Interview with the talented young filmmaker David Clair-Bennett

I am proud to have an exclusive interview with the talented filmmaker David Clair-Bennett. David is best known for his short films RYKER and Hey Alice. He is currently preparing his first feature film “The Choice” as a director and screenwriter, in which he also participates as an actor along with the famous actor and Oscar nominee, Eric Roberts.

Christos Arfanis: Hello David, please tell us a few things about yourself.
David Clair-Bennett:
I grew up in a small town in Maryland as the ‘weird kid with dreams’. Ever since I was 6 years old, I was writing little mini scripts for comedy with my friend, Chad and it was just two years later, (we were both 8 at this time) and he and I wrote our first feature film screenplay together for this ridiculous superhero comedy spoof movie (I believe this was when Superhero Movie with Drake Bell came out). As you can imagine, at 8 years old, the level of immaturity in everything was at an all-time high, haha. Fast forwarding a few years ahead, when I was 10 years old, I got really involved into the music world of things in which that same friend of mine, Chad and myself had started a ‘band’ (if you want to call it that, haha). I had taught myself through YouTube videos how to play guitar and I started adapting a lot from what I was doing already with screenplays at that age and turning it from film and dialogue into lyrics for my music and as I got older, the music started getting deeper and I had put more of a focus on being a musician as opposed to an actor, writer and director.

Christos Arfanis: What’s your favorite movies and actors ? What are your inspirations that made you decide to become actor, writer and director ?
David Clair-Bennett:
A lot of my favorite films fall under the horror/psychological-thriller genres but if I were to select just a few of my favorites, I would easily have to go with the SAW franchise as well as The Collector franchise, but a movie in particular that really stands out to me was a film that unfortunately went under the radar was a movie released in 1999 known as “Kolobos”. That film really had a lot of special moments about it, if I were ever given an opportunity to remake a film with a budget, a studio, everything required, Kolobos is surely a film on my bucket list.
To answer your question on my favorite actors, my all-time favorite actress is the late Brittany Murphy and in terms of male actors, I would have to go with Jared Leto or Christian Bale. Those two names in particular really inspired me to focus on the delivery of my dialogue when I step in front of a camera.
The inspirations to get into this field of work is simply because I love it. I love every single thing about film, television, production, you name it. No matter how stressful making a movie can get, there’s still something about it that really just makes me smile and appreciate what I am fortunate enough to do for a career. I am grateful for the world of cinema and I truly hope to set an example to others someday of proving that if you chase after a dream and keep standing back up after every time you get knocked down, that it can become a reality. The dream doesn’t have to be a dream.

Christos Arfanis: Any future and current projects that would you like to share with us ?
David Clair-Bennett:
Currently, I am less than a month away from shooting my debut feature film ‘The Choice’ which stars Academy-Award Nominee Eric Roberts, myself and Sarah Ooten. The film is about 3 members of an addictions anonymous group who get tricked into participating in what turns out to be potentially deadly escape rooms all for the prize of 15,000 dollars.

I portray a character named ‘Brad’ in this film who is very much like a ‘cult’ leader to put it nicely, haha. He is the guy who recruits the three individuals in the film to play this game of choice and the goal of these escape rooms are to help these addicts face their addictions in a way that no rehabilitation center could ever implement. There is a lot of deep, personal and relatable backstory for each character in the film, I don’t want to spoil too much but the ending of this film will potentially have people talking for years to come, that’s the goal, hopefully!

Eric Roberts will serve as the GameMaster in the escape rooms and there are so many incredible people who are part of this project. We have Sarah Ooten, an actress and model out in Ohio coming down, we have Russell Ketterman portraying one of the leads as well as Chris Elbin, Whitney Nicole O’Haver and professional wrestler Crazii Shea aka Erik Shea making their feature film acting debuts as well! This project has consumed my life 24/7 since December of 2019 and to call this project a ‘passion project’ is an understatement.

I hope you guys will check out The Choice in 2021 and stay on the lookout for an official trailer later this year. The plan is to submit it to festivals all over the world, including Sundance and it should be one heck of a ride.

Thank you David for your time and I wish with all my heart all your dreams to become reality!

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Christos Arfanis

Christos Arfanis

Filmmaker (film producer, screenwriter, film director) and entertainment author/journalist.