Drew V. Marke’s latest feature, Get Luke Lowe, is a dark comedy/crime drama about two young women who abduct a far-right online troll in an act of vengeance, but things don’t exactly go as planned. The film stars Emma McDonald (The Picture of Dorian Gray), May Kelly (Graphic Designs) and Barney Jones (Times & Measures). Very relevant to the present cultural climate, the film deals with social issues such as racism and the effects of internet culture in modern times. Ahead of the May 25th DVD release, we spoke with Drew about everything from the screenplay process to finding inspiration from Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers. Get Luke Lowe is available now on VOD.
You wrote and directed Get Luke Lowe. Where did you originally get the idea for this film?
It came about after an incident I experienced in London. One night, I came across a young English Caucasian guy harassing an old African lady and I intervened. He turned that harassment on me. His insults weren’t just racialized; I was also subjected to a torrent of sexist remarks too. He had extreme views and, to be honest, upon reflection post-incident, I was just fascinated by that. When I mentioned the incident to a couple of people, they were surprised that this happened in multi-cultural London. So, when I had the opportunity to make a feature a few months later, I knew what I wanted to talk about. But I didn’t want to just focus on that one character, I also wanted to explore the internet culture that can incubate these attitudes, exacerbate extremism and increase polarization within our society, and the impact that can have in the real world, all the while having a bit of fun with it in a dark sort of way.
How long did it take you to write the screenplay for Get Luke Lowe?
It was a quick write – six weeks. I was really interested in the topic and themes that underpinned the story and I also love writing dark humor, so it just flowed out.
You have directed a lot of shorts, but Get Luke Lowe is your first feature. Besides length obviously, what was the biggest difference between directing a feature, compared to a short?
I don’t remember it being hugely different to the shorts, though continuity involved a lot more effort. Everyone’s secondary role on set involved supporting continuity as we were trying our darndest to avoid a Starbucks-cup-in-shot scenario – which turns out is really hard to do when you’re filming over a longer period and you have to keep on top of more details.
Look wise, where did you get your inspiration for Get Luke Lowe?
Spring Breakers was definitely a source of inspiration in terms of color, vibe and how to rock a balaclava.
Is there a scene in the film that was particularly hard to shoot? If so, why?
The baseball bat scene – trying to get that right and realistic was a challenge.
Get Luke Lowe deals with social issues such as racism and the effects of internet culture in modern times. What is the message you are hoping people walk away with after watching your film?
For me, it wasn’t about walking away with a particular message as it’s quite provocative. My intention was rather that it hopefully makes people think and possibly talk, because there are no easy solutions to the social problems we face in society today, but awareness and talking about it are good starting points.
You credit your parent’s love of film as inspiration for wanting to become a filmmaker. What were some of their favorite films to watch when you were growing up, that made a big impact on you?
My Mom had an eclectic love for classics; anything from Ryan’s Daughter, Lawrence of Arabia, Singing in the Rain, West Side Story to The Godfather. I don’t remember my Dad having particular favorite films but rather he loved certain genres, mainly action, martial arts and Bollywood. All of which made a huge impact on me because they all in their unique way pulled me into their worlds and I loved that.
In your opinion, what are the key elements needed to make a “good” film?
For me, what makes a “good” film can vary. I think primarily it should be interesting, but films can be interesting in myriad ways. While I love stories that are all about good-hearted people on a hero’s journey, I also really love complex stories and characters too (maybe even more so), like Anomalisa, Shame and There Will Be Blood – those types of films just punch me in the gut.
What was the last film that you saw, that really stood out to you? Why?
I have to split it between three: Babyteeth, Sound of Metal and a Brit film called Beast (though Beast is slightly older, I only watched it recently). I loved them all for the same reason: the emotions and performances just felt so visceral.
What are you working on next?
I’m in development on a martial arts film.
Thanks to Drew V. Marke for taking the time for this interview.