Official Selection 2013
Clark and Becca leave a bar after a night out with friends. When a homeless man approaches them on the street, Clark gets an idea. Adam Brody, Louisa Krause and Keith David star in this dark comedy by master playwright Neil LaBute.
Director: Nathaniel Krause
Producer: Andrew Carlberg, Josiah Bultema
Writer: Neil LaBute
Key cast and other credits:
Clark – Adam Brody
Becca – Louise Krause
Homeless Man – Keith David
‘I have always been interested in the mechanics of relationships: what keeps individuals together and conversely what pulls them apart. From a completely logical perspective, maintaining a relationship isn’t all that difficult; I challenge you to find someone who doesn’t know that at the bare minimum it takes respect and understanding. Though of course this may be an oversimplification, it does suggest a truth about those who abuse their partners: they must, even if it is at some subconscious level, be aware of their wrongdoing.
Despite this fact however, it seems few are able to break their malicious behavior begging the question, why are they incapable of change?
It was this question that drew me to “Double or Nothing.” Despite what would seem like heavy subject matter, as I first read Neil LaBute’s script I was charmed by a story that effortlessly explored this aspect of human nature through its dark humor and deceptively simple situation. Jumping on the opportunity to get this story onscreen, Neil got me in touch with producer Andrew Carlberg, with whom he had worked on a previous short and theatrical premiere. With Andrew on board we were able to assemble the stellar cast that the complex characters of this story demanded.
Adam Brody, Louisa Krause and Keith David were remarkably adept at developing the intricacies of the relationships onscreen as well as probing the depths of their characters in order to explore the motives behind each of their more often than not questionable actions. With Adam’s character, Clark, at the center of the plot, I not only wanted to capture the realism of the story, but also subtly develop the psychological change the character undergoes. By bringing on a second producer, Josiah Bultema, we were able to put together a great crew and find an authentic location capable of making this possible.
My cinematographer, Jeff Webster, and I agreed upon a complete hand held approach to the film to give a sense of immediacy and unpredictability to the frame. We also chose to track Clark’s satisfaction with his actions through overall image quality—subtly saturating and desaturating the image as the situation was or wasn’t moving in his favor. In addition, through collaboration with my sound designer, Chris Julian, we chose to slowly thin out the mix as Clark becomes all the more self-isolating through the film. Overall I wanted the results of these technical manipulations to be felt, but not necessarily noticed.
Ultimately “Double or Nothing” isn’t meant to provide a simple and clean answer to the complex question above, but rather provide an intimate look at a situation that reveals some of the surprising motives behind an individual’s actions. In the end, we may find that we are not all that unalike, but what truly separates us is how we deal with our like-thoughts and fears.’
Nathaniel Krause earned his Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Southern California’s prestigious School of Cinematic Arts
where he was the 2011 recipient of the Edward Thomas Troutner Award and the Albert and Dana Broccoli Award. Having previously completed undergraduate degrees at Carnegie Mellon University in Film, Music Architecture and Business he decided to focus his interdisciplinary interests on the art of collaborative storytelling by concentrating in directing and cinematography. Currently Krause’s work in both short and feature length formats can be seen in festivals throughout the world and includes films such as
What to Bring to America (official selection Austin Film Festival, Artivist Film Festival, Monaco Charity Film Festival), Refuge (official selection Boston LGBT Film Fest), Buried, Snapshot Samba and the upcoming Sriracha doc. In addition, Krause’s directorial work has earned him grants from Pittsburgh Filmmakers and the Eastman Kodak Company. Driven to bolster emotionally compelling narratives with strong visual language, Krause ultimately strives to fully develop the personal stories of life’s unique and varied characters.
Neil LaBute received his Master of Fine Arts degree in dramatic writing from New York University and was the recipient of a literary fellowship to study at the Royal Court Theatre, London, and also attended the Sundance Institute’s Playwrights lab. His films include In the Company of Men (New York Critics’ Circle Award for Best First Feature and the Filmmaker Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival), Your Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty, Possession, The Shape of Things To Come (A film adaptation of his play by the same title), The Wicker Man, Lakeview Terrace and Death at a Funeral. LaBute’s plays include bash: latterday plays, The Shape of Things, The Mercy Seat, The Distance From Here, Autobahn, Fat Pig (Olivier nomination for Best Comedy), Some Girl(s), This is How it Goes, Wrecks, Filthy Talk for Troubled Times, In a Dark Dark House, Reasons to be Pretty (Tony Award nomination for Best Play), The Break of Noon and In a Forest, Dark and Deep. Reasons to be Pretty is currently having its U.K. debut at the Almeida Theatre in London. LaBute is also the author of Seconds of Pleasure, a collection of short fiction which was published by Grove Atlantic.