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The Power of Sperm: A Q&A with THE UNDRAWN Co-creator Brett Butler

Among the hardest working and most prolific indie filmmakers in the city, Toronto’s own Brett and Jason Butler have launched a funding drive for THE UNDRAWN, a new film project that promises to bring the sibling’s unique voice and smart satire to the comic superhero genre.

The Butler brothers made some of our favourite local indie comedies over the last decade or so. Although their films aren’t strictly genre works, they manage to combine pithy dialogue and cleverly observed relationship moments with just enough gratuitous penis jokes to keep them well outside the usual quirky indie fare and, therefore, well within the realm of Canuxploitation. We called their 2006 film CONFUSIONS OF AN UNMARRIED COUPLE  “equal parts Woody Allen and the Hanson Brothers,” which actually describes the bulk of their work pretty well.

Based on the early teasers, it looks like THE UNDRAWN is set to throw Stan Lee’s name into that prestigious mix too for a fun romp through a dark comic world of awkward sex, mid-life crises, and personal humiliation. As they ramp up towards filming, the Butlers have been debuting character teaser trailers for the last few weeks (new videos each Thursday and Friday), with more on the way followed by a “SuperTeaser” as the campaign draws to a close.

In anticipation of the film, we spoke to Brett Butler (above centre, flanked by Jason on the left and THE UNDRAWN director Jeffrey P. Nesker) about their new direction towards more traditional genre cinema, when simultaneous orgasms are a bad thing, and why you should kick them a couple bucks to help make THE UNDRAWN a reality.

You released a whole series of teasers for this project instead of just one, like most filmmakers. What was the idea behind this campaign?

We’re releasing a series of trailers for this project because we want to fully immerse people in the world and the characters of THE UNDRAWN. Basically we wanted to show the characters and their twisted and deviant world rather than just telling people about it, so we put our all our own money in and shot the teasers. It’s kind of an appetizer to let people decide if they want more!

Aside from the superhero concept, how will THE UNDRAWN differ from your earlier films?

It’s bigger, grander and more twisted; we really want to push the boundaries of our comedic sensibilities this time and we hope fans will look forward to watching these characters grow and evolve . On previous projects we always wrote with a very tight budget in mind. With this concept we managed to attach a lot of impressive talent working on a minimal scale to make this happen and push the envelope of this tainted world of SuperCorp.

What’s your personal favourite of THE UNDRAWN’s heroes?

Jack-Off. I’m looking forward to exploring the complexities of a character that has to deal with every woman wanting to hump him, but knowing he can’t orgasm with them because of the power of his sperm.

Why did you decide to go DIY with this one?

Presently we have another pilot in development at a studio, but it’s taking a long time to come to fruition. With this idea, we knew it would take a lot of massaging to get a studio on board. Coupled with the evolving landscape of crowdfunding, we figured it would be a perfect time to dive in. Creating an audience at the ground floor, in the pre-production phase, is something that appeals to us — we want people to invest in these characters in every sense of the word and Kickstarter can help make this happen!

What’s been your most memorable moment working on THE UNDRAWN so far?

Definitely having the actors put their costumes on for the first time. We got to see them turn into these perverted superheroes we had giddily put on paper long before.

Anything else readers should know about the movie?

That this series will not exist without them. Anybody that digs dark comedy, sex and superheroes should follow along with the teasers. With this campaign, the audience can be in control of what they get to see right from the get-go. If you have ever been pissed at television programming this is your chance to be the studio, we are pitching straight to you!

For more on THE UNDRAWN, check out the film’s Facebook and Kickstarter pages.

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