[THE DAILY GRINDHOUSE INTERVIEW] PAUL SAPIANO, DIRECTOR OF ‘DRIVING WHILE BLACK’

 

 

Talking sex, drugs, booze, and driving while black with seasoned comedy director Paul Sapiano!

 

 

Okay, lets start at the beginning – I’m intrigued to know what THE BOYS & GIRLS GUIDE TO GETTING DOWN is!

It’s a how-to guide for partying in Los Angeles. Ha-ha. Sex, drugs, booze, where to go and how to comport yourself. Its not a sex comedy, despite what the title suggests. Its actually packed with actionable advice, and all done with a comedic twist.

 

Did you have a fondness for films like this? Is that where this one came from?

No. It was more that it was the first script I ever wrote and people said “write what you know.” And I know about parties. And it had never been done before. So I wrote it. Ha.

 

Have any favorites from the old days? Is PORKY’S the ultimate for you?

I love AIRPLANE and THE BLUES BROTHERS – just great comedies!  And of course, there’s killer music in THE BLUES BROTHERS!

 

 

And, look who is in the cast!! Meghan Markle!  What… how… !?

Yup – she’s a very nice lady.

 

Did you know then or get any inkling that big things awaited her?

No. Ha. Prince Harry is not on my speed dial and it was before all that.

 

Did you attend the wedding?

I couldn’t as I had a dentist appointment.

 

Has her presence in the movie given it an all-new lease on life?

Not really…

 

Time for a re-release! What came after The Boys & Girls…?

HOLLYWOOD SEX WARS, then DRIVING WHILE BLACK!

 

And during these years, were you able to quit a day job and work full-time on features? Or is that something only the Spielbergs and Tarantinos of our world can do?

I became a professional escort to pay the bills for a while. I am now in the marijuana industry. I have a testing lab called Gold Standard Analytics that makes sure that cannabis sold in LA is tested for pesticides, heavy metals and so on.

 

 

Is DRIVING WHILE BLACK (which came out February 1st on VOD) based on a real story? Or is it just a mix of stories consisting of newspaper headlines?

Not at all.  It’s a true to life account of Dominique Purdy’s life.  He is the star and co-writer. Every scene in the film actually happened to him..

 

You co-wrote the script. How hard is it to co-write something? I imagine there’s a lot of compromising that goes on?

When I was younger I used to think I had some vague idea of what its like to be black. But now I know better. Black guys experience things like driving around the city completely differently to someone like myself. This film opened my eyes to the extra layer of hassle that black men have to deal with. Dominique is black, so I deferred to him when we were writing the scenes he was in.

 

 

How did that initial draft compare to the shooting script?

Dominique is an excellent improviser.

 

Why did you think this was a story that needs to be told?

It’s heartbreakingly sad when people are being killed unnecessarily during traffic stops.  We were trying to send a message, but if this film opens a few people’s minds, then we are doing something right.

 

But you still consider it a comedy, right?

Have you seen it!  Its fucking hilarious! [Smiles]

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Jon Abrams

Editor-In-Chief at Daily Grindhouse
Jon Abrams is a New York-based writer, cartoonist, and committed cinemaniac whose complete work and credits can be found at his site, Demon’s Resume. You can contact him on Twitter as @JonZilla___.
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