In this exclusive Q&A we interviewed actor and filmmaker, Steven St. Pierre. During the interview, we learned about Steven’s new short film Corey, what’s next for the creator and more.
1)What inspired you to create the short film “Corey”?
As an actor, you typically rely on the decision makers for you to work and play roles. So it started out basically saying to myself I want to act in something, something good, so why not write it myself. I wrote a few short scripts but it wasn’t clicking, I scrapped them all. Most of my inspiration comes late at night and this was no different. My mind started racing one night, images of people from my childhood who fell victim to drug abuse, a family member of a very close friend I was cool with and his struggles. Not sure what sparked these thoughts, maybe something I was watching earlier in the day but I was very inspired. I immediately knew what the story would be about so I jumped out of bed and wrote the first draft in a little over an hour. It was about 3 am and I was compelled to tell this story.
2)The film addresses a serious topic, drug addiction. Why did you decide to tackle this topic in your film?
Unfortunately, drug addiction is a timeless topic. We’ve seen countless stories about an addict and their journey. So, it’s not an original subject to tackle but it’s very relevant and necessary. I wanted to take a slightly different perspective. As a kid, I witnessed adults that I had seen around fall victim to drug abuse. These were everyday people like the community center basketball coach or a school friend’s parent that was on the PTA. I remember feeling bad for them but also wondering how is my friend and his family dealing with the situation or the coach’s wife now that she’s suddenly raising their kids alone. Fast forward to my very close friend’s family member, I now am seeing what a family goes through up close and personal. I wanted to explore how the loved ones around the addict are affected, they’re victims in a different way. What is their journey, how do they recover, why do they react certain ways and ultimately what do they do to help the drug addict?
3)What was the largest obstacle you faced creating the film?
My own perfectionism. I like to have everything under control and be perfect. I had to let that go and understand that there is never going to be absolute ideal circumstances. I had to plan best I could and then jump. Failing and learning on the way down. Transportation for my crew and actors was one of the more areas that wasn’t perfect but we managed and I learned from it. Oh, and money. Yup, MONEY. Always an obstacle.
4)What is the biggest message you would like people to take from the film?
That addiction is real and doesn’t always look the same. You can’t always see it but you can feel it so don’t ignore it. We lose many notable people too soon to drug abuse and also people that aren’t public figures even more. It’s difficult to confront and challenge someone especially with an addiction but if you love them know that you’re doing the right thing by them. I want people to empathize with both the addict and the loved ones that are right there with them because it’s difficult for all parties involved.
5)If you could work with anyone in Black Hollywood who would it be?
Wow, who wouldn’t I want to work with! There’s Issa Rae, Ryan Coogler, Lena Waithe, I can keep going. It’s hard to choose one but I’d love to work with the OG Spike Lee and have him direct me in a film. All of his movies are great, we know and love the classics but Inside Man and He Got Game are two of my favorite Spike Lee joints. Plus, we share our birthdays!
6)What advice would you give to other indie filmmakers?
We all wish to have the perfection scenario to create whatever it is that we are passionate about but it’s almost never going to be perfect. You literally just have to start. So many people sabotage themselves by saying “but I don’t have this or I don’t have that”, no one has everything so put your strengths on the table and seek out what you don’t have. There’s a cinematographer out there looking for a good script idea to shoot and put that footage on his reel just as much as there is that actress looking for a solid character to play and put on her reel. Take the risks. It will always work out in the end.
7)How can people support the project and your work?
You can follow us on Instagram @Coreyshortfilm to keep up to date with festivals that we are getting into and other info about us. We are very much still taking donations on PayPal, CashApp and Venmo to help with submission fees and marketing materials for “Corey”!
8)What are you working on next?
I’m working on the 3rd draft of my second short film script that I plan to go into production in 2019. Not as heavy a topic but deals with the relationship dynamic between two street detectives. Also writing the feature of “Corey” and continuing to audition as an actor working my way towards that series regular role! Keep up with me on my personal journey on Instagram @iStevenStPierre and FB @officialStevenStPierre.