Inside the mind of a computer f**ker… the director of Control Alt Delete Cameron Labine Interview with Vancity Buzz
Control Alt Delete opens this Friday at Vancouver’s Tinsletown Theatre – the movie is set in 1999 right before the Y2K hysteria hit its peak and the end of the world was inevitably coming. Lewis Henderson, a lifetime computer nerd, is addicted to internet porn and is no longer interested in physical interaction with his girlfriend – when she leaves and his job trying to solve the Y2K problem turns in to a bit of a mess he turns to his only true love…his computer and he sticks his dick in it. The movie never taking itself too seriously but also giving us a great social commentary on how media hysteria can really make something out of nothing (what happened to swine flu?) and the personal growth of the main character played by director Cameron Labine’s brother really make for a hilarious movie with a plot that I guarantee none of us have seen before.
Labine, a Vancouver local, was kind enough to sit down with Vancity Buzz and let us get inside the mind of a computer f**ker.
Vancity Buzz: Let’s start off with an almost little mini-bio of how you got to where you are today?
Cameron Labine: I grew up in the suburbs of Ontario, well Toronto… my Dad sort’ve moved us across the country when I was in Grade 10 out to Maple Ridge and I finished high school out there. Then I did a film degree at UBC and started making (film) shorts after that and working on independent features and finally worked my way up to writing a feature length script and then directing it.
Vancity Buzz: Control Alt Delete is a unique film, where did the story come from?
Cameron Labine: Right, that… well I became really interested in internet porn basically and how much of it there was and how everyone was using it and nobody was really talking about it. I started thinking about a character that was really addicted to it and was so afraid to tell anybody it that he started to think he was a real crazy pervert and it started spinning out from there. Maybe imagining that if he likes internet porn so much, maybe it’s actually the computer itself turning him on and “oh my god, what does that mean?” you know, it’s this character starting his self fulfilling prophecy around this fetish. My brother (TYLER LABINE) really liked it and said “I am that guy”and I said “well ok, I hope not but sure let’s make a movie about him then.”
Vancity Buzz: What was it like directing your brother who plays the main character Lewis Henderson in that role? As someone who has sex with computers?
Cameron Labine: It was super intuitive and fun, we used to make movies together when we were kids with my Dad’s camcorder it wasn’t really all that different in a way thinking oh this would be fun and that would fun. Both of us really thought that the computer fucking stuff was just half of it and actually he started to get a little bit nervous about it and finally when he did it for the first time he was like “OK that was easy, I like it.”
Vancity Buzz: I looked around on IMDB and couldn’t find this out but you have 2 brothers, Kyle and Tyler who is the oldest?
Cameron: I’m the oldest
Vancity Buzz: So then while shooting this with Tyler did you kind of bully him around as the older brother or tease him a little?
Cameron: Well yeah I got him to be in a computer fucker movie somehow so…I dunno that took a little bit of coercing. But seriously being brothers and especially being his older brother he gets this instinctive impulse to like impress me or something or get my approval. I think he was really wanting to do a good job for his older brother which was great.
Vancity Buzz: You won the “Inspiration Award” at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 2008, how did that feel?
Cameron: It was cool it was the inaugural award for the “Inspiration Award” I really liked the description which was neat it was awarded to a “young emerging film maker with daring content and expansive execution” or something which is what I was really going for you know like trying something really off the wall and executing it in a mature and sophisticated enough way that its interesting and not sort of a one gag kind of premise.
Vanciity Buzz: Control Alt Delete is set in 1999 and based around the end of the world and Y2K; do you particularly remember anything you did to prepare for Y2K if you can remember back that far?
Cameron: Yeah actually I was still in University and some friends and I we took a van trip down to Mexico and I remember being a little bit worried wondering if we’re going to be stuck in Mexico if the shit hit the fan. We even had to do some crazy paper work at the border to let us in something about Y2K… some kind of special waiver we had to sign. I remember thinking I hope it doesn’t all go down because we might end up stuck in a Mexican prison and that’s never good. I remember all the hysteria around it and people were actually quite scared… it’s funny to think about now but I think it was a real coming of age for the computer age.
Vancity Buzz: Are you worried at any impending lawsuits from companies who might, after this movie is released may have their computers raped?
Cameron: Yeah, that would be great… that would be good publicity any press is good press ha-ha
Vancity Buzz: You’ve done a lot of acting…what took you from acting in to the realm of directing?
Cameron: I kind of always wanted to do it, when I was a kid I started pulling out my Dad’s movie camera and telling my brother and friends what to do I just loved it and I started directing plays in high school. I always knew I wanted to be a director, I liked acting though it was a good way to put myself though University and stuff I saved some money to go to school and it used to just be kind of a hobby and a job for awhile but I certainly learned a lot about how to work with actors cause I was one.
Vancity Buzz: Which do you prefer?
Cameron: Directing, definitely.
Vancity Buzz: Who is your favourite director?
Cameron: Well my favourite film I always say is Blue Velvet by David Lynch so I dunno I guess that kind of makes him my favourite director.
Vancity Buzz: Let’s say hypothetically you were doing a DVD commentary for the opening scene of Control Alt Delete which features your brother main character Lewis Henderson in a 69 position with his girlfriend, what would you be saying during the commentary?
Cameron: I would say…ha-ha I gotta be careful here cause that was kind of hell-ish that scene to shoot. I would tell everyone to just loosen up a little bit, including myself. Everyone was so nervous about that shot that I think it comes through but I’ve never seen a movie that opens up with a couple in a 69 position so I figured someone’s gotta do it so may as well be me.
Vancity Buzz: Can you explain to us what “#3” actually is?
Cameron: Ummm….no. It’s up to you to look inside your own heart what your #3 is
Vancity Buzz: Or your toilet?
Cameron: Ha-ha or your toilet, I actually answered that question at the Toronto film festival at the premier someone asked me and I said well here’s what I think it is and then the whole crowd went “ohhh, ewwww” and my producer said “Cam you know what, next time just don’t answer that question”
Vancity Buzz: Alright we’ll leave it to the imagination then. In the mean time Control Alt Delete is opening in Vancouver at Tinsletown on Friday – if you had to describe to Buzz readers in 10 words or less what to expect, what would you say?
Cameron: They should expect something unique, funny, thoughtful and local. Some people making a film in Vancouver that is pretty different than what most people are trying to do around here. It’s got a real off the wall-ness that a lot of stuff just doesn’t have.
Even though the last question went over 10 words you should still go see this movie, not just aimed at computer geeks anyone a fan of comedies should go, bring their friends and their family (especially your grandma, this is a movie I think she’d really appreciate) You’ll have a good time, have some LOL’s and supporting the local talent featured in this film. Written and Directed by Cameron Labine and starring his brother Tyler Labine who really steals the show with his rendition of a character who literally has sex with computers this movie will really make you appreciate your computer that much more.