Tell us a bit about your latest film, The Creek?
The Creek is my first feature film. It is an ultra low budget
film. We took all the resources we had and put them into equipment and
lighting and crew. The film suffers from some of the many low budget
but we tried to make as a professional looking film as possible. In that
sense I feel The Creek
is a huge success.
few words about your cast and crew?
We had a terrific cast
and crew on the film. Everyone was extremely excited
to be a part of the project. We had some experienced crew and some
newcomers. The same can be said for the actors. Each and everyone gave
Everyone worked Thursday, Friday & Saturday nights
for 6 weeks. Almost
everyone had day jobs which meant Thursday everyone came from work
to the set and then worked all night as well.
What inspired you to
make the film?
I have been doing acting in the NYC metro area for the past nine years
and I have worked on a lot of independent projects that never get
completed. I do freelance non-linear editing and I also write so I decided
to make my own project so that I could see it through to completion. I now
understand why so many projects never get finished and never get out into
the marketplace. It is a very long road.
You have written, directed and produced The Creek, and you also do some acting in it. Which aspect of filmmaking
do you enjoy the most?
Thatís difficult to answer. Acting
has always been my main focus but I
really enjoyed directing and cutting this project as well. I honestly love
all the aspects of creating a film.
The cast of The Creek
The Creek was shot in
Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Why there, and how easy/difficult is it to get a
proper cast and crew and make a genre movie in Pennsylvania?
I am originally from PA and therefore had a lot of great friends and
who were very supportive. Our garage locations were donated by Bonalle
Sales and Stahleyís Automotive. The cabin was given to us to use by Bob
Mark Stahley. This support was invaluable.
Getting talent to PA is rather easy. We had two actresses from NYC and
had no problem traveling there. Our location was only 2.5 hours from the
city so itís really not too bad.
was your debut feature as a director. What can you tell us about
your on-set experiences?
I have to say that my onset
experiences as a director were fantastic. I was
actually annoyed on nights when I had to act a lot because it took away
from the fun I was having behind the camera. This was exasperated by the
fact that I was also producing and we didnít have a line producer or set
manager to take care of all the little things that needed dealt with. So,
if someone wanted to know where a spatula was for catering, I was the only
one to ask. I now realize how integral it is to have someone on set to put
out all the small fires and Iím definitely going to have someone else
that position on our next feature 12 Bells. Iím also planning to act in
Bells but the role I'm playing has far less screen time and therefore I
enjoy both acting and directing more.
What did you do before
The Creek and how did you get into the film business in the first place?
I mentioned earlier, Iíve been acting in the NYC metro area for 9 years
and before that I did as much as I could in PA. I earned a BS in
Broadcasting at Millersville University in PA and then moved to NYC to
pursue film and acting. I wanted to pursue film because I love movies,
writing scripts, editing, the whole process. Film is extremely
collaborative and thatís something I enjoy as well. Itís great to work
talented and creative people and just let them show you what they can do.
We stuck very close to my storyboards on The Creek
but there were a lot of
times when my DP Jason Contino would call me over and say, ďHey, I know
this isnít exactly what you had down but what do you think?Ē Jason has
great eye for framing and how it translates into the overall storytelling
process. We have some really incredible shots because of his talent. This
situation was the same with many people on our crew. Everyone surprised me
at one point or another by going the extra mile and not just doing what
they had to do.
you have any formal training as director, or how did you learn the craft?
only training I had directing was from the large amount of projects I
did as an actor and as crew. I learned as much as possible from these
directors. Some were experienced and some were not. I learned what NOT to
do from most of them. I'm a very visual person so the storyboarding
was fairly easy and because Iím an editor I knew what I needed to make a
scene cut together.
few words about your upcoming 12 Bells?
Ahhhhh you only want ďa fewĒ words huh? You are a smart man. 12
Bells (www.12bellsmovie.com) is going to be a huge step up for us in a lot of
ways. First and foremost, we are going to be shooting on the RED ONE
camera. We already shot the trailer on this camera with a great DP named
Bill Simone (www.billsimone-dp.com). Also, weíre going to be getting
talent for the key roles and the script is extremely unique. This is going
to be a very fast paced horror/thriller that keeps you guessing up until
the end. It also has some amazing characters in it that I donít think
youíve seen before. We definitely stepped away from The Creekís
kids getting killed in the woods-territory.
Both The Creek
and 12 Bells are horror movies. Is horror a genre
especially dear to you?
I love horror but itís funny
because Iím not considered horror enough by
most of the people I worked with on The Creek. Most of the crew were die-hard horror fans who can name the most obscure horror movies ever made. I
am sorry to say that Iím not quite on their level. What I like most
horror is that you really have a lot of latitude to create a fun story.
can step out of the box more with horror. If youíre doing a drama you
to stay inside certain conventions or storylines that are acceptable to
your situation. With horror you can stretch those boundaries more by
bringing in a sci-fi element or putting people in an impossible situation
that in any other genre wouldnít play.
What can you tell us about your
production company Annubis
Productions was formed because I was doing freelance editing and
web design. I then decided to do the film under that banner as well. Since
the film Iím no longer doing web work for anyone and weíre focusing on
and video production. We shot a great HD piece for the band Shift Seven
(www.shiftseven.com) back in November. We have a couple other projects
lined up now but weíre focusing on the next feature 12 Bells.
MySpace, whatever else?
We have a fan page on facebook as well:
Any future projects you'd like
to talk about?
12 Bells is the big one. Weíve also been
approached by the Mental Health
Association of Lebanon County to work with them on a project directed
toward suicide prevention. Itís a great cause and weíre looking
that. Weíre also planning another collaboration with Bill Simone (www.billsimone-dp.com) on a short film and of course weíre always
for music videos and other interesting projects.
Directors who have inspired you?
always feel bad with this question because nothing Iíve done even shows
glimmer of comparison to my answer but I have to say Tim Burton has such
amazing eye. The look of his films are just incredible. Alfred Hitchcock
the other hand could tell a story like no one else since him.
favourite movies, both recent and all-time favourites?
canít even begin to work on a whole list. Iíll be here forever. I will
throw out a few random movies I find amazing.
Where the Day Takes You
State of Grace
The Sixth Sense
of course, some movies you really deplored?
just mean because Iím sure my movie would make this list for a
lot of people.
REMAKES!!!! I am sick and tired of remakes. I just want to see something
Anything with Mario Van Peebles (I have a personal rule against his
else you are dying to tell us and I've simply forgotten to ask?
for the interview!
Thank you for your interest in our little independent film.