Your film Predatory
Instinct - in a few words, what is it about?
is about three excitement seeking
co-workers who follow an interesting stranger to a secluded desert house and
ultimately find themselves at odds against nefarious foes, human and
How did Predatory
Instinct come into being in the first place, and how did you first
get involved in making the film?
It was originally written for another production company
that was looking for indie horror scripts that could be made on a modest
budget. The idea was that I would provide the script and would direct the
movie. When things didnít pan out with the original company, it was shelved
until another opportunity came along. As it turns out, things worked out
nicely with the eventual timing of the production and the availability of
resources and personnel.
What attracted you to Predatory
Instinct's story, and a few words about the film's writer
Iíve worked with Brian in the past on a few shorts, and
we had talked many times about doing a feature length project. When the
opportunity presented itself I gave him the criteria, and he came up with the
premise and the story took off from there. I thought it was smart and well
written and had a lot of elements that you donít see very often in indie horror
films. I liked how he had the ability to connect and revisit different themes
and call back to certain pieces of dialogue in an entertaining and significant way.
Brian actually has a P.H.D. in social psychology, so he has a unique
perspective on society and I think his writing reflects that.
Your personal thoughts about the, how
shall I put it, decadent philosophy of Predatory
Instinct's villains, and how much Emmett do you find in yourself?
The kind of decadence and disdain for society that Emmett
shows makes him an interesting villain. He completely disconnects from all
concepts of right and wrong. There are no limits to what heíll do in
pursuit of self-gratification, and thatís about as evil as it gets. As for me, I
usually play it pretty safe, so Iíd have to say that Iím pretty far removed from
Emmett. Iím not a big risk taker.
would you describe your directorial approach to the material?
When I first read a script I visualize it as if Iím
watching it on a screen. I imagine what the locations and characters look like, I
think about how theyíll dress and talk, and even imagine what kind of music will
be playing in each scene. So much of what I want to achieve on set is already
in my head by the time shooting begins. I try to be a good communicator with
my cast & crew, and let them know that they can always approach me with
their input. I donít always take their suggestions, but I want them to know
that their ideas are welcomed. Itís a group effort and great ideas come from
Instinct seems to be constantly playing with genre conventions,
just to deceive the audience. How much of this was in the script, how much
was your doing? And how much fun was this?
I contributed a little bit to the screenplay, and ideas
always hit you on set, but the majority of it was in the script. I think Brianís
intention was to keep people guessing and keep their attention. He had a very
specific path he wanted the audience to follow to reach the conclusion, and
we followed that pretty closely.
Making this movie was a lot of fun. We had some long days
and nights, and it was definitely hard work, but I love being on set. We had
a really great cast & crew, and although we were there to work, I think everyone
had a good time and got along really well on set.
A few words
about your principal cast?
Our cast was great. We auditioned a lot of people and saw
some really good reads, but in the end it came down to getting just the
right person for each role. Each actor embraced their character and just became
that person. I think the chemistry within the group worked really well. I
canít say enough about their efforts and their patience with the
Horror veteran David C. Hayes
[David C. Hayes interview - click
here], who has a small role in the film, also produced Predatory
Instinct. What can you tell us about his involvement?
What canít I tell you about Dave? He put the whole thing
together. He assembled the crew, brought in several of the actors,
created schedules, secured the equipment; you name it. In addition to his
passion for filmmaking, heís unbelievably organized. None of this
would have been possible without him. And as a bonus, we get to see his
trademark creepiness in the opening scene of the movie.
can you tell us about audience and critical reception of Predatory
Instinct so far?
Itís gone really well so far. Weíve been in the
Hollywood Asylum 13 Film Festival, the MythosCon Phoenix Festival, and we won Best
Horror at this yearís Phoenix Comicon Film Festival. Weíve gotten
some really nice reviews, and Iím excited about the direction weíre headed.
Let's go back to your
beginnings: What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you
receive any formal education on the subject?
I studied audio production, which ultimately led me into
video and film, specifically editing. Before I ever had any formal
education in film, I used to edit with two VHS decks and a pause button. I enjoyed that
and was inspired to learn more about the process. I did study filmmaking a bit, but most of my experience
came from working on sets and learning hands-on. I found this very helpful
not only in getting specific experience in different tasks, but also by
observing how things work on a set.
you tell us about your filmwork prior to Predatory
Iíve done a handful of shorts, but this is my first
feature. Most of my previous work has been done on other peopleís projects, so it was
great to have an opportunity to work on a project of my own.
Any future projects you'd like to talk
I have a couple of scripts in the works, but itís always
tough to say when things will pan out. Iíd love to direct again and I hope
I get the opportunity to get them made in the future.
Directors who inspire you?
Paul Thomas Anderson, David Fincher, Cameron Crowe, The
Coen Brothers, anyone who writes great characters and really knows how to
tell a great story.
Boogie Nights, Sling
Blade, Fight Club, Fargo, and of
course any really good horror or thrillers. There are just too many to name. I
love movies that deliver the complete package; great story, great
characters, great visuals. I appreciate anything thatís really well made.
... and of course, films you really
There are always movies that donít appeal to you, but Iím
usually able to find something I like in most movies. Having gone through the
process of creating movies, Iíve learned to appreciate the work put into it
by the cast & crew and look for the positives. If anything, I guess I would have
to say that Iím not a big fan of unnecessary remakes. In some cases they can be
very well done, but in general, I say leave the classics alone.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Weíre on Facebook of course https://www.facebook.com/pages/Predatory-Instinct/173564899332537,
and our "official" website is www.typeaentertainment.com, but itís actually a very basic
page right now. The best place to find information, trailers, etc. is the
Midnight Releasing page: http://midnightreleasing.com/dvd-release-catalog/predatory-instinct/
Check them out, and give us a "Like" on
Anything else you are dying to tell us and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
Just that it was great to have the opportunity to make
this movie, and I really appreciate the efforts of every single person involved. From
the executive producers, to friends who loaned me gear, everyone made a
significant contribution. Thatís what it takes to make an indie
film, and it wouldnít have been possible without every single one of them. Oh, and
please buy my movie.
Thanks for the interview!
It was my pleasure, thank