Your new movie 7th Day
- in a few words, what is it about?
film follows seven days in the life of a serial killer named Allen.
He's having a bit of a mid life crisis and can't decide between his
career and romance. And by career I mean killing. The
romance is an imaginary love affair with Denise a waitress from the
restaurant where Allen works at.
How did you get involved with 7th
Day, and how did the project get off the ground in the first
was approached by Mark Leake after he had seen a screening of my short
film Lamplight. We began meeting and breaking down what was at that
point a 2nd or 3rd draft of 7th
What can you tell us about your writer Mark
Leake, and what was your collaboration like?
a mysterious guy that I shouldn't speak about... just kidding, he's a nice
and super smart guy. He's become a really good friend during this entire
process. He just happens to like to write really intense stories.
I've been in a lot of creative projects over the years and he's been the
most generous hands down. We would meet and I'd give my advice and
suggestions about the script. The next time we would meet those
suggestions would be in the next draft. There's a lot of my ideas in the
last version of the script made better by Mark Leake's writing.
about your directorial approach to your subject at hand for a bit?
wanted to make the most realistic and gritty film I could. I felt it was
important to include simple setups and minimal camera movements. To try
and make the audience feel as if they were in the room with the madness.
Also I knew I needed to humanize the lead character as much as possible or
the film wouldn't work.
Day features quite a few quite gory scenes - so what can you tell
us about the film's effects work, and was there ever a line you refused to
cross regarding blood and violence?
started building a lot of FX months before filming began and kept filming
gory flashbacks while editing. There was one, it was during the scene
where he cuts the girl's back with the box cutter. It was originally
written that he has going to have intercourse with the wound. I pulled the
plug on that during filming and just had him finger it instead. Because
that's way more tasteful!
You just have to
talk about the film's very macabre humour for a bit, and how
easy/difficult was it for you to identify with it?
lot of the dark humor that came through in the final version were actually
from “accidents” that we built upon on set. I have a dark wit and it
was fun to build these shots organically with the actors and crew. If you
meet me in person you'll find I tell way more jokes than corpse rape
can you tell us about 7th
Day's key cast, and why exactly these people?
of the cast I had worked with in my area since my day job is film work. I
had some people in mind as I worked out the script with Leake. I held
auditions and mostly used the people I originally had in mind during
preproduction and script writing.
talk about the actual shoot and the on-set atmosphere for a bit!
though the subject matter was very bleak on most days, we had a lot of
fun. I know that sounds like cliché post production talk. But I'm good
friends with amazing filmmakers and they were willing to help for
nothing. We are all used to doing hard work and really enjoy what we do.
So the sets were relaxed and productive. I remember editing audio takes
and thinking, “God we were laughing a lot!”
$64-question of course: When and where will the movie be released onto the
Day DVDs available for pre order now: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00FRWI01C/researmytras-20
and will ship October 29th
. Bluray, VOD, and in store release early 2014.
Any future projects you'd like to talk
currently working on a collaborative project with Drew Bolduc (The
Science Team) - we are still writing the screenplay and hope to shoot
sometime next year. We met on Return to Nuke 'Em
High for Troma while doing SPFX. It was an idea born over gallons of
yellow food dye. It's working title is Pee the Movie. It's a horror
comedy I hope to make as intense as Dead Alive (Peter Jackson). I want to
shoot it like old Asian action film. I love Stephen Chow (Kung Fu
and Jackie Chan films. I saw The Raid and was convinced white guys can
make Asian style cinema and kick ass!
As far as I know, you have entered the filmworld
as a special makeup effects artist - so do talk about that aspect of your
career for a bit, and what can you tell us about your training on the
Monsters were my first love, I would only check out horror-related books
even in preschool. My parents thought it was a phase. Even while in
college at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. They offered a special
effects/film program and I had teachers from the film industry. Tom Savini
was just leaving the school to pursue personal things but was still
involved. Rick Catizone who did the stop motion for Evil Dead 2 was a
sculpting teacher. Jerry Gergelly (Day of the
Dead etc.) was there at the
time and was very good with us. I recall his lessons all the time. I've
spent the last 15 years working in cable TV and indie film in the
Baltimore/D.C. area. It wasn't until I formed Aftermath FX Studio with
Kaleigh Brown that I started getting these higher profile jobs. You can't
do big jobs alone. We've grown a lot adding several part time employees.
Last year we completed Troma's
Return to Nuke 'Em High Vol 1, 2 and we did FX
for the V/H/S 2 segment A Ride in the Park.
We got to work with Ed Sanchez and Greg Hale (Blair Witch
Lovely Molly) on that. I learned quite a bit from those guys, they were
very supportive of Kaleigh and I. We were relative no ones and they trusted
in us and we owe them a lot for that! I think the gore worked great in
that piece. I like that my first bigger feature FX ended up being zombies
with my Pittsburgh schooling and all!
What made you try your hands at directing
Jason M. Koch working on V/H/S 2
I began to understand filmmaking as a child
I wanted to do it all. Everything interested me. My father was
military so I guess I got the mentality to work your way up the ranks from
him. I knew you couldn't just join the Army and say “I'm a General!”
So I have waited until I had experienced film making from many different
crew positions before directing. Starting with FX of course. You're never
really ready I guess. I got brave enough to try my hand at directing in
2009 with my 30min short.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to 7th Day (in
covered a little bit of my filmmaking past already. I suppose the other
more notable experience would be my work on Elfman directed by Ethan
Wiley starring Wee Man and Jeffrey Combs. It was a kids Christmas movie
and I was Gaffer on it. It was shot by my friends, litterally some of
the same people who had worked on 7th Day. The
wrote House starring William
Kat. Ethan also worked with Chris Walas on Gremlins. And of course Jeffrey
Combs of Reanimator-
and From Beyond-fame. Here you have all these intense
horror guys making a kids movie. Then throw in one of the stars from the
Jackass-films! It was an amazing time that would take an entire other
interview to get into.
How would you describe yourself as a
me that question again in ten years...
Filmmakers, special efffects artists, whatever else who
Cronenberg, Jodorowsky, Stan Winston, KNB, Screaming Mad George, Eddie
Vedder, Thom Yorke...
Your favourite movies?
Evil Dead 2, Day of the
Dead, Lawrence of Arabia, Touch of Evil, Santa
Elephant Man, Martyrs, Deep
Red, Enter the Void,
and of course, films you really deplore?
a huge fan of bad cinema so this is tough. Without a doubt I hate Grease
and most musicals (except I think Hedwig is amazing). Heart Beeps comes to
mind because with the names involved with that film how was that so
terrible and void of any human emotion?! I've made my son watch that one
as punishment before.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Vote for my ABCs of Death 2 entry
M is for Munging! Its made by the 7th
Day-crew, check it out! http://26th.abcsofdeathpart2.com/entry/m-is-for-munging/
for the interview!