I started this blog with one daughter, kept it up with the other, to spend time together doing something we enjoyed.
However, things change and people evolve. My daughters are older, busier, and not as interested in writing.
From now on this blog will be mostly mom with occasional contributions from my daughters and maybe even my husband.
Nothing else will change. We'll still focus on sharing fun places to go, fun things to do, and more, and we would  still love to hear your views too

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Saturday Special - An Interview with Mitch Davis, Writer and Director of The Stray

The Stray is the story of a family whose lives are completely changed when a stray dog comes to live with them. Mitch Davis (MD) is the writer and director of this film which is based on his own family's true experiences. 

Have you written or directed any other movies?

MD: Yes.  I have written and directed five movies during the course of my movie career.

Are you working on any other movies now?

MD: Yes.  I am developing a number of new projects, including one called "Coach Tony," which is an inspirational sports movie about a boy with a deformed face who became a phenomenal basketball player and a national championship winning coach.

Which is harder writing or direction and why?

MD: Directing is harder because you can't take any breaks from it.  If I get tired of writing something I can just walk away from it for a while.  But you can't just walk away from being a movie director because the entire team is depending on you to keep the movie shoot rolling on schedule.

Is it harder directing children or adults?

MD: Hmm.  I think kids are easier because they are more open and honest with their feelings, and because childlike emotions are not as complicated as adult emotions.  Adult actors are often asked to convey very complicated, layered feelings on film whereas you're usually going to direct a kid by saying something like, "Act mad!" or "Act sad!"

What is it like working on a film with an animal in it?

MD: You learn to be flexible pretty quickly when you are working on a movie with an animal in it.  You just don't know exactly what they are going to do when you call action.  You have to be creative and roll with the punches as they come.  Sometimes you have to do some rewriting on set to make what the animal does work for the story.

Did your family ever have any other pets besides the dog in the movie?

MD: Yes.  We have had four other dogs, three chinchillas, two ferrets, and a lizard over the years.  Right now we just have two dogs, Penny and Rondo.

What is your favorite movie and/or what movie would you love to have written and/or directed?

MD: "It's a Wonderful Life" is one of the most powerful movies I have ever seen and it uplifts me every time I see it.  What other movie can you say that about?

Who are some writers and/or directors you admire?

MD: I admire Steven Spielberg for the length and variety of his career.  He has made some very profound works of art and some crowd-pleasing popcorn movies and has done both extremely well.

I admire Ron Howard for the same reasons I admire Steven Spielberg, coupled with the fact that he has raised a great family and maintained a great marriage over the course of a long career in the movie business.

I admire Clint Eastwood for his willingness to make politically incorrect, patriotic films during this moment in American history.

What would you do if you couldn't be a director or writer?

MD: I would love to be a high school or college teacher and maybe a basketball coach.  

What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?

MD: Don't do it!  But if everyone in the world tells you not to do it and you still feel like you have to, then take some film courses in college and make a few of your own short films.  After you figure out how hard it is and whether or not you have a knack for it, make your decision again.  If you decide to go for it

The Stray opens in theaters Thursday October 6, 2017. For our view of this film, see this coming Tuesday's Tips for Tuesday. For an interview with the film's 9 year old star, Connor Corum, see next Saturday's Tips for Tuesday.

For more information visit  http://thestray.movie/,

Photo credits: All The Stray photos supplied by Brian Productions

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