Interview: Drew Mylrea, director of Spy Intervention

Filmmaker Drew Mylrea’s feature film directorial debut Spy Intervention, is an affectionate and clever mash-up of international super-spy flick and romantic comedy. In the 2020 film, written by Mark Famiglietti and Lance Garrison, the world’s greatest spy, Corey Gage (Drew Van Acker, Life Like) meets the woman of his dreams (Poppy Delevinge) and decides to abandon his adventurous lifestyle to settle down in suburbia. Though he admirably tries to fit into an existence he’s never experienced, Gage soon grows bored. But when an evil plot to ruin the world surfaces and a former spy buddy (Blake Anderson) sets up a “spy intervention” to draw him back into the espionage game, Gage realizes a return to the spy game might even spice up his listless marriage.

A stylized, hyper-real-looking film filled with alternating aspect ratios, handcrafted effects and animations, miniatures and a saturated color palette, Spy Intervention’s nuanced visual storytelling provides the vessel for delivering a film that offers some surprisingly serious themes. Or as Drew Mylrea puts it, the offers “real emotions in the most outlandish setting.”

Last week, I spoke briefly with the affable filmmaker about Spy Intervention, which opens theatrically from Cinedigm on February 14.

Disc Dish: How did Spy Intervention, your feature film directorial debut, come your way.

Drew Mylrea:  I first met [producer] Sunil Perkash in an airport lounge—I was sitting there, working on a screenplay and he approached me, and we just started talking about films and filmmaking. He had previously produced Salt with Angelina Jolie and, more recently, Life Like with Drew Van Acker. Later, I sent him a couple of my science fiction shorts—they were real “world-building” pieces with adult themes.  And then three months later, Sunil sent me the Spy Intervention script and I loved it. Sunil liked the liked the idea of taking big genres and making these modern-day fables, and so did I.

DD: And Spy Intervention ended up being your first feature-length film.

DM: The script really spoke to me. Yes, I had been working towards making my first feature and here was a project that I really connected to.

DD: And the script and story sparked your unique visual approach?

DM: My whole take on the material was how much fun would it be if the world was absurd, but if the performances and situations were real. I wanted it to be somewhere between a real spy film and a parody – a modern fairy tale with fun and outrageousmess with serious themes and real heart.

DD: The result can certainly be seen on the screen. Was there ever a time where you felt you might have been going too far stylistically?

DM: The only time we dialed something back was in the pool scene where the colors were just so over-the-top that we had to adjust it! But, no, there was never a point when the style became too much for the producers. And using two aspect ratios–widescreen for real life and a TV frame for spy world–none of the producers even knew I was doing that.

DD: Overall then, the production ran smoothly?

DM: Oh, yes. We shot the film in twenty days, five days a week. We had storyboarded everything—everything. We had wall-to-wall storyboards and then we executed on the plan. We stuck to our guns from start to finish. That’s what you have to do!

Spy Intervention opens in select theaters on Friday, February 14 and is also available On Demand through Cinedigm.

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.