I caught up with director Paul Jarrett (Deadly Devotion, Stalked: Someone's Watching) for a chat on filmmaking, satire, influences and his new comedy Crazy Famouswritten by Bob Farkas, as Bob's feature film debut.

Crazy Famous stars Gregory Lay (Casual Encounters, Blue Bloods), Richard Short (Vinyl, 666 Park Avenue), Ajay Naidu (Office SpaceBad Santa) and Catherine Curtin (Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things).

The film follows Bob (Lay), an average Joe whose obsession to be famous lands him in a mental hospital. When a patient (Richard Short) claims Bin Laden is still alive, Bob escapes with a band of misfits in a last-ditch effort to get Bin Laden and the fame he so deeply desires.

The film itself is a decent send-up of that seemingly quintessentially American desire to achieve fame at most any cost – and all the hilarious ways people often fall short, even in very desperate circumstances like life in an asylum.

After all, if we as a culture can’t laugh at that desire to be "crazy famous", where are we? This kind of pointed, timely satire is the most effective – hitting audiences in the subconscious where it will gnaw and crawl and compel a little rumination on the topic.

Crazy Famous is on VOD, Digital HD, and DVD today.

Hello Paul and welcome to The 405! I’d like to start – if I may – by inquiring about your history for our readers. What got you into film-making?

I had been involved in theater in high school and in between high school and college, I took a course in film production in L.A. I had an amazing instructor named David Riker, who really inspired me. After that I decided to transfer from the University of Georgia and go to film school at NYU.  I made a lot of shorts there, both directing and producing.

After film school, I started working for Gigantic Pictures. I was the company's in-house line producer and did a lot development work, as well. That was like my graduate school – working on independent films and learning about production and distribution.  In 2007, I started my own production company, Rosetta Films, with my producing partner Nick Huston. Since then I have directed two features, Fan Girl and Crazy Famous.

Favorite directors? Favorite films? Which have exerted the greatest influence on you as an artist? 

Well, I am child of the '80s and early '90s, so I grew up on Spielberg.   Now that I am woking on refining my own approach as a filmmaker, I find myself really fixating on the work of David Fincher. I am really inspired by how the emotional context of a scene can be informed by camera movement and blocking. 

I highly enjoy anything Fincher puts out – Se7en, Zodiac, and Gone Girl are three of my favorites. His work is so sweeping and exhaustive in its detail but always so emotional. Greatest triumphs as a film-maker? Greatest challenges?    

On the set of Crazy Famous, we had a lot of stunts to accomplish, and we only had 19 days to shoot the film. I had never directed a car chase, a shootout or a Kung Fu fight for a feature.  One of the most valuable resources for a small feature like this is time, and each of these stunts took a half day or in some cases two days to accomplish. That meant that all the other scenes got less time. I think accomplishing those stunts and the rest of the long page count scenes in a limited schedule was one of the hardest things I have had to accomplish as a director. 

I've heard that from many a director – that and the sheer logistics that often comes with that kind of a shoot. What makes a great film? Also, because of the nature of Crazy Famous as comedy, what makes a truly great cinematic comedy? 

Good stories are when theme intersects with the character arc in an original and pleasing way.  I always say on set, "I just want to make a film we can all be proud of and have fun doing it." I think we accomplished that with this one.  I am not sure I know what makes a great comedy yet, but maybe it is when we get to take something we are all familiar with and make it hilarious or absurd in an unexpected way.

I think that's an excellent qualifier for a great comedy – that kind of universality of the absurd – it's a language that most people understand, and I'd say you hit it with Crazy Famous.

 Getting into the film, I have to ask: what was the inspiration and initial impetus to write and shoot this story? It’s one of those stories that had me thinking as I watched: "I wonder what his mental processes were like during (in a good way)"? 

The script was written by Bob Farkas, and it is all his invention and inspiration. I think Bob really liked playing with the idea of someone obsessed with fame at all costs and the relationship between that and one's family.  For me, I came on board later in the process.  

One thing I was focusing on was trying to make the first half of film be grounded with Bob's quest for fame and let the camera be more observational like a reality TV show and as Agent Smith's adventure takes over to allow the film to become visually more like a thriller. We used less handheld camera, had more high contrast scenes and gave Smith more "negative fill" to help show he was cut from a different world then the rest of the cast. I think by the time of the big showdown at the end you really get that feeling of action adventure, and the departure has happened gradually enough that it is not jarring from the thrust of the action. 

I think so to. It didn't feel schizophrenic at all – the way other films that attempt that have a tendency to. The transition fit well with the composition of the film.

Another thing I found especially interesting about Crazy Famous was the satirical element of a man who would do almost anything and follow almost any delusion to get fame.  Attaching to our last question: what makes the best satire in your view? Also, what do you hope the audience will take with them after watching the film?

For me a great satire makes you uncomfortable. For Crazy Famous, I just hope the audience has a good time and laughs. Anything else is a bonus. 

Thanks Paul!