Your new movie Absolute Vow
- in a few words, what is it about?
A story in the Old Testament I wanted to explore,
about a man who makes a promise to God and ends up being faced with the
decision to sacrifice his only daughter, a young virgin, or break the vow he
made to God.
With Absolute Vow
being a bible adaptation, what made you go this route in the first place,
and what made you choose Judges 11:29-39, a passage where God is,
shall we say, not shown in the most favourable of lights?
seems that a lot of believers and Bible scholars differ in their
opinion about this story, especially its outcome, but no one seemed to
wonder what the girls did in the hills for two months, and I wanted to
explore what they might do, what they might be tempted by and have to
overcome in the wilderness. I don't think God was being cruel. He just
seemed to be "staying out of this one", to let man struggle with
his decisions and results. You can't expect God to swoop in and save
every insane person who thinks it would please God to drown their baby, et
cetera. Also, child sacrifices were common place back then, along with
other offerings, like livestock and crops. It was a strange story that I
wanted to flesh out into a feature to help myself and perhaps others
understand its meaning, and what it might have been like to be alive in
connected to my last question, your thoughts about religion as such, and
do you see yourself as an at all religious man?
believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. He died for us, to forgive our
sins and we shall find eternal life through Him, if we accept Him into our
sources of inspiration when writing Absolute
The Color of
Pomegranates, Holy Mountain, Satyricon, The Last Temptation of
Christ, The Sin of Adam and Eve and Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments.
Vow being a period piece, what were the challenges regarding that
aspect of your movie?
was hard to get talent to shake off their modern day accents for their
characters. Some silly actors thought it would be funny to keep it in. I'd
say the hardest part was most of cast didn't take it seriously and tried
to make scenes comical when they weren't supposed to be. It was hard
working with inexperienced kids, but a few I thought portrayed their roles
What can you tell us about your
directorial approach to your story at hand?
was probably very vague and just hoped everything would fall in line. I
had to shoot the entire thing myself because I fired the director of photography the night before principal photography began. It was very
stressful to hike, shoot, direct, and try to comfort everyone with their problems,
like getting thorns stuck under their fingernails. I shot the whole
film handheld and didn't rehearse at all. I wanted to try to achieve a
genuine performance, but I was surprised to see how much people dislike
the great outdoors and think 70 degrees is cold.
about your key cast, and why exactly these people?
Madsen (son of Michael Madsen) was an easy choice, and his girlfriend,
Parker Love Bowling was chosen for the role of The Virgin and Lloyd
Kaufman and Rodney Bingenheimer just kind of fell right into place, and I
had my friend Aki Aleong play the prophet. I met Andy Dick's daughter, Meg
Dick, at a show and asked her to be in it as well. Many of the others I had worked with before in my previous films.
Vow was almost exclusively shot outdoors - so where was it shot,
and what were the advantages and maybe also challenges filming there?
was hard shooting this period piece in Los Angeles with car horns going
off and helicopters going over head. One day, a lady with a leaf
blower wouldn't quit, just to spite us. I knew it would be hard to create
a proper village for the times so I wrote the script to fit with what
little natural environment Hollywood has to offer. We shot near the
Hollywood sign and it kept creeping into frame. I wrote all the scenes to
be exteriors so we wouldn't have to bother with light and generators to
power them. I thought it was environmentally friendly in a way. Going
green for cinema's sake.
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
was shot in seven days and the atmosphere was great, until Lloyd Kaufman
arrived and tried to make a joke out of everything and made the serious
actors question what kind of movie they were working in.
$64 question of course, where can Absolute
Vow be seen?
Right now the DVD is on
(Barnes & Noble),
Streaming platforms coming soon!
Anything you can tell us about
audience and critical reception of Absolute
It's too soon to tell.
Any future projects you'd like to
starring myself and the sensational screen queen dream, Brittany
Ballantyne, from Teen Town, USA. It's a black comedy art piece about a
love triangle between a businessman, one of his clients, and his mannequin
secretary. Also, we are in development for Carny Girls and Slink 2, which
is fully-fan funded and can be check out here:
- pPlease help this film get made! It will be epic! The Slink saga will
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
new book The Cinematic Equation is now available at Barnes & Noble
and on amazon.com.
Anyone in the industry or anyone who ever chased a seemingly impossible dream
should order their copy here:
Thanks for the interview!
Thank you Michael!