If anyone’s been following our recent articles about Antiquities, you will know that we published our film review, a promotional paragraph from Ashley Greene, and an interview with lead cast member Andrew J. West. Well, now we have another interview for you to read about the film. We were lucky enough to also interview the director, co-writer, and co-producer of Antiquities – Daniel Campbell.
Antiquities is a brand new film that made its world premiere at Dances With Films festival on June 16. It stars some big names, with Andrew J. West playing the main character, Walt, and Ashley Greene playing the love-interest, Ellie.
It has been directed by Daniel Campbell, who has only done short films until now, making this his debut as director of a feature film. He previously directed the shorts The Discontentment of Ed Telfair, The Orderly, and Antiquities; the latter being the short film that this full film is based on.
We managed to grab an exclusive interview with Daniel Campbell, where we chatted about Antiquities, what it’s like to be a director, and the world premiere of the film at Dances With Films.
Hi Daniel, how are you today? What have you been up to?
I’m doing well. I just got back from Los Angeles where my film premiered at the Chinese Theater as a part of the Dances with Films Festival.
You are the director and co-writer of the upcoming film Antiquities; can you tell us more about it?
Absolutely. The movie is about a character named Walt who has recently lost his dad, so he decides to go back to the town where his dad grew up in order to learn more about his father; however, Walt ends up learning more about himself than his father.
The story of the film comes from when you lost your father. Did you draw inspiration from those events for this film?
Somewhat, because my dad did pass away in a car accident; yet, the story was more so associated with the feelings related to the accident and losing my dad instead of the actual event. My writing partner, Graham, lost his dad as well, so we both could easily draw from that same bank of emotions.
This is the first full-length film you have directed, what was that like?
It was one of the best experiences of my life, but also one of the most stressful. Seeing the cast and crew fully pour themselves into a project that meant so much to Graham and myself was one of the most humbling moments of my life.
How does it differ to direct a full-length film over a short film?
They are exceptionally different in terms of what’s at stake. Financially, there isn’t as much pressure with a short as there is with a feature. I really care and appreciate our investors who believed in us and the project. They were, and still are, so incredibly supportive. The pressure for the film to be successful has never once come from them – only from myself. Also, there are more rules and regulations you have to follow that are associated with a feature film compared to a short film (or at least with the short films that I’ve made). I had to ask for many favors in order to complete the short film.
You worked with Graham Gordy on writing Antiquities, how did you two meet and how did this film come about?
He and I met at the Little Rock Film Festival in 2010 where the short film that I wrote and directed “Antiquities” premiered. We immediately hit it off and realized that we both had an incredibly twisted sense of humor. After the festival, I was fortunate enough to have an investor who liked the short film so much that he was willing to fund the feature script that allowed me to write with Graham. We quickly became friends and discussed our similar experiences with losing our father, and we realized that this would be a great premise for the feature.
The film had its world premiere on Saturday at Dances With Films what was that like and how was the reaction?
It was such an amazing experience. I cannot explain how excited and, as my wife would say, nervous I was over it. I’ve been told that the crowd responded really well to the film. I don’t actually watch the movie with the crowd because it’s too nerve-racking for me. I anxiously pace outside of the theater waiting for the crowd to run out yelling and screaming about how terrible it was. But outside of the fact that I was panic-stricken, it was great!
What was it like filming Antiquities?
It was a surreal experience. I learned so much during the making of Antiquities, both good and bad. Nothing that anyone says can prepare you for directing a feature film.
What do you hope to achieve with this film?
I hope that Antiquities is entertaining and heartfelt enough that it’ll give me the opportunity to tell more stories through film, and I want this to be a success on every level for the cast and the crew. They poured everything into this very small Indie film.
What was it like to work with the cast?
They were all incredibly collaborative. They put a lot of trust in me, and I put a lot of trust in them. In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would have such a talented cast in my first feature. Every one of them was so receptive to direction and cared so much about the characters and the story. I cannot say enough about them. They took a chance on me.
Do you have any specific memories whilst being on set? Did anything funny happen, or something you didn’t expect?
There is a scene in the movie where one of our characters, played by Michael Gladis, has to talk after sucking down some helium; I have not laughed that hard in years. I know I ruined at least one take just because he heard me laughing. He did a great job holding it together, but it was tough for all of us. We really struggled to keep it together during that, which I’m sure Michael really appreciated.
It was filmed in Arkansas, can you tell us more about the locations and why they were chosen?
These locations were chosen because we wanted the places to really reflect the different settings of the movie, and Graham and I felt that each one of these unique places represented that. It also was great that we were able to film in our home state.
How would you describe this film? Why should people go and watch it?
It’s a film about denial, loss, healing and an antique mall. Now that I think about it, that doesn’t sound like much of a comedy to me. I think people can relate to some of these characters and some of the ups and downs of dealing with the loss of someone close. I think people should go see it because I feel like we’ve created characters that are relatable and that we surrounded them in a world that isn’t too familiar to most people. Southern antique malls and their characters are a world all their own. So, if for no other reason, it’s to get ideas on vintage lampshades for the guest bedroom and hopefully to laugh a little.
How excited are you for people to see the film?
I am excited, but I am also nervous. This is something that Graham and I worked very hard on, and the actors did such a wonderful job, but I always get nervous before anyone sees something that I have done.
What do you think people will get out of the film when they see it?
I hope these characters and this bizarre little world and all of its issues are relatable in some way to whoever is watching it. I know how much great content is out there these days, so if we are fortunate enough to have people take the time to give Antiquities a chance, I want them to truly enjoy it.
And, finally, do you have any advice for aspiring directors who want to direct their first full-length film?
My advice would be to not get discouraged when things don’t go the way you had planned and to be humble enough to take advice from someone who has had experience directing a film. I would also tell them to not be so hard on themselves because creating a feature film is amazing, but very challenging at the same time.
Thank you, Daniel Campbell, for taking the time out to answer our questions. We can’t wait for people to see Antiquities.
Antiquities has been directed by Daniel Campbell and was filmed completely in Arkansas. It stars Andrew J. West and Ashley Greene. It had its world premiere on June 16, 2018, at Dances With Films festival. If you haven’t already, check out our film review of Antiquities.