Interview: Ben’s at Home

Ever thought of putting the kibosh on outside life and never leaving home again? Well, so have Dan Abramovici and Mars Horodyski—except, rather than put such a nutty plan into action, they turned the idea into a movie.

Ben’s at Home, starring Abramovici, directed by Horodyski, and written by both, follows a guy who reacts to a bad breakup by deciding to never leave his apartment again. And guess what? In practical terms, it’s easy—these days you can work remotely, order whatever you want, and do a whole lot of your livin’ online. We caught up with Abramovici for a quick Q&A:

DailyXY: Prior to making Ben’s at Home, did either of you try never leaving your home? On purpose or inadvertently?

Dan Abramovici: Ben is dealing with something that many, many twenty-somethings have dealt with—being on the wrong end of a breakup in a long-term relationship. Everyone has had to face that horrible dip back into the cold pool of dating and, especially after a breakup, it all feels so forced and difficult. You spent the last four years of your life bearing your soul to someone and now you have to make small talk about work with someone you barely know? Just because they’re attractive? Yeesh. So Ben does what many people want to do, which is just to take his ball and go home. The longest I spent sulking at home is about a week or two.

How long do you think someone could manage to not leave home?

The internet is an amazing thing . . . you can get pretty much anything you want. That said, I am pretty much the opposite of Ben when it came to that and it is a part of why the idea was interesting to me . . . I would go crazy without any real interaction with people. My ideal would be to live in the Cheers bar where I am constantly surrounded by friends and everyone greets each other by name.

Have you heard of a worse way to react to a breakup?

I got nothing.

How did you manage a major project on a shoestring budget?

The Toronto indy scene is incredibly generous. We made this movie out of favours and thanks to the kindness of incredibly talented professionals who agreed to waive their usual fees to make something they believed in.

How much of this project has to do with making your own luck in a tough industry?

Both myself and my writing partner/film director Mars Horodyski got to a point in our respective careers (me the actor and her the director) where we were tired of waiting around for the phone to ring with a job and were hungry to create our own. We both have a background in creating our own short films and found success with that on the festival circuit, and when we met one day on the set of a Canadian Film Centre short that I starred in and Mars directed we found a kindred quirky weird driven spirit in the other person. We both felt like we had gotten to a point where there was no choice but to put our money where our mouth is and create our own work.

What did you learn from your crowd funding campaign?

It’s a lot of work. Its pretty draining business asking people for money and you have to be creative about it to make it feel like something worthwhile. It’s also not for everyone. If you’re not an internet sensation like potato salad and if you don’t already have a following like Zach Braff it means a lot of posting and a lot of knocking on doors.

Best advice for someone thinking of quitting outside life?

Tube socks. Pans. Rice pudding.

Ben’s at Home is currently on the festival circuit, heading to Rhode Island International Film Festival on August 9th and Port Townsend in September; check out their Facebook page for updates.  

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