SUNDANCE Film Festival | 2019
Robb Boardman, Donny Divanian & Cory Loykasek
THE DRESS UP GANG
Indie Episodic Program 2
January 29th 17:30 - Prospector Square Theatre Park City
Donny, a responsible adult with the innocence and outlook of a child, relies on guidance and life advice from his friend Cory, the dad-like thirtysomething who has been crashing on Donny's couch for quite some time.
Hi guys thanks for talking to TNC, you all set for the festival?
This is our first year so it’s hard to feel 100 percent prepared, but we’re feeling good.
Do you have any nerves ahead of your Sundance screening?
Some! But mostly we're excited about the screenings and taking in the experience. Everyone's been telling us that Sundance is so damn fun...so we're excited to get into the flow of it.
What does it mean for you to be at Sundance in the Indie Episodic Section with The Dress Up Gang?
It’s incredibly validating of all hard work we’ve put into the series. It’s a dream come true to premiere it at Sundance.
How did you all meet and how soon after you met did you start thinking about working together on a project like this?
Cory and Robb went to high school together and then met Donny in the San Francisco standup comedy scene about 10 years ago. The three of us started making sketches together, we eventually all moved into an apartment together in Los Angeles about 6 years ago, and we started making the webisodes that would become the basis for our show shortly after that.
Tell me a little bit about The Dress Up Gang, how did this come about?
The show is centred around Cory and Donny’s friendship. In many ways, they’re playing exaggerated versions of themselves and we found a lot of humour in their dynamic.
What was the biggest challenge you faced bringing The Dress Up Gang to life?
We made the webisodes in a DIY way, so it was a challenge to scale up and bring on 50 other really talented and creative people to help us make the show, while still trying to maintain the vibe and intimacy that we were used to while making the webisodes.
"There’s a lot of love and camaraderie among everyone involved the show..."
You have a really impressive cast, was it easy to get people on board this project?
A lot of the folks we cast in the show are friends we met in the standup scenes in San Francisco and Los Angeles who played recurring characters in the webisodes. So, a lot of the cast was already set when we started to make the show. While making the webisodes we had always liked the idea of Andie MacDowell hanging out with Cory and Donny, so we were thrilled when she actually joined the cast.
Looking back is there anything you would do differently on this?
We definitely overwrote and overshot. That’s definitely something we’d improve upon.
Have you always been interested in filmmaking?
Yeah, we all studied film in college and made stuff on our own before working together.
As creators how important is the collaborative process for you?
We each have our own specialities but every step is collaborative and that's vital to what we do. Having multiple brains and sensibilities weigh in on every aspect of our process helps imbue everything with our shared sense of humour and makes for a density of jokes while also reigning it in enough to tread a fine line between absurdity and sincerity.
How has your approach to your work changed since you started out?
Hopefully, we’re getting better at storytelling and at writing in a way that anticipates how we'll shoot and edit. It's less of a DIY approach now, but we will still shoot something on our own if it’s not too ambitious. Doing so helps us to further refine our overall process and to continue learning from experience.
Do you have any advice or tips for a fellow director/writer?
If you find people that you collaborate well with, realize that's a special thing and nurture it.
What are you currently working on?
We’d love to continue making episodes of THE DRESS UP GANG so we’re trying to find a home for it. We're also developing ideas for other shows.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from The Dress Up Gang?
The relationships between the characters in the show are based on real-life friendships. There’s a lot of love and camaraderie among everyone involved the show and we hope that comes through when you watch it. We also hope you find it funny!