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I experience life through the lens of a comedic eye, naturally feeling laughter as a part of life. Growing up, I was the child observer with a dry wit. I enjoyed my family ‘getting’ the joke. It was never done to hurt or injure, but was my interpreting of events in a way that was unique to me and was a way of expressing who I was.

I laugh at myself and at the foibles of humans. I find humor in animals, tending to anthropomorphize them. These are pleasurable observations. It is natural for me to love comedic filmmaking. However, I don’t believe comedic films must be mindless diversions. Life is full of comedic moments in the midst of all the serious and important stuff. My characters may be very flawed, however I show their humanity. Even if they are tragic or perverse, we have empathy for them.

My influences are Stanley Kubrick for films such as A Clockwork Orange and Dr. Strangelove, which are progressive and radical, yet appeal to vast audiences, as well as Roman Polanski for so many classics, as well as his dark, portrayals in such films as The Tenant and Repulsion.

Being Jewish on my mother’s side, with relatives who have survived the Holocaust, a type of PTSD seems to have run through the family, undiagnosed of course. There is a type of wordless darkness that, I believe, could only have come from that unspeakable horror they endured. I tap into some rather dark places to bring out a kind of pained comedic expression that I think many people can identify with.

Finally, though and importantly, it is time for a next new wave of progressive films which we seemed to have left behind in the 1970’s. Films that consider the light and the dark, contain adult themes, intellectual ideas and are silly good fun.

Derrick and Smoky