Your movie Darken
- in a few words, what is it about?
Logan has a dream of his death. Knowing that nothing can kill him until
that moment., the line between right and wrong gets a little blurred.
Maybe a very obvious
question: Why a unicorn?
I wanted to make a fantasy film.
And a Unicorn are the epitome of fantasy ... also was heavily influenced
by Legend and The Last Unicorn.
What were your initial
inspirations when writing Darken?
And what can you tell us about your writing partner Lincoln L. Lilley and
the writing process as such?
The concept came to me as I
was driving on set scout and saw a tree in the middle of a field. I stared
at it for awhile and it all just kinda came to me. Dying there. I fleshed
out that and the idea of a Unicorn in human form on the run with Lincoln.
He wrote the 1st draft of the script and I the second. Then we were off to
How would you describe your
directorial approach to your story at hand?
Well, this was
a little off for me, since I was playing the lead role. Most of my films
are ensemble pieces, which normally just speak to me. But this was a
little different. We had 6 weeks of fight training and then working with a
girl who barely spoke and a dog. I did a lot of yappin. But I trusted my
DP a lot on covering my butt. The villains were amazing and I really got
to just sit back and watch them play. It was a lot of fun!
features quite a few quite impressive action sequences. So what can you
tell us about shooting those and (since you are in most of them)
performing in those?
Well, the upside was Roy wasn't
supposed to be in great shape so I got to still love the burger. The downside
was I took quite a beating all the time. But it was perfect. I sparred
with a lot of the stunt and fight crew in my younger days, so we all kinda
knew each other's fight methods and were comfortable with each other. And
Michael Hebron's sequences were awesome. His 6 weeks of rehearsal made the
scenes really strong. A lot of the credit goes to him.
you have cast yourself as the lead. Why, how did you approach your
character, and what can you tell us about John Johnson, the actor?
Well, I won't lie. On that part of casting myself was the risk involved.
From leaping off bluffs to taking punches, I knew my threshold could go
further than I think I could get away with otherwise. As an actor, I like
to play. It makes the filmmaker experience a lot more fun. Kinda having
your fingers in all the pies!
can you tell us about the rest of your key cast and crew, and why these
The others auditioned and claimed their roles as
being rightfully theirs. Some I had worked with prior and knew their
strengths, but as you can see in the film, they kinda owned it. I couldn't
ask for any more than that.
Could you talk about the shoot as such for a
little, and the on-set atmosphere?
Well, it was a very
small crew. We were a tight ship. Everybody was on task and we rarely went
over in production deadlines. I think we were all excited about doing a
film a little outside of my normal horror/comedy box.
As far as I know, Darken
is only about to be released. So what can you tell us about critical
reception of your film so far?
Well it just released today!
(December 11th) And I have read some reviews which have been positive and
very humbling, but I am really looking forward to the letters and such
that come in from the viewers to see how we really did with this venture.
Let's go back to the
beginnings of your career: What got you into filmmaking in the first
place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
Self-taught. At this point in time I have made 145 films, 29 of which being
features. I learned from my mistakes and kept going. I made my first short
when I was 8 and never looked back. It's funny, I have never taken a
class, but have taught Videography at a high school and have given many
lectures at film societies on the subject. I actually went to school to be
a police officer. Then took a hard left. I was one of those lucky ones
that was born knowing what I wanted to do!
me rather randomly pick a few films from your filmography, and I'd like
you to say a few words about them:
first release. Kinda a film noir meets pulp comic. Very dark and low
Key and its sequels?
Ooh. Crazy times. Crazy fans. A
lot of fun. Those films kinda made Darkstone
to be what it is today.
The Lovecraft Chronicles?
series we made to sell at cons and on the site. Cute Horror. Something a
of Bram Stoker's Dracula in a modern esc time. More
drama than my others.
Loved the book and wanted to celebrate it. Plan to do a few more classics
along my way!
To keep a pulse with the fans.
Something interactive - and wanted to try out a serial.
step into the weird. Still figuring that one out as we go along. Very
9 - and why would you choose to remake Ed Wood's most notorious film [Ed
Wood bio - click here]?
Well. That is a very long
story. To sum up, was nudged to do it. Said I would as a joke that became
super real super fast. Fell in love with the idea and hope those will
enjoy our take on it!
Any other past films of
yours you'd like to talk about, any future projects you'd like to share?
- A interactive video game launching on FlickSphere this month! 700
different ways to watch! http://www.facebook.com/fearfightermovie
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark - Web Series based on original books!
Episode 3 airs Jan 1st!
Bath Salts - Another fan interactive web series airing this Jan!
So look out for those!
through your filmography, one can't help but notice that you never stray too
far from horror - a genre at all dear to you, and why?
love the genre. I love that an audience member when sitting down to watch
a horror film is ready to believe anything. With other genres you have to
really earn their belief. But in horror right out of the gate they are
right there with you. Also horror always has a sub genre. Horror/Comedy,
Horror/Drama, Horror/Fantasy. Rarely does one of my films just fit in one
genre. Horror is very elusive.
can you tell us about your company Darkstone
Entertainment, and the philosophy behind it?
is kinda a home as well as a film company. We like to stay interactive
with our fans as well as cast and crews. It kinda means a little more to
us than you would think. From many tattoos and flags made. To me and many
is very special. I hate to use the word 'family' since I
believe it is way over-used, but that's kinda what we are.
would you describe yourself as a director?
I like to have a
fun set. Creating and the business mixed as best I can. Although I know I
drive some actors crazy because I am not big on many takes. If we got it,
we move on.
who inspire you?
Anthony Hickox, Sam Raimi, and John
Your favourite movies?
Legeng, Larry Bishop's Mad Dog Time, and Sam Raimi's Evil
Dead 2: Dead by Dawn.
and of course, films you really deplore?
I will put a
disclaimer that I don't think they are bad films, I am just not a fan. Twilight,
Hope Floats, and the new Batman-Trilogy.
Facebook, whatever else?
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Hmmm. I love
Boobs and Cheeseburgers. They make me happy.
You're most certainly welcome!