Daniel-Day McConaughey is a short crime-comedy film that was originally created as a stage-play, both written by and starring A.J Chambers and Jack Heath. The play was performed in January 2020, attended by Zak Ferguson, who would go on to produce and direct the film, in which Chambers and Heath reprise their roles.
(image of original stage performance)
Over the course of lockdown, the script was adapted from stage to screen, and in April 2021 was filmed over five days on a shoe-string budget. "Daniel-Day McConaughey" is a film about actors, and the harsh reality of how a career-path as exciting as being in movies, for most people is a 9-5 job that keeps the lights on and puts food on the table.
Writer/Actor - 'Luke' - A.J Chambers
So I never wrote a film before. I've acted in them, but never actually wrote one. But, I co-wrote the play "Daniel-Day McConaughey" and that was enough to make an adaption easy. I mean, it's practically done, right? As for acting in it? Well, just said some lines, turned out alright I guess. My favourite Daniel Day-Lewis film is "In the Name of the Father" (1993), his performance is raw, epic and meticulously crafted. Also, that Belfast accent he does, I mean, god damn! I wish him a great second retirement.
Writer/Actor - 'Jacob' - Jack Heath
Two years ago, my good friend A.J and I started writing "Daniel-Day McConaughey". Taking our stage script and turning it into a film with some of my close friends has been so much fun. Get ready to watch two plonkers try their best to deceive their way through to get what they want. What could go wrong… You’ll have to watch to find out! My favourite Matthew McConaughey film is "The Gentlemen" (2019). You can't go wrong with a Guy Ritchie film.
Actor - 'Mr Bennet' - Nick Monfard
It’s been a while since I’ve gotten in front of the camera - and this bumbling little man I play got me itching to be back on screen. The stage performance of "Daniel-Day McConaughey" gripped me straight away, and when the offer came to be in the film I jumped at it. It was a pleasure working alongside a lovely crew and friends I’ve trained with… I’m sure they would agree I share more in common with Mr. Bennet than one might expect! My favourite McConaughey film… "Interstellar" (2014) - It never fails to blow me away.
Director/Producer - Zak Ferguson
I'm usually a sound person on most films I do, however occasionally I will see something that will make me think, "This needs to exist, and it needs to be my fault". In this case, as soon as I saw the story on stage I quite liked it, two guys mimicking their favourite movie characters to get what they want. I've always been obsessed with the personal relationships we all form with popular culture, and how it informs our identity, especially in the work of David Fincher. One of my favourite Matthew McConaughey films is the Action-Adventure-Comedy "Sahara" (2005).
Producer - George Rose
Being relatively new to the filmmaking world, I was really excited when Zak approach me with the opportunity to help make my first independent short outside of the university system. It's ben a joy to collaborate with people that love film and the filmmaking process. This was a very fun shoot because of all the people who helped make it happen, and how well everyone responded to the idea. I'm very proud of the work that everyone has done and can't wait for you to see the results. My favourite Matthew McConaughey film is "Tropic Thunder" (2008). He really did go the extra mile to get Ben Stiller his Tevo.
Assistant Director - Joe Delafield
This was my first time working as an AD on a film and it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Largely because I got to work alongside a dedicated cast and crew every day which ensured the whole shoot ran smoothly (which made my life less stressful), but also because we got to tell this brilliant and exciting story. I’m very proud to have been a part of this team who worked incredibly hard to create this film despite all of this year's restrictions. My favourite Matthew McConaughey film is "A Time To Kill" (1996) - that closing speech is one of the best court room scenes you’ll ever see!
Assistant Director - Nathaniel Mir
I’ve worked on multiple short films over the last few years, but the last year has been particularly difficult. So when Zak said we’d finally be back on set, I leapt at the chance! This has been a great experience all round, the crew have all been very enthusiastic and it’s been a joy to work with all of them! Best Daniel Day-Lewis film? Gotta be "There Will Be Blood" (2007)! Quoted over every milkshake.
Director of Photography - Joe Bannister
Coming to England from New York, I have been itching to be involved with a project on a independent scale. It was beyond thrilling to put my skills to the test as my first film as the Cinematographer. Working with such amazing talent in front of the camera and behind truly inspires me to keep making films. My favorite Matthew McConaughey film is “Mud” (2012), the warm coloring is simply tasteful.
Production Sound Mixer - Muneeb Baig
I was ecstatic when Zak approached me for his film. Being an International student amidst a pandemic, didn’t offer much opportunities but I was glad to be a part of this project. It was a lovely experience working with people who love making films and was ready to put 100% effort in the process. My favourite McConaughey film is definitely "Interstellar" (2014).
Editor - Jamie Brush
I remember Zak talking me through the synopsis months before even being recruited onto the project. When an editor role cropped up, I knew I had to jump on board and when reading the script, I was in stitches laughing at all the great references in the dialogue and the chaos that ensues. It was at this point I knew this project was something special as it’s so different and unique compared to anything I’ve ever worked on before. It’s a self-aware, bold and witty film that is guaranteed to put a smile on the audiences faces. I can’t wait to see how it all looks come the final cut. Not only is it my favourite Matthew McConaughey film, but it’s also my favourite film of all time, “Dazed and Confused” (1993). Alright, alright, alright……
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