THE ROAD TO MARGARITAVILLE (2012)

9-episode web series. 

Screen Test: Roxie Fuller as Lissa (3:00)

Directed by Jason Underhill. Written by Jason Underhill & Ben Smith. Cast: Roxie Fuller, Ben Smith, Ignacio Genzon, Alex McDougall, Josh J. Peters.

The story starts in front of a dumpster. Nick, destitute, meets Lissa, who dances. The series focuses on the nuances of their increasingly volatile relationship, with stories occasionally spiraling out to the local population beyond the (stained) walls of Nick's motel room/home.

Screen Test: Ben Smith as Nick (2:16)

This project is based on two stories told to me by the lead actors, Roxie and Ben, while we were shooting Howlin' (2009). Roxie told me about a dancer who, after seeing news footage of the September 11 attacks, asked 'What movie is that?' Ben's story was about finding a paranoid motel manager in the lobby at 2am, clutching a rifle and hunting an invisible snake in the dark.

I flew back to London a few weeks after we finished shooting Howlin', and throughout the following year I was haunted by the two stories--in the market buying olives, I'd see a toddler poke his mom's pregnant belly with a can-opener and I'd hear: ("Is this Die Hard?/Did you see that fuckin' snake?!") A surprisie to me, each time I'd revisit these stories, they'd become more and more distorted, expanded by my own imagination, adding supporting characters and building context. I liked the idea of somehow directing that distortion, performed by the same duo that had originally told me the stories.

The result is that Roxie and Ben's real experiences, as remembered and perverted by me, become thematic elements of the series; in this sense, The Road to Margaritaville is a story set in its own periphery, while also an experiment with new ways to write and direct.

Directed by Jason Underhill. Written by Jason Underhill & Ben Smith. Cast: Roxie Fuller, Ben Smith, Ignacio Genzon, Alex McDougall, Josh J. Peters.