“Not Deal” Inspirations According to Director Quinn Shephard
Black comedies and his favorite movies
Not good is a very funny movie, largely because you laugh through the secondary embarrassment of Danni’s laudable decisions. It’s also a very dark film, never holding back in its exploration of mindless influence culture, influence hunting, and legitimate trauma. It makes sense that some of the films that stayed with Shephard during the making of the film were iconic black comedies and satires.
I like bold satires and dark comedies. I grew up being impacted by movies like american beauty, Heathersand Election. They were some of my favorite movies when I was younger. As far as modern movies go, I like stuff like sorry to disturb you, Blind spotand The place, which is a Norwegian film that is one of the best social satires. It also has one of the most tense and incredible cinematic scenes I have ever seen.
On television, I was really inspired by Flea bag and I can destroy you, which are two of my favorite shows. It’s so amazing how Michaela Coel lets you talk about consent and rape, and laugh at the same time. It’s a huge achievement, so personal and so beautiful. PEN15also, which is maybe a weird benchmark for this, but gritty comedy and how personal it is to the youth – this show is still a benchmark for me.
But do the right thing was a great reference for me, and Network, which is an older movie, but has a lot of social commentary. I feel like I’m moving away from the satire with more of a sharpness: “Damn, I feel really touched by this because I let myself be fooled by the movie.” As, do the right thing starts and you’re happy to watch this movie, but at the end you cry and say “Holy shit”.
Those kind of movies are always what I really responded to. I think you’re drawn to movies that reflect how you deal with things in the world, and I do my best to deal with the darkness with humor. There’s something about satire where the humor almost lets you know more about the reality of the issues. I’ve always loved the genre because I feel like I’m trying to be very analytical and critical of the world around me, even my own actions, what I do, how I feel and how it was influenced by outside forces. Satire has just always been a great way to deconstruct the social climate, and I think through humor it helps to digest it better.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.