His latest film, "Buzzard," was a hit at the 2014
"Buzzard" will have its
It's all a pretty big deal for the
"For the first time in my life, I have, like, a manager, an agent wanting to see what I'm up to," says Potrykus.
"They're trying to get me to move out to L.A., not surprising. But I'm going to try to stick around here in
The story follows Marty (
Marty is disconnected from a corporate world that bores him and seems to offer no real opportunities. Twenty years ago, he might have been called a slacker, but he's always busy with some scheme, whether it's trying to get free pizza coupons or to game the system of ordering office supplies.
The film is a little like a bleak update of "Office Space" until Marty's routine begins to spiral out of control. It then achieves a level of tension and emotional complexity that has been noted by reviewers.
"You kind of want (Marty) to succeed in his petty rebellion against boredom, conformity and corporate blandness, and you kind of want him to be punched in the face," writes
On the movie rating site Rotten Tomatoes, "Buzzard" so far has earned a 100% fresh score from critics.
Potrykus spent about a year working on the project, including about eight months of rehearsals. But time was his only luxury. The budget was so small -- he puts it in the five-figure range -- that it didn't even meet the threshold necessary to qualify for
He describes his crew as sort of "a film band" made up of people with musical backgrounds.
"We just hang out, and once a week, we get together and work on the movie and rehearse it and go over the script. So when it comes time to shoot, we're all on the same page and we can move quickly."
Potrykus found Burge, a singer-songwriter, by watching him perform with
"He's like a total wild man onstage. I always thought if I could get some of that energy in front of the camera, it would be something special," says Potrykus.
In addition to directing, writing and editing the movie, Potrykus also plays Derek, a coworker of Marty's who's a lonely social misfit. Their frenemy bantering provides much of the movie's dark humor.
"We auditioned a lot of actors who were really good, but they just didn't have the same back and forth as Josh and I do naturally," says Potrykus. "We're friends. We've known each other a long time. We goof around. Half the time we were filming, I was just trying to make him laugh, have him break character."
Some scenes in "Buzzard" involved some guerrilla filmmaking, where the crew worked quietly and quickly at locations that didn't know they were being used for the movie.
"There's absolutely quite a few locations where either we knew we wouldn't get permission to film in or we thought it would be just way more exciting to go there, hop out of the car and film it," he says.
"Buzzard" feels like the latest chapter in the angry-young-man genre, but it's also a very contemporary spin on disaffected angst.
"We're trying to shed a little light on two guys who just don't understand the world around them. It's kind of this modern sadness, I think, that they have, where neither one of them have friends and never have adjusted socially to society," says Potrykus.
That's just his perspective. Audiences can react to "Buzzard" any way they want.
"You can laugh at those characters. You can laugh with them. You can be sad. You can boo them. You can cheer them. I just make my movie and put it out and respect how anybody reacts to it."
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