Daniel Campbell is the director of “Antiquities” which is a new movie about a son overcoming his father’s death and, in the process, learning about himself, starring Andrew J. West Ashley Greene, Mary Steenburgen, Michaela Watkins, and Michael Gladis. Daniel Campbell recently discussed this compelling new movie and his role in it via an exclusive interview.

Locations, cast, and inspirations

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you get into making Movies and what most appeals to you about family drama themes?

Advertisement
Advertisement

Daniel Campbell (DC): After college, I got a job selling radio ads at a local FM station in Little Rock, but I wanted to break into the film industry. While I was at the radio station, I reached out to a casting director to see if she was hiring. She wasn't, but a few months later she asked me to be a casting assistant on Rod Lurie's film "Nothing But The Truth.” I was the worst salesman that had ever lived, so I accepted the job before she could get the offer out.

"Antiquities" is a new movie that is directed by Daniel Campbell. / Image via Daniel Campbell, used with permission.
"Antiquities" is a new movie that is directed by Daniel Campbell. / Image via Daniel Campbell, used with permission.

We shot for ten weeks or so in Memphis. After that, I came home and wrote and directed my first short, “Antiquities.” In terms of family drama themes, I think what is most appealing is that it allows a writer to write about real-life situations that most people have either experienced or can empathize with. I love the chance to be able to draw upon my life experiences and apply those to my films as well.

MM: What inspired “Antiquities” and how long did it take to shoot in full?

Advertisement

DC: To say it was based on the short, “Antiquities,” is probably a stretch. There are similarities, in terms of characters, locations, etc., but the plot is completely different. The feature, Antiquities, deals with the issues of losing someone close to you and the effects it has on everything else in your life. Graham and I both lost our dads early in our adulthood and that’s what inspired Antiquities; the way in which we cope with, and sometimes deny, the pain that comes from having something tragic happen to those we love.

We shot the film over the course of twenty-two days.

MM: How did you secure the locations and cast members and which scenes were the trickiest to film?

DC: The film commissioner of Arkansas, Christopher Crane, and our producer, Gary Newton, were vital in that process. They pulled about every string available to get the locations that we felt were essential to the film. The cast came about through some actors that I had worked with before on previous projects and who one of our casting directors, Yancey Prosser, had auditioned for us.

Advertisement

A lot of the connections to the bigger name actors were through our producer, Jayme Lemons. The scenes that were trickiest to shoot were the scenes in the antique mall because it was such a huge space and we only had the budget to set dress one side. Blocking and composition played a really important role inside the mall to sort of disguise that without making it feel obvious in what we were doing.

MM: What is your favorite scene in “Antiquities” and why?

Advertisement

DC: My favorite scene is probably the first time Walt steps inside the Antique Mall. He is basically thrown into a tornado of eccentric characters that have a lot of suppressed, but major issues that they don’t mind sharing with the world, or they’re too in denial to see that their issues even exist. The reason I like that scene so much is that I feel it establishes (pretty quickly) the town and this world in which he enters and gives an insight into all of the bizarre characters that Walt will have to maneuver around during his stay.

Audiences, films, and entertainment

MM: What other films have you directed and how are they are different from one another on a thematic level?

DC: I directed three shorts before “Antiquities.” They all have a comedic element to them, but the comedy ranges from light-hearted to pretty dark. The “Antiquities” short is basically about a guy who works at an antique mall and wants to ask a coworker out before her last day on the job. “The Orderly” was my second short, and it was about an orderly in the 1950’s who, on his first day on the job, is given the assignment of transporting two clinically insane patients across the state. “The Discontentment of Ed Telfair” was the third short I wrote and directed. It’s about a man who makes some pretty bold decisions after concluding that his wife is having an affair with his employee. That doesn’t really sound like a comedy now that I think about it.

MM: What do you hope audiences like most about “Antiquities”?

DC: First and foremost, I want them to relate to and like the characters. Antiquities is an ensemble comedy, so it’s pretty vital for audiences to enjoy all of the eccentric personalities that the actors did such a wonderful job bringing to life. Graham and I wanted to create characters that were quirky and flawed, but also relatable and genuine, so hopefully viewers experience this and walk away entertained.

MM: What’s most rewarding about being a film director and what other movie projects are coming up next for you in 2019?

DC: To me, the most rewarding thing about being a film director is the opportunity to tell a story that is heartfelt and relatable enough that people connect with it and feel entertained after spending an hour and a half or so of their time watching. There seems to be an endless amount of fantastic content out there on so many different platforms, so for the audience to feel entertained is a big deal for me. In terms of projects in 2019, Graham and I have a few ideas we are working on, and there is a script that I’m really excited about that I can’t really say too much about that will hopefully get some traction this year or early in 2020. "Antiquities" is available now on all major VOD platforms.

Click to read more and watch the video