We have talked about this before [click
here], but do bring us up to speed: Your new movie A
Life Not to Follow - in a few words, what is it about?
It's a neo-noir film told in three interlacing chapters. This is the
synopsis: Eric is a dead man and he knows it. Death is imminent and he
must make amends for his past sins, by killing those who wronged him, no
matter the price: A wiseguy willing to do anything to move up in the world
must now make the ultimate sacrifice. He must kill his best friend or in
turn be killed. An FBI-agent turned PI is on the trail of a missing
girl. In his long search for her he comes face to face with a host of
unsavory characters who will lead him to perdition or salvation.
A Life Not to Follow
featuring three stand-alone yet narratively connected stories, how hard
was it to not eventually very literally lose the plot?
too hard because co-creator Pedro Alvarado and I made sure we spent a ton
of time going over the structure and plot. One day we spent hours on end
asking each other the same questions over and over again about where
things are going and the timeline. It was so drilled in my head that when
shooting came along I never lost sight of where the film was going. If we
didn't put the work in it would have been chaos!
can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story/stories at
I always look for what tone I want to set
for the film. Then I always make sure everyone from the actors to
the crew know and feel comfortable in what they are doing. Sometimes an
actor is just not going to feel all that comfortable in a role or a scene.
As long as that's understood I make sure they know I have their back. It's
all about team work.
Life Not to Follow
it was about showing different parts of a
crime world and how they connect. I had an idea that each chapter was a
different film set in the same world. For me I feel the first chapter
plays like a western, the second like a classic mob film and the last one
like an old school film noir. I also wanted it to be raw and real. In the
writing process we made sure everything connected and when making the film
I tried to find each story's strength and bring it out.
Do talk about your cast for a bit, and why exactly
For me if you cast a film right that means
less work you need to do as a director. If they look and act the part
people will believe them. Sounds simple but that's not really the case.
It's not an easy job. I'm very big on casting. It's such an important
part, as if I need to sell it. Ha-ha.
I'm big on how people look. I don't stick to
one idea but I need to be sold on them visually first. Then can they act?
We used a lot of non-actors because I wanted a real Boston mob feel. We
just happen to know a lot of Italian guys and gals who are not afraid to
let go in front of the camera. The way they speak and hold themselves is
not easy for someone to copy. People try but are not always successful.
Also most of them have heard a lot of real crime stories throughout their
lives and know how things really go down so they helped in that way too.
When working with non-actors you sometimes need more takes but it was
worth it. They brought realism and were a lot of fun to work with.
What can you tell us about the shoot as
such, and the on-set atmosphere?
As a director it's your
job to set the tone in the film and on set. For me as long as people show
up prepared and ask only about their job and how they can make it better
I'm a happy man. I ask everyone to be professional. If not you're gone.
Just like that. I've been lucky to have hired a lot of hard working good
people so we are able to get shots down at a great pace and have fun doing
it. It's important that everyone feels comfortable and that they can ask
me anything. It's hard work but you also need to have fun. I try to find
that balance and so far it's working. We have an open and encouraging
The $64-question of
course, where can your movie be seen?
I working with Circus
Road Films on getting it sold. So hopefully soon but I don't have a
time table at the moment. They have been very good to work with so far.
projects you'd like to share?
My next feature is called
Delusion staring David Graziano [David
Graziano interview - click here] and Jami Tennille. These two actors are
amazing and great to work with. We are submitting to festivals as we
speak. It's a horror/mystery film and you can read up on it here:
Your/your movie's website,
Facebook, whatever else?
Check me and my work out at:
Life Not to Follow:
Anything else you're dying to
mention that I have merely forgotten to ask?
If anyone would like to see some of my films
right now go to Amazon and check out my shorts Under the Dark
Wing and Her Heart Still Beats:
Under the Dark
Her Heart Still Beats:
Also be on a look out for Sisyphus, a
film written by me and directed by David Graziano.
Thank you for your time!