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Written by Administrator   
Jun 07, 2004 at 02:00 AM

Q & A with Nathan Thompson, creator of CONTACT BLOW


Q- CONTACT BLOW was a big project. How long did it take you from start to finish?
A- We first met in January of 1994. I called a meeting of all the people who for whatever crazy reason had committed to working on it. I had spread the favor bank pretty wide so a lot of them didn't know each other. I found (with my earlier work) that when people know how many others are involved, it psyches them up. Because no one, including myself, could do this full time, it took a couple of years of weekends and nights. Of course the actors (for the most part) were done in 9 months, but then to cut it, score it, etc. took another 9. Only then were we able to sit down and look at the piece with an eye for "what else could we do to make it kick?".
Q- Some people might have been sick of a project by then. What made you keep working on this rather than moving on to another project?
A- To be honest, I owed it to my cast and crew. A lot of people gave their time and energy to CONTACT BLOW and I owed it to them to make it as good as I could.
Q- Why do you feel you owe anyone? Didn't they do it of their own free will?
A- Of course. To this day, not one of the fifty people involved has received a dime. They wanted to do it, but they also believed in me to get it done. So whether we make any money or not, I have to get the piece out there.
Q- There are a lot of locations in the piece. Restaurants, stores, etc. How does a guy with no budget get permission to shoot in all of these places?
A- You'd be amazed at what is there for the asking. We cut a trailer for the piece long before it was finished. When I went to beg for a space, giving them a copy of it on VHS helped legitimize the project. Somehow it allowed us to be taken more seriously. Of course we'd have to do it on off or closed hours. This meant early in the morning before opening for the record store and very late at night for the video store, to give a couple of examples. This can cause all kinds of other complications. We finished shooting at 2:00am in the video store. Unfortunately, it was Crown Heights
Q- There's a lot of great stunts. Who pulled them off?
A- The actors themselves did. Some roles were all about a spectacular death and were assigned based on willingness to fall off of a windmill or be thrown off of a waterfall or hang off of a cliff. For an action bit part, I'll take an adventurer over a method actor any day.
Q- It still seems like a lot to ask.
A- Hey this ain't KRAMER VERSUS KRAMER here. I wasn't on a mission to make a statement about society. There are some good performances in CONTACT BLOW, and the story moves along nicely. But to write the script I started with a list of locations I could get and things people would do for me. I wrote in as many of them as I could. When your on a tight budget, you use what you have.
Q- I guess that's the bottom line.
A- I think that the cast and crew, knowing that their individual daring and abilities were part of the planning process from the start, helped them want to deliver it all. Getting them committed was the key to getting it done.

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