“2020 can suck it”, says filmmaker Jessie McCormack, who premiered the pilot for her new series “Piss Off, I Love You” at Dances With Films last week.
How’s the year treating you, Jessie?
JM: Well, it’s certainly been the most memorable year of my life. But 2020 can suck it as far as I’m concerned. I wonder how many people out there are like, “Yeah! 2020 rules!” I can’t relate to those people.
Have you spent the quarantine writing?
JM: I have been doing some writing but I could definitely be more disciplined about it. It’s hard to keep focused these days. Again, I blame 2020. Yes, it’s a crutch but it’s working for me.
Was the series finished before the pandemic kicked in?
JM: Yes, thankfully. We shot it in London where us Americans aren’t allowed to visit right now so I’m grateful we got it in the can before this all went down.
Has it changed your release plans for the web series?
JM: Yes and no. Everything in the entertainment industry has been disrupted by the pandemic but our show was always something people would be streaming online so in that sense it’s business as usual.
The Dances with Films fest is premiering “Piss Off, I love You” virtually – I believe?
JM: That’s correct. We’re in the TV & Web Pilots section of the festival which is completely virtual this year.
How does that actually work? We can watch the pilot online?
JM: Yes, both our screenings will be streaming live from the Dances With Films festival website. Tickets can be bought at: https://dwfla.com/2020/movies/piss-off-i-love-you/
Where did this wonderful concept come from?
JM: I’ve spent a ton of time in England, starting from the time I was a toddler, so it’s a place very close to my heart. And I’ve always loved culture-clash comedies like A FISH CALLED WANDA, so I’ve wanted to make something in that genre forever. Plus, my co-star, Gaynor Howe, who is a wonderful Scottish actor, became a dear friend of mine when I met her at a film festival about a decade ago. I knew the moment we met that I wanted to collaborate on something together and then when I met her talented and delightful daughters, Kira and Josie, I was inspired to write something for us all to do together. So the show is really a family affair and a labor of love for all of us.
And you have the lead role, I believe?
JM: I do. At one point I did try to weasel out of acting in it because I was already wearing so many “hats” writing, directing, and exec-producing the project but Kira and Josie formed a coup and said they wouldn’t act in it if I didn’t, so I had no choice! But I’m very grateful to them both for taking that stand because it forced me to confront my fear and stick to my original vision.
What came first – the character or the script?
JM: I’ve literally re-written my answer to this question ten times! I can’t exactly pinpoint which came first. I think I discovered the characters as I wrote the script. It’s hard for me to separate one from the other. I’m curious how other writers answer this question. Send me the stats ASAP!
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