An Interview with Tom Carras and Doug Carter – By Kirsten Walsh

The world of short films is a glorious example of untapped talent in most cases. This is especially true in the case of the filmmakers behind the short whippet of a film about prostate exams and one man who is just a bit nervous in Ben Dovre. The filmmakers- Doug Carter and Tom Carras- took a break from getting ready for their festival debut to answer a few questions for us!

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KW: Tell me all about Ben Dovre? 

DC: Basically, Ben Dovre is about a 40 year old man being pressured by his wife to get his prostate checked. It’s about dealing with the unpleasant obstacles that life throws at you.

KW:  Wow! Where in the world did you come up with the idea?

DC: Ben Dovre was the natural follow up film to our first short SNIP which was about getting a vasectomy. My partner and I wanted to make our first film different from anything we’d seen so we did a comedy about getting a vasectomy.  That film did really well, picking up a couple of awards at various festivals, but we weren’t totally happy with the end product so we decided to do a follow-up film that I would direct myself so my directorial debut resulted in Ben Dovre.
KW: That’s awesome! How hard was it to write the script?

DC: Writing the script for Ben Dovre was really easy. I knew the stereotypical fears guys would have and then I’m kinda twisted anyway, so I just thought what would scare me and how do I make it real for the actors to play. The hardest part of the whole process was once I started writing, the script ballooned up to about twenty pages of funy gags that had to be cut down to twelve pages for production reasons such as budget.
KW:  The actors are hilarious- can you share some stories about casting and production? 

DC:  Casting was easy. I’d worked with all of the actors previously on SNIP and had so much fun with them that when I wrote the Ben Dovre script, it was with those actors in mind. Production was a surreal experience. Working with such funny actors created a laughed filled work place. The actors were so good that I found myself constantly surprised at how the actors brought the scenes to life and filled them with layers. One specific scene was the flashback scene where Ben’s Dad is seen getting his prostate exam. Sean Tyson, who plays Ben and his own dad in the film, and Dave Ward who played the Doctor, really brought the scene to life without saying a word as their faces said it all. The three of us sat down before hand and discussed the importance of the scene and comedic timing of it but even I was surprised at how funny they made it. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell what the final product is going to look like when sound effects are so vital to its success but having talented, funny actors like Sean and Dave made it so much easier.
KW: Was your favorite moment on set? 

DC: I had so much fun filming Ben Dovre and it was all such a learning experience that it’s hard to pin it down to one moment but it was probably filming the scene with the big finger/running start doctor. The scene played so well and the actors did such an amazing job that it gave me a sense of actually creating something special.

TC:  Working with a great professional crew and working with an amazing mentor in Peter Deluise

KW: What are your plans for Ben Dovre and where can people find it?

DC: We had some great success with Ben Dovre on the festival circuit. It picked up three or four awards and people really seemed to enjoy the film. We’ve just released it on Vimeeo for everybody to enjoy.

TC: We have also been trying to get the Prostate Cancer Organization to use it for their campaign. It opens the important subject of prostate problems and takes a comedic view of what people are afraid of.

KW: What is next for your team? 

DC:  We have our latest short film SPEED DATE making its world premiere at the Orlando Film Festival in October. It will screen along with Ben Dovre in Orlando which should be a lot of fun. After that, we have one more short film we’d like to complete before we tackle a feature we have on the go called Angels and Demons….

KW: That is awesome! I know that festival will be an awesome one! What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers? 

DC: Just do it. Whatever it is…just do it. My partner and I are not really even in the local mainstream filmmaking community but we decided we wanted to make movies so we did it. We sold our first short film script and then produced our second short ourselves and then took on producing and directing Ben Dovre so started small and followed it through.

TC: Have confidence in yourself. Set a date for your production and do everything you have to do to make it happen! 

Thank you to Doug, Tom, and your crew! Best of luck on the festival circuit!