Bob Byington & Kaley Wheless in The Dork Cave
Updated: Sep 4, 2019
We chat with the director and star of 'Frances Ferguson' to understand how their character went from workshop to feature.
"A small town's reaction to scandal." That's it. That's all IMDb has to offer when it comes to Frances Ferguson, and while the description is not necessarily WRONG, it does fail to convey the emotional weight and the humor of the piece. Thankfully, William Dass and I had the pleasure of chatting with both the director and the star of the film, and they were able to expand on that tiny label.
Bob Byingtonand Kaley Wheless gave everything of themselves to their character. They came together in the creation process and workshopped the personality well before they ever had the plot to plop her within. Then Bob saw a news story about a teacher sleeping with her student. Boom. That's it. That's the headspace and the prison sentence where Frances Ferguson finds herself.
Any number of filmmakers could have taken this material and transformed it into any number of films. Bob Byington saw a comedy. He usually does. Wheless' task was maintaining the reality of Frances while Nick Offerman's unseen narrator judges over her life. In the following ITMODChatCast, you will discover the joys and challenges of maintaining such a unique tone, and the mini-battles that fought on both sides of the camera.
Byington and Wheless have a unique creative partnership, and it's obvious from this conversation that they enjoy the back-and-forth testing of philosophy. Film is a collaborative art, and the trick is knowing when to wage war and when to make peace. We are deeply appreciative to have the opportunity to speak to both filmmakers, and the discussion certainly added an extra layer of appreciation to the film itself. Frances Ferguson is still waiting for an official release date, but you will want to put this flick on your radar now. The film recently screened as part of the Alamo Drafthouse Winchester Film Club, and we can attest that Frances Ferguson has a strong effect on a crowd. At the very least, you will want someone sitting by your side while watching the film, if only so you have another person ready for immediate conversation.
To listen to the latest episode of the ITMODChatCast CLICK HERE.