with The Drew Crew
...or "How I'll Land My Dream Date with
the Sonoma Valley Film Festival, I had the honor of seeing
My Date With Drew,
the hilarious documentary that’s getting released on
August 5th. The Drew Crew, those intrepid documentarians,
agreed to let this poor schlub interview them.
with a dream and some patient friends.
Planet: First off, I heard a friend of mine describe
My Date with Drew as "SuperSize Me with a Heart instead
of Kidney Disease." What of the recent crop of documentaries
influenced your work?
Herzlinger (Star/Director/Producer/Editor): Well,
if that's not a compliment, I don't know what is! As for
what docs have influenced us, you have to remember that
we were making our film at the same time Supersize Me
was just surfacing, so we hadn't see or heard anything about
it until after we were done shooting. The fun part about
our film is that it really is a hybrid project, a documentary
that includes aspects of a romantic comedy. So, one of the
things we are most proud of is we can say that no other
movie has ever been made like ours before...at least not
Winn (Director/Producer/Editor): I agree with Brian.
What a huge compliment! While I have always appreciated
and enjoyed great documentaries... like Capturing the
Friedmans, Dogtown and Z Boyz and the majority of Michael
Moore docs, this film became something entirely different.
While it was shot like a documentary, over the course of
the production, it became a kind of hybrid romantic comedy.
However, over the last couple of years, documentaries have
become much more of a driving force in the film industry.
For the first time, they have become actual competitors
in the film market... which is great to see. Today, it is
not as uncommon to see a film shot on video as it once was.
Audiences have become much more forgiving of format in exchange
for good content. These are all things that inspired us
to make this film.
Kerry David (Producer): Well I just love
that people are talking about My Date with Drew
and that they're comparing it favorably with a huge hit
like Supersize Me! I can't say that I was notably
influenced by any of the recent documentaries either, but
like Brett I am a huge fan of documentaries such as Capturing
the Friedmans and Spellbound even as far back
as Michael Apted's brilliant 7 and Up series.
Gunn (Director/Producer/Editor): I think I've been
more influenced by mockumentaries - Christopher Guest movies
in particular - because they find great comedy in the specific
personality traits of characters. But I also love how more
traditional documentaries give a unique access into people's
lives that you would not normally have. So I was very interested
in the idea of making a real documentary that was also funny.
I never realized it would be a movie that inspired people
so much. That was just a bonus.
Kerry, Brett and Jon: The Drew Crew.
Planet: It must have been hell to watch yourself
on a first date. That was one of my favorite sections of
the films, especially since it went far better than any
of my first dates. Whatever happened to the Drew-alike?
The two of you seemed to have chemistry. You should have
gone out with her again!
I am glad that it was one of YOUR favorite parts... that
was the most embarrassing moment of my life!!! Yes it was
hell to watch myself on that test date, especially having
the rest of the team critique my "performance"
afterwards. As for the Drew look-alike, her name is Lily
Rains, and she is continuing to weave her spell in front
of the camera on other projects.
Brett: I still can't get Brian to hold
a fork correctly. Thank goodness Lily didn't seem to mind.
Jon: As a friend, I was horrified and embarrassed
for Brian watching him on the "test date". As
a director on the project, I was delighted. That's great
Planet: At what point did folks start to say "Ok,
I've had enough"? Did anyone walk off for a time? Who
talked them back down?
If you're asking if any members of the Drew Crew ever wanted
to leave the project, I can absolutely say that is not the
case. No one has ever walked off for any time. We are all
involved in this project, and we are enjoying this amazing
One of the greatest things about this project is that we
are all best friends who have always been extremely passionate
about this project. If one of us was feeling down or defeated...
the other 3 were always there for inspiration. We've kept
each other going... and together have proven there's nothing
we can't tackle as a team.
Kerry: It's true, we became so close during
the filming of the movie and every day had a different surprise
in store for us. There was so much excitement and adventure
in front of the camera that we didn't have time for disagreements
or to even consider walking off the project! As a testament
to the guys and their friendship, the only situation that
could have lent itself to a potential fight scenario was
in the edit bay - 3 directors, one edit bay.... (or Mac
laptop in Brett's bedroom!) but it didn't even come close
to occurring. If they had a different idea for how we should
lay something out then both scenarios would be tried and
the best would be agreed upon.
Although the process of pursuing the date with Drew and
making this movie had some very difficult moments, there
was never a time when any of us thought about quitting.
We were determined to see it through, no matter what the
ending. We still feel that way today, just weeks away from
the theatrical release. This movie has become so important
to us, and we love the struggles as much as the victories.
Well, almost as much.
Planet: What was it that kept you going through
the entire process? What would you have done differently?
sure your theatrical experience is just right...
This whole experience has been the most amazing rollercoaster
of my life. We have had the highest "highs" and
the lowest "lows", and through it all, what kept
me going was the hope of trying to make a lifelong dream
come true. I wouldn't have done anything differently...
except perhaps that test date!
All of Brian's friends know about this lifelong dream. I
am just so excited that I could share in the experience.
It truly has been a life changing journey... and a reminder
that you should always follow your dreams.
I don't know that I would have done anything differently,
it's been the most exciting adventure ride I've ever experienced
with the highest highs and the lowest lows but always, always
there were Brian, Jon and Brett there as not only brilliant
filmmakers, but steadfast friends.
From the day we started shooting this movie, I
was just so curious to know how it would end. The great
thing about making a film like this, unlike most movies,
is that you don't know where it will lead you. You don't
know the ending to your own movie until it's done. So I
was constantly motivated by an incredible curiosity to know
- will Brian get the date or not??
Planet: OK, it's coming to theatres near
me and I'm dragging everyone I know to see it opening night.
What've been your thoughts when you've seen it with a crowd?
Are there reactions that surprise you?
First of all, thanks so much for spreading the
word to your friends. That is so awesome, and as you know
from seeing the film, it is word of mouth that keeps our
journey going. As for seeing the film with a crowd, it is
one of the best experiences of my life. We've won Audience
Awards at three of the four festivals we've played, with
the fourth being a Grand Jury Award. To watch "Drew"
with a sold out audience, and have people come up to us
after the film saying that we inspired them to follow their
dreams, that is the best feeling in the world. You can never
presume to do that as a filmmaker, but you can hope to,
and that is such a great feeling.
It is absolutely amazing to watch audiences from 8 years
old to 80 enjoy this film. I think people definitely relate
to Brian and live vicariously through him and his journey.
Everyone has something they've always wanted to accomplish...
but for whatever reason were afraid to try. This film is
very honest and very grass roots which I think inspires
people to say.... "If Brian can after his lifelong
dream... why can't I?".
Kerry: Without doubt, experiencing this
film with an audience is the best part! We've actually joked
between ourselves that had we set out to make a film that
was this inspirational and touching we'd have failed! It
really did take on a life of its own during filming and
in post and that has continued in the way audiences have
been responding to it. Thank you for telling your friends
to go see us opening week-end, we have a very small marketing
budget and we need all the word of mouth advertising we
To me, the most surprising thing about audience reactions
have always been the tears. I couldn't believe people were
crying watching it! We thought we were making a comedy,
and never realized how much people would connect with the
heart of the quest, and how much people would be inspired
by it. I love hearing people say weeks after they saw the
movie that they can't stop thinking about it, and that they
want to quit their jobs and pursue their dreams. Who knew
our little movie would cause people to quit their jobs?!
real reason for this interview.
Planet: Have you thought of pulling a Spurlock
and doing a TV Show where you help average guys/gals get
dates with stars? If you have, I call dibs on Ashley Banfield!
We actually do have a TV show inspired by "My Date
With Drew" that is in the works. And of course, Ashley's
Planet: Finally, the standard closer, what's next
for the Drew crew?
Kerry David and Jon Gunn have a lot of projects in development
under their company, "Lucky Crow Films," and Brett
and myself have a number of projects as well under our company,
Rusty Bear Entertainment." All four of us will be executive
producing a TV show inspired by My Date With Drew,
with me as the host.