With the recent release of their “Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour” on DVD, I had the chance to sit down with the boys, Robb Wells, Mike Smith and John Paul Tremblay aka The Trailer Park Boys, to talk Happy Funtime and other projects.
So guys, Drunk and on Drugs has what we can call a unique structure. Were there a lot of discussion/fights over whether to employ a linear or non-linear style for the series?
Mike Smith – The series is linear, in that it is linear in time, but it’s definitely not linear for your brain. There was no real argument over how to do it, we wanted to do it this way. We wanted to play multiple characters and do it without hard cuts so that it had very seamless transitions moving out of TVs and phones and things like that, so yeah we consciously wanted to make it feel like the way it feels.
Robb Wells – Totally
Actually, the transitions work I feel is one of the strongest parts of the series, I really enjoyed how you were able to use the transitions the way you did.
All- Cool, thanks, that’s awesome.
So how much of the series was scripted in comparison to the amount that was improvised on set?
John Paul Tremblay (JP) – Every bit of it was scripted
Robb- It’s hard, especially with the transitions and stuff, you couldn`t really cut a scene out because then we would lose the transition. So there`s definitely some improvisation that went on but it was all fully scripted.
Mike – Yeah, improv happened within the scene but we couldn`t really lose the in or the out points. We could expand the length of scenes but we couldn`t lose the way in or out cause then it would be like a house of cards, one transition goes away and you have to come up with a new one and that dictates a new scene and then it`s the ripple effect. So it was really a mindf%&# to write it.
Yeah I would imagine it would be! So did you guys write/create the roles played by Amy Sedaris and Jay Baruchel? You guys did have cameo appearances in Baruchel’s “Goon”, so you had worked with him before.
Mike – Well the sandwich soldiers were already written
JP and Robb – Yeah they were
Mike – And the ambulance guys were already written as well
Robb- But we rewrote all the dialogue for Jay and Amy once we realized they were on board. The parts had been written, just with quite a bit of different dialogue attached.
So you adapted it to fit their style more?
Robb – Especially for Amy!
I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed Amy’s K Money character. It felt like a cross between Tom Cruise’s Les Grossman from “Tropic Thunder” and “SCTV’s” Guy Cabellero.
Mike – That’s a good analogy actually
You guys ventured back to Halifax to shoot this series, what’s the main reason why you love shooting in Halifax so much?
JP –We live there. It’s cheap to shoot there and we know a lot of the crew so it’s like a family. We’ve known each other so many years.
Mike – And it’s nice sleeping in your own bed when you’re shooting.
I’m guessing the family aspect also explains why you guys do so much stuff together still to this day. I mean it’s been over a decade for you guys hasn’t it?
Rob- Yeah since 1999
Mike – We shot “Swearnet”, the movie that’s coming out later this year, in Sault Ste Marie. That was our first sort of ‘on location’ for a lengthy period shoot and it turned out great. We are extremely happy with how “Swearnet” has turned out
Sounds like something else we can all look forward too. Now Pat Roach and John Dunsworth have been with you guys forever. Is there something about them that likes to be abused that keeps bringing them back for more? Pat really takes a lot of abuse this time around.
Mike – Oh wait until “Swearnet”
Robb – Pat’s actually our mascot for “Swearnet”
Mike – Yeah he’s the mascot for “Swearnet” the network and he is “Swearnet”, he takes a very bad amount of abuse in that.
Robb – We actually abuse Pat like that in real life as well. It’s all not far off from real life.
So with a title like “Drunk and Drugs Happy Funtime Hour” the question does beckon, exactly how much drinking and drugs was consumed during the writing and shooting of the series?
Mike – None really in the shooting
Robb – Well, at the end of the week I guess
Mike – But there was A LOT in the writing. One of the reasons we didn’t drink, not like we would anyways, is because when you sweat alcohol it removes your prosthetics in that it takes the glue off. And we would have been booze heavy on that I’ll bet.
Speaking of the prosthetics, how long did it take to change out costumes to switch between characters?
Robb – Some were over 4 hours for some and takes 2 hours to get out of at the end of the day
Mike – The Brutto family took a long time as well as the DJ’s, his (JP’s) Asian character lightning Stick O’Leigh especially.
You have a Sasquatch that randomly runs around attacking characters, but I don’t think he attacks any of Mike’s characters. How did you manage to get off scot free?
Mike – None of my characters get attacked by the Sasquatch, no wait I play Captain Mega Power so I get totally raped by the Sasquatch! “He’s putting a hair covered alien probe in my ass”
(Laughing very loudly) How could I forget that! That’s great. So what can we expect next from you guys?
Robb – “Swearnet” the movie
Mike – We’re shooting a trailer park movie, the third one, next month (March)
Robb – And hopefully another season at some point
Great I will look forward to it. Thanks for sitting down with me today guys.
The “Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour” is now out on DVD, you can read my review of the DVD by clicking on the link below.
Remember to like me on Facebook at Movie Junkie TO so you can stay on top of all of my updates. And follow me on twitter @moviejunkieto as well!
You can also subscribe to all my Examiner postings and check out my profile Here!