Information Stills Behind the Scenes Festivals & Awards

Running Time: 5 minutes
Year Released: 2017

Music Video, Short Film, Dramedy

Down on his luck flower seller Sandeep (played by Deep Roy) pines to make a connection with the girl of his dreams.

He thinks he’s losing his mind.

Starring: Deep Roy, Aiko Horiuchi, Giulia Rivolta, Valery Richardson, Leah Gallo, Glen Mexted, Malcolm Davis
Directed by Derek Frey
Song by Trever Veilleux/Professor T and the East Side Shredders
Produced by Derek Frey
Cinematography by Derek Frey
Film Editing by Derek Frey
Assistant Director: Valery Richardson
Makeup by Malwina Suwinska
Wardrobe by Valery Richardson
Still Photographer: Leah Gallo
Special Thanks: Giulia Rivolta, Chris Nuttall, Fredrik Emil Hjortdal, Heidi Veilleux, Sir Richard Steele Pub

“Well-made, charming music video.”
-London X4 Seasonal Film Festival

“A wonderfully original music video, boasting a charming performance from Deep Roy.”
-The Monkey Bread Tree Awards

“’God Came 'Round’ won the award for Best Music Video. It features music by Professor T & The Eastside Shredders and was directed by Derek Frey. The music video is full of humor, eccentric characters and has a great performance by prolific actor Deep Roy.”
-Prague Independent Film Festival

“A very stylized film that’s basically a rad and sad music video. Great tune too! It’s a humorous, sad, & quirky story of a heartbroken man who can’t enjoy the strange and interesting life he has if his love isn’t there. 27 bloody moons!”
-Planet 9 Film Festival

“Deep Roy is excellent as the central character in this witty and sweet film - great casting! Naturally, he completely out-performs the rest of the cast. Technically it's very adept and it delivers in all the right places, making you want to know what happens to this love-stricken character to the very end. It's clearly a successful meeting of minds between artist and director!”
-Shiny Awards

Independent Shorts Awards
Review – God Came ‘Round

ISA award-winning filmmaker Derek Frey gives life to the song “God Came ‘Round” by Trever Veilleux cleverly and beautifully. While Frey plays with the appearance of God, aliens, and ghosts, and creates a fantastic supernatural atmosphere, the influence of his past work with Tim Burton Productions is clear to see. At some point, “God Came ‘Round” can be interpreted as a satire of all clichés in romantic comedies.

It tells the story of a flower seller (Deep Roy) who makes a connection with the girl of his dreams, but immediately God gets in the way and doesn’t allow the pair to interact. Next, we see the seller try to cope with his heartbreak, and this is shot and performed in a way that makes it hilarious to watch. Roy’s performance is very impressive. Through his facial expressions, he tells us everything the character is feeling. It is always a significant challenge to perform without any dialogue, but Roy does it amazingly. Perhaps it is a contrast between the performance and the song that makes it so funny, but it sure is hard to do what he did.

The cinematography is something that should be highlighted as well, especially when the seller has his first encounter with an alien. The lighting is breathtaking, as well as the shot composition. The fog in the background references all the alien tropes found in movies, forcing the idea that this piece is a satire of clichés. Yet it is done subtly, in some moments it might not even be noticeable on the first viewing, but it is the small details that make it so extraordinary.

Even though “God Came ‘Round” was based on the song and serves the purpose of illustrating the lyrics, the images are so strong and carry such narrative, that sometimes it even takes the spotlight away from the song. For the viewer, the performances are so incredible and the story so engaging it leaves a certain curiosity in the air – wanting to know what is going to happen next, making one drift away from the lyrics of the song (not to say that the song is not as amazing as the video, because it indeed is excellent).

Everyone involved in this project did a fantastic job and created a unique piece. It is hard to make an audience laugh, but with “God Came ‘Round” it’s even harder not to laugh.

Short & Sweet Film Festival
Review – God Came ‘Round

God Came ‘Round is Derek Frey’s visual interpretation of the song by Trever Veilleux. Derek is known for award-winning works such as Frankenweenie, and blockbusters like Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The film features actor Deep Roy, who does an amazing job delving into multiple characters, including the main protagonist, Sandeep.

We feel bad for him. We root for him. In return he makes us laugh a little. Aiko Horiuchi does an amazing job with her role as Deep’s love interest. She and Deep Roy play well off each other. The talent pulled together in this video goes to show how networking can pay off and give us something worth watching, as each of these people have worked together on previous projects and know similar artists.

God Came ‘Round was filmed in a very short time period of time and in several locations - including Camden Town, Primrose Hill, and Belsize Park in London. It’s easy to tell that the cast and crew had a great time shooting this music video. It’s a pleasure to watch the myriad of characters interacting with one another, in public and also on a more personal level, while maintaining the lightheartedness found in the song’s lyrics. It’s almost like this song was written so Derek could make a music video about it. And he relishes the opportunity to play with his favorite paranormal elements, which he says are “commonplace” in his works.

The cinematography, shots, angles, lighting, and scenery are truly enjoyable to watch, and the use of visually rich locations enhance the experience. For the shoot, Derek brought together a cohesive and productive team. It really pays off when a cast and crew work well together like a well-oil machine, because the end product is what will benefit, and ultimately the audience’s experience. Initially, this project almost didn’t come together, because Derek and Deep Roy were working on projects on different continents, but then the universe “came ‘round” and gave us an amazing music video.

It’s also worth mentioning that the editing of God Came ‘Round is very well done. Each scene has just the right tempo, moving along perfectly with the song. The sounds and music are cool. The costumes are done nicely. The sets are simple yet full of life, movement, and color.

The whole video is enjoyable from beginning to end. The thumbnail image is what first grabs your attention, and then the rest takes you on a fantastical journey… wondering what will happen to Deep Roy’s character(s) next.

Film Review: GOD CAME ‘ROUND
by Kierston Drier, Romance Film Festival

This five-minute romantic comedy is a bizarrely literal take on a music video. Sandeep (Deep Roy), a flower peddler who can’t catch a break, falls passionately in love with a beautiful passerby he believes to be the girl of his dreams. She, however, doesn’t feel the same way. Sandeep is dragged through depression, hope, despair and desperation while trying to win her affections.
  Utterly hilarious with its vibrancy, literal comedy and the wonderful performance stylings of Deep Roy, GOD CAME ‘ROUND will make you laugh. A comical trip worthy of watching for its absurdist comic style and total commitment to literal humor. The piece sparkles with Deep Roy as the star and Derek Frey’s direction is sharp and effective. A film that is sure to entertain.

Largo Film Awards
God Came ‘Round
‘Unrequited love’ is, and always will be a popular topic to explore within film, and all media, as it is one that resonates with most audiences and one that is fraught with emotion but also often a ridiculousness that in hindsight is hilarious.

This is what we see in this film. A look at unrequited affection and how it manifests itself. The loneliness and the sadness that you often feel when life is happening, ridiculous things that you need to share, but have no one to share them with because they won’t pick up the phone. This film deals with this topic in a satire, almost slapstick style which gives it an ‘easy’ air and makes it an enjoyable watch, yet at its core is still this unrelenting truth and sadness.

The body of the film is structured around a song, which adds to the juxtaposing uplifting feeling of the film, despite the content. The overriding musical element means that the cast have no dialogue, yet the emotion is still evident throughout which is a testament to both the acting talent and the direction. Being able portray a character effectively with no words is no mean feat, but it is one that is achieved in this short film.

The FX in the film are obviously cheap and cheerful, but this is the whole point and it adds to the B movie farce-like elements of the film which offset the trauma well. The camera work is well executed, shooting POV shots from the height of the lead. It results in the rest of the cast looking down on him which is often how unrequited affections feel. Overall a well-executed film that makes light of an emotional issue without losing respect for it.

Cult Critic Film Magazine – “GOD CAME ‘ROUND”
by Dr. Nabadipa Talukder

The existential angst of all human beings is what “God Came ‘Round” conveys and deals with throughout the wider section of its plot. And this is something that connects us as an audience, as we live through the regular humdrum affairs of our lives.

Directed by Derek Frey, “God Came ‘Round” is a story of the dramatic turnout of a man, with his love life as the baseline. The story is about romanticizing the unachievable, with wisdom taking responsibility when everything goes topsy-turvy.

Sandeep (played by Deep Roy) portrays all the honest emotions of joy, sorrow, anxiety, and despair over the course of the film… ultimately giving in to patience and returning to his normal life after his anticipated venture with the girl he dotes on takes an unfortunate turn.

What’s striking is that Sandeep, who is a flower seller, looks for hope each day through his fantasies – so much so that he starts to believe he has imaginary friends. An alien visits him, but real life hits him straight in the face (literally), and optimism leaves his side. He is visited by his conscience in the form of God, only to be reminded of his nugatory trials.

The editing and the cinematography are done with sheer excellence and makes the music video hit all the right emotional chords. Through the expertise of the director, the story is knit into a sublime emotional tragedy. It seeks the attention of all lost and forlorn in love and the particular scene I fell in love with is where the protagonist offers each passerby a rose to buy for a dollar. We see how this simple rose is ignored by, which would hardly cost them a buck. This emotional paramount wraps us sentimentally and shoots us back to reality. A topic so versatile yet so unexplored; most of the time, we choose to neglect ourselves and seek happiness through bleak and unrealistic desires. Seen wonderfully executed here is the constant war between our inner and outer world and our consciousness gripping us with questions of who we really want to be.

Brilliant acting is done by Deep Roy, who suits the role perfectly with his sensitive performance. What leaves a spectator confused is how abruptly the plot ends. The depth of the story lies in how the character would have handled the situation which is compromised in the climax. Yet here, the question remains: how shall we spend our lives; waste it away just to get what we want the most; or be content with what we already have and find bliss in it. Overall it is a warm film, laying all the fundamentals of emotions, with layers of stories, sending up a message that no matter what… you have to stand up for yourself; you are your own Savior and you have to find your own bliss.

I was excited to receive an advance copy of Trever Veilleux’s album Professor T and the East Side Shredders just prior to a flight home to Philadelphia from London. I’ve known Trever since 2001, after watching his band, Technical Difficulties, perform an impressive gig in Hilo, Hawaii. I introduced myself, and many music videos, films and adventures later, it’s a collaboration that continues to inspire me. Listening to the new album uninterrupted on the flight I found it to be a brilliant and sweeping journey through an array of musical genres. The track God Came ‘Round spawned in me an instant vision for a music video. Inventive lyrics involving aliens, ghosts and leprechauns encapsulated many of the paranormal elements I find fascinating and are commonplace in my creations.

Deep Roy came to mind straight away because I knew he had the range and ability to play multiple characters. Deep is a good friend that I met in 2001 on the set of Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, where Deep played several simian roles. We last collaborated in 2012 on the award-winning featurette The Ballad of Sandeep. Considering Deep has appeared in Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who and played all 165 Oompa Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I knew he was the only man for the job. I expected logistics to pose a challenge with Deep in LA and me working on a project in London.  However, the day after I conceived the idea, Deep coincidentally emailed to let me know he would be in London for most of the summer. I asked if he would be up for being in the film and he responded with an immediate yes. In God Came ‘Round Deep played roles requiring a multitude of costume changes – including a Venetian rose seller, an alien invader, a ghost, a leprechaun and God. I thought it made perfect sense to have actress Aiko Horiuchi play the female lead, seeing as I met her through Trever’s band when they played the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory premiere in London in 2005. (Aiko played the role of the Tokyo Candy Shopkeeper and went on to play the terrifying Kayako in an installment of The Grudge.) Let’s just say the opportunity to tell an unrequited love story between an Oompa Loompa and the Grudge was one I couldn’t miss.

Filmed over one day and three nights around Camden Town, Primrose Hill and Belsize Park in northwest London, God Came ‘Round was a blast to shoot. Despite several locations, everything went according to plan and on schedule, largely due to the cast and crew of creative friends. I owe Deep Roy an enormous amount of gratitude for being game for anything I threw at him or threw up on him. A big thanks to Trever Veilleux for creating such a poetic and heartfelt song within a fantastic album, and allowing me the freedom to interpret God Came ‘Round.

I hope you enjoy!


Here’s the link to Professor T and the East Side Shredders:

Keep Creating and Embrace Limited Means: Interview with Filmmaker, Derek Frey by Nathan March, Follow Magazine

When Derek Frey approached me to talk about his short film, God Came 'Round, I jumped at the chance to speak to the producer of a swag of Tim Burton's projects about his own films and how he connects with his audience. 

God Came ‘Round is a beautifully emotional comedy that has picked up a swag of film festival awards so far. What do you attribute its success to?

The story was inspired by Trever Veilleux’s poetic song lyrics which conjured for me an array of imagery.  What was initially meant to be a straightforward music video developed into something more.  Actor Deep Roy plays the lead role with great depth and morose comedy; when people see Deep in these outrageous scenarios and costumes, combined with his heartbreaking performance, I think they really identify with him.

You often introduce paranormal elements into your work. Do you feel that it’s something your audience has come to recognize and even expect in a Derek Frey film?

The paranormal is something I’ve been drawn to since I was a child.  My earliest films always contained otherworldly aspects.  It’s still something I’m passionate about and suspect fans have come to expect an element of the bizarre in my work.  I love to make people laugh as well as scare and surprise them, and the paranormal is an excellent vehicle for that duality.  The track the film is set to is a tender love song, but with some extraordinary twists – essentially the main reason I was compelled to tell God Came ‘Round.

How important do you feel it is to have a recognizable style as a filmmaker?

For me, it’s about creating projects that have a unique feel.  I do see similar aspects running across my work. I operate the camera and edit, so there’s a recognizable style in those areas which helps create a distinct tone.  Some of the most iconic filmmakers have a cohesiveness throughout their filmography – whether through tone, cinematography, score, screenplay.  I think the best directors have unique perspectives on life that make their work strong, original, and memorable.

  The design and cinematography for God Came ‘Round are rich, featuring bold colors and deep layers within the frame. Why have you made those choices?

The film is pretty short, (5 minutes), so I had to make a strong impact in a limited amount of time.  We never hear Deep’s character speak, so I wanted to bring the viewer into his world by making the visuals simple yet appealing.  He’s a guy looking for love, so I chose intense reds and greens to convey passion.  Creating this on a low budget, we relied on our locations around London to provide a richness to the story.

Most people make films that they want people to see. At what point in the process do you start to think about who the audience might be for this film and how to connect the film to that audience?

On my own films, the drive to create comes from wanting to tell a story that I’m passionate about.  It’s only natural to hope that your work finds an audience and connects with people on some level.  For me, thinking about the audience comes in wanting to show them something they haven’t seen before.  On bigger budget films I produce within the studio system, the stakes are higher and there’s definitely a greater responsibility to consider who the story may be intended for and if the audience is going to connect and be entertained.

Do you have a marketing strategy for God Came ‘Round?

The approach to marketing has been to engage fans of my previous films via social media, and fans of Deep Roy, which are many around the globe.  His work in the Star Wars and Star Trek films, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The X-Files (to name a few) have built him an incredible fan base.  We’re also trying to target music lovers since the short is essentially a music video.  It’s been helpful to have the new album, Professor T and the East Side Shredders, to tie into the film’s release.  The festivals and awards the project has garnered have helped fuel promotion since they come with their own groups of followers as well.

  What are the different components of a marketing strategy for you?

The imagery associated with a project is something I take particular interest in and these elements serve as a good jumping off point for marketing. Posters, still frames, and behind the scenes images can really help a project stand out from others, and having strong visuals draws people in on social media and the film festival circuit.  I was fortunate to have an incredibly talented artist and friend, Giulia Rivolta, create the eye-catching poster for God Came ‘Round.

You have a massive following on Facebook. How have you built that community?

I’ve had a Lazer Film page on Facebook for some time now.  I use that as a source for people to keep informed about my latest projects, festival screenings, links to view the films, etc.  The followers have built up over that time through many projects.  There’s also a component of people who have found their way to my page through my work on larger films with Tim Burton.

  Do you find it works for individual films to have their own social media presence or do you think it’s better for the production company to have the account and then post updates about films on that account?

I have a few films currently on the film festival circuit and I enjoy promoting past endeavors – so for me, it’s more streamlined to promote and post under my Lazer Film Productions banner – on FacebookTwitter, Vimeo, etc.  I think for short films and music videos it has worked well for me, and I think it helps maintain a long-term relationship with fans and followers.  I also have my website,, where people can go to if they want to take a more in-depth look at my work, including my earliest films.

If you were to give one tip to emerging filmmakers about how to build a career, what would it be?

Filmmakers today are very fortunate to be creating in an age where the technology is affordable and within reach and there are so many forums to have your work seen.  My best advice is to just keep creating and embrace limited means.  Sometimes it’s those limitations that stimulate your creativity and help you to achieve something beyond what you thought was possible.

  What’s next for Derek Frey?

I’m currently in London producing a live-action version of Dumbo, directed by Tim Burton, which is a reimagining of the classic 1941 Disney film.  That will keep me well occupied through post-production.  I’m also going to direct a music video for another Professor T song, Pangea, in Hawaii at the end of this year.  Looking further ahead I’m developing a couple of feature films, including Awkward Endeavors with my frequent Philadelphia area collaborators the Minor Prophets.

Interview with Filmmaker Derek Frey (GOD CAME ‘ROUND)
by Matthew Toffolo, Romance Film Festival

God Came ‘Round played to rave reviews at the February 2018 Romance Feedback Film Festival on Valentine’s Day in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Derek Frey: I was drawn to creating visuals to the song because the lyrics involved fantastical situations and paranormal elements. As someone that’s always been interested in the paranormal, I loved the confluence of a sci-fi fantasy and a hopeless romantic fantasy. Also, the pairing of Deep Roy (playing a ghost, leprechaun, and alien) with Aiko Horiuchi (who played the evil spirit Kayako in The Grudge 3) was pretty irresistible.

From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

I first heard the song and conceived the story during a long-haul flight last April. I reached out to actor Deep Roy a few days later and he agreed to be part of the project immediately. We filmed over 2 days and 2 nights in late May around London, and I finished up the edit by the end of June. From start to finish I think it was the quickest project I have ever been part of.

How would you describe your short film in two words!?


What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

It ended up being an extremely smooth shoot. There were quite a lot of things that could have gone wrong that fortunately didn’t. Deep was game for anything we threw at him, literally. We had a challenging number of setups and costume changes which kept us on our toes throughout.

What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was certainly nervous before hitting play. Knowing that the festival was held on Valentine’s Day and may have been a romantic outing for audience members, I wasn’t sure what reactions they would have to our slightly odd music video. I was relieved to find the responses to be spot on. The film is intended to be off-center, not meant to disturb but perhaps present a spin on romance and relationships. I could see from the reactions the film did just that! I especially liked a women’s comments that Deep’s character “looked and felt like a stalker”. We wanted to have a touch of that slightly creepy aspect, so it was great to have that recognized.

Watch the audience feedback video of the short film:
GOD CAME 'ROUND Short Film - Audience Feedback from the Feb. 2018 Romance Festival

How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

Trever Veilleux’s songwriting and poetic lyrics were the initial inspiration. I’ve been a fan of his music for a while now and this song spoke to me creatively. I first collaborated with his band Technical Difficulties in 2001 on a music video for the song “Sex is Easier”. I listened to an advance copy of his new album Professor T and the East Side Shredders and the track “God Came ‘Round” jumped out as something that could become a unique, funny music video. The vision of Deep dressed as a gondolier, selling flowers and experiencing all of these strange characters struck me instantly and by the end of the flight I had the entire film outlined.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

It may be a three-way tie between Vertigo, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Edward Scissorhands.

You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are your feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

Platforms like FilmFreeway have really streamlined the process. Prior to online submissions it was a daunting experience – mailing physical copies, filling out forms, printing press photos, etc. It’s also much easier to have a site where you can view all of the various festivals and find ones that may be a good fit for your project. Having the ability to present your film and supporting materials on a site like FilmFreeway keeps the focus on the creative – and allows prospective festivals to consider a project in a form shaped by the filmmaker.

What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

“Pictures of You” – by The Cure.

What is next for you? A new film?

I’m currently in London producing a live-action version of Dumbo directed by Tim Burton, which is a reimagining of the classic 1941 Disney film. That will keep me well occupied through post-production this year. I’m also developing a stop-motion anthology series based on characters from Tim Burton’s book: The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories. I’m editing a music video: Pangea, which I directed recently in Hawaii for Professor T and the East Side Shredders. Looking further ahead I’m developing a couple of feature films including Awkward Endeavors with my frequent collaborators the Minor Prophets, and Quiet Fire, a story about the recording of the album Kind of Blue and the creative collaboration between Miles Davis and pianist Bill Evans.

Delco-based filmmakers bring work to Philly’s FirstGlance Film Festival
by Kevin Tustin, Delco News Network (excerpt)

The work of local filmmakers will be part of the official selection for the 20th FirstGlance Film Festival in Philadelphia this weekend.
Drexel Hill native son Derek Frey will have his short project screen at the local independent film festival.

God Came ‘Round stars Deep Roy — who portrayed the Oompa Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — as a lonely flower seller who falls in love with a girl, portrayed by The Grudge 3’s Aiko Horiuchi, who doesn’t like him. Roy plays all of the major players in the film including a leprechaun, God and a ghost.

“I was drawn to (the song) because the lyrics involved fantastical situations and paranormal elements,” said Frey. “A lot of these lyrics aren’t meant to be taken literally. As someone that’s always been interested in the paranormal, the pairing of (Roy) with ghosts, leprechauns and aliens was something I had to do.”

The video has a more understated relationship between Roy and Horiuchi that Frey noted. He said it was Roy’s Oompa Loompa character and Horiuchi’s titular Grudge ghost falling in love.

God Came ‘Round is Frey’s fourth FirstGlance selection following Sketch in 2001 and Motel Providence in 2015, both playing in Philadelphia, and The Upper Hand at the fest’s Los Angeles installation in 2000.

Frey may be a FirstGlance veteran, but he expressed his appreciation for the festival and the opportunity it brings to the area to see professional productions from local talent.

“For me, Delco and Philly are still very important to me, and to be recognized (at FirstGlance) is the best thing because you have an opportunity for people from your hometown to see your work,” said Frey, who made God Came ‘Round under his Lazer Film Productions banner.

Over the last few years the film landscape of Delco has been evolving. From the shooting of the Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook to the opening of a film and television production facility in Chester Township, and even a Comedy Central-ordered series called Delco Proper, Delco has been exposing its creative minds and locations to the world.

In addition to heading Lazer Films, Frey also leads Tim Burton Productions and has helped bring films like Big Eyes and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children to the silver screen, but coming back to Delco to shoot films with friends keeps him grounded, and the creative juices flowing.

“People find me a bit of a curiosity because I work with Tim Burton, but what I always say to people is doing music videos and shorts around Delco helped me maintain those roots and fuels my creativity. It’s a strange dynamic,” he said.

Frey looks to shoot a film next year in Delco.

Interview with director Derek Frey
by Diana Ringo, Indie Cinema
Being a member of the jury of Prague Independent Film Festival I watch a lot of independent films. One film – “Green Lake” impressed our jury by its humor and brilliant music score, but we were very surprised when we later found out that director of this independent production is Derek Frey, one of the most important producers in Hollywood, head of Tim Burton Productions. Apart of his main profession he directs his own independent films and music videos, including the horror short Green Lake, which was screened in over 40 film festivals and collected 47 awards. His newest music video God Came ‘Round will be screened at the Prague Independent Film Festival 2017. Derek Frey is currently producing the upcoming live action version of Dumbo directed by Tim Burton. We decided to interview him to find out more about his passion for independent low budget cinematography and how he combines it with his work on big budget projects.

Diana Ringo: What served as inspiration for your new music video God Came ‘Round?

Derek Frey: Trever Veilleux’s songwriting and poetic lyrics were the inspiration. I’ve been a fan of his music for a while now and this song spoke to me visually. I first collaborated with his band Technical Difficulties in 2001 on a music video for the song Sex is Easier. I listened to an advance copy of his new album Professor T and the East Side Shredders on repeat during a long-haul flight this past April, and God Came ‘Round jumped out instantly as something that could turn into a unique, funny, and touching music video. It’s an incredible album and I look forward to creating more videos to accompany it soon.
Official Facebook Page of Professor T and the Eastside Shredders: Diana Ringo: Tell us about your working relationship with actor Deep Roy; he has acted in God Came ‘Round and also in your short film The Ballad of Sandeep. In an earlier interview you have mentioned the possibility of making a feature film version of The Ballad of Sandeep. Are you still planning it or is there another feature film project in your future?

Derek Frey: It’s always a pleasure to collaborate with Deep. I first met him on the set of Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes and later worked with him on Big Fish and Corpse Bride. He has an amazing spirit and an inspiring career. His first role was an Italian assassin opposite Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther Strikes Again, and he went on to play roles in Flash Gordon, The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Trek, just to name a few. The Ballad of Sandeep was great fun and was conceived by The Minor Prophets wanting to put a twist on the practice of outsourcing. It also gave Deep a chance to work out of SFX makeup.

I’d still very much love to make a feature film version of Sandeep, which we’re continuing to develop. Deep is eager to reprise the role and The Minor Prophets have created a fantastic screenplay which explores Sandeep’s outsourcing predicaments on a whole new level, and adds some social commentary relevant to today’s ever-changing work environment. We have a website dedicated to the legacy of the award-winning short which also explores the development of the feature:

Aside from Sandeep I’ve been developing a project called Quiet Fire, which tells the story of the creative bond between trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Bill Evans, around the time of recording sessions for the iconic album Kind of Blue. It’s a historical musical journey and also a powerful story of race and addiction.

Also, my collaborations with The Minor Prophets continue. They are in the process of writing a feature screenplay entitled Awkward Endeavors, which we plan on filming in and around the Philadelphia area in 2018.

Diana Ringo: You also have made several short films starring the comedy group The Minor Prophets, how did your collaboration start?

Derek Frey: I was friends with two of The Minor Prophets, Gil Damon and Brian Gillin in middle school. Gil and I were mischievous cohorts in 7th grade.  Fast forward to 2006 when I received an email from Gil who expressed how much he and his children enjoyed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I was the Associate Producer on. Gil introduced me to his work in The Minor Prophets. I found their shorts hilarious and extremely unique and thought-provoking. Most of their work is set in my hometown of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania so I felt a deep connection to what they were creating. I expressed interest in collaborating, which led to our first short film together, 4th and 99. It was a rewarding experience, and we brought the film to the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. Kill the Engine, released earlier this year, is our sixth collaboration and is currently having a successful run on the festival circuit.
Link to The Minor Prophets official website:

Diana Ringo: Your films show a good understanding of music, did you ever play any instruments yourself?

Derek Frey: Music was my first creative passion and remains central to everything I do.  I played saxophone in marching band and jazz band throughout high school and into college.  I was also an enormous fan of film music from a young age.  For me, music is an essential component of each project I’m involved with.

Diana Ringo: What was your major in college? How have your films evolved from your university days?

Derek Frey: I studied Communication and Journalism at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. Making films with friends was a hobby throughout my college years. Each semester the projects would grow in complexity and improve through the process of experimenting. I missed out on the party side of college because I would stay in my dorm with friends making films. Those were the best of times! One of our earliest movies, Marooned in our Room, was a comedic survival story which revolved around being trapped in a dorm room during a blizzard.  There were basic themes present in my early work that I’m still drawn to – usually involving comedy, horror and sci-fi.  I’ve always enjoyed a good monster mash-up.  In the final weeks of college my energy was focused on completing work on my college cult opus film Verge of Darkness. The positive reaction to the film fueled my desire to make films for a living. A couple of weeks after graduating college I decided to take a gamble and move to Los Angeles to pursue a job in the entertainment industry.

  Diana Ringo: Your spouse Leah Gallo is a professional photographer who co-wrote the screenplay of Green Lake and has appeared in some of your films.  Can you tell us about her role in your films and how she supports you in your creative endeavors?

Derek Frey: Leah is an extremely talented photographer and writer. Her creativity was one of the characteristics I was attracted to when we first met. We’re drawn to the same things visually which serves as great inspiration. For Green Lake I had a general outline of a story but knew Leah would do a great job writing the screenplay. The story revolves around a strong female character and has many elements of fantasy of which Leah is a fan.  Leah has always been very supportive of my creative endeavors. She remains patient even when projects absorb my time and being, which is often. I’m fortunate because since she is creative herself she is understanding of my obsession with each project.
Leah Gallo’s Official Website:

Diana Ringo: Please tell us about the camera and equipment with which you shoot your films. Films you direct are a good example for young filmmakers, they show that a low budget should not be a barrier for creativity.

Derek Frey: I’ve built up my kit over the years. God Came ‘Round was shot on a Panasonic GH5 (4k) with Zeiss Compact Prime Lenses. The lenses are what really makes the difference in quality. It’s amazing how much the technology has leapt forward in even just the past five years. Being able to shoot in such high quality with a minimal kit has been a godsend to my process. Working on both large budget features and micro-budget shorts and music videos keeps me balanced and grounded.

  Diana Ringo: Which film have you watched the most times in your life?

Derek Frey: It’s difficult to select the one film I’ve watched the most. It’s a toss-up between Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Evil Dead 2 and Edward Scissorhands.

Diana Ringo: Can you tell us something about the upcoming Dumbo adaptation where Tim Burton serves as director and you as producer?

Derek Frey: We’re in the middle of the shoot at Pinewood Studios outside of London. It’s such a special project and a perfect fit with Tim. The story will capture the same rollercoaster of emotions as the original. Dumbo will break your heart… and lift you up along the way.

  Diana Ringo: Your new music video will be screened in Prague. What are your impressions of the city? What is your favorite city in Europe?

Derek Frey: Prague is a great city. I love the gothic nature of its building and the beauty of the streets at night. I’d really like to film something in Prague someday. I was there in 2014 for the opening of Tim Burton’s art exhibition at the Stone Bell House in Old Town Square and had a great time. I find Prague to be incredibly cinematic, which is one of the reasons I’m so proud to have a project selected in the festival this year.

  Diana Ringo: What advice would you give to young filmmakers?

Derek Frey: Just get out there and create. There are so many stories to tell and these days there’s nothing to hold you back. Let your passion guide you and always have a camera by your side.

Best Cinematography – Derek Frey, “God Came ‘Round”
OR: What was the inspiration for your film?
DF: Trever Veilleux’s songwriting and poetic lyrics were the inspiration. I’ve been a fan of his music for a while now and this song spoke to me visually. I first collaborated with his band Technical Difficulties in 2001 on a music video for the song Sex is Easier. I listened to an advance copy of his new album Professor T and the East Side Shredders and the track “God Came ‘Round” jumped out instantly as something that could turn into a unique, funny, and touching music video. It’s an incredible album and I look forward to creating more videos to accompany it soon.

OR: When did you conceive the idea for your film and how long did it take before it was realized?

DF: I first listened to the album and heard the song during a long-haul flight this past April. I reached out to actor Deep Roy a few days later and he agreed to be part of the project immediately. We filmed over 2 days and 2 nights in late May around London and I finished up the edit by the end of June. From start to finish I think it is the quickest project I have ever been part of.

OR: What was the most challenging aspect of working in a short film format?

DF: Each and every shot counts. You have less time to tell a story so your opportunity for impact is condensed. For this project I knew storyboards would help immensely so I created as many as I could as a guide in our short production time.

OR: What was the most challenging aspect of your production?

DF: It was an extremely smooth shoot. There were many things that could have gone wrong that fortunately didn’t. It was still a challenging shoot and the number of setups and costume changes required kept us on our toes throughout.

OR: Do you have any advice for first-time filmmakers?

DF: Just get out there and create. There are so many stories to tell and these days there’s nothing to hold you back. Let your passion guide you and always have a camera by your side.