Director Mare Costello

Mare Costello {Director, Writer, Actor, Singer, Visual Artist} was born and raised in metro Detroit.   As a child she would create worlds out of air with the help of clay, paints, pencils, cameras, make up, clothing, instruments, family, friends and animals.  Not much has changed.  Since then she has honed her multi-media skills in the industrial ruins and Techno sound of Detroit along with time spent in both Los Angeles and New York training/working/performing/producing.  “Techno Diva” is Costello’s maiden voyage producing, starring, directing, scoring and “writing”(although unscripted) a full length feature movie.  She cut her teeth creating and performing in her own shorts which have gone to festivals and won awards.  Her background training at such accredited schools as Second City, Detroit, Improv Olympic, Los Angeles, as well as, Center for Creative Studies Art & Design, Detroit has helped shape her ability to take on the daunting task of creating and performing in a feature movie. 

Mare’s acting career is abnormal to say the least.  She auditioned for her first film in Detroit and landed a lead having never acted in a movie before.  The director liked her work so much he wrote a part for her in his series.  After which she began improv training, getting her first Michigan agents, booking commercials and short films.  It was then she began to produce her own material from music videos to comedic shorts which  motivated her leap into the  big and fast world of Hollywood where she continued her improv and Kung Fu training. 

“Techno Diva” is not only an incredible vehicle to showcase some new and different  aspects of  cinema it is also a way for Mare to pay homage to Detroit’s profound Techno culture, while, creating a

platform for other up and coming actors and crew.   Mare is a DJ and was once a party promoter in the Detroit  scene.  This movie’s inspiration, however, did not come from Techno music, per se, but from an actual experience that Costello had while living and working in California.  Her little heart was broken as a result of a romantic relationship gone awry.  She chose to take the energy of this loss and let if fuel and inspire her creative spirit.  A short film was born from this experience titled “Interview Interview” starring Mare and fellow improvisor and collaborator Ric Rosario, who plays Tony Styles in the feature.  This was the seed that bore the idea for the feature.  “I was surprised that something that was so incredibly painful one moment is hysterical the next when taken out of context.   This was truly my most sophisticated comedy.” 

Mare Costello has big plans for “Techno Diva ”  “I had a great team working with me during filming and along the post-production highway my once naive understanding is now more seasoned and my connections to the industry and it’s people has grown tremendously.   I believe the colorful, dynamic, edgy and heartfelt nature of this comedy has wide appeal but our test screenings already show that our demographic ranges from tweens to thirties with both men and women.   I’d like to see it in theatres, on TV and the web. ” 

These goals are not unrealistic by any stretch of the imagination as this movie is without a doubt creative, bold, fun, silly at times, obnoxious, ridiculous, self serious, artistic, endearing all infused with an original musical score created by Mare’s and her collaborations with artists from around the world.

Interview with Mare Costello

What inspired you to make “Techno Diva?”   
My own heartbreak combined with a request from a friend to make a short movie inspired by summer romance.  I took something sour and made it funny.  The short was compared to “This is Spinal Tap” and I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be great to do a full length movie as Syriana Tate?”  I loved playing her in the short and I had my own experiences with touring as a dj in Detroit and New York.

The actors are from all over the world.  What was your casting process like? 
Coming from acting myself and my experience with the improv scene both in Detroit and Los Angeles I had already worked and trained with so many amazing improvisors and actors from all over the globe.  All I had to do was ask them and hope they would be interested.  I was never let down.  The best part of directing this cast was we already spoke the same language; the language of improvisation from the same schools, like 2nd City and Improv Olympic and UCB so we were all playing the same game on the same team with the same rules, so to speak, and it was heaven.  It was electric and so easy. 

What was it like, not only, directing but playing the star role of Syriana Tate? 
It was the most challenging project I have ever taken on.  This is my first baby.  I also raised the money, produced, designed costumes and ended up learning Final Cut to edit it.  On set, however, I realized I would have to take a few more moments for myself to get into my character because I wore at least three hats everyday.  When I had this epiphany I was able to manage every aspect of the production and give a performance I’m proud of.  Syriana is close to me in many ways actually.  My time spent in the Techno scene in Detroit and New York gave me first hand insight into that world.  Syriana is very much like me in some ways and in other ways I would never want to be.  Then again, she has attributes I envy.  I suppose, just like any pop Diva.