TIFF 15 Interview: Six Questions for ‘NEVER HAPPENED’ Director Mark Slutsky


To remember or forget? To live in regret or in the dark? When Laura and Grady, colleagues on a business trip, have an impulsive fling, they decide it might be for the best if it the night just never happened. But as it usually happens in a real life, nothing disappears without a trace or is it? Mark Slutsky writes and directs short film, NEVER HAPPENED which received its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. And of course, it was quite interesting to discuss with Mark Slutsky the idea of making NEVER HAPPENED and why it`s so important to leave it that way…

MOVIEMOVESME: This is your first film since 2012, is there any specific reason that it took you so long?

Mark Slutsky: It takes a long time to make films. I’ve been working on some feature films and they take years and years. And so by accident almost I made this movie. A friend of mine, he’s a cinematographer, called me and he wanted to make a movie fast. He had equipment, he had favors, wanted to make a movie for no money and asked me if I had any scripts lying around. I wanted to make it when I had the opportunity so I said let’s make it. A month later we’re making this film.

MOVIEMOVESME: The story is about a subject that makes you think. What was the idea behind it?

Mark Slutsky: I don’t know exactly where it comes from because I actually woke up one day with the idea of the story in my head. But I was traveling at the time. I was in a hotel room in China, it was around 4 AM because I was jet lagged. So I woke up and wrote the story down. But we have always known revolutionary ideas to make our lives easier that we carry in our pocket. It doesn’t seem that far away from today when we will be able to maybe move things away from our lives.

MOVIEMOVESME: Unlike generic movies where people keep their affairs secret, I’m curious as to why you chose to make them forget about it like nothing happened?

Mark Slutsky: I think most people, if they have an affair, the most difficult thing would be the fact they knew about it and would be biting them. The guilt would drive them crazy. So I thought some people it might be easier to indulge in themselves and almost absolve themselves of the sins by forgetting about it like it never even happened.

MOVIEMOVESME: That’s all good but my interpretation was that there’s always something that will remind you of what you’ve done.

Mark Slutsky: And that’s a good interpretation because there’s always gonna be like a rash, a scratch or an earring. It’s never gonna be perfect because we are imperfect.

MOVIEMOVESME: Do you plan to make some other movies in the future on a similar subject?

Mark Slutsky: I had aonther short movie in 2012 called The Decelerator which also had bit of a science fiction into it and I’m working on a feature version of that, a long version. I do have ideas to make this into a feature as well.

MOVIEMOVESME: How were you able to bring such talented people to join your film?

Mark Slutsky: Well, I knew Anna Hopkins, I lived in the same city as hers and have known her for a long time. I thought she’d be perfect for it and she said yes. I then asked her for suggestions for the lead actor as I wasn’t really sure and she said Aaron Abrams who’s worked with her before and a good friend. As soon as she said that I said, “Yes, great. He’s good in Hannibal and young people are great.” So he said yes and I was really happy. The cinematographer, Mia Kirshner and I had worked years and years ago, she told me she was living in Toronto again. She asked me to send the script and immediately said yes. So I was very lucky.

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