ML: How did you find the dynamic between the tough and mature kid and her immature uncle?
SC: Nothing specific, when it comes to writing things I have most fun investing in characters -- and the dialogue. I know roles -- Sophie could tear Richie down verbally all day long, seven days a week, and he would just take it because he loves her. Strangers it would be another thing, but for his family, he'll let them. I kept that dynamic throughout.
ML: Tell me about the flip book from Richie's childhood?
SC: My dad taught me how cartoons worked by drawing them on ten-page flip-books, and my Mom bought me 100-page pads and I drew my own. The idea came to make it part of the movie, but sadly, I didn't have any of the books from childhood that would work in the movie so I had to redraw them.
ML: You drew the flip-books in the movie?
SC: Well, you'll see there is only one I show in the movie and the other one underneath, I didn't get to finish. I would do them overnight when we were shooting.
ML: In these flip-books, there is a cartoon character named Sophia, who is shot by an arrow, and then has an anvil dropped on her -- but still survives. This is a Phoenix theme paralleled by Richie, who tries to kill himself, but bounces back.
SC: I think he's a fatalist at every level. He wants to be needed, he wants people to pay attention to him, he wants someone to come look at his flip-books. He hopes his niece Sophia is named after the cartoon character he drew.
ML: What's going through Richie's head when he says "okay" -- both at the beginning of the film and at the end? Do you see a difference?
SC: These are slightly different "okays." In the first one, he felt needed for the first time in a long time, he was flattered. In the second, the "okay" was similar but now it was saying: "I'm not going to end my life." It's a dark sense of humor, you know: "I gotta check out of this place, but I can't because I need to look after Sophia next Friday."
ML: The music in "Curfew" is also really engaging. How did you you choose the specific pieces?
SC: Our music supervisor, Brienne Rose selected the type of music. She would give me about thirty choices, I didn't like any of them, she would come back with ten or twenty more. She was looking for things that were really fresh, and cool, and also affordable. I had the Vera Lynn song in the beginning and the Alexander song at the end credits, those were the two I had in mind.
ML: Do you have a favorite song in the film? One that you were listening to a lot at the time?
SC: The Alexander song, "Truth" -- I fell in love with it when we started shooting. It wasn't out on the radio, but it was in my head and I was playing it all the time. It happened that the management said we could use it, because they could have just as easily said no or given us a really high quote. At one point we went after a Rolling Stones song and they gave us a quote [laughs]. And it was a good quote, but it was just too expensive.
ML: What song was it?
SC: "Playing with Fire." But it was good that we went with a song that was more fun, so the audience knows they could laugh a little. With something dark, they might not have known they could loosen up.
ML: What's next for you?
SC: What I'm mostly working on now is trying to get a feature length version of "Curfew."
ML: Will this be a sequel or extension of the evening? How will you expand it?
SC: It will still take place over one night, but with more depth about Richie and about Maggie [Richie's sister] and what she's going through, and more about Sophia and Richie. I wasn't sure about it at first, though now that I have a draft I feel better about it.