Chris Blake, the writer/director of Distancing Socially, talks to us about his latest film.
All Light Will End, a horror/thriller written and directed by Chris Blake, was released in 2018 and is now available on Tubi. Three years later, he recently published Distancing Socially, a quarantine-themed romantic comedy. All-star cast includes Alan Tudyk (Resident Alien), Sarah Levy (Schitt’s Creek), Rory Scovel (I Feel Pretty), Andy Buckley (The Office), Jim O’Heir (Parks and Recreation), Jessika Van (The Messengers), Melanie Chandra (Code Black), Connor Paolo (Gossip Girl), Emma Fitzpatrick, Blythe Howard, Ted Welch, Jay Larson, Graham Outerbridge, Dawan In the exclusive interview below, we talked with Chris about the creation of Distancing Socially.
Distancing Socially is now available on demand and in digital formats.
-What drew you to the film industry in the first place? What do you think you’d be if you weren’t a director/writer?
Stories. I like all types of tales. I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was a child. Every day, I think we should do what matters most. Everything makes sense when you know what matters most. Films, too, made sense to me. There’s also the sense of responsibility that comes with producing films, which I picked up early on in my career. When I put anything out there in the public, I get the feeling that everyone is looking at me. And now that I’m in the limelight, I have no option but to give it my best. There is no such thing as half-heartedness or quitting. And that serves a function for me. I’d produce if I wasn’t a writer/director. I’d write if I wasn’t a filmmaker at all.
-How did you come up with the concept for Distancing Socially?
At the start of the epidemic, a buddy of mine assisted me with some house renovation. During the lockdowns, he recommended we create something using Zoom or social media to keep producing. I began by creating vignettes with various situations and people, ultimately connecting them together.
-Which aspect of directing Distancing Socially was your favorite?
All of us felt a strong feeling of camaraderie as a result of the endeavor. We were all ecstatic to be working on a one-of-a-kind project that had never been attempted before.
-Melanie Chandra and Graham Outerbridge star in and co-produce the picture. Could you also speak exactly what piqued their interest in co-producing?
I can’t speak for them, but I’d like to believe that was the film’s message and ultimate aim. We were working on something with a lot of heart, love, and optimism. Because of the lockdowns, we didn’t have a lot of creative choices at the time, but we wanted to offer viewers something to chuckle at. Something that made them realize they weren’t alone.
–The cast of Distancing Socially is very big. What was the duration of each actor’s shoot?
Depending on their job, they usually work for one to three days.
-There are a slew of Schitt’s Creek devotees out there. Can you tell us a little bit about Chloe, the character played by Sarah Levy?
She’s bold, humorous, and always learning. Twyla from Schitt’s Creek and the role she portrays in Distancing Socially have some parallels.
-Do you have any behind-the-scenes bloopers you can share with us?
The camera was knocked over a couple of times, and there were a few minor accidents, but there were no bloopers in abundance. The discussions in between takes, on the other hand, were invaluable. It’s not every day that you have a group of comedians on a Zoom call, but it was a fun, and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard while recording.
-Now that the film has been out, what has been your favorite reaction thus far?
The greatest reactions are when someone says they liked the movie or that it made them laugh or weep. Nothing more can be asked of you.
-Do you have anything else you’d want people to know about the movie?
This is a genuine independent film. We’re very proud of it since it was self-financed and produced in our bedrooms/homes (literally, actors included).
-What was your favorite film of 2021, apart from Distancing Socially?
I don’t think I have a clear preference among them. Dune and Last Night in Soho are two films I’m looking forward to seeing. I recently really liked Old Henry, and Those Who Wish Me Dead was fantastic. And I believe there were a few nice surprises this year, such as Megan Fox’s Til Death.