From pre production to production God has blessed the process of making this movie in every way possible. From making the rain stop long enough to get exterior shots, to making it rain to allow us a few days to find locations for a few scenes. And for not having certain actors play roles that we originally casted allowing for the right actor to play the roles. I was never signed on to play Lucas, I was going to play Willard. But two weeks before filming my co-writer who was supposed to play Lucas came down with an illness so I had to step in. I thought at the time this will be a disaster. So we had to rearrange things and put Byron (who auditioned for a much smaller role) as Willard. Needless to say I thought Byron was perfect as Willard and I found my voice as Lucas and made it work. I had so much fun playing Lucas and I couldn’t imagine playing a different role or for that matter anyone else playing Willard other than Byron. He gave us the locations we needed when we needed it. The big concern I had coming into this project was getting the extras we needed for a lot of scenes. We were told we could only rely on the extras if we got any for a few hours. Well…the extras which we got a lot of…not only stayed for more than a few hours but we had so many of them return for multiple days!! I was dumbfounded : ). They told me they were all having so much fun on the set…that they wanted to come back. God just intervened on our behalf so much in this movie!! It was awesome!
Another Blog from the Mind of the Director Ryan McChesney
The one thing my actor friends continually said to me after we filmed their scenes is how good the crew was, headed by Melissa Clay as our Producer/Assistant Director, Bryan Sentiere as our Director of Photography, Anthony Mariotto on sound, John Polaris on lights!! They all rocked it and are responsible for it being such a smooth process! My favorite thing to do was crack the crew up on set…I tried doing that every scene, I would look off to the side and up my characterization to make them laugh. I figure if we can crack them up on set…it has to play well on film.
A blog from the mind of the director, Ryan McChesney.
My directing method is to cast funny people and let them be funny. To me %90 of directing is casting and for this movie we have had an amazing cast from the smallest part to the leads. It’s like playing on a unselfish sports team or a jazz band where every player makes the other player better by playing to their strengths. It’s that way with an ensemble comedy movie…every character is designed to make the other characters funnier by playing everything not for laughs but finding the humor in the situation. It’s like the old saying its funnier seeing a scene with a guy wearing a funny hat but doesn’t know it…than it is seeing a scene with a guy who knows he has a funny hat on. Most of the humor in “The Campaigners” comes from the desperation of the leads to make something of their lives and watching their reaction as their world falls apart around them. It is very character driven. Me, Neal and Byron play everything as serious as possible in chaotic situations which is where the film’s comedy comes from.