Derek Magyar's journal

Part two of our exclusive inside look at the actor/director's work.

by Darren Amner and Derek Magyar

Derek Magyar's journal

Derek Magyar's journal

Since we last spoke I finally managed to see the Criminal Minds episode Derek appeared in entitled A Family Affair. For those not familiar with the TV show it’s about a group of FBI agents who have to band together to catch serial killers.

The episode opens up with a quote "When there is anger, there is pain underneath” which is shortly thereafter followed by a scene with a guy in a wheelchair (Derek Magyar) who is with a prostitute. He then stabs her.

Derek plays Jeff, a guy still coming to terms with his accident, who is lonely and struggles to deal with the tense overprotective relationship he has with his parents. The story was very disturbing. The son kills, and the parents go to finish the job by getting rid of the body. The FBI profile is that Jeff needs to kill for sexual release.

Its worth mentioning by the end of the episode you do start to feel for Jeff as his character arc evolves, for me that’s props to Derek for providing a depth to his role that might not even have been written on the page.

In March I emailed Derek to pass on my praise for his performance and to see if he had the next installment ready for his journal. The entry below really shows the reality and process of filmmaking.

Derek's journal

Derek Magyar's filmmaking journal
Derek Magyar's filmmaking journal

Chris Bryson (Co-writer) and I have been busy taking what was The Secrets We Share apart and constructing the story around plot. The Secrets We Share which everyone read was good but it was being driven enough by the stakes. This piece to me is about three girls who go through something that changes them forever and through this journey they discover who they are as individuals and who they are as "friends". I think exploring the reality of friendship and how much will you do for someone you care about is very relevant today and it was a piece I wanted to examine.

So we drove the new script head on by plot and then allowed the drama of the characters to unfold organically around the high stakes that are keeping the pace going. I am pleased to say that after many hours and many page one re-writes we are finally almost there!

Today I spoke to Chris, who wrote this with me, and he said in a tone that I hadn't heard in a long time that we have something really "fucking" special on our hands! The film just got its title today and I will give proper thanks to one of my producing partners, Bridie Hawthorne for coming up with it: Complicity. I think the title speaks volumes for what this film is about and how I want to tell the story. Now that we are at the point of fine tuning, the script will go out to our casting director and then, shortly thereafter, it will go out to the world. Then we begin the process of casting all over again really as the characters have changed and grown so much, it really is a new film altogether.

Chris has been amazing because not only is he my favorite first AD but he is also one fucking great writer! I am so lucky to have a group of artists who surround me that have so much to offer in so many different ways and I urge all of them to bring it on.

The stronger they are, the stronger I am. We are very excited right now and we are close to being on schedule for principal to commence during the summer, to get it done in time to submit and hopefully premiere this journey at Sundance come January. It has been gruelling and difficult, I have lost my temper and my cool and have needed the guidance of those around me to maintain my senses.

Making a film is not easy when you want to do it right and you want to say something special. It doesn't matter if you budget is 500k or five million, the proof is in the pudding and I won't accept anything less than out of this world for this film.

I will be judged by my second feature as a director and as a filmmaker and this is where I truly believe you make it or break it, per se. I can say with honesty that I am surrounded by people who won't accept anything less than I will and that will only make the movie and me stronger. Everything needs to click and it begins with what is on the paper, that step is complete. Now comes the hard part!

So there we have it - more developments with Complicity. Whilst Derek and I were developing this piece WWE announced that No One Lives will be coming out in early 2013. I’ve heard they might aim to premiere it at Toronto later this year - my guess would be at Midnight Madness, the perfect audience for a movie like this.

Derek also teased another directing gig which may happen this year, which sounds fantastic, and a big departure from his current project. I’m hoping he will talk more about this in a future entry.

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