Director Elliot Diviney talks to INFLUX Magazine

by Martin Hafer

Director Elliot Diveny is a jack of all trades, wearing many hats as a filmmaker.  So far, he’s worked on a variety of film projects as Editor, Composer, Actor, Writer, Producer and DP. 

American Rescue Squad, is the culmination of all these disciplines, as the filmmaker explained: “On a low-budget film I learned how to do all the jobs out of necessity.”

Martin Hafer:  When you came up with this film, what sort of audience did you have in mind?

Elliot Diveny:  This movie was kind of an experiment to see what would happen if we ignored the audience completely.  I had stressed about it too much in earlier projects, and I believe the projects suffered because of it. When Adam and I wrote the script, we just tried to make each other laugh.  Often-times it became about making jokes about things that you’re not supposed to joke about.  It’s like joking around in the back of a classroom, or in church.  That kind of funny.  We tried to make it as childish and absurd as possible.

M.H.: What motivated you to make such a strongly political movie?

E.D.:  It seems like politics these days are so polarized–that all you ever hear is red team vs. blue team.  They both suck.  I wish we could just think and talk objectively about issues, but everyone already has their minds made up based on party lines and bias.  I wanted to shake things up and question people on their viewpoints and ideas, but also do it in a light-hearted, comedic way.  The bottom line is that we think a little common sense and personal responsibility would go a long way towards solving society’s problems.  We thought the people needed heroes like that that they could believe in.

M.H. :  Because of the political message in American Rescue Squad, has there been any harsh negativity due to its controversial nature?

E.D.:  People either really love the movie or really hate it, which, believe it or not, is exactly what we were going for.  There’s nothing worse for a filmmaker than to screen the movie you worked your ass off on for over a year, just to hear yawns and see shrugs.  You want your movie to impact the audience in some way, and American Rescue Squad is doing that.  It’s starting a conversation afterwards and that’s amazing.  There’s no such thing as bad publicity …it creates buzz and we need buzz.

M.H.:  Do you have anything new in the works you can share with our readers?

E.D.:  I’ve completed five different scripts and would be happy to put any of them into production. But it really depends on what studios and investors are interested in.  At the end of American Rescue Squad, we tease about the continued adventures of Agent Killgore in The Cannabis Chronicles … that’s my dream project.  My brother and I are working on an offensive script about movie critics.

M.H.: The reviews for a movie critic satire should make interesting reading! Thank you Elliott, especially for making us laugh with your latest film. We look forward to seeing more of your delightfully deranged sense of humor!

Read the review for American Rescue Squad here.