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New Orleans-shot 'People' skewers typical movies

people

Hollywood South isn’t immune to the cynicism that often accompanies the film industry, and that’s exactly how director Shane McGoey and producers Eric Sella and Harrison Huffman were feeling after production of a film they working on fell through.

“We were very jaded about the whole process of making a movie, and getting it seen, marketing it, just basically everything,” says McGoey, a Covington native. “So we said, ‘Let’s kind of make fun of the process while we make a movie.’”

The result was People, a dark comedy based on the works of Jean-Paul Sartre that features an ensemble cast in six vignettes. The characters “grapple with each other in order to gain control of their own perspectives,” says McGoey, who directed the film.

The cast and crew were mostly local, with a couple of actors coming in from Los Angeles, “but it’s definitely a New Orleans underground piece,” McGoey says.

One of those local actors was Greg Homer, who plays a psychiatrist having a sexually charged counseling session with a young female patient in the first vignette. Homer, it turns out, was McGoey’s former principal. In grammar school.

“It was a really good school,” says McGoey. “It was basically a liberal arts school, so they encouraged the arts, so he was all for it. But he’s a brave man because that’s a very provocative role in a very provocative movie.”

While McGoey made a few short films in college, he said he really didn’t start learning anything about filmmaking until he started working as a production assistant on locally produced movies, including Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.

“Being a P.A. was pretty painful,” he says, “but still, I got to meet a lot of people that helped me, that are still helping me today, so that was good.”

People recently held its cast and crew screening at the Prytania Theater, and McGoey says they are now beginning the film fest application process.

“We just want to run the festival circuit and see what can happen,” he adds. “We want to get seen by as many people as possible. So why not start with the big festivals?”

To learn more about People, visit the official Facebook page.

Brian Friedman writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.