An Interview with Stephen Colfer from DreamGun by Cristina Florescu
DreamGun will be performing their next Film Read on February 25 and 26 in the Sugar Club, where they will give you their own version of Silence of the Lambs.
Let’s just start by telling us more about DreamGun and how it all started?
It started around 2014 as this weird mix of both live shows and short films. Dreamgun is myself, Heber Hanly, Gavin Drea and James McDonnell. And we all worked together through a film festival called The Firehouse. At some point this group of four of us started working on the same things and somehow put a name to it, and that name is Dreamgun after one of the first films Heber and James made. And, how Film Reads came to pass, oddly enough, was as a fundraiser for our other shows. Our very first show was called Chaos Theory, it was a sketch show. We had no money and we needed funds for it so we did a reading of Jurassic Park with improvised jokes. It worked but we didn’t think much of it after it happened and then we had Chaos Theory in Dublin and in Edinburgh, and Edinburgh was the first time we had a complete experience emotionally and creatively, so we were wrecked and needed just a show we could enjoy. So we decided to do the reading thing again and went with Back to the Future because it was 2015 and it was leading up to October which is when Marty McFly goes to the future. So we booked into The International and planned on doing the same thing we did with Jurassic Park for free to shake off the Edinburgh funk. We had it all announced but then realised there’s not finished screenplay for Back to the Future that’s widely available with all the stage directions. But because it was already announced we had to write our own narration and descriptions. And now we’ve created this Narrator character that kinda gave the show its voice – this omnipotent Narrator that doesn’t quite understand the film but tries to narrate it anyway. And we’ve been doing it since then.
You have an event coming up, but is there a regular show that you do?
The show is ultimately a podcast. The live shows are basically recordings of the podcast. There are two places where you can listen to the podcast: on iTunes, search for Dreamgun Film Reads, and the live shows are every month in The Sugarclub. The next one is The Silence of the Lambs, it’s recording on Monday the 26th and Tuesday the 27th. And then for the next ones we don’t know what they are until three weeks before we do them so we announce them as they come but it will be end of March and end of April.
You mentioned you don’t really know what’s gonna be next, but what’s your criteria when you choose the scripts?
We love films that we think are good- we don’t want it to be just us taking the piss out of films we don’t like. So we’re looking especially for high concept stuff like Jurassic Park or Back to the Future. The plot is absolutely ludicrous so you can spend the whole day making jokes about that. We’ve never done a horror/thriller film like Silence of the Lambs. We’ve done Psycho but it’s so old at this point that the comedy suits it better because you can just keep talking about how things are in black and white. Whereas Silence of the Lambs is relatively new so you have to take it at face value. So this one is definitely a bit of an experiment.
You sold out at the Dublin Fringe Festival with your reading of Jurassic Park, so you obviously have quite a following. What do you think draws people to your show?
It’s a little bit niche. But it’s a shared nostalgia for these films. The feeling I get is that people are looking for a way to feel like it’s the first time they watch these films again. A recent example is Harry Potter. The fan community for Harry Potter is so starved for new content. It’s been about ten years since they got a new book, so when you put out something like that it feels like a story that they know and love, but with a twist.
And for someone who is new to it and doesn’t know what to expect, how would you draw them to the show?
It’s basically your favourite movie adapted into a weirdo radio play. We’re not here to take the piss, although we sometimes are, but it’s a comedy that’s just latched on top of something that you already know.
You can listen to previous DreamGun Film Reads here.