Drew Schrum is a TV and Film actor based in New York City. His talent and love for acting make him the next up and coming bright star hitting the scene. Born in Colorado, his family life was not a simple one. He moved often, living in several different states and attending three different high schools. Drew’s love for entertainment was instilled in him at a young age by his uncle Shannon Schrum, who is a professional ventriloquist and artist. Since landing in NYC, Drew hasn’t looked back, believing “Acting is my passion, but I never want to get caught doing it.”
“Decrescendo” is a truly fascinating film. From all points of view, narrative, cinematographic, aesthetic, it manages to capture the viewer’s attention in a disturbing way. In particular there seems to be a subtle relationship between the story told and the space of the house, which seems to be another protagonist. Tell us about how the project was born and the production efforts that brought it to reality with this harmony of language?
“Decrescendo” is a film that derived from my motivation to showcase my talent as an actor. The film industry is an extremely competitive field for everyone involved, especially for actors. One of the most frustrating, yet beautiful aspects of this industry, is no one has the blueprint or secret formula to “make it.” Your journey and story is unique to you and solely based on your preparation, opportunities, and ambition. I wanted to take action and show people what I was capable of. However, the reality is, your acting is only as good as the movie you are starring in. I knew that the quality of film had to be top notch to be taken seriously and captivate the audience. So I set out to find a motivated production team that was also hungry to create and brandish their skills. Once the team was in place, we created a compelling script, locked down the perfect location, rounded up the actors and crew and got to work! Of course this preproduction process took over three months and many sleepless nights.
The interpretations of the entire cast are amazing and yours is certainly the one that impresses the most. What is your working method when you step into a character? And what does it feel like to play a role with considerable physical effort?
When I take on any character in a performance my goal remains the same, I want to be unapologetic with my acting and have no false moments. I don’t like to complicate things with methods or techniques, because after all if your acting…you’re doing something wrong. I try to remain in the moment and respond truthfully to what is happening. I don’t want to think or even remember what I did during my takes. My only concern is to feel something and do nothing. This part was intentionally designed to challenge me as an actor. I spend the majority of the film acting by myself, with nothing to feed off, or react to. I find these acting moments to be the most difficult and intriguing. Acting, is the only art from that hides all the complicated and complex components of it. Great actors make you believe its easy and in my opinion this is why so many people think they can act but so few can. I knew if I could pull this performance off it would be a respectful showcase.
As executive producer, what were the aspects of this film that convinced you to produce it?
Being the Executive Producer of the film was a great learning experience. It improved not only my leadership skills but my acting skills as well. I think every actor should know the ins and outs of film making. By understanding the process you become better at your craft. You also realize that the actor is a very small part of the “big picture.” Everyone’s job on set and and during postproduction is vital to the success of the film. As the executive producer its important to understand that you can’t please everyone. I believe a lot of leaders fall into this trap and the outcome results is a mediocre project.
It is clear that the hard work behind this work has paid off, because the result is excellent. In particular, how did you manage the “triangular” relationship with the director, since you are both protagonist and executive producer of the film?
Our director Olivia Chiesi, is an avid film lover with a nurturing reference database in her mind that makes her work unique and deep. Once on set, I knew it was important to trust her and allow her to work. During the shoot, I focused on my job as the actor and stepped away from the executive producer role. Olivia did a great job directing and running the set. Once production was wrapped, I was able to put my producer hat back on and complete postproduction.