“Addicted to You” is a new movie by Nebraska-bred filmmaker Mike Cochnar who started his career in the backyard, filming his sisters in wacky movies with their mom’s camcorder. Suffice to say, considering his films are now incredibly polished productions with bonafide distribution, he has come a long way.
On Valentine’s day, audiences will discover a very unique spin on the traditional romantic-comedy with Cochnar’s “Addicted to You”, a movie all about “searching for love”, as the writer-director tells us.
Meagan Meehan (MM): Where’s home for you, Mike?
Mike Cochnar (MS): This week is actually my 9-year anniversary of living in LA. But home will always be Nebraska.
MM: And growing up, was it all about making movies?
MC: Pretty much. I would often times be seen with my Mom’s Sony camcorder talking my sisters into doing God knows what for some wacky movie idea I had. That started at an early age. I have a vivid memory of watching Adam Sandler on SNL (likely a re-run) and realizing, “hey, you could do this for a job”. As time went on, I ended up favouring the writing and directing process more than being in front of camera.
MM: I imagine, like most, you’ve had to juggle the filmmaking with another job, maybe even outside of the arts?
MC: Juggling is still something that I do. You almost have to when you live out here. It is so DAMN expensive to breathe LA air. In all seriousness, I do work a day job in post-production and help my wife run her children’s theatre company. We also have a family. So, the plate is full but there is always time for movie making.
MM: How hard is it to make a movie while you have a day job, in something else?
MC: Burning the candle on both ends is a dangerous game to play, but I’m lucky to have a great support system. I’ve always been the type of person that can’t seem to rest. I need to be creating and doing something. Many cups of coffee have been consumed.
MM: What was the first thing you ever shot?
MC: I think my sister and I filmed a re-creation of a bunch of SNL sketches. Wayne’s World, Matt Foley, Lunch Lady, etc.
MM: And how do you feel you’ve improved as a filmmaker?
MC: Well, now I actually know how to tell a story. I know how to actually make a movie. I still have a lot to learn. Learning and adapting are the best way to grow. I’m always trying to grow as a filmmaker.
MM: Why “Addicted to You”?
MC: Addicted to You was a project that challenged me to make my first feature. It was written to involve as many comedy friends as possible. We set out to make a movie to see if we could, but as we kept moving forward the stakes would rise and we would be involving more and more talented people. So, then it became not if, but when. Then it became a real thing and we set out to make a movie that a lot of people thought we would never complete. We proved them wrong.
MM: How did you discover the cast?
MC: A number of our cast members met through the comedy community. We worked on a sketch comedy show at The Second City Hollywood and we all continued creating together. When I wanted to tackle a big project, I knew from the beginning that I wanted these people involved. Cat Alter, Choni Francis, and Garrett Mendez were locked in from the get go. We were so lucky to be able to cast Melissa Paulo and Shane Hartline by absolute chance.
MM: Tell us about the message of the movie?
MC: The message of the movie is that we are all searching for love, and sometimes it takes a change in your life to see what really matters to you. Whether that is friendship, romance, or something else… love is a powerful thing. We wrap this message in a movie filled with classic romantic comedy tropes and funny antics, but that is totally on purpose. We want to show real people that you can relate to and see how they manoeuvre through their own struggles of love and friendship.
MM: How will you spend Valentine’s Day?
MC: If my wife and I can get the kids to bed, we will enjoy a few drinks and watch Addicted to You on Amazon!