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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Interview with Writer/Director Dean Matthew Ronalds for "Fourplay" (2018)

Dean Matthew Ronalds is a New York based Writer/Director/Producer known for films “Meet the Browns” (2009) and “Screamers” (2016). His recent short film “The View From Up Here” (2017) that he produced for director Marco Calvani stars Cesar winning Leila Bekhti and Oscar winning actress Melissa Leo has gained international recognition. His recent feature as writer/director “Fourplay” (2018) is a black and white Woody Allen-esque New York dramedy about marriage and all its ridiculous pitfalls. The film was produced by Dean's production company Falling Up Films and is being distributed by Parade Deck Films.


I met Dean at the 2017 SCAD International Film Festival where he premiered “The View From Up Here”. We had the opportunity for an interview about “Fourplay” some months later. Here is what he has to say:


Was the film based on or inspired by real events? 

DEAN: The film was written and produced by three of us. My wife Emanuela Galliussi, who’s also my partner in Falling Up Films, and one of our best friends, Francesco Plazza and myself. There are definitely aspects of the story that are inspired by true life events. It’s very close to all three of us...


Do you think most couples have two lives within their relationship? The one they expose and the one they keep hidden?

DEAN: It’s a difficult question to answer. Our characters have that. I think many couples keep parts of themselves hidden, maybe out of fear or, in a way, to please the significant other. Thinking that by being something else other than yourself, you'll make your partner happy. The tricky part is that if too much is kept hidden than the couple starts to crack and the two individuals end up living two completely different lives while being together. 


How did you go about casting the film?

DEAN: For this film I was acquainted with two of the actors: one being my writing/producing partner and the other was a friend I met years ago. That being said I still had to send it to her agent. Once we sent the script over it was covered by her agency. They liked it and wanted to help cast it entirely with actors from their talent pool. I was very adamant in getting actors that had a theatre background since the movie was going to be one single shot.


Your wife acts in the film. What is it like to work together?

DEAN: She not only acts in the film but also wrote and produced the film with me. I couldn’t imagine having done it without her. We make sure to push each other to explore the material as much as we can, it's not our first project together. Most of the time cast and crew don't even realize we are together. We like to keep it professional while knowing that we got each other’s backs making sure we aren’t missing anything creatively but also we're very honest with each other and that's the most important thing. 


Why did you choose to film in black and white?

DEAN: The story and the situation screamed for it. The fact that the characters see everything at first very black and white in there opinions but change as the film progresses and they start expose themselves, it starts to hit those grey areas. It felt necessary.


How long did it take to make from script to editing room?

DEAN: This film happened very fast. We wrote the script in February, cast it in March, shot the film in April and then wrapped post in July. 


You have your own company Falling Up Films. Can you tell us about other films your company has produced?

DEAN: “Fourplay” was the first feature film produced through Falling Up Films. We have since produced two shorts films, “Lost In Love” starring Erin Darke & Theodora Miranne and “The View From Up Here” which starred Cesar Winner Leila Bekhti and Oscar Winner Melissa Leo. We have a bunch of other projects in the works too.


You have a distribution deal in place. Can you speak about that?

DEAN: “Fourplay” will have a limited theatrical release in LA and NYC on March 30th and then in about 15-20 other cities in the weeks following through Parade Deck Films who is also handling the foreign sales. We are extremely fortunate that this film will get a chance to find an audience in the theaters. Parade Deck loved the film and have been amazing getting the word out. 


You recently attended SCAD. How was that experience?

DEAN: I had had my first feature film play at SCAD about 12 years ago so I knew it was an amazing festival. We love SCAD. They really have a great festival and take care of the filmmakers, it’s really amazing.


What are you working on next?

DEAN: I have another film I co-wrote and directed called “#Screamers” that is actually coming out April 9th, being released through Epic’s new banner Dread Central presents. I have a few scripts I’m working on getting made right now as well as a TV show. I’m also working on getting an extremely important play I wrote, produced here in NYC.

View Dean Ronalds website here:



Interview by Vanessa McMahon

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