Egos and Bagheads

by W. Andrew Powell



Indie filmmakers are the best. I mean, really, there is nothing like talking to someone who hasn’t been pulverized by the film industry yet.

Earlier today I had the opportunity to chat with Indie film writer, director and producer Mark Duplass, who is promoting the comedy Baghead for DVD release on December 27.

The film is about four struggling actors who decide that the best way to become stars, and find work, is to actually make their own film. Retreating to a cottage in the woods, the foursome come up with an idea for a thriller about a guy with a bag over his head who torments people for kicks. As they deal with their own personal issues though, they discover that there might be a real “Baghead” stalking them.

Working with his brother Jay, the duo work as a team for all their film projects. Mark talked a bit about how they work together, and what’s coming next (including a film they’re working on with John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei and Jonah Hill).

It was one of those chats that thankfully went outside the box a bit, with Mark happily admitting that, in any discussion about filmmaking, the director has to take on the role of the complacent egocentric. At the same time, he is of course left to accept that whoever he is talking with will take on the role of the ego-stroking observer, offering up their own ideas about his work.

I don’t think he was really trying to be mean about it, but it’s a very good point and working on either side of that line, as a filmmaker or a journalist, means either accepting that fact, or trying as hard as you can to avoid being a weenie.

I frankly don’t like interviewing anyone unless I’m a fan of their work, which leads me to a point where I try not to be a total fanboy. But of course, I usually fail (case in point, my interview a few years back with Bruce Campbell) – something I’m very unapologetic about, since I don’t think you can write about film unless you are a fanboy in some way, shape or form.

Anyway, Mark was a very interesting guy to speak with. He’s as real as they come, and very friendly. Baghead is also one of those unique films that is a lot of fun because it mocks the conventions of filmmaking, while actually carrying a decent story with great characters.

I’ll have more on Baghead soon, and otherwise you can check out the official website at

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