Shelia Goss: What is the movie The Baxter about?
Michael Showalter: At the end of romantic comedies it seems that at the end of the movie someone gets left at the altar…I wanted to see how this movie would end…Baxter describes the guy who always gets dumped….It’s a story from his point of view…Baxter’s always the nice guy and he’s never good enough for the leading lady.
Shelia: How long did it take you to write the script?
Michael: The whole process took me about eight months. I worked on the outline and once I wrote the outline, I was able to sit down and write it in 7 days.
Shelia: What is your writing process?
Michael: I usually think of an idea while I’m working on something else. I just let it sit in my mind until I finish the project I’m working on. Then I start outlining and imagining what the idea will be…in the very end that’s when I start to write.
Shelia: Did you handpick the actors?
Michael: We had a lot of the actors in mind already for the roles they play.
Shelia: What lesson would you like the audience to walk away with after watching The Baxter?
Michael: I hope everyone enjoy themselves. It’s a message about romance and finding love. ‘For all the Baxters watching: YOU MIGHT BE WRONG FOR SOMEBODY BUT YOU’RE RIGHT FOR SOMEONE ELSE.’
Shelia: Was it hard wearing dual hats
Michael: It was a lot of work. It was hard to focus on so many different things at once, but fortunately I had great & talented people working on the movie with me.
Shelia: Did you face any challenges with this film?
We shot on a very low budget in 20 days…moved rather quickly…didn’t have margin for error…had to be efficient…
Shelia: Where was the film shot?
Michael: Brooklyn, NY (my hometown).
Shelia: What advice would you give aspiring writers trying to break into the business?
Michael: Discipline…work even when you don’t feel like it…be hard on yourself…look for criticism…look for help and try to get better at what you do.
Shelia: What other films are you working on?
Michael: Just finished a TV show (comedy) that airs Tuesday on Comedy Central--Stella. Stella
is about three guys who live in an apartment and are constantly getting in crazy situations. It was a great experience to film.
Shelia: How do you go about choosing projects to produce?
Michael: I mostly focused on producing stuff that I write. I am opened and interested in others work as well.
Shelia: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Michael: Just it’s a good movie and to check it out. It’ll be in all theaters on September 16
Note: The Baxter opened in LA & NYC to great reviews.