We speak with actor, producer, and filmmaker David Oulton about his latest projects Midnight Fever and From Hell With Love. Check out the interview below.
Hi, David! Thank you for granting the interview. You have two amazing films releasing soon, to add to your impressive resume, and we can’t wait to speak with you about them! Let’s start with Midnight Fever. Tell us more.
Hiiii! You guys are great. Midnight Fever is a fun, Black Mirror-style film that starts at a high-octane level and only increases from there. It’s a tight film, and everything happens very quickly, all taking place during an unlucky cashier’s night shift.
Funny story though, the film was originally called Gas Station and was supposed to take place in…. yep, a gas station. But just before we started filming, one thing led to another, and we changed locations and shot the movie in a 24hr record store. So that was fun.
According to IMDb, “a cashier is faced with a rapidly escalating double robbery during his routine night shift.” You play Richard in the film. Who is he?
Richard is an unlucky cashier.
I think he’s the guy who just wants to get by in life. He’s not the hero, nor does he want to be. This was a bad place at a bad time, but suddenly he’s thrust into the middle of this crisis. In a matter of minutes, he’s gone from a mundane graveyard shift to tracking shifting alliances at gunpoint. It’s intense.
How can our readers watch the film?
iTunes, Netflix, Film Festivals – it’ll make the rounds. The teaser is online now, and the full trailer drops this week, so I’ll have links on my social media.
Situationally, yes. We filmed overnight, so the physical elements of fatigue, not enough energy for what was going on, etc. were all very genuine. But, in terms of a character, no. Richard is so relatable in the sense that he’s just getting by. I think he has high ambitions for his life, but it’s just a matter of executing them. I think a lot of people get stuck in that holding pattern. I did.
How did you get the role?
I auditioned, then begged.
OK, let’s talk From Hell With Love. According to IMDb, “it’s based on the 14th-century poem, Dante’s Inferno, a young woman finds herself navigating the circles of Hell in an effort to find salvation.”
If you’re familiar with the poem, then you have a good idea of the general story. What starts out as almost a case of mistaken identity, quickly unravels itself to expose someone who used religion as a justification for some really nasty actions. As the film progresses, you see all the characters evolving through their own story arcs, and undertaking their own parallel journeys as a result of their actions.
What is going to surprise people about your character Matthew?
Matthew makes me sad, in the sense that he was so oblivious and blinded with unwavering faith, that by the time he realized the truth of the matter, it was too far past the point of the no return. And the consequences are detrimental. I think the outcome will surprise viewers, but at the same time, it’s a really great lesson.
“I don’t belong in Hell.”
When looking back on both productions, what resonated with you the most and why?
I’m just really happy anytime I get to be on set. It’s always nice to step into someone else’s life for a little while.
In your opinion, what scene in both films are going to blow people away and why?
Midnight Fever escalates so quickly that you don’t have time to take a breath – you’re at the edge of your seat from beginning to end.
On the other hand, there’s a really heartfelt moment in FHWL when the main character comes to terms with how she ended up where did – and that realization is inspiring.
What do you enjoy most about the characters and roles you’re playing?
The paycheques are nice. Jokes aside, it always goes back to why I first ended up in this industry, to begin with. Having the opportunity to step outside of my own life, and everything going on, and fully immerse myself into someone else’s life – that’s such a rare opportunity. So I feel like I get the chance to explore all these different lifestyles and facets of society I’d otherwise be completely oblivious towards. And let’s be honest here, I’ve played a WW1 soldier on the front lines, and also a space cadet in a Star Trek knock-off . . . Quite the range.
OK, let’s talk Flight Plan. You’re attached to star in and produce it. What inspired the script?
Kris Mish, who directed Midnight Fever, and I met for lunch very recently. Out of the blue, we started chatting about this idea of a film set on an airplane. The official synopsis is:
A highly stylized suspense/drama, Flight Plan is the story of four mysterious strangers on a small charter flight into the US who’s meticulous and crafted plans all fall through when the pilot of the flight ends up dead mid-flight, and one of the passengers is responsible. Leaving the audience with more questions than answers, the film promises to take audiences on a unique journey as each passenger’s secrets are revealed and a larger truth is uncovered.
Both the film’s story and visual style are inspired by recent successful highly stylized projects, such as Netflix’s Maniac and The Umbrella Academy, as well as Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. Flight Plan promises to be an experience that is both captivating and visually stunning.
What can the audience expect?
Great acting. And that’s not building myself up, either. The great thing about films shot primarily in one location, or emotion-heavy is that you don’t have anything to distract from the acting. There are some movies out there, where it wouldn’t matter who was acting (or trying too, anyway) in it because there are all these million dollar special effects to distract you. Whereas, on a film like this, you really have to step it up. It’s close quarters, emotions are high, there’s tension, and you have to portray that in a truthful manner.
Not only are you an actor, producer, and a filmmaker, you have an awesome real estate career with Charles Real Estate. Why real estate?
My plan was always real estate. Acting and the film industry was a fluke. I’ve shared that story before – the chance, life-changing encounter with Dame Judi Dench that set that trajectory off. But had it not been for that, it would have been real estate from the start. When film opportunities started becoming fewer, for political and economic reasons, naturally I reverted to my initial plan. And it’s been great, so far.
I moved from my former brokerage over to Charles Real Estate in the fall, and it was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. It’s a true testament that who you surround yourself with, makes all the difference, and this group is amazing.
Any plans to base a short film on a real estate agent who finds themselves in a diabolic plot? The logline could be . . . “A real estate agent inadvertently interrupts a meeting that threatens to ignite a nuclear war.”
You might be on to something there . . . You’d be surprised some of the stuff we run into. But I like a stress free work environment, so let’s not jinx a nuclear fall out from one of my showings. Ha!
Yeah! Oops! [lol] Do you have anything else you would like to share about the career in real estate?
I started working with another young realtor in the office, Reilly Nicholls, recently and that’s going great. We’re a really good, cohesive team, and I think we’re both seeing an increase in our business. It’s great to have someone to bounce ideas off, and he knows what he’s doing. If you really care, we have a slick little website at www.calgaryareahousefinder.com and there’s even a fancy photo of me on there. I like to be very productive, but also have fun as much as I can, and Reilly knows how to take a joke. So it’s good. And let’s all congratulate him on moving to a nice, new house of his own soon!
Oh, we heard you had an opportunity to meet a very special person!!! Do share!
Yea…….. O-Freaking-Bama! I’m such a nerd, but this was probably one of the best days of my life. Emma May, one of the partners/owners at Charles, who is a powerhouse in her own right, presented the opportunity to meet Barack Obama. It was amazing. He was in town on a speaking tour, and prior to the main event, a small group of us had the opportunity to shake his hand and have a photo taken. Just to share a moment with someone who will forever be a part of history…was incredible. I think this was the first time I ever truly appreciated the privilege we (my family and I) are given, to have an opportunity like this. It was surreal, amazing, and once in a lifetime. He has the softest hands. My mom, Lisa [McGillivray], also got the join us and had a really fun moment with the President, it was a great experience all around.
Right on! Do you have anything else you would like to share about your about your ventures in filmmaking and acting?
Alberta is a little powerhouse in the industry, and I’m just happy to be involved in it. It’s an election year, so I’m hopeful that whoever is victorious, will bring back the tax credits and incentives to jump-start the local industry again, but in the meantime, it’s still chugging along nicely. Thanks!
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