Interview with Mystery Team Having conquered the realm of stage performance, the guys and gal from the Derrick Comedy group decided that it was time for a change. Clad with their slick polyester and unique humor, the five-some took to the big screen in Mystery Team, a film in which they wrote, directed, edited and produced.
The film, which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, follows a group of three 'kid detectives' as they work to solve their biggest mystery yet. It is a clever mix between 'Encyclopedia Brown' and American Pie as the jokes and clues transform the innocent boys into hardy, bucking men.
Luckily, CollegeMovieReview.com got to sit down and speak with the director Dan and stars Dominic, DC, Donald and Meggie; giving them each the opportunity to speak their mind about the film, the experience and working with each other.
CMR: Have you seen the final movie?
Mystery Team: Oh yea, thousands of times.
What are your thoughts on it?
It is weird you know. We watch it, and it is a real movie. It feels like an actual movie. It is just so cool.
Were all the lines scripted or did you get a chance to improv a little?
It was all very well planned out, to well many would think. We spent a lot of time on the script and with such a time crunch as far as shooting and everything, we had to go in there knowing what we were doing. We were just so worried about getting everything in.
By doing that, did you ever feel that the script handicapped you from exploring your full character and creating the most laughs as you possible could?
Well the script was constantly being changed, so we were able to switch things up and create a sense of spontaneity. But by the time we showed up on set, we had pretty much everything planned out.
How long was the shoot?
33 days to shoot, but we have been writing and tweaking the script for the last year and a half, maybe ever two years now. We were having our weekly meeting, trying to decide what was next for us as a group, and we came up with the idea to do an 'Encyclopedia Brown' sort of thing, and the ideas just started rolling out.
Speaking of 'Encyclopedia Brown,' the film carries an innocent approach to it before really getting down to it and stirring up a hard R-language film. Was that approach intentional?
Oh yea. The characters are suppose to be very naive high school kids, so what we tried to do was as they get more immersed into this kind of dark, criminal world, it is like the audience gets immersed into it too.
Where did you guys do your shooting?
Up in New Hampshire.
How did you guys get your sets?
We wrote everything around places that we knew we could get. We wanted to base [the film] around a big, sorta industrial plant. It was originally going to an electrical plant, but Mike's uncle owned a lumber yard, so we changed that. The strip club was actually the basement of a desecrated church, which was a bit awkward. We had a bunch of 'family' locations, and we just made it all work.
How did you all become a part of the film?
The five of us are from a comedy group, Derrick Comedy. We conceived, created and ultimately produced the film ourselves. We have videos online, and whatever revenue we made from touring, merchandise, anything like that, we put to making this film.
How did you guys meet to form this comedy group?
College. We all signed up for the same comedy group at NYU, and slowly, we broke off to form our own thing.
On a final note, and I have to ask it: There is a scene where you guys get into a bit of a fight on a baseball field and the lights are on, yet there isn't a game going on. Why?
You know, we talked about that, and the best reason we could come up with was - Cause its cool.