Peter Sullivan is ready to take another exciting Christmas movie into our homes with The Case of the Christmas Diamond, premiering November 20 on ION TV. We at Survived The Shows had the pleasure of chatting with Peter Sullivan about his experience in the making of The Case of the Christmas Movie and what fans can expect from the movie. Check out the full interview in the article below!
What’s the main element in the characters’ journey and the movie in general that fascinates you the most and drew you to join The Case of the Christmas Diamond?
PETER SULLIVAN: When I was growing up, one of my favorite movies was clue. I really enjoyed reading books by Agatha Christie and I really fell in love with the whodunnit format. And you know I’m excited because with movies like Knives out and the upcoming Glass Onion as well as Death on the Nile. These movies are making a comeback and what drew me to this project was the opportunity to do a good old fashioned. A closed room mystery with a big pool of suspects and, you know, very contained setting and you just get a bunch of wacky personalities in one place and let them loose and figure out, you know, who’s done it. To me, that was just a tremendous opportunity that I’ve always wanted to.
To all the fans that are looking forward to watching The Case of the Christmas Diamond. How would you describe it if you had just three words?
SULLIVAN: Christmas. Who’s done it? About a stolen jewel.
What’s been the biggest challenge in directing this movie?
SULLIVAN: For me, that is balancing a bunch of very different characters of very large cap. So, you know, more often than not you’re dealing with scenes that have four or five, six people in them and so it gets challenging when you try to figure out how to cover these sequences and how to compose your shots when you have such a large number of people and you’ve seen because you have to remember which character is dominating this thing, which character is more passive in this scene and try to figure it out that way because you’re never going to be able to give everybody a single when you have so many characters at one time.
For me it was really learning how to orchestrate very large scale scenes very quickly. And also balancing, you know, the entertainment value of telling the story along with setting up all of the clues and the evidence and the things that I wanted the audience to kind of picked up on along the way, but not be too heavy-handed. So that it was obvious that it was a very fine line between being in your face and being suggestive with. More astute viewers might pick up on some clues where you know I’m not shoving it down your throat so that the answer is immediate obvious.
What can you tease about Andy’s journey throughout the movie?
SULLIVAN: Well, you have a character who starts out. She is a mystery fan. She loves a particular author, the Who in the story. The very famous mystery author, like an Agatha Christie-type. And she ends up over the course of the story getting to meet her, her idol. Who is this writer who’s also at this party that she goes to. And it’s really their relationship building and they’re learning to trust one another because one of them ended up becoming the prime suspect. So you, you know, you have this this lingering question is the person helping me because they legitimately are innocent and they want to help. Or they helping me to deflect blame and and they think that by being part of the investigation they can you know escape investigation themselves.
Talking about the environment on set with the cast and the crew, how would you describe your experience filming The Case of the Christmas Diamond? Do you have any fun anecdotes to share with us?
SULLIVAN: Anecdotes. I’m trying to take it – all went very very, very quickly. But one of the things that I really enjoyed about this film was because it had such a large cast. It really was almost like a theater camp because there was so many of them. And we would eat together and hang out together and we shot the movie almost entirely on the beautiful estate.
It was a real joy to drive to set every day and get to spend time with such wonderful people and there wasn’t one person that kind of kept themselves – everybody, they all just hang out together and they would talk in between set-ups and it was like it became a big family. After we wrapped I kind of felt like I met them. And I’m excited because we’re going to be doing this meeting here in LA and I’m going to see some of them again and it’ll be fun to get everyone back together again, for sure.
If you could choose a character on the movie that you would have loved to play if you were an actor or that you particularly like, which one would they be and why?
SULLIVAN: You know, I would say that our main character, Andy is very much influenced by myself. You know, she’s someone who does not come from a lot of money, who finds herself in a world that that is considerably more than often she is and yet she knows she’s an underdog and she fights hard. She’s inspiring writer. She’s full of creativity, enthusiasm and passion for the genre and I just see a lot of myself in there, where you got to admire the tenacity of having to fight your way and claw your way through all kinds of adverse situations and so I do identify tremendously with that role.
Did you take any prop from set to remember this experience on The Case of The Christmas Diamond?
SULLIVAN: I did. I don’t have them with me, but I do have them in my office at the production company. I have a board game that was made specifically for the film. Within the film, they have a game night, and the game that they pick is a fictional board game based on CLUE. And they have the cards with the different aspects and everything, but in order to show the game in the movie they actually had to create it. And so I have the board game and box and everything in my office and then we also have at Christmas diamond, the actual Christmas diamond which is, you know, obviously a very important prop to the film.
The interview with Peter Sullivan has been edited and condensed for lenght and clarity.
The Case of The Christmas Diamond, directed by Peter Sullivan, premieres November 20 on ION TV. Watch an exclusive preview below!