Lucas Heyne is marking his directorial debut feature with Mope, a believe-it-or-not true story about a mope (slang for a low-level, wannabe porn star), who goes on a killing spree in 2010.
On the decision to tackle this story as his first feature, Heyne said he was initially fascinated by the incident, which took place at San Fernando Valley porn company. Best friends Stephen Clancy Hill and Herbert Wong, respectively known by their porn alter egos Steve Driver and Tom Dong, were two such mopes, attempting to live the impossible porno dream, but the blurred line between reality and delusion ultimately sent them both tumbling down a path of destruction.
“I was able to meet all the real people and as I went deeper into the story it just became more and more strange and interesting to me. So once I got invested emotionally with the real people, I just I had to tell [the story], said Heyne, who was accompanied by stars Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Kelly Sry, Brian Huskey, Max Adler, David Arquette, and Tonya Cornelisse at Deadline’s Sundance Studio.”
Hill, who was living in the company’s warehouse at the time, went on a rampage with a sword when he was told he was fired. He eventually killed Wong, who tried to intervene when Hill was attacking two others. Hill was killed in a standoff with police five days later.
“I wanted to explore these characters and give them a humanity and dignity that a punch line wouldn’t normally give them, said Heyne. “I have no agenda. It’s really just I wanted to tell the story and let people see what these people went through so they would have the dignity they deserve.”
For more of the conversation, check out the video above.
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