Test screenings helped shape ‘Never Too Late’, a star-spangled comedy with a serious subtext and a message to the industry: Mark Lamprell interview

Mark Lamprell: “I wanted the actors to play it, not for the laughs, but for the truth of the moment, always.”

Unlike the vast majority of Australian films, Never Too Late was subjected to many test screenings, a process almost mandatory for American comedies and something Mark Lamprell says greatly improved the film’s prospects of hitting with its target audience.

Lamprell is one of the few local film directors to concentrate on comedy, a realm where Australia’s record in painfully patchy. His other films include My Mother Frank, A Few Less Men and Goddess.

In this Skype interview Lamprell discusses the making and design of Never Too Late, which has already secured a deal in the US, and how different an affair it was after making the rather rude A Few Less Men, a critically lambasted film that, according to Lamprell and contrary to widespread belief, actually found a big enough audience to make it a hit.

Please enjoy.

Mark Lamprell Interview index
00:00 Response to the film doing well at the Australian box office;
01:10 A Few Less Men was actually a hit;
01:55 So too The BBQ;
02:50 Describing A Few Less Men;
03:30 The themes of Never Too Late;
04:50 Discipline needed when making a feel-good film;
06:55 Drawing on experience of cast;
09:04 US deal;
09:45 The American approach when selling a film;
10:10 The value of star power;
11:15 The Full Ridiculous; novel writing;
13:50 Mid-career reflection;
15:20 The importance of test screenings.