An Interview With Tribeca's 'Zero Charisma's' Directors
Tribeca’s Zero Charisma opens Friday, October 11, 2013 in select theaters and is available on VOD, iTunes, and other on demand platforms. The cast stars: Sam Eidson, Garrett Graham, Brock England, Anne Gee Byrd, Cyndi Williams. The film is directed by the brilliant duo of Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews (He also is the screenwriter ) who both shared with us what Zero Charisma is about.
What inspired Zero Charisma?
Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews: We've always loved films with unorthodox (and perhaps unlikable) main characters, particularly ones who are obsessive and domineering, but also passionate and vulnerable. Putting Scott into the world of role-playing games was an easy decision, because of our familiarity with the world, but also because it's a creative and social pastime, which allowed Scott to be something of a misunderstood artist, whose pursuit of his obsession necessitates maintaining good relationships with other people.
What is the message of the film?
Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews: The film is about a lot of things--growing up (or not growing up), insecurity, being an outsider, the nature of obsession. I don't know if there's a simple, one-sentence "message" we were trying to get across. We just wanted to closely examine a particular kind of eccentric person that hopefully a lot of people will find familiar, and maybe see some of their own insecurities reflected in him.
How was the title chosen?
Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews: The title is a reference to a character stat from a lot of role-playing games, but also a common insult leveled at people who have trouble successfully navigating social situations. Growing up playing RPGs, I can say that Charisma was often a neglected character attributes in favor of more heroic ones like Strength and Dexterity, but in our modern world, it's a much more important factor in attaining "success". Hopefully, though our main character is aggravating and insecure, audiences will find that he does have a lot of a certain kind of charisma, in that he's entertaining and engaging to watch on screen.
What do you want the audience to take away with after seeing your film?
Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews: We have great respect for films and literature that are able to take the audience on a journey of discovery about a character. We hope that though this character may seem totally different from them, by the end of the film the audience has learned a bit of empathy for him, understands what makes him tick, and root for him to grow.