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Last December I was invited to New York city to visit the set of the upcoming DreamWorks movie Delivery Man, which stars Vince Vaughn and Cobie Smulders. That’s me on the set in those pictures right up there. Our group sat fairly close to where they were filming. We were seated in front of a monitor so we could watch the filming real time, and we were each given headphones, so we could hear what was going on.
There is a lot of stuff going on all at once on a movie set. A good portion of that is controlled by the director. While on set, my group had the opportunity to interview the movie’s director, Ken Scott. It was interesting listening to how the movie came to be, and why he chose to do some of the things he did. Before I get to the interview, here’s a little about the movie.
Delivery Man is the story of affable underachiever David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn), whose mundane life gets twisted in a knot when he finds out that he fathered 533 children via sperm donations he made twenty years earlier. In debt to the mob, rejected by his pregnant girlfriend, things couldn’t look worse for David when he’s hit with a lawsuit from 142 of the 533 twentysomethings who want to know the identity of the donor. As David struggles to decide whether or not he should reveal his true identity, he embarks on a journey that leads him to discover not only his true self but the father he could become as well.
And here’s the trailer.
So now that you have a little idea of what the movie is about, the highlights I’m going to share with you from the interview with director Ken Scott should make a bit more sense.
I should begin by letting you know that Delivery Man is actually a remake. It’s a remake of itself, if you can imagine that.
Here’s what Ken Scott had to say about remaking his own movie.
KEN SCOTT : It’s quite special because, uh, this is a remake of a movie that came out last year in Canada and coming out throughout the world. It was out in France. It’s actually coming out in Japan in a few weeks. So throughout the world. And I co-wrote this movie and I directed it, and so it is a unique situation.
There’s very little examples of this, of a director re-doing his own movie. But we had the chance to actually see the movie with an American audience, the original, because we went to different festivals here. We went to the Palm Springs Film Festival where the movie won the Audience Award. It also won the Audience Award at the Sonoma Film Festival, at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.
So I had the chance to see the original movie with many American audiences, and I saw their reactions and I really thought that it was a movie, it was a story that could really connect with an American audience. So basically what it is, it’s the same story, yet it’s just integrated into the American culture.
Q : How was directing the remake different than the original?
KEN SCOTT : Directing a remake, especially since it was my original, I had to get into a frame of mind of making sure that two things, two things that may seem opposite. But on the one hand, I wanted to make sure everyone that I worked with – the actors, all the heads of departments, and even myself, I wanted to make sure that we were not just copying something. Because, you know, we wouldn’t have that great creative energy, the magic that you want in a movie.
Because you’re just copying something. Because when you make a movie it’s all kinds of decisions and, you know, moments and if you just copy you don’t have that. The magic doesn’t appear on screen, for everyone. So for me that was very important not to just copy something. But then again, I didn’t want to be trying to make something different just for the sake of making something different.
So, you know, basically I tried to forget the other movie and just go through the same process. And sometimes going through the same process you end up exactly at the same place, but at least you know why you’re there. And it feels the same thing and it feels real. So that’s, that’s the way I went through the whole process of redoing the movie.
Q : Why choose New York to do the movie?
KEN SCOTT : Well, yeah, New York was, for me it was the greatest place to shoot this movie because you know, five hundred and thirty-three kids have to live in the same town…
And, and what was great is that so many very different neighborhoods, and the kids are very different from one another, you know, in the sense that they have different realities. So it really helped, the fact that I was filming in different neighborhoods. Right away you understand what that kid’s about. If there’s a kid that’s living in Chelsea, or living in the Bronx. You know, it’s all very different. So visually it was, uh, it was great to be here.
Q : Did you film in all five boroughs?
KEN SCOTT : Well we were all over the place.
Q : Why did you want to do this?
KEN SCOTT : It’s basically very much, uh, a story about fatherhood and what it is to be a father.
And I feel that we wouldn’t have written the same movie fifteen years ago, because I think in the last ten, fifteen years, fatherhood has changed a whole lot. You know, nowadays you can hear stories of, you know, fathers staying home with their kids. A few months when they’re born and the fathers want to be there before. So it was exciting to be writing about something that seemed to be changing in society.
Q : Doing the remake was Vince Vaughn always in mind?
KEN SCOTT : Yeah, Vince Vaughn for me it was perfect for this character. The way the whole story is built, he’s in every scene. He’s there all the time. And I wanted the tone of the movie to be very much like Fatherhood and that brought me naturally towards a dramatic comedy. You know, it’s comedy, it’s a drama. Because I felt that Fatherhood is very much like a dramatic comedy. You know, there is some very funny moments, there’s some more dramatic moments, there’s some more difficult moments.
So very naturally…and I found that Vince Vaughn has definitely that capacity of making us laugh, yet he’s a great actor, he’s very charismatic. So he was, he was a perfect actor for this story.
We had a lot of fun on the set. Be sure to check back, as I’ll also be sharing stories from our interviews Vince Vaughn and Cobie Smulders.