Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kevin Hammer's recollections of the origins of "Inventory"

Kevin Hammer has been a part of almost every Castparty Productions film to date, usually wearing more hats than Dr. Seuss's Bartholomew Cubbins—virtually every crew capacity and a few memorable cameo roles to boot.

He and Dennis Hurley were the first Castparty regulars I approached with the idea of doing a feature-length slacker comedy about a store inventory.

Kevin's often teased me about my penchant for giving movies the most obvious titles imaginable. And from day one, this one was always called Inventory.

Kevin shares these recollections of the project's formative days:
It was early 2009. We'd just screened our first feature-length film The Observer and we were trying to figure out what to do next. After the seriousness of The Observer we decided it'd be a refreshing change of pace to do a comedy next. So we started kicking around some ideas and finally decided on doing a romantic comedy about a guy who fakes his own death to see what his wife would do without him. We'd outlined most of the story and cast the lead roles and were looking forward to going into production for it. Then, we discovered that an episode of "American Dad" had pretty much the exact same plot. So, we started looking for another idea. For a while we were tossing around ideas for a horror movie, but deep down we really wanted to make a comedy.

One morning while having breakfast at a local diner, Justin told me about the idea he had for doing a movie about a store inventory. It played well on a lot of our strengths as filmmakers. We'd be able to combine improvised, re-improvised, and scripted material. And having most of the movie take place in a store would limit the number of locations we'd have to secure. At first we had no idea of what kind of store the inventory should take place in. All we knew was that it had to have a lot of products to count, and had to be the type of place that wouldn't generally be associated with having fun. The employees had to be bored enough to be easily distracted.

When we were ready to start looking for a location, we just drove down the highway stopping at various retail shops pitching the idea of shooting a movie there. Eventually we found Mattress Warehouse #1 and met Dave Thompson. But that's a story for another post.

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