The project was a long time in gestation for writer-director (and editor) Tommay, who shares writing credits with collaborator Krishna Jones. It originated as a short film, The Host, set in Tommay’s navtive Austrailia in 1999. In it’s original version it won several prizes including Austrailia’s AFI Best Short Film Award. Tommay moved to New York where he continued to work on the script for five years.
When Tommay got financing for the project, the next challenge was to find an actor for the lead. “With little money to offer an actor,” Tommay said, “and a character that does some pretty extreme things, the role of Warwick was not an easy one to cast. Luckily, David Hyde Pierce was willing to take a risk.”
In the fall of 2008, Tommay came to LA to make The Perfect Host, his first feature. He shot the film in only three weeks, but then spent most of 2009 in an editing room in New York. “Had I not played the film over and over again in my head during the writing process,” he said, “The Perfect Host would be a very different film.”
So what kind of film is it? It’s a thriller, sprinkled with just enough humor, that uses a game of chess as a recurring motif. But, the players involved in this game of chess stand to lose a lot more than their king. Or, maybe, they just think they do.