10 QUESTIONS with KEVIN SHERWOOD
Kevin Sherwood is one of the stars of Gamers and an executive producer. In addition, Kevin wrote and performed 10 original songs for the movie. Kevin plays the character of ĎKeviní, the Ďdungeon lordí, who is so into creating the perfect dungeon that he customized songs for the groupsí role playing adventures. This is Kevin's first lead in a major motion picture. He is an accomplished musician and performs in a rock band called Whiplads.
1. Tell us a little bit about your character in the movie. How did this character come about?
Kevin is the Dungeon Lord. In his own mind he is possibly the greatest DL ever. His life revolves around being the DL to such a degree that he doesnít even allow his only friends to know where he lives or what he does for a living. He doesnít want his friends to have or use any personal information against him and possibly be able to take advantage when he is leading the group on adventures; the greatest adventures of their lives as far as Kevin is concerned.
All the characters in the movie are a sort of a conglomeration of people and experiences from Chris Folinoís life. Chris and I have known each other a long time and as with most people, some of those years are not too flattering when one looks back. Chris took some experiences that weíve gone through over the years and sort of amplified them to an extreme in a really pathetic and hilarious way. Luckily for everyone involved, only about 1% of Kevinís actions and circumstances in the movie are based on any kind of real event that I was a part of, but the sort of neurotic naivety and obliviousness to reality that Kevin has reminds me of a certain someone from high school.
2. How was it doing double duty as an actor and executive producer?
Anything becomes difficult when you have to split your focus in several directions. Obviously there is a lot involved in putting together an independent feature. But no matter how much you think you know, the doing of it becomes a much different experience.
As an actor I would want to be concentrating on my next scene, or be stuck in my head about what I could have done better on the last one. But then Iíd have to get on the phone and find out what happened to the port-a-potty we ordered for the location, or try and find the checkbook to pay for the air-conditioning unit. It was damn exciting though, all of it. Itís an interesting high to have such a false sense of importance. We did it as a team, though, everyone pulling their weight and busting their butts, and staying humble through sheer workload if nothing else.
3. What's your favorite scene in the movie?
Itís hard to say. There are so many moments that I really enjoy...stuff Iíve seen 20 times now and it still makes me laugh. To watch a scene and remember shooting it at the same time adds a whole different dimension to my favorite moments. Reese on the phone at work has always been really funny to me. The scene I had the most fun shooting was the Vampire scene. It was like I got to be a really pathetic version of Nigel from Spinal Tap for 5 minutes. The flashback scene when we got to play ourselves in high school was also one of my favorite experiences on the set, even though Kevin Kirkpatrick kept stealing my lines.
4. Will there be a sequel? Is this movie set up as a trilogy or is this a one deal film?
For anyone whoís a fan of Star Wars, itís obvious to see this was set up as a trilogy. In the second movie the neck of my guitar gets cut off, and I find out Roberto Blasini originally meant to create a Role-Playing Game based on the Godfather.
Actually, I think we could easily make another film or two based on these characters. Chris would have his work cut out for him, but these characters are disturbed and interesting enough to follow around for some more adventures.
5. How hard was it to make this movie? What advice would you give other filmmakers?
Making this film was somehow easy and difficult at the same time. My advice would be to take a bit more time than we did. The entire process was a bit rushed. From deciding to go ahead with it, to the shooting, to the post production, it was all a bit faster than seems rational. The thing is, if we didnít do it the way we did, it might not have gotten made. We just sort of rode the wings of inspiration. My advice is to just go for it. If you have a good idea that you believe in and talented people to take the journey with you, what have you got to lose? You have everything to gain, and at the very least you will learn some invaluable lessons about yourself and about life. Donít be too stupid about your finances, but nowadays the digital medium increases the possibilities of completion if you canít find other financing. Even supposed failures will guide you to some limited realization. Itís all Karma either way.
6. Tell us about the music in the movieóthe original score and the eighties music. What can we expect?
The music is truly gay. Its fun and itís funny. The music that we chose from the eighties captures the feel of the pop-rock of the era when DND had its inception and its real popularity due to its originality. The known music we chose for the movie represents the time period these characters are trapped in mentally. The original music has the sort of warped and distorted mentality of these characters; or, the warped and distorted reality of Kevin anyway.
7. A lot of people have complained and said that this movie shows RPGs in a bad light? Do you agree?
Absolutely, but itís a harmless and sort of endearing characterization. These characters are not flattering in any way, but itís not absurd in the way the movie ĎMazes and Monstersí was. Itís an amplification of personality quirks in an unflattering way, but itís in no way serious. People will like this movie because they might know people that are sort of like these guys in one way or another.
8. Did you role play when you were younger? If so, what character did you play?
Yes, this movie is hilarious to me because I played RPGs when I was young. For me, RPGs helped develop and free the imagination. The imagination is the true temple. We all ultimately live through the imagination. I learned and gained a lot from playing RPGs when I was younger. My favorite types of characters were rogues, archers, and assassins. I liked to sneak around, steal stuff, and kill silently. I like magic users as well. Now how much of a geek am I?
9. What was the best moment you had on the movie set?
There was a period during the first weekend of shooting where we were waiting for the crew to finish lighting a living room scene. It took about an hour and a half to set the lights. The entire time the 5 main guys stood on the front lawn and we took turns coming up with the most useless superpowers a hero could possess. Ones I can remember off hand are: the ability to fill a room with wild-berry scent; the ability to raise the temperature in a room by 2 degrees; the ability to fill one of your shoes with sand, once per day; the ability to instantly know anyoneís favorite flavor of cake. It was a riot, at least to us at the time. Also, we came up with the most ridiculous super weaknesses: if a hero actually had thought bubbles; if the last word of every sentence you spoke was inaudible; to blink uncontrollably whenever anyone said the word ďTHEĒ Ė among many others. This was at night, of course, after a long day of shooting. Iím trying to qualify the moment in case we all sound like a bunch of absolute dorks. Which we may well be.
10. If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, but not related to you or a religious figure who would it be and why?
I think I would have dinner with the person who created the cheese puff. It could add some serious depth to reality to know the why and wherefore of the puff. Or maybe the slinky guy. The mental state that makes one ask the question, ďHow can I fall all the way down these steps without getting hurt?Ē Actually, I can probably look both of those people up on the internet right now, so maybe Iíll pick someone else. I would like to have a meal with Pythagoras and talk of Light and Sound and Harmonics, or ďThe Music of the SpheresĒ. I believe that could be a rather enlightening conversation. It might make me a better musician at any rate. Am I pretentious yet?