Your new movie Tempus
Tormentum - in a few words, what is it about?
A drifter passing through a small town that is drugged and tormented by
3 masked psychopaths.
were your inspirations when writing Tempus
It all started with a single visual I
had in my head of three dudes in scary masks driving by in slow motion,
that shot you see in the trailer is exactly how I saw it in my head, the
story just grew out of that one image. I was also thinking about that 80s
classic The Warriors while I was developing the ideas for the
script - that whole idea of a long chase.
Tormentum follows a rather dreamlike logic - so how easy or hard
was it to not lose your story in the process?
It was not
too difficult, at itís core it is just a long pursuit, so I just kept it
moving from scene to scene, location to location - the consistency comes
from the music / sound design and the 4 main characters moving throughout
this hallucinatory landscape.
to talk about the masks in your movie for a bit, the meaning behind them,
and to what extent were you involved in their design?
them done locally by Chris Hadley who worked on my first film Aegri
Somnia, he already had the design that I liked for the clown mask, then I
sent him some photos of a variety of other masks I had found online and he
mimicked them while putting his own slant on the design. As far as the
meaning goes, well thatís subjective and I donít really want to push
my ideas of the symbolism on the viewer, Iíd rather they form their own
opinion. Perhaps theyíre just trippy and intimidating and thatís why
the characters chose them, or maybe thereís something deeper?
Tormentum does feature its fair share of violence - so do talk
about those scenes for a bit, and was there ever a line you refused to
It seems pretty violent, but most of the violence is
implied or looming, it was more about the threat of violence, that unease
you feel when violence is imminent. I didnít want a bunch of gratuitous
gore and we had a very low budget so we had to get creative with how we
handled that aspect of the film.
What can you tell us about your directorial
approach to your story at hand?
It was a really hands-on,
indie, improvisational approach. Every location we had for only a short
time and we had a lot of setups to do, so I would just walk around the
location with the actors and crew, weíd block things out, set up our
lights, pick some frames for the camera and then hammer away at each
scene. Some things were re-written for the location on the day, some
things were improvised, other stuff was note for note right from the
Do talk about your cast,
and why exactly these people?
Essentially the entire cast
was made up of friends, some were trained actors from the local scene,
others were first time actors with no training. The 4 lead roles of Mr
Mouse and the three masked psychopaths were written specifically for those
people, Tyhr Trubiak (Mr Mouse) was the only trained actor of the 4 leads, the 3
psychos were myself (clown) and my two buddies (Devil, Slashmouth). I
wanted to bang out a fun film with my friends, so I wrote parts that I was
certain they could handle, we all have a little experience hamming it up
for the camera so it all worked out okay I think.
A few words about the
shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
For the most part
it was a blast - a lot of hard work, a lot of stressful moments trying to
get things done on a shoestring with a very small crew - but we made a lot
of good memories and had a lot of laughs. Even on the hard nights where it
seemed like everything was going wrong, we still have fond memories of all
that stuff, because in the end, youíre in an abandoned air force base
with your buddies at 2 a.m. and itís creepy as hell and you know the
average person is not experiencing what youíre experiencing in that
moment and thatís a pretty cool vibe.
$64-question of course, when and where will the movie be released on the
Release date is still up in the air - we
want to do a festival run, try and build up a grassroots fan base for the
film, maybe do a small tour of special theatrical screenings. So it may be
as late as the fall of 2017, really hard to say at this point, depends a
lot on the early reaction to screenings and press.
Anything you can tell us about audience
and critical reception of Tempus
We only completed the film 2 weeks
ago and did not release it to reviewers until just last week, at this
point we have only 3 reviews, but they are all very positive and very
encouraging. As far as the audience goes, only a handful of friends have
even seen the film, but when the teaser trailer hit it spread around
pretty well, 13,000 views in the first two days and people seem to be
really interested in seeing it.
Any future projects you'd like to
Iím all about promoting this one and getting the
deliverables finished right now - I have several scripts in various
stages of development, some are fully fleshed out, others are just rough
ideas, but it really depends on the success of this film, I canít start
production on another feature until I have some support from the right
people and thatís going to take a certain level of success from this
What got you into making movies in the first
place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
was just a big movie fan in high school, so I started messing around with
a VHS camcorder and the obsession grew from there, I am completely self
taught, I got to know some people who got me a few small gigs on
Ďrealí film sets, so I learned a bit from that, but mostly it was
books and buying gear and just making videos with my friends - on this
film I got to get back to those roots a little bit, which was a blast.
How would you describe yourself as a
Dark, existentially uneasy, with a twisted sense
of humour and maybe a touch of poetry (Iím sure that sounds a bit
pretentious, but I donít really give a fuck, ha ha).
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Lynch, David Cronenberg, Kubrick, The Quay Brothers, Lars von Trier,
Werner Herzog, Andre Tarkovsky, Ridley Scott, Adrian Lyne, Scorcese ... I
could go on and on, thereís so many filmmakers that have inspired me,
how do you make a list?
favourite movies ... and of course, films your eally
Blade Runner, Apocalypse Now, Eraserhead,
The Shining, Altered
States, Alien, Jacobís
Ladder, Street of Crocodiles,
The Hourglass Sanatorium, Raging Bull, Stalker, thereís so many, how do
I pick a favourite Herzog film? Or Von Trier? Or Lynch? I wonít mention
the films I deplore because I just like to forget about those.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Movie website: www.tempustormentum.com
Movie Facebook: www.facebook.com/tempustormentum/
Production company: www.absurdmachinefilms.com
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
William S Burroughs, one of the
genius writers of the 20th century and a huge influence on the way I think
about writing and art and life in general.
Thanks for the interview!