Exclusive: We Chat With Director & Cast of ‘A Bad Idea Gone Wrong’ at SXSW

Jason Headley’s “A Bad Idea Gone Wrong” starring Matt Jones, Will Rogers and Eleanore Pienta premiered at SXSW this year.

The indie comedy is about two novice robbers who accidentally set the alarm system of the house they just broke into. When they discover an unexpected house sitter, they suddenly have to deal with a hostage situation, double crosses, sexual tensions, and discoveries that make their exit even more challenging.

Check out our exclusive coverage with the cast and crew themselves:

Q: What inspired you to write this film; was it autobiographical?

Jason Headley: I’ve written a lot of scripts and wanted to be making films and I got tired of not making them. I decided, let’s find out how good I am at this and I decided to write something that could be made very production friendly with the fewest moving pieces possible that could still be satisfying and real story about people who feel real that gets to a meaningful conclusion. I tried to unload all my craft into a story that was small enough that someone could say “yeah, we can make that,” and it seemed easy to make.

Q: Do any of the characters resemble your friends from life?

Jason Headley: They are all pieces of me in some way. There are little things in there that are just funny to me. Like Virginia City, my grand dad went to Virginia City and he and his wife just talked about it so fondly and so I had to put that in there. Or like the part where Leo says “I saw people made of clouds” a friend of mine said that in a moment of distress. So things like that are in there for fun.

Q: Where was it filmed?

Jason Headley: Fort Worth, Texas.

Q: Where are you from originally?

Jason Headley: I’m originally from West Virginia but I’ve lived in San Francisco for the past 20 years.

Q: How long did it take to shoot the film?

Jason Headley: We shot 17 days. With no pre-production really. We basically all meet the day before we started shooting and read through the script once and then we started backing it.

Q: Any new projects lined up?

Jason Headley: I have a script that I want to make next and I’m just starting to talk various people in different capacities. This next one is a little more dramatic with comedic elements. Similar to like “An Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind.”

Q: Why did you choose to use a lamp with the Niagara Falls projections to symbolize the love the main character has for his ex-friend?

Jason Headley: I can assign value to inanimate objects and infuse a lot of meeting to a thing. If you don’t have your guard up and are going through a draw, for example you can accidentally see a thing and touch it and cry. I find that fascinating. I wanted to make this token that meant something bigger. It reminded Leo of the time in his life when he was happy and hasn’t been since.

Q: How did you get brought on to the film?

Matt Jones: They had set their shoot date and everything and they did not have my role cast. I got a call from my agents, “Can you tell me in 3 hours if you want to do a movie in Fort Worth, Texas?” and I left 2 days later when and shot a movie for 3 weeks in Fort Worth. It was all very fast. At the time Jason and I had the same agents and they put of in touch with each other. I liked the script and it was all very fast.

Q: Did you audition?

Matt Jones: I did not, which is always nice. Speaking as an actor it’s one of the worst things in the world. It’s horrible, even if the people are nice, it still sucks. It’s just not conducive to acting so when you don’t have to do it it’s pretty great.

Q: How did you prep for the film and the role?

Matt Jones: We read the script once together the night before we shot and that’s the only prep we had because we didn’t have time for anything else. The way he wrote it, it’s very on the page and so I just kept everything in the confines of that character.

Q: Any improvisation?

Matt Jones: In this? No, I mean there’s emotion and reaction that you just come up on your own because you have to fill space but with this is was all on the page.

Q: How did you get brought on to the film?

Eleanore Pienta: I also belonged to the same agency as Jason and my agent was like you need to put yourself on tape for this, you’re going to really like it. I had no time to put myself on tape, we were doing this fundraiser for this dance comedy troupe I’m in and we were shooting a short. It was a terrible tape and I told my agent I would do it again when I have something to give and sure enough Jason wanted to see more and I guess he liked what he saw the second time around.

Jason Headley: I saw her in this great movie, “See You Next Tuesday” which she did and gave a great performance.

Q: Any up and coming projects to be on the lookout for?

Eleanore Pienta: I’m in this dance comedy troupe called Cocoon Central Dance Team with Sunita Mani and Tallie Mara Medel and we do live performance. We also have web series called “Rehearsal.” We’ve been also working on a television show that we’ve been pitching around and I’m working on a short that I wrote that I’m going to shoot.

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