K-11, directed by Jules Stewart (better known as Kristen Stewart’s mom) will be on DVD and Blu-Ray April 23rd. The film tells the story of record producer Raymond Saxx, Jr. (played by Goran Visnjic) after he ends up in a jail cell unit for gay and transgendered inmates.
In an exclusive interview, Stewart discussed the film, what it’s like to be a first-time director, and how she deals with having a famous daughter.
How did you get started in this project?
JS: Well, I was working on a television pilot and a young man named Jarred Kurt came to me and said, “Hey I have an idea for a movie I want to write, and it’s about K-11.” I did some research and found out K-11 was real, and I read about 10 or 15 pages that he had written and I thought, “Wow, this is crazy. It’s amazing. Let’s do it.”
How was the process directing for the first time?
JS: It was awesome. It was really fun; I liked it a lot. You know I have been holding the book for directors for 35 years, and just because you watch other people do something for so long doesn’t really mean you know how to do it. Let’s just say my learning curve was to the moon and back. I learned how important casting is. Casting is 99 percent of your movie — if you change one cast member, you have a different film. Pretty crazy.
Some people might say this movie is controversial…
JS: I was trying to target an adult audience. It’s not a controversy, it’s a fish-out-of-water story. It takes place in a jail that most people don’t even know exists. It’s an interesting environment. Never did I try to make political statements. All we ever wanted to do was tell a unique story that had never been told before.
One Twitter follower, @KS_Freckles sent in a question and wanted to know what the biggest challenge was shooting the movie?
JS: To get it done in time. I only had so many hours per day to shoot because they would throw us out at a certain time because they felt the facility was haunted so we had to be out by dark. I had to make my days — I had no choice. If I didn’t then we would lose scenes, and I didn’t want to do that.
Another twitter follower, @LoveLikeWhiskey, asked if you have any advice for young female writers/directors/filmmakers?
JS: Don’t give up thats my advice. It’s really hard to make an independent film in todays world, especially to get financing. Just don’t give up, keep going, you can do it.
@LouiseSarah46 asked if you could see Kristen Stewart as a director in the future and what advice would you give her
JS: Absolutely. Again, don’t give up. You can do it. If you have the idea and you have the imagination, you can do it. For Kristen, I think she is brilliant and she probably will be a writer/director/producer in the future.
A lot of Kristen’s fans have embraced you and are now your fans. How does that feel?
JS: I think it’s awesome. I am so proud of my daughter. I think in today’s world, she just knocked it out of the park. I am thrilled that she is her own person. She is smart and funny — she is Kristen. She is a unique commodity in this world, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. I would back her up in any situation.
Do you have any plans to work together?
JS: I am not writing anything specifically for her. I would love to work with her. As a writer/director, it’s fun to work with anyone who is extremely talented, who brings more to the character than you could even imagine yourself, and I think Kristen is one of those actresses.
Back to K-11, how was it working with your son Cameron?
JS: It was fun. I have been telling him what to do ever since he was born. That was easy. We had a good time together on that film. I have a really good relationship with both of my children. We have a lot of fun together. I listened to everything he had to say, and he listened to everything I had to say and it worked. We had a good time together.
Why should people go see this movie?
JS: Because it’s different. It’s fun. It’s unique. It’s an amazing character study.