutes
DVD INFORMATION: 1:78:1, Black and White, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
RATED: NOT RATED
RELEASE DATE: November 19, 2013
Directed by Quinton Lavery
Written by Quinton Lavery
Produced by Jorg Mika
Co-Producer: Quinton Lavery, Darren Wertheim
Cinematography by Darren Wertheim
Edited by Danielle Nel
Paul Snodgrass as Paul Johnson
Roxanne Prentice as Chloe Willow
Jonathan Hearns as Nic
Raph Kossew as Rueben
Colin Moss as Phillip
Simone Cagnazzo as Janet
Paul is a frustrated but likeable Casting Director who has dreams of finally making his own feature film. His girlfriend Chloe has broken up with him and he is frustrated by his job, although he has great colleagues at the agency in Rueben and Janet. He lives in a flat with his friend, the computer nerd Nic. To get his life on track again and win back his girlfriend he decides to make a film about his job, love life and all the funny things that happen behind the scenes at the casting agency!
There are Indie films that are made with a very small budget and yet managed to captivate you by its humor.
American movies such as Kevin Smith’s 1994 film “Clerks” made for $25,000 and “The Blair Witch Project” which was made for $22,500 would go on to be major cult films with a following.
And there is no doubt that these independent films have inspired filmmakers all over the globe.
And in South Africa, filmmaker Quinton Lavery who graduated from The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, with $5,000 and utilizing Canon 7D’s, went on to create a low-budget sexual comedy titled “Casting Me…” which was shot in 21 days. And now, the film will be released on DVD courtesy of IndiePix.
“Casting Me…” first introduces us to Paul Johnson (portrayed by Paul Snodgrass), a man who is a casting director by day and filmmaker by night. He is still reeling over his breakup with actress Chloe Willow (portrayed by Roxanne Prentice, “Zulu”, “Dead Weight”) and for now, gets his thrills using a rubber vagina device.
Despite interviewing many beautiful actresses who he captures on camera and try to flirt with him in order to get a part, the fact is that the decision maker at his work is his boss Janet (portrayed by Simone Cagnazzo). He works with another casting director named Rueben (portrayed by Raph Kossew), a burly gay man that Paul refers to as a “gay bear”.
Paul lives with Nic (portrayed by Jonathan Hearns) who is a feminine man who is not quite sure he is gay and an amusing cat.
And for two years, Paul has been trying to write a script but has scrapped things and in the process, put himself in a stressful situation that it was one of the contributing factors to his relationship ending with Chloe.
Paul decides that he realizes that his time with Chloe was his most important and so he wants to write a script about his sex life and relationship with Chloe and wants his friends and co-workers to star in his upcoming film. But what happens when he tries to get Chloe to read his script? And will Paul be able to forget Chloe or will his memories with her, make him want to be with her more and more?
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“Casting Me” is presented in 1:78:1 black and white (with possibly a scene that does show up in color). The film was shot with Canon 7D DSLR cameras and it was rather smart to have the film in black and white to avoid any expense of color correcting. But considering the film was shot with a budget of $5,000, because the film was shot in black and white and digitally, picture quality looks very good on DVD. Grays and whites are well contrast and the film looks very good.
As for audio, this is always something that I am concerned with when I watch a film that was shot via DSLR and for the most part, dialogue is clear.
“Casting Me…” comes with the following special features:
- Audio Commentary – To access commentary, you must click play film and select commentary on or off. Audio commentary is with writer/director Quinton Lavery, actors Paul Snodgrass, Raph Kossew and cinematographer Darren Wertheim. A hilarious and crazy audio commentary.
- Making of “Casting Me…” – (12:07) Featuring the behind-the-scene shots recorded by several crew members behind-the-scenes.
- Official Trailer – (1:38) Theatrical trailer for “Casting Me…”.
- A Day in the Life – (25:32) Featuring a “Day in the Life” of director Quinton Lavery and cinematographer Darren Wertheim.
- Pre-Production Diaries – (11:07) Featuring ten pre-production diaries.
- Production Video – (2:11) A two-part production video.
- Teasers – (4:51) Featuring four teasers for “Casting Me…”.
Once in awhile, I watch a film that literally comes from nowhere and surprises you because it makes you laugh and it features humor and situations that you can relate to.
That’s how I felt after I watched Quinton Lavery’s “Casting Me…”.
In the U.S., we have had our fair share of sexual comedies such as the “American Pie” films, “Knocked Up”, “40-Year-Old Virgin”, “The Hangover” films, “Something About Mary” to name a few, films known for having fun with a care-free attitude of how much profanity or discussions of sex are discussed and just situations that are so stupid, yet so funny.
Granted, these are not films that are considered as cinematic masterpieces but sex is a topic that is often joked and discussed about with my friends (men and women) and it’s just a topic that we all have fun with. And thus, watching “Casting Me…”, from it’s opening seen of Paul getting down with his rubber vagina contraption and the filmmaker pausing at Paul’s face after having an orgasm, no doubt sets the tone of the film.
I think the reason why I was so drawn to this film (and yes, I have watched it several times now) is because it’s so unusual and embarrassing. From Ruben, the hairy bear, the big gay man who probably likes the most disgusting type of sex to Nic, the roommate who is so gay but doesn’t know it or even situations where the protagonist Paul is remembering his times with his ex-girlfriend Chloe and in retaliation for him tickling her, she tries to put a finger up his rear (granted he’s wearing boxers) or the two discovering someone’s used condom on the floor and the cat playing with it. It’s so wrong but you can’t help but laugh at the fun the cast is having.
While the most prudish audiences will probably have a disdain for these type of films, those who are open to sex jokes and of course nasty adult discussions, will enjoy “Casting Me…”, it’s so crazy and a lot of fun!
Only in “Casting Me…” would you ever hear a “Mortal Kombat” reference used in a joke during two having sex and Paul yelling “Finish Him!”.
And sometimes I felt that director Quinton Lavery, put his cast in unexpected situations and seeing how it adds to the film due to certain spontaneous responses.
And when you are all done, if you enjoyed the film, you should also listen to the audio commentary. As director and actors have fun discussing the film and dissing each other, it’s quite a refreshing pace from other film audio commentaries. And the DVD also features pre-production, behind-the-scenes filming and other special features included.
Picture quality is good as the film was shot digitally, even using a Canon 7D DSLR to shoot the film, the decision to feature the film in black and white definitely made a difference for this film.
But I find it quite awesome that these Indie films from other countries are given a chance, especially by IndiePix to reach a larger audience.
While I know there will be people who will look at “Casting Me…” as potty humor or stupid humor, whatever you want to call it, it’s comedy that has a following and people can just sit down, watch and have a fun time watching it and laughing to the film.
Also, for budding indie filmmakers who have shot with the tiniest budget, it’s inspiring to see filmmakers such as Quinton Lavery, create a film for a few thousand bucks and despite the low budget, doing something that you love and just knowing that people all over the world are enjoying your film.
And after watching “Casting Me…”, I hope Lavery, Snodgrass, Prentice and the others consider doing a sequel because this film was quite fun and crazy!
Overall, if you are into crazy sexual comedies and are open to low-budget indie films, I definitely recommend giving Quinton Lavery’s “Casting Me…” a shot!
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