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Meet the 2015 Sundance Filmmakers #54: Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel Can’t Let High School Go in ‘The D Train’

Meet the 2015 Sundance Filmmakers #54: Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel Can't Let High School Go in 'The D Train'

Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel sure are having one hell of an experience at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. The writer-directors’ debut feature film, “The D Train,” not only became the talk of Park City thanks to a sex scene between stars Jack Black and James Marsden, but it also got picked up by IFC Films in a strong $3 million deal. The film’s festival success should come as no surprise given its starry cast and great comedic storyline, in which Black plays an overly enthusiastic head of a high school reunion committee who vows to convince a famous former classmate (Marsden) to attend the event. With IFC Films now planning a theatrical rollout, it couldn’t be a better time to meet the funny duo. 

What’s your film about, in 140 characters or less?
With his 20 year reunion looming, Dan Landsman still feels like the loser he was in high school. In a misguided mission to prove he’s changed, Dan rekindles a friendship with the most popular guy from his class. But when their relationship takes a turn for the weird, Dan is left scrambling to protect more than just his reputation.

Now, what’s it REALLY about?
How far will we go to be accepted?

Tell us briefly about yourself.
Ugh.

What was the biggest challenge in completing this film?
We had a very small window in Jack Black’s schedule so the amount of shooting days kept decreasing.

What do you want audiences at Sundance to take away from your film?
That it’s funny? We’re not asking for much.

Are there any films that inspired you?
We we very inspired by John Hughes movies – “Planes, Trains & Automobiles,” “Vacation,” “Sixteen Candles,” “Pretty in Pink” – maybe because the character is stuck in his high school persona and centers around this reunion. The movie feels of that time to us also because of the tone of those movies and how they balance the comedy and drama.

What’s next for you?
We’re adapting this wired article called “Game King” and producing it with Jonah Hill.

What cameras did you shoot on?
Alexa. Anamorphic.

Indiewire invited Sundance Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they’re doing next. We’ll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2015 festival. Click here for more profiles.

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