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An Interview with 6:45's Craig Singer, Armen Garo and Allie Marshall

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2020

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Your new movie 6:45 - in a few words, what is it about?

 

In this heart-racing psychological thriller, we are introduced to Bobby Patterson who is taking one last romantic shot at saving his rocky relationship with his girlfriend Jules Rables on a weekend getaway. The couple arrives for vacation in the quiet island resort called Bog Grove. To their bewilderment, the sleepy beach town is curiously deserted and they quickly learn about its deadly history that's about to repeat itself. Bobbyís struggles with Jules are cast aside in order to overcome a dementing cycle of terror that transpires. No matter what he does to try to avoid it, he and his girlfriend wake up at 6:45 each morning to the same nightmarish chain of events that lead to them being viciously murdered with no chance of escape.

 

How did the project fall together, actually, and how did you all come on board?

 

Craig Singer: I was a Creative VP with Walt Disney and had been thinking about doing 6:45 for many years. I had known Augie Duke, who always would encourage me to simply "Go for it" and make the film with whatever we could raise - in many ways I credit her for helping build my confidence to dig back into my indie film roots.

When I left the studio the media landscape had changed considerably and folks wanted you to make your film with an iPhone and a few hundred dollars :) - the new landscape was both extraordinarily challenging as well as humbling.

 

Armen Garo (plays Gene, TV's The Sopranos): I was contacted by Craig when he spoke to me about it a few years ago. He sent me the script and I was quite impressed with it. He asked me if I would be interested in being a part of it and I said yes without ever knowing what role he had intended for me. Itís THAT good.

 

What can you tell us about 6:45's approach to horror, and how could you all relate to that approach?

 

Craig Singer: I see 6:45 as a love story at its core, something very relatable - all relationships have many challenges - in the case of 6:45 things simply are heightened a bit, and as things go from bad to worse the audience is invited on that ride. The audience needs to feel comfortable with the couple and hopefully root for their relationship. This means you need to spend some time getting to know them, and that speaks to pacing etc.

I knew 6:45 would have to take a thoughtful measured approach. Naturally I consider films that possess attributes and characteristics I admire.

 

Craig, what can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?

 

Craig Singer: It's a tough question - for me while there is a good deal of planning you tend to find your film while making the film. It really is a process of discovery, and no matter how much one plans there's a consistent number of curve balls that come your way, and a filmmaker must embrace some level of chaos and be able to adjust to things beyond his or her control.

 

Cast, please do talk about your respective characters, and what did you draw upon to bring them to life?

 

Allie Marshall: I had the pleasure of playing a waitress named Pearl. Behind the scenes I was the 2nd AD, handled talent, shadowed Craig, and worked my way up to becoming an associate producer. I am currently working on post production and have been able to see this film grow from its script all the way to this wonderful film!

 

Armen Garo: I always draw upon observations Iíve made all my life. But, in this case, I had to be somewhat inventive as to how I could interpret the inner workings of the protagonist's mind. it allowed me to try different things and have fun with it.

 

Craig, what can you tell us about your collaboration with your cast, and cast, what was working with Craig like?

 

Craig Singer: This was really a film family or I should say we created an environment that allowed a film family to form. Many marvelous young artists came together, lived and worked with a common goal. It was both refreshing as well as heartening to be able to collaborate with this team and have everyone bring the very best of themselves to the table. To feel safe enough to try different things - safe enough to even fail at times in order to get the best results.

 

Armen Garo: Working with Craig is what working with a director should be. He gets it. He speaks the language. He understands bullshit. Not just artistic bullshit, but bullshit in general. And he avoids participating in it.

 

What can you tell us about your location, and what was it like filming there? And did I read that correctly that the place actually felt haunted?

 

Craig Singer: We filmed in and around the Jersey shore - I don't want to give that much away but there's a very good chance our location was actually haunted :)

 

Armen Garo: We filmed at one of the many hotels down the Jersey shore. Itís one of the most beautiful seaside destinations in the country. Absolutely stunning. Each of us had a room and we would all sit around and chat and share stories in the living room/lounge area by the fireplace when we werenít filming. People were arriving and leaving at all times of the day and night. Thomas Waites showed up one night and he was singing for us as he accompanied himself on his folk guitar. It was like being at camp again! At various times we would gather on the second floor enclosed porch and enjoy the beautiful ocean view with our morning coffee. It was pure joy to film there.

 

Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

Allie Marshall: This experience was unlike any film experience I have ever had. I learned so much and met some of the most incredible people! Not only did we all work together, but we stayed together on location where we filmed. We would wake up and eat breakfast together, work together, and go to bed in the same place, just to do it all again the next day. We were all able to get to know each other so quickly, which helped form a trust and knowledge of one another when we were working. It was incredible to see how passionate everyone was. You can see it in how hard we all worked, not only in our department, but in all departments. This was a film that brought the most talented people together who went above and beyond to make it happen. Every member of the cast and crew wore multiple hats to create a film that we are all proud of and excited to share with everyone! I truly met so many incredible people on this shoot that I now call my friends and family.

 

Armen Garo: The on-site atmosphere was nothing but proactive, positive and, in general, conducive to our storytelling. Couldn't have been better. 

 

The $64-question of course, when and where will 6:45 be released?

 

We have a relationship with Story Board Media who is handling the film's foreign sales and will hopefully launch at a few film festivals that will then lead to our seeking a domestic relationship.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

Craig Singer: I'm prepping a film called TAT to be shot in Philly in the next few months as long as it can be made in a safe environment. It's take place in the world of memorial tattoos.

 

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Your/your movie's websites, social media, whatever else?

 

www.645movie.com

Instagram: @645movie

Facebook: 6:45 Movie

YouTube: 6:45 Movie

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I've merely forgotten to ask?

 

Craig Singer: Just that 6:45 was a case study in perseverance and I'm often asked about how one goes about making a film a reality, and I like to talk about the three "T's" - timing, talent and tenacity. We only have control over one of these, tenacity, so keep focused - head down into the wind & ONWARD!

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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On the same day
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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starring
Ryan Hunter and
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