10 questions: Terrance Odette

1) What the fuck is going on?
Several years ago Variety mistakenly called me a “legit Director.” I thought that that meant I was legitimate. Now that I know what that means, I want to make honest reporters out of them.

2) How have you found the transition from directing films to directing theatre?
Well, so far it’s great . . . I start rehearsals on Sunday so I may change my mind . . . I think I am going to like it a lot. I didn’t create the play and I have less control over what happens when it hits the stage. I am excited about not having to take all the responsibility for a success or failure. Coming from the low-budget world of Canadian filmmaking, the fact that I get to spend time with the actors and don’t have all the tech to worry about or shots to make before lunch or loss of daylight is a dream come true. I like the collaboration that happens in theatre. It’s a writers’ and actors’ medium mainly.

3) Do you think that live theatre is particularly suited to telling certain kinds of stories?
Yes. But I think more than not theatre these days tries to be a film and tells stories the wrong way. Beckett and Pinter are big influences on me as an artist period. But they both made and make works that come alive on stage time and time again – Chekhov and Ibsen as well. They are first playwrights and only second, directors. They work with emotions through performance – image, plays a supporting role. Much to my disappointment, most filmmakers these days do the same thing. Film is first and foremost image.

4) Are there any words that you’re currently obsessed with?
I have an 8 1/2-year-old daughter and I say “cool” way too much.

5) What was the biggest creative mistake you made while filming Sleeping Dogs?
The title. I should have stuck with the first title: Belligerent. But it’s too late . . . posters have been printed.

6) What kind of questions do you like to be asked about your work?
Good question. I think I prefer to hear what people think it’s about or how they are feeling. I like the dialogue between audience and artist. And that is if I am an audience or artist. Then I feel like I am doing my job.

7) Does Toronto feel like home?
Yes, but we are getting over that since we moved to Hamilton nine months ago.

8) Who do you think has been the most influential artist of our time?
I don’t think I have a definitive answer, but they are probably dead.

9) Does Two Lies and a Switchblade arrive at any conclusions about the nature of lies?
I don’t think we have worked that out yet. At least I have not. I never know what something says until it’s been completed. The plays are written by different authors and are being made into one performance. I need to see a few performances.

10) Any tips on how to approach marketing a piece of art (such as a play or a film)?
Have money for a PR person. Most press don’t go looking beyond their email folder, mail box or desk top.

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