Daniels - Interesting Ball

DANIELS’ apocalyptic latest short, an exclusive film celebrating a year of Visionaries, charts a ball's horrifying bounces through LA

Ending the Dazed Video birthday week are the award-winning Daniels. With one Daniel coming from a comedy background and the other from animation, neither of them have a straight-forward approach to film – and thus the outcome is always extraordinary. We are so proud to present Interesting Ball, an explosive coming together of the bizarre moments in life. The narratives are stitched together by a huge red bouncing ball that skips from story to story – the ending is everything you wished for and more. Read our interview with Daniels below and check back today and this weekend for a look behind the scenes!

Where did the idea for Interesting Ball originate?

Daniel Kwan: We don’t want to give away too much because we’re working on a prequel.

Daniel Scheinert: But we will say that we have a whole load of unused really really immature ideas sitting around from over the years, and Interesting Ball came from a desire to bring some of our oldest, dumbest, weirdest, dearest ideas to life.  

Daniel Kwan: There are some ideas that have just stuck with us, and we can’t really explain why. For example, four years ago, we were trying to come up with an idea for a short film to shoot, and we landed on an idea where one of us gets sucked up the other one’s butt. For obvious reasons we didn’t make it.

Daniel Scheinert: The technology wasn’t available back in 2010.  

Daniel Kwan: We kept saying no to the idea, but it just kept coming back. We were embarrassed that we thought it was actually funny, and were even more ashamed that the idea came from our brains in the first place.

Daniel Scheinert: Or meaningful. Or worth hours and hours of work. But this film grew out of a desire to celebrate our most embarrassing brain farts.  

Daniel Kwan: ...and hopefully figure out what it means. You know…life and whatever.

Daniel Scheinert: Who are we? Why are we Daniels?  

Daniel Kwan: Why is someone giving us money to make things like this?

Daniel Scheinert: That’s why we made this movie. To explore the existential question of “Why did someone give us money?”

How did the concept of the red ball connecting all the storylines come to life? 

Daniel Scheinert: Well our friend Justin Becker came up with the idea of a ball fucking a lady.

Daniel Kwan: It was a short film about a red ball bouncing by interesting things and then some guy comes out of nowhere and shoots the ball because the ball fucked his wife. It was the dumbest thing anyone has pitched to us. We knew we had to make it. So without asking him, we stole it and crammed it in with a bunch of other terrible, unproduceable ideas.

Daniel Scheinert: Justin still doesn’t know we made his idea into a movie. Hi Justin! 

What was it like starring in the disappearing-in-ass scene?

Daniel Scheinert: It was a learning experience for me. I had never seen Daniel Kwan’s butthole or ball sack before. I have now seen those things.  

Daniel Kwan: There are quite a few short films that we have put ourselves in and it's usually out of necessity because we realise we can’t, in good conscience, ask someone else to do these things for free – like acting like someone is getting sucked up your butt. I’m actually pretty butt-shy and wouldn’t normally volunteer my butt for a role like this, but my butt is hairless and we knew it would be better for rotoscoping and visual effects than other Daniel’s whose ass is like a fuzzy blanket.

Daniel Scheinert: My butt is so crazy.   

Could you give us an idea of what it was like filming the 'bromance human shield' on the beach?

Daniel Scheinert: It’s called a Bro-Former you dick munching moron.  

Daniel Kwan: That’s not fair. It’s an easy mistake to make.

Daniel Scheinert: I’m sorry. The Bro-Former is a very special story and I can be a bit sensitive about it. You’re not a moron. It was fun to make because it stars some of our favourite people in the world.  

Daniel Kwan: They’re this amazing group of guys from Connecticut who used to be pro and semi-pro skaters, rollerbladers, and snowboarders but now work in film and video. They’re this incredibly tight knit group of friends, who love to jump off shit and screw around – and the only group of manly dudes in the world we could think of that would be okay with spending an entire afternoon greased up and holding each other in weird positions.

Daniel Scheinert: And also it stars our director friends Jesse and Dugan and our favourite stuntman in the world Tim Eulich. So we got to hang out on the beach with kewl dudes, green screen and fake blood. For onlookers it looked a lot like we were shooting a science fiction gay porno.  

Daniel Kwan: I kind of wish we had shot a sci-fi gay porno. 

Who and what inspires you when you're making films?

Daniel Kwan: We really like things that feel like they shouldn’t exist, but some how do. Like a giant herd of Saint Bernards, or an incredibly well-executed remake of a Robocop scene in which hundreds of realistic dicks get shot off. Being able to search for anything on the internet gives you this impression that everything is understood and accounted for, so sometimes it's refreshing to be reminded that there are still things in the world that don’t make sense. You wouldn’t think the world needs an art film of hundreds of dudes, dutifully humping their surroundings, but somehow it exists. Being faced with absurdity knocks you out of your comfort zone and forces you to ask questions.

Daniel Scheinert: Oooh check it out.  Here’s some stuff that inspires us!!! BoogoBreakfast on the Grass and the illustrator Will Laren.

Daniel Kwan: Also, what is this? For some reason it makes me laugh. 

Does one Daniel usually take the lead when directing, or are you a balanced-out duo – what roles do you each take on?  

Daniel Scheinert: We are mostly interchangeable at this point.

Daniel Kwan: Though we still take turns trading off who gets to be the neurotic stressed out one.

Daniel Scheinert: Kwan is really freaked out about this interview right now.  

Daniel Kwan: I hate doing emails and conference calls. And talking.

Daniel Scheinert: I’m usually really really stressed about finishing on time and on budget. Hurry up, next question!   

Was there ever any disagreement in the making of Interesting Ball, if so, what on?

Daniel Scheinert: Kwan wanted to call it “AN Interesting Ball.” What an idiot. I won that argument.  

Daniel Kwan: It’s pretty funny how often we can get into heated arguments about things like when in the edit someone should say “That ball fucked my wife”.

Daniel Scheinert: I have a much higher tolerance for disagreement if the content we’re disagreeing on is just the dumbest.   

Could you tell us anything that happened behind-the-scenes that we wouldn't otherwise know?

Daniel Kwan: My favourite parts of shooting this project was whenever random people passing by would see things we were shooting out of context. There were these construction workers working outside the house we shot all of the fridge scenes and I like to imagine they will never see the finished short film, and every now and then will remember that time they saw a fridge running down the street, and wonder what that was all about.

Daniel Scheinert: There was a little girl watching through the fence from her backyard while Bryan Condon punched a bloody kickball and screamed. What’s her life like now, you know? 

What’s in store for the future?

Daniel Scheinert: Our dream is to screen this movie in theatres, at festivals etc…  

Daniel Kwan: Squeezed between very serious and beautiful films.

Daniel Scheinert: We’d love to force unsuspecting strangers to watch this from start to finish and see how on earth they react to it. We have been internet filmmakers for the most part and we love unleashing our projects on the ole WWW, but there’s something really special about experiencing a film for the first time in a room full of strangers. Especially if it’s unpredictable and unexplainable...

Daniel Kwan: We like to chase new challenges and that always manifests itself in unpredictable ways. Maybe we’ll do an occulus rift project? Or an interactive theater piece or a children’s puppet show? Maybe we’ll just do something completely straight forward for a change.

Daniel Scheinert: Probably not.

Daniel Kwan: Definitely not.

The two kiss. The interview is over. The end.