We Talk About Indie Movie Kooperman With Dylan Miller
Kooperman is a smart, character-driven comedy bro-mance that blends rich visuals with a driving laugh-out-loud plot-line, while commenting on society’s obsession with superheroes in an age of apathy. Kooperman was shot on beautiful Prince Edward Island, Canada, by first time feature director Harmony Wagner. It was written by Harmony Wagner and Jason Rogerson.
Griffin Kooperman is a small town zero, the owner of a struggling comic book store, and he has a paralyzing fear of confrontation. When he faces eviction from his stores premises, he must snap out of his fantasy world in order to save his comic book store, his friendship, himself, and become his own hero in the process.
Graphic Policy sat down with the man who plays Griffin Kooperman, Dylan Miller, to have a brief chat about the movie, and the character he plays.
Graphic Policy: So, Kooperman; what can you tell us about the movie?
Dylan Miller: It’s a story about fear and friendship and funny stuff. Basically it focuses on the trials and tribulations of an ‘invisible’ person who is disconnected from real life and has his little oasis of personal reality disrupted and is forced into action.
GP: How did you end up involved with the project? At what point did you come on board?
DM: I was approached by Harmony Wagner and Jason Rogerson to talk about a film project they were in the early stages of writing that was based loosely on myself and a friend of mine Taylor Carver and our unique way of interacting with each other and the rest of the world. Helped out on some tweaks to early scripts and supplied some anecdotes from my real life as a comic book shop owner. Then they got Taylor and I to appear in a ‘trailer’ that was to be submitted to Telefilm Canada. After some hard work Harmony and Jason secured some funding from Telefilm and the project jumped into production!
GP: How did the experience of making the movie differ from your stage work?
DM: I had very little experience in acting for film Or acting for anything really. Mostly I was comfortable on stage doing Improv comedy and that is an entirely different skill set than acting for film. Luckily there were some great talents involved in the film and they helped me fell comfortable and nurtured me along.
GP: How personal (or not) was the role for you?
DM: I mean it’s weird. The character is like the worst version of me in some ways. But in the same token outside the superficial similarities (Comic Store owner, Frisbee enthusiast, jerk) the character is not close to what my real life is. Which was good and bad. It forced me to act more than I initially thought I would have to. At first I thought it wouldn’t be that hard to be a reflection of myself but I found that finding the truth of the character and reacting from his center was difficult. Once I surrendered myself to the character and stopped fighting with my own real personality I felt like it became real on it’s own terms.
GP: Even though Kooperman is set, in part, within a (pretty fantastic) comic shop the synopsis on the website sounds like the movie will appeal to more than just comic book fans. I’m guessing that was intentional?
DM: Not unlike comics themselves the trappings are important and fun but at the heart what is interesting is the people. I think anyone can identify with the feelings of helplessness and invisibility that are part of Kooperman. We’ve all had ourselves be our own worst enemy.
GP: Any chance of a sequel, or another collaboration with the creators down the road?
DM: I don’t know if there is much more to tell about Griffin Kooperman but if there is interest I’d be willing to grow out my hair and not wash it again…. I guess. And certainly I would be interested in working on future film projects. The family that is formed in the crucible of making a movie is a unique experience and has it’s rewards.
GP: How’s the reception been for the movie so far?
DM: Have only really seen it with friends and families of the cast and crew so the reception was very positive! My Mom thinks I’m cool!! But I think that it will surprise the audience with the heart and soul that exist under the skin of this fun and funny film.
Kooperman premiers Saturday September 19th during the Atlantic Film Festival.