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Director: Kris Lefcoe

Writer: Darin X. Cape

Producer: Shawn Hainsworth; Anthony Argento

Cast: Courtney Pauroso; Davey Johnson; Aparna Nancherla

Country: United States

Synopsis: Milton, a lonely middle-aged man, is thrilled when his new sex robot is delivered. As he explores all her pre-programmed modes, he begins to become emotionally attached to his new companion. But when he selects dominance mode, she goes too far, leading to the most awkward customer service of his life. Based on the indie comic book series, EroTech, Technical Support is an edgy comedy about sex, relationships, and technology starring Courtney Pauroso, Davey Johnson and Aparna Nancherla.

Q:Your Technical Support is a multiple prize awarded short film. Tell us more about how you coordinated the whole team. Did you worked with a big crew ? Or just a small one ? Did you already worked with them or with some of them ? 

I worked with a really small crew. On indie films I like to keep production as minimal as possible, and since we shot on location in a house in Brooklyn, there wasn’t room for very many people on set! This was the first time I’ve worked with Adam Kolodny, the cinematographer, we had so much fun designing this look — “sun-lit naturalistic horror.”

All of the post production was with people I’ve worked with before: James Renfroe, an excellent editor I worked with on a TV series called “Superstore.” Jordan Seigel - who won Best Music at Deluxe - is a brilliant composer who also did the score for my pilot “Giving Up.” And Gene Park - who won at Deluxe Film Festival for Sound Design - has mixed so many amazing films, like The Farewell and Midsommar. I love working with Gene - he also mixed Giving Up - we have similar taste so it’s always an easy collaboration. 

Q: We really want to know more about the process of cooperation with SHP Comics. Did the comic book influenced a lot the look of the movie ? Or you just had a little bit of inspiration from it ? 

The comic book didn’t really influence the look of the film, but Shawn Hainsworth who wrote the comic book (Erotech) is the genesis of this whole project. He’d turned one of his comics into a short screenplay and was looking for a director. He found me somehow, I think through the DGA (Directors Guild of America) and reached out through my website. The idea sounded interesting so he sent me the script, which was funny and I thought it could be a fun film to direct.

I liked the artwork in the comic, but I didn’t want to use a comic book style for the film compositions and lighting at all. I pitched to Shawn that I wanted to stay from anything sci-fi, hi-tech or futuristic, but to keep it realistic, present day, naturalistic and messy, with the horror element as an unexpected turn in this mundane apartment on a sunny afternoon. I showed Shawn some frames from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind as a jumping-off point for the approach to the robotic technology aspect of the film. Shawn was very open to departing from the artwork in the comic book. We wound up agreeing on pretty much everything throughout the process so it was a very easy collaboration. 

Q:Are you a comic fan ? What’s your favorite one, (if you have to pick one)

I wouldn’t say I’m a huge comic fan in general, but do love old underground comic artists like Harvey Pekar, R.Crumb. I was lucky enough to know Joe Matt the creator of Peep Show, who we lost recently, I loved Peep Show and am hoping the TV series that I know some amazing people are trying to set up based on that comic, will happen. My favorite comic is probably Yummy Fur, and everything by Chester Brown. If you like indie comics I’d also recommend checking out Jeff Lewis who is a very cool and talented comic artist here in NYC and also an amazing musician and songwriter.

Q:You also are a great musician. So, how you managed everything with the music composer? Tell us more about the way you work with music composers in general.

I think being a musician makes collaborating with composers easier, but I also suspect I get more involved and opinionated about specific aspects of the score than most directors. Jordan Seigel has become my favorite composer to work with - he understands how to nail the nuances in the comic tone I’m looking for, how to keep it dry and understated, when to experiment, when to push things.

I saw this project as an opportunity to let Jordan do whatever he wanted - I didn’t come in with a predetermined idea about instrumentation or anything. I wanted him to have fun with it. He ended up creating such a glorious soundscape of prepared piano sounds and weird percussion, I just loved it right off the bat. It had the perfect balance of horror, suspense, comedy, and weirdness. I think I had 2-3 minor tweaks after he sent me his first rough pass, and that was it. It’s fantastic when you find people you can trust to freely do their own thing and know that they’re going to bring so much to the film!


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