What Happened Last Night is the first film funded by DreameGGS Funding Club. The cast were in Los Angeles for the premiere screening of the film, and will be attending the Cannes Market during the Cannes Film Festival to take meetings with distributors.
Sarah (Alix Kermes) and Danny (Clayton Snyder) are both recovering from breakups when they attend a fraternity party. The next morning they wake up in bed together with no memory of how they got there. The film flashes back to show what did happen last night, as Sarah’s friend Mindy (Diana Durango) and Danny’s friend Joe (Cody Calafiore) tried to help them have fun, even after they lost consciousness.
We spoke with Kermes, Snyder, and Calafiore after the movie. Writer/director Candice T. Cain had actually written the first draft when she was 18 in college. Now as a grown-up filmmaker she collaborated with her younger self. The production finished filming in an efficient 12 days with a cast that includes Amber Rose, David Otunga, Shelley Regner, Jake Thomas, Natasha Coppola-Shalom, and Austin Davis.
Q: How do you say the name of this movie? Is it stated “what happened last night” or a question like “What happened last night?”
AK: It’s What Happened Last Night?
Q: That’s what I thought. Did each of you have a college experience that compared to What Happened Last Night?
CC: Off the record or on the record?
CS: Yes. Do you want me to go into detail? That’s the thing. I don’t remember what happened. There were plenty of times where you want to go out and your expectations are I’m just going to go, just going to have a drink and chill out. Then it can escalate really quickly.
AK: I had one too.
CC: To be honest, I’ve never experienced the whole not remembering what happened the night before.
AK: Oh, I have.
CS: I have and then got to recollect later.
AK: The best is when you’re looking at the pictures the next day. My girlfriends and I would go out for a drink many times in college. She was like, “I’m going to wear my glasses. We’re going out for one drink.” And I’m like “All right, let’s go out.”
CC: One drink leads to two.
AK: Four or five in the morning, we’re crawling into one of our apartments. Usually one of us is bleeding because we’ve walked two miles.
CC: Sounds painful.
CS: Then you wake up with a text saying, “Hey, you tried to make out with my friend last night and she turned you down.”
AK: If you can find your phone.
CC: We’ve all been there, right?
Q: Have you ever been forced to go out when you really didn’t want to?
CS: I’ve forced others.
AK: I think we’ve done both.
CC: They go hand in hand. You have situations where you want to drag your friends out and then your friends vice versa do the same to you.
CS: I straight up broke into a friend’s room while he was trying to sleep and wouldn’t leave. I pretty much stayed with him and gave him a quiet motivational speech to go out and he did.
CC: That’s college.
AK: Try dragging your girlfriends off of an SVU marathon to go out. That gets difficult.
Q: Alix, what do you think your character Sarah saw in her ex Dave? Because the only scene we see him in, he really seems like an A-hole.
AK: I think this is a tough one. In the movie he is just put in a horrible situation and she seems possibly like maybe the type that would’ve been a little more insecure in some relationships. She doesn’t seem like the most self-confident. You can see that in the scene where she’s getting ready with Mindy. She doesn’t think she’s pretty. She thinks she’s too smart, that sort of thing, so she may fall kind of prey to a more manipulative man. Her friends saw it the whole time and it just took him cheating on her for her to see it.
Q: How much fake beer did all of you have to drink?
CS: A good amount.
AK: Quite a bit.
CS: We had some Maui Brewing Co. beers on hand for fresh opens but a lot of times, we would go to the sink and refill them with water.
CC: A lot of water beer and it did not taste good.
AK: In the beer pong scenes there was beer and water, from the ones I drank.
Q: How crazy was it shooting the beer pong scene?
CC: That was fun.
AK: It was so fun.
CC: A lot of fun. I’m going to be honest. I’m going to say this right now on the record.
AK: You were good.
CC: I made hat shot with my eyes closed and my hand in front of my eye.
AK: After how many shots did it take?
CC: It was literally the first try.
CS: With all of the cups.
CC: Right, every cup was there, but I made it. So let me just clarify. I did make that shop.
AK: The girls were all pretty good. The guys got lucky.
CC: “Sarah” made no shots at all.
AK: Excuse me, I made several.
CS: I wasn’t invited.
Q: How many takes of the keg stands did you do?
AK: Several. They were fun.
CC: What was funny about the keg stands is that you were just inhaling a lot of air. And the air tasted awful. It was like stale beer that was empty. It was disgusting.
AK: The thing about it was, I mean, I don’t mind being manhandled by David Otunga. I actually asked for the scene to happen and Shelley jumped on board too, but I don’t know how it was from a guy’s perspective. I was sitting there like, “This is pretty cool he’s lifting me up.” How did it feel to be manhandled?
CS: Safe space. It’s a safe space.
CC: This is an open space for all of us. Hey, it’s David Otunga, right? He literally lifted me up over his shoulder and I weigh like 165 lbs., like I was nothing. I was like, well, this is fun I guess. It felt really great to be manhandled by David Otunga.
Q: You don’t always have such a strong support system. Had you ever done keg stands before?
CC: Yeah, well, you know, college, keg stands, they’re fun.
AK: Frat parties, they’re typically there. I’ve never had one guy lift me over his shoulder though. That was a new one for me. Normally it’s two people lifting me up.
Q: How did you play the dead weight in your passed out scenes?
AK: That wasn’t very difficult.
CC: I can tell you one thing. He played it right because I was like, “Jesus, Clay. This is difficult.” We’re going up the stairs and I didn’t realize how much bigger he was than I was. I was like, “Oh my God.”
CS: Because of his ego, he thought we were the same size. I think fortunately for Cody, when we were going up the stairs, it was yes, playing the dead weight, but I was still able to walk. When you were in the bed and having to be dragged around by Diana…
CC: I never had to move him around the bed too much.
AK: And that scene was cut short.
Q: There was more?
AK: There was so much more. It took like 15 minutes for her to move me, from the time that I passed out, for her to move me to the final position took like 15 minutes. By the end of it, they yelled cut and she was like [PANTING]. I just burst out laughing at this point. I didn’t break character. It was all shot in one shot.
CS: You actually fell asleep during it.
AK: I fell asleep when you were in the bed. When we filmed your scene, I was out. It was great.
Q: In only 12 days, were the party scenes near the beginning or end of the shoot?
AK: They were kind of in the middle. The first few shoots were more outside and individual scenes. We did the party scenes at the end of the first round, and then we actually flew some of the cast back in for a second round of filming. That was when we did more of the party scenes in a new location.
Q: Candice wrote this when she was 18. Did she have specific ways she wanted you to play certain things?
AK: Yes and no, I would say.
CC: I think she had a visual of what gave her the inspiration to write it, but she always allowed us to explore what we thought the characters were. She wasn’t too set on how she wanted us to play certain aspects of the characters, which I thought was awesome.
CS: I think it was a combination of not being too set and then I think she felt very confident in her casting because she made that note a lot, of “You’re just what I imagined. This is exactly how I imagined it would play out. You are Dan here.” It was a combination of the two. She would chime in once in a while on a tonal note if she wanted more emphasis on something else for story purposes. Overall she allowed us to be the characters.
CC: Which was awesome.
AK: That was something very important. I was on the casting side so that was something we went back and forth on for each person. We watched their tapes and every person we were like, “Can we envision them in the role?” And then once we got them on set, everyone pretty much fell into place. Everyone knew their lines. Everyone really fell into their characters and was able to go out without too much direction. We didn’t have bloopers. I was talking to Candice, I’m like, “We should put bloopers in.” We really didn’t have that many bloopers because once we got on camera, everyone pretty much [knew their lines].
CC: We did have one blooper. Clayton decided to head butt a camera and slit his nose wide open. As a close-up was happening so he’s trying to act like a rooster or a chicken. He went to peck the camera.
CS: I was entertaining a child. She was watching the monitor from the other side and I was clucking at the camera like a chicken, got too close and shoved my face into the camera lens.
CC: Right into the camera lens.
CS: So you’ll notice in the scene where I’m baking brownies, there’s a discoloring spot on my nose. Our makeup artist did a fantastic job.
AK: Shout out to Jess.
CS: For making it look as good as it did. Thank you, Jessica.
CC: That was a good blooper.
AK: It was bleeding. Every time you would even blink, it would start bleeding. She’d cover it.
CS: But we came through and it’s like, “Is there something on his face?” But overall…
AK: It works out.
Q: But the lens was okay?
CS: More importantly, the lens was okay.
AK: He may have broken his face but the lens was fine.
Q: Cody, being your first movie, did the cast or filmmakers have any advice for you?
CC: For me, Clayton was great, once he showed up. I learned a lot from him. I got there a couple days before him. Then when he showed up, I don’t know, it was just a lot because he’s had a lot of experience. When we were running lines, I felt really good. You made me feel really comfortable in the character and then we got really close over the days of shooting. I always say that I came back right after the first time we had run lines, I don’t know what it was but I feel like I learned so much from this kid because he was always just in the moment more about not just the lines, but the interaction between the two of us. He was one person that I really learned a lot from just being in my first film.
Q: What are your hopes for the future of your careers?
CC: More work. Isn’t that anybody’s hope for the future?
AK: I’ve got things in the mix.
CS: A professional water polo league in the United States. They always laugh. That’s one of them but to continue making stories that entertain and inspire.
Q: Clayton, one of your first jobs was in Lizzie Maguire. Did you ever imagine your career would take you here?
CS: Sure. Yeah. After Lizzie, I decided to take a hiatus from acting. I was doing musicals in theater for a while and then got that show, so I was working professionally for a very brief time. I was very fortunate and blessed to have had that project to work on and then decided I wanted to stick with my friends and with school and with water polo. About 11 years later was when I came back into acting. I knew between athletics, acting and academics, one of those three had to take a backseat and acting was the one to me that made the most sense to put behind and come back to later. So I always knew that I would come back. There was a part of me that was hopeful. I really saw myself coming back into it and it’s come to fruition. It’s wonderful.
Q: At the time, did you appreciate what a phenomenon that show was as one of your first gigs?
CS: Yes. Totally.
AK: He was Ethan Craft.
CS: That’s the funny thing. When you’re auditioning for that, the cool thing is that it’s a Disney project. Wow, everyone loves Disney. The show Lizzie Maguire had no history. The character Ethan Craft had no history. For it to become what it became was an awesome thing to be a part of.
AK: My coworkers are all jealous, I know that for sure!
Photo Credits: DreameGGS Funding Club