Information Stills Behind the Scenes Festivals & Awards
 

GOD CAME 'ROUND
Running Time: 5 minutes
Year Released: 2017

GENRE
Music Video, Short Film, Dramedy

SYNOPSIS
Down on his luck flower seller Sandeep (played by Deep Roy) pines to make a connection with the girl of his dreams.

TAGLINE
He thinks he’s losing his mind.

CREDITS
Starring: Deep Roy, Aiko Horiuchi, Giulia Rivolta, Valery Richardson, Leah Gallo, Glen Mexted, Malcolm Davis
Directed by Derek Frey
Song by Trever Veilleux/Professor T and the East Side Shredders
Produced by Derek Frey
Cinematography by Derek Frey
Film Editing by Derek Frey
Assistant Director: Valery Richardson
Makeup by Malwina Suwinska
Wardrobe by Valery Richardson
Still Photographer: Leah Gallo
Special Thanks: Giulia Rivolta, Chris Nuttall, Fredrik Emil Hjortdal, Heidi Veilleux, Sir Richard Steele Pub

REVIEWS
“Well-made, charming music video.”
-London X4 Seasonal Film Festival

“A wonderfully original music video, boasting a charming performance from Deep Roy.”
-The Monkey Bread Tree Awards

“’God Came 'Round’ won the award for Best Music Video. It features music by Professor T & The Eastside Shredders and was directed by Derek Frey. The music video is full of humor, eccentric characters and has a great performance by prolific actor Deep Roy.”
-Prague Independent Film Festival

“A very stylized film that’s basically a rad and sad music video. Great tune too! It’s a humorous, sad, & quirky story of a heartbroken man who can’t enjoy the strange and interesting life he has if his love isn’t there. 27 bloody moons!”
-Planet 9 Film Festival


Largo Film Awards
God Came ‘Round
‘Unrequited love’ is, and always will be a popular topic to explore within film, and all media, as it is one that resonates with most audiences and one that is fraught with emotion but also often a ridiculousness that in hindsight is hilarious.

This is what we see in this film. A look at unrequited affection and how it manifests itself. The loneliness and the sadness that you often feel when life is happening, ridiculous things that you need to share, but have no one to share them with because they won’t pick up the phone. This film deals with this topic in a satire, almost slapstick style which gives it an ‘easy’ air and makes it an enjoyable watch, yet at its core is still this unrelenting truth and sadness.

The body of the film is structured around a song, which adds to the juxtaposing uplifting feeling of the film, despite the content. The overriding musical element means that the cast have no dialogue, yet the emotion is still evident throughout which is a testament to both the acting talent and the direction. Being able portray a character effectively with no words is no mean feat, but it is one that is achieved in this short film.

The FX in the film are obviously cheap and cheerful, but this is the whole point and it adds to the B movie farce-like elements of the film which offset the trauma well. The camera work is well executed, shooting POV shots from the height of the lead. It results in the rest of the cast looking down on him which is often how unrequited affections feel. Overall a well-executed film that makes light of an emotional issue without losing respect for it.


DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

I was excited to receive an advance copy of Trever Veilleux’s album Professor T and the East Side Shredders just prior to a flight home to Philadelphia from London. I’ve known Trever since 2001, after watching his band, Technical Difficulties, perform an impressive gig in Hilo, Hawaii. I introduced myself, and many music videos, films and adventures later, it’s a collaboration that continues to inspire me. Listening to the new album uninterrupted on the flight I found it to be a brilliant and sweeping journey through an array of musical genres. The track God Came ‘Round spawned in me an instant vision for a music video. Inventive lyrics involving aliens, ghosts and leprechauns encapsulated many of the paranormal elements I find fascinating and are commonplace in my creations.

Deep Roy came to mind straight away because I knew he had the range and ability to play multiple characters. Deep is a good friend that I met in 2001 on the set of Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, where Deep played several simian roles. We last collaborated in 2012 on the award-winning featurette The Ballad of Sandeep. Considering Deep has appeared in Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who and played all 165 Oompa Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I knew he was the only man for the job. I expected logistics to pose a challenge with Deep in LA and me working on a project in London.  However, the day after I conceived the idea, Deep coincidentally emailed to let me know he would be in London for most of the summer. I asked if he would be up for being in the film and he responded with an immediate yes. In God Came ‘Round Deep played roles requiring a multitude of costume changes – including a Venetian rose seller, an alien invader, a ghost, a leprechaun and God. I thought it made perfect sense to have actress Aiko Horiuchi play the female lead, seeing as I met her through Trever’s band when they played the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory premiere in London in 2005. (Aiko played the role of the Tokyo Candy Shopkeeper and went on to play the terrifying Kayako in an installment of The Grudge.) Let’s just say the opportunity to tell an unrequited love story between an Oompa Loompa and the Grudge was one I couldn’t miss.

Filmed over one day and three nights around Camden Town, Primrose Hill and Belsize Park in northwest London, God Came ‘Round was a blast to shoot. Despite several locations, everything went according to plan and on schedule, largely due to the cast and crew of creative friends. I owe Deep Roy an enormous amount of gratitude for being game for anything I threw at him or threw up on him. A big thanks to Trever Veilleux for creating such a poetic and heartfelt song within a fantastic album, and allowing me the freedom to interpret God Came ‘Round.

I hope you enjoy!

Derek

Here’s the link to Professor T and the East Side Shredders:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/professor-t-and-the-eastside-shredders/id1247025221



INTERVIEWS
Keep Creating and Embrace Limited Means: Interview with Filmmaker, Derek Frey by Nathan March, Follow Magazine

When Derek Frey approached me to talk about his short film, God Came 'Round, I jumped at the chance to speak to the producer of a swag of Tim Burton's projects about his own films and how he connects with his audience. 

God Came ‘Round is a beautifully emotional comedy that has picked up a swag of film festival awards so far. What do you attribute its success to?

The story was inspired by Trever Veilleux’s poetic song lyrics which conjured for me an array of imagery.  What was initially meant to be a straightforward music video developed into something more.  Actor Deep Roy plays the lead role with great depth and morose comedy; when people see Deep in these outrageous scenarios and costumes, combined with his heartbreaking performance, I think they really identify with him.

You often introduce paranormal elements into your work. Do you feel that it’s something your audience has come to recognize and even expect in a Derek Frey film?

The paranormal is something I’ve been drawn to since I was a child.  My earliest films always contained otherworldly aspects.  It’s still something I’m passionate about and suspect fans have come to expect an element of the bizarre in my work.  I love to make people laugh as well as scare and surprise them, and the paranormal is an excellent vehicle for that duality.  The track the film is set to is a tender love song, but with some extraordinary twists – essentially the main reason I was compelled to tell God Came ‘Round.

How important do you feel it is to have a recognizable style as a filmmaker?

For me, it’s about creating projects that have a unique feel.  I do see similar aspects running across my work. I operate the camera and edit, so there’s a recognizable style in those areas which helps create a distinct tone.  Some of the most iconic filmmakers have a cohesiveness throughout their filmography – whether through tone, cinematography, score, screenplay.  I think the best directors have unique perspectives on life that make their work strong, original, and memorable.

  The design and cinematography for God Came ‘Round are rich, featuring bold colors and deep layers within the frame. Why have you made those choices?

The film is pretty short, (5 minutes), so I had to make a strong impact in a limited amount of time.  We never hear Deep’s character speak, so I wanted to bring the viewer into his world by making the visuals simple yet appealing.  He’s a guy looking for love, so I chose intense reds and greens to convey passion.  Creating this on a low budget, we relied on our locations around London to provide a richness to the story.

Most people make films that they want people to see. At what point in the process do you start to think about who the audience might be for this film and how to connect the film to that audience?

On my own films, the drive to create comes from wanting to tell a story that I’m passionate about.  It’s only natural to hope that your work finds an audience and connects with people on some level.  For me, thinking about the audience comes in wanting to show them something they haven’t seen before.  On bigger budget films I produce within the studio system, the stakes are higher and there’s definitely a greater responsibility to consider who the story may be intended for and if the audience is going to connect and be entertained.

Do you have a marketing strategy for God Came ‘Round?

The approach to marketing has been to engage fans of my previous films via social media, and fans of Deep Roy, which are many around the globe.  His work in the Star Wars and Star Trek films, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The X-Files (to name a few) have built him an incredible fan base.  We’re also trying to target music lovers since the short is essentially a music video.  It’s been helpful to have the new album, Professor T and the East Side Shredders, to tie into the film’s release.  The festivals and awards the project has garnered have helped fuel promotion since they come with their own groups of followers as well.

  What are the different components of a marketing strategy for you?

The imagery associated with a project is something I take particular interest in and these elements serve as a good jumping off point for marketing. Posters, still frames, and behind the scenes images can really help a project stand out from others, and having strong visuals draws people in on social media and the film festival circuit.  I was fortunate to have an incredibly talented artist and friend, Giulia Rivolta, create the eye-catching poster for God Came ‘Round.

You have a massive following on Facebook. How have you built that community?

I’ve had a Lazer Film page on Facebook for some time now.  I use that as a source for people to keep informed about my latest projects, festival screenings, links to view the films, etc.  The followers have built up over that time through many projects.  There’s also a component of people who have found their way to my page through my work on larger films with Tim Burton.

  Do you find it works for individual films to have their own social media presence or do you think it’s better for the production company to have the account and then post updates about films on that account?

I have a few films currently on the film festival circuit and I enjoy promoting past endeavors – so for me, it’s more streamlined to promote and post under my Lazer Film Productions banner – on FacebookTwitter, Vimeo, etc.  I think for short films and music videos it has worked well for me, and I think it helps maintain a long-term relationship with fans and followers.  I also have my website, lazerfilm.com, where people can go to if they want to take a more in-depth look at my work, including my earliest films.

If you were to give one tip to emerging filmmakers about how to build a career, what would it be?

Filmmakers today are very fortunate to be creating in an age where the technology is affordable and within reach and there are so many forums to have your work seen.  My best advice is to just keep creating and embrace limited means.  Sometimes it’s those limitations that stimulate your creativity and help you to achieve something beyond what you thought was possible.

  What’s next for Derek Frey?

I’m currently in London producing a live-action version of Dumbo, directed by Tim Burton, which is a reimagining of the classic 1941 Disney film.  That will keep me well occupied through post-production.  I’m also going to direct a music video for another Professor T song, Pangea, in Hawaii at the end of this year.  Looking further ahead I’m developing a couple of feature films, including Awkward Endeavors with my frequent Philadelphia area collaborators the Minor Prophets.



Delco-based filmmakers bring work to Philly’s FirstGlance Film Festival
by Kevin Tustin, Delco News Network (excerpt)

The work of local filmmakers will be part of the official selection for the 20th FirstGlance Film Festival in Philadelphia this weekend.
Drexel Hill native son Derek Frey will have his short project screen at the local independent film festival.

God Came ‘Round stars Deep Roy — who portrayed the Oompa Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — as a lonely flower seller who falls in love with a girl, portrayed by The Grudge 3’s Aiko Horiuchi, who doesn’t like him. Roy plays all of the major players in the film including a leprechaun, God and a ghost.

“I was drawn to (the song) because the lyrics involved fantastical situations and paranormal elements,” said Frey. “A lot of these lyrics aren’t meant to be taken literally. As someone that’s always been interested in the paranormal, the pairing of (Roy) with ghosts, leprechauns and aliens was something I had to do.”

The video has a more understated relationship between Roy and Horiuchi that Frey noted. He said it was Roy’s Oompa Loompa character and Horiuchi’s titular Grudge ghost falling in love.

God Came ‘Round is Frey’s fourth FirstGlance selection following Sketch in 2001 and Motel Providence in 2015, both playing in Philadelphia, and The Upper Hand at the fest’s Los Angeles installation in 2000.

Frey may be a FirstGlance veteran, but he expressed his appreciation for the festival and the opportunity it brings to the area to see professional productions from local talent.

“For me, Delco and Philly are still very important to me, and to be recognized (at FirstGlance) is the best thing because you have an opportunity for people from your hometown to see your work,” said Frey, who made God Came ‘Round under his Lazer Film Productions banner.

Over the last few years the film landscape of Delco has been evolving. From the shooting of the Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook to the opening of a film and television production facility in Chester Township, and even a Comedy Central-ordered series called Delco Proper, Delco has been exposing its creative minds and locations to the world.

In addition to heading Lazer Films, Frey also leads Tim Burton Productions and has helped bring films like Big Eyes and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children to the silver screen, but coming back to Delco to shoot films with friends keeps him grounded, and the creative juices flowing.

“People find me a bit of a curiosity because I work with Tim Burton, but what I always say to people is doing music videos and shorts around Delco helped me maintain those roots and fuels my creativity. It’s a strange dynamic,” he said.

Frey looks to shoot a film next year in Delco.


Interview with director Derek Frey
by Diana Ringo, Indie Cinema
Being a member of the jury of Prague Independent Film Festival I watch a lot of independent films. One film – “Green Lake” impressed our jury by its humor and brilliant music score, but we were very surprised when we later found out that director of this independent production is Derek Frey, one of the most important producers in Hollywood, head of Tim Burton Productions. Apart of his main profession he directs his own independent films and music videos, including the horror short Green Lake, which was screened in over 40 film festivals and collected 47 awards. His newest music video God Came ‘Round will be screened at the Prague Independent Film Festival 2017. Derek Frey is currently producing the upcoming live action version of Dumbo directed by Tim Burton. We decided to interview him to find out more about his passion for independent low budget cinematography and how he combines it with his work on big budget projects.

Diana Ringo: What served as inspiration for your new music video God Came ‘Round?

Derek Frey: Trever Veilleux’s songwriting and poetic lyrics were the inspiration. I’ve been a fan of his music for a while now and this song spoke to me visually. I first collaborated with his band Technical Difficulties in 2001 on a music video for the song Sex is Easier. I listened to an advance copy of his new album Professor T and the East Side Shredders on repeat during a long-haul flight this past April, and God Came ‘Round jumped out instantly as something that could turn into a unique, funny, and touching music video. It’s an incredible album and I look forward to creating more videos to accompany it soon.
Official Facebook Page of Professor T and the Eastside Shredders: https://www.facebook.com/professort.biz Diana Ringo: Tell us about your working relationship with actor Deep Roy; he has acted in God Came ‘Round and also in your short film The Ballad of Sandeep. In an earlier interview you have mentioned the possibility of making a feature film version of The Ballad of Sandeep. Are you still planning it or is there another feature film project in your future?

Derek Frey: It’s always a pleasure to collaborate with Deep. I first met him on the set of Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes and later worked with him on Big Fish and Corpse Bride. He has an amazing spirit and an inspiring career. His first role was an Italian assassin opposite Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther Strikes Again, and he went on to play roles in Flash Gordon, The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Trek, just to name a few. The Ballad of Sandeep was great fun and was conceived by The Minor Prophets wanting to put a twist on the practice of outsourcing. It also gave Deep a chance to work out of SFX makeup.

I’d still very much love to make a feature film version of Sandeep, which we’re continuing to develop. Deep is eager to reprise the role and The Minor Prophets have created a fantastic screenplay which explores Sandeep’s outsourcing predicaments on a whole new level, and adds some social commentary relevant to today’s ever-changing work environment. We have a website dedicated to the legacy of the award-winning short which also explores the development of the feature: http://www.theballadofsandeep.com

Aside from Sandeep I’ve been developing a project called Quiet Fire, which tells the story of the creative bond between trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Bill Evans, around the time of recording sessions for the iconic album Kind of Blue. It’s a historical musical journey and also a powerful story of race and addiction.

Also, my collaborations with The Minor Prophets continue. They are in the process of writing a feature screenplay entitled Awkward Endeavors, which we plan on filming in and around the Philadelphia area in 2018.

Diana Ringo: You also have made several short films starring the comedy group The Minor Prophets, how did your collaboration start?

Derek Frey: I was friends with two of The Minor Prophets, Gil Damon and Brian Gillin in middle school. Gil and I were mischievous cohorts in 7th grade.  Fast forward to 2006 when I received an email from Gil who expressed how much he and his children enjoyed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I was the Associate Producer on. Gil introduced me to his work in The Minor Prophets. I found their shorts hilarious and extremely unique and thought-provoking. Most of their work is set in my hometown of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania so I felt a deep connection to what they were creating. I expressed interest in collaborating, which led to our first short film together, 4th and 99. It was a rewarding experience, and we brought the film to the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. Kill the Engine, released earlier this year, is our sixth collaboration and is currently having a successful run on the festival circuit.
Link to The Minor Prophets official website: https://www.theminorprophets.com

Diana Ringo: Your films show a good understanding of music, did you ever play any instruments yourself?

Derek Frey: Music was my first creative passion and remains central to everything I do.  I played saxophone in marching band and jazz band throughout high school and into college.  I was also an enormous fan of film music from a young age.  For me, music is an essential component of each project I’m involved with.

Diana Ringo: What was your major in college? How have your films evolved from your university days?

Derek Frey: I studied Communication and Journalism at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. Making films with friends was a hobby throughout my college years. Each semester the projects would grow in complexity and improve through the process of experimenting. I missed out on the party side of college because I would stay in my dorm with friends making films. Those were the best of times! One of our earliest movies, Marooned in our Room, was a comedic survival story which revolved around being trapped in a dorm room during a blizzard.  There were basic themes present in my early work that I’m still drawn to – usually involving comedy, horror and sci-fi.  I’ve always enjoyed a good monster mash-up.  In the final weeks of college my energy was focused on completing work on my college cult opus film Verge of Darkness. The positive reaction to the film fueled my desire to make films for a living. A couple of weeks after graduating college I decided to take a gamble and move to Los Angeles to pursue a job in the entertainment industry.

  Diana Ringo: Your spouse Leah Gallo is a professional photographer who co-wrote the screenplay of Green Lake and has appeared in some of your films.  Can you tell us about her role in your films and how she supports you in your creative endeavors?

Derek Frey: Leah is an extremely talented photographer and writer. Her creativity was one of the characteristics I was attracted to when we first met. We’re drawn to the same things visually which serves as great inspiration. For Green Lake I had a general outline of a story but knew Leah would do a great job writing the screenplay. The story revolves around a strong female character and has many elements of fantasy of which Leah is a fan.  Leah has always been very supportive of my creative endeavors. She remains patient even when projects absorb my time and being, which is often. I’m fortunate because since she is creative herself she is understanding of my obsession with each project.
Leah Gallo’s Official Website:  https://www.leahgallo.com

Diana Ringo: Please tell us about the camera and equipment with which you shoot your films. Films you direct are a good example for young filmmakers, they show that a low budget should not be a barrier for creativity.

Derek Frey: I’ve built up my kit over the years. God Came ‘Round was shot on a Panasonic GH5 (4k) with Zeiss Compact Prime Lenses. The lenses are what really makes the difference in quality. It’s amazing how much the technology has leapt forward in even just the past five years. Being able to shoot in such high quality with a minimal kit has been a godsend to my process. Working on both large budget features and micro-budget shorts and music videos keeps me balanced and grounded.

  Diana Ringo: Which film have you watched the most times in your life?

Derek Frey: It’s difficult to select the one film I’ve watched the most. It’s a toss-up between Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Evil Dead 2 and Edward Scissorhands.

Diana Ringo: Can you tell us something about the upcoming Dumbo adaptation where Tim Burton serves as director and you as producer?

Derek Frey: We’re in the middle of the shoot at Pinewood Studios outside of London. It’s such a special project and a perfect fit with Tim. The story will capture the same rollercoaster of emotions as the original. Dumbo will break your heart… and lift you up along the way.

  Diana Ringo: Your new music video will be screened in Prague. What are your impressions of the city? What is your favorite city in Europe?

Derek Frey: Prague is a great city. I love the gothic nature of its building and the beauty of the streets at night. I’d really like to film something in Prague someday. I was there in 2014 for the opening of Tim Burton’s art exhibition at the Stone Bell House in Old Town Square and had a great time. I find Prague to be incredibly cinematic, which is one of the reasons I’m so proud to have a project selected in the festival this year.

  Diana Ringo: What advice would you give to young filmmakers?

Derek Frey: Just get out there and create. There are so many stories to tell and these days there’s nothing to hold you back. Let your passion guide you and always have a camera by your side.



Best Cinematography – Derek Frey, “God Came ‘Round”
by One-Reeler.net
OR: What was the inspiration for your film?
DF: Trever Veilleux’s songwriting and poetic lyrics were the inspiration. I’ve been a fan of his music for a while now and this song spoke to me visually. I first collaborated with his band Technical Difficulties in 2001 on a music video for the song Sex is Easier. I listened to an advance copy of his new album Professor T and the East Side Shredders and the track “God Came ‘Round” jumped out instantly as something that could turn into a unique, funny, and touching music video. It’s an incredible album and I look forward to creating more videos to accompany it soon.

OR: When did you conceive the idea for your film and how long did it take before it was realized?

DF: I first listened to the album and heard the song during a long-haul flight this past April. I reached out to actor Deep Roy a few days later and he agreed to be part of the project immediately. We filmed over 2 days and 2 nights in late May around London and I finished up the edit by the end of June. From start to finish I think it is the quickest project I have ever been part of.

OR: What was the most challenging aspect of working in a short film format?

DF: Each and every shot counts. You have less time to tell a story so your opportunity for impact is condensed. For this project I knew storyboards would help immensely so I created as many as I could as a guide in our short production time.

OR: What was the most challenging aspect of your production?

DF: It was an extremely smooth shoot. There were many things that could have gone wrong that fortunately didn’t. It was still a challenging shoot and the number of setups and costume changes required kept us on our toes throughout.

OR: Do you have any advice for first-time filmmakers?

DF: Just get out there and create. There are so many stories to tell and these days there’s nothing to hold you back. Let your passion guide you and always have a camera by your side.