Published on January 24th, 2014 | by Biz Books

The Biz Interview: Pat Kiely – Writer-Director of Three Night Stand

Pat Kiely is the writer-director of the new Canadian film, Three Night Stand, which opens on January 25th in Vancouver. In advance of a special premiere screening at The Rio Theatre at 7PM on Saturday, we spoke with Pat Kiely to find out more about the film and his acting and directing career.

Can you briefly walk us through your creative process for the production from the early stages (initial ideas, writing, etc.) all the way to the theatrical release?

I wanted to write a story based on personal experiences and those of my friends. Yes, I know a couple that has been passing a yeast infection back and forth for years. Although it’s a rom-com, I tried to let the emotionality of the characters dictate the story, rather than a pre-conceived formula. I think that’s why people are calling the film genre-bending or anti-date in nature.


What themes and ideas do you want the audience to think about from watching the film?

I think that fantasy and reality are elemental parts of being human. Our fantasies drive us, motivate us, but they can also pollute our lives. And that goes for Carl, who’s obsessed with a fantasy of what his life would be like with his ex-girlfriend, Robyn. So I guess wanted to explore this preoccupation with needing more to be happy, and how relationships survive in the face of it.

What was the most challenging sequence for you to film?

The scene where Aaron shows up on the Ski-Doo was particularly hard to shoot. It was the dead of winter, the sun sets at 4:15pm and we were losing light. I think we shot 4 pages in 90 minutes. We just let the camera roll and I ran around like a football coach.

Which steps can directors take to build positive working relationships with their cast and crew during the making of a film?

I think good directors respect and listen to the people they’re working with. Most of time, our job is to pick the best ideas that come from the cast & crew, rather than being a genius.


You have done a lot of acting. What inspired you to direct?

I’ve actually always been directing. The two started simultaneously. I just got more gigs as an actor, whereas I was directing my friends doing comedy in our shi**y apartments.

Are there any authors or specific books that have been influential in your development as a filmmaker?

I gravitate to writers that focus on characters, rather plot. I’ve read every word Jonathan Ames has written. Recently, I really enjoyed Eugenides’ Marriage Plot and Adelle Waldman’s first book, The Secret Lives of Nathaniel P. I like Tom Perrotta a lot.

What is the biggest obstacle facing independent filmmakers today?

There is an oversaturation of content. So getting your films made, sold and watched is a huge challenge. It’s all a mission. Indie filmmakers shouldn’t let this deter them, though. Tell the story that means something to you. If you’re being truthful, we’ll connect to it.

What advice would you give to aspiring actors and directors?

As a writer/director – Build a family. Find smart, loving and motivated people that want to be part of your projects in some capacity. They’re not going to pay you, but the fact that they’re invested will keep you going.

As an actor – my friend Liane Balaban made me realize that an audition might be your only chance to play that part. So look at it like a gift. Make an artistic journey out of the few hours you get to be that person.

Three Night Stand runs from January 25th – January 29th at The Rio Theatre. Writer/Director Pat Kiely and star Meaghan Rath will be in attendance for a special screening with Q&A on Saturday, January 25 @ 7:00pm.

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