Your new movie The
Question - in a few words, what is it about?
It's about two guys who randomly meet at a bar and start to talk about
a late rock star who had commited suicide.
were your sources of inspiration when writing The
Question, and to what degree could you actually identify with
either lead character of the film?
I've actually had the
premise for this for few years already. My friend told me about this dream
he had where he met Petri Walli, the lead singer of Kingston Wall,
commited suicide years ago. I thought that was a really interesting set up
for a short film; how would you handle the situation where you know that
something can't be real but still is right there. The actual content and
message of the film came about after the unfortunate deaths of Chester
Bennington and Chris Cornell. It really amazed me how ignorant and
hypocrite some people acted after the news, blaming them for "being
cowards" and "setting up a bad example" etc. I know
thousands of people were shocked by the news and were just letting out
their sadness, but before running your mouth on public you should think
about do you actually know what you're talking about? Those comments might
hurt their loved ones even more. You know, the people who actually knew
What can you tell us
about your co-writer Kyle Baughman, and what was your collaboration like?
already had Kyle as the 1st AD on my crew and I knew he was a talented
writer. I was struggling with my dialogue and asked for his help. He wrote
his own version of the dialogue and at the end I just mashed up his
version with mine and it worked out great.
talk about your key cast, and why exactly these people?
already knew Holden McNeil from doing make up for my previous short 13:28. I knew
he as a person already had the looks and all characteristics of Wade and
he liked the script. Xander Turian [Xander
Turian interview - click here]
as well I already knew from 13:28
and I knew
he could pull this part off. After the first rehearsals we found the mood
and tension between the two so it was all set, except for Xander's hair
new movie of yours is 13:28
- so again, what is it about and what were your sources of inspiration?
me 13:28 is more of a scene than a complete short story. I actually wanted
to try doing comedy and already had a script for it, but it just didn't
feel right so I scrapped that whole project, rewatched Se7en and wrote the
first draft of 13:28 in something like 10 minutes. So yeah, Se7en was a
huge influence and I didn't even try to hide it. That being said I think
it still looks and feels like an original film and something I can be
really proud of.
what I know, 13:28 is the
proof of concept for an intended feature film - so how do you intend to
expand that movie?
Yes, that wasn't originally the idea but
as I kept developing the concept for the short it just felt like it could
be something much bigger. I've always been fascinated with the human mind and
how someone becomes a psychopath. That's something I really want to
explore through films and in Job we have a character who is obviously
really fucked up, so at least I myself want to know how he ended up like
that. There's also a story to tell what happens after 13:28. Job has
reached the climax of his killing spree mutilating himself and offing his
pursuers. What happens next? So there's enough story for at least two
feature films in there, but for that I need an actual production company
and someone to help me out with the screenplay.
Again, do talk about your cast!
was the first one I cast here. His piercing look and combat background
were the the things that nailed the role for him and of course I already
knew he was a good actor. I really wanted Tomas Verdejo Urzua for the role
of Jeff because I knew he was an amazing actor, so the day when I met him
and we talked about the film and he said yes, I think after leaving the café I might've said out loud "fuck yeah!". Then again finding a
partner to Jeff who would match up with him was a bit trickier but in the
end Mantas Ceskauskas was the first one we tried for the role and it just
both your movies being of the horror variety, is that a genre at all dear
to you, and how do they differ in their respective approach to horror?
love good horror movies but I don't seem to know the definition of horror
film anymore. To me a horror film should be scary and make me feel
uncomfortable (like The
Exorcist, The Omen, Ringu,
Don't Look Now...), but
it feels like these days a film is labeled as horror if there's few jump
scares in there. So I don't think either of my films are horror, and I
definitely didn't start to work on them as horror films. Don't get me
wrong, I don't mind my films being labeled as horror but I just don't see
them that way myself. Both of the films have a very high tension in them.
With 13:28 it's right there from the very beginning as in
grows and gets twisted slowly throughout the film.
talk about both shoots, and where were the similarities, where the
took a lot more time to prepare as of
the art design. We had to turn a living room set to a crappy shithole and
it was a process of trial and error but I think we managed to build a nice
looking set. With The
Question it was much more about finding the right
location. I went through a lot of bars and pubs trying to find the right
layout. Might sound like fun but it wasn't. After few days I found this
cocktail bar called Bukowski's and it was just perfect. Even the lighting
in there was already really cool. At this point I had my mind set on that
location and of course couldn't get hold of the owner for days. I remember
thinking that if we can't shoot there I won't shoot this story at all. The
actual shooting was pretty smooth for both films because we were well
prepared and everything was rehearsed so each shot was only a few takes.
And the crew was pretty much the same for both films so everyone already
knew how to work together.
Question and 13:28
star and were produced by Xander Turian [Xander
Turian interview - click here] - so what was your collaboration
like, and how did you two first meet even?
I met Xander at
Prague Film School where he was assigned to act on my second project. We
worked well together on the set and I knew I could count on him so it was
easy to cast him to both of these films. Producing wise I think his
biggest input has been on marketing the films and getting them out there.
He has a lot of experience on campaigning films and getting into
$64-question of course, where can The
Question and 13:28
Both of them are online already, and also going
through some festivals. If you want to catch them on big screen, follow
the Facebook pages and we'll let you know whenever festival screenings are
Any future projects you'd like to share?
in post production of my new short film called 42 Days and it should be
done sometime in June. We're gonna try our luck on the festivals first
before releasing it online. After the film is done I of course would
like to move on towards my first feature, so I'm gonna start looking for
partners to make it happen.
got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
We used to do skate- and
snowboarding videos when we were kids, and I wasn't any good myself so I
started to focus on shooting other people instead. As I got deeper into
making skatevideos I realized I could combine my passion for music and art
through video, so I got into making the music videos... I'd say I've learned 95% of
the craft on field and through other filmmakers.
What can you tell us about your
filmwork prior to The Question
background is in music videos. I think I did the first one in 08 or 07 and
been doing them ever since. Of course I had to do other work as well
because you don't live off just music videos, at least in Finland you
would you describe yourself as a director?
It might be
because of my background in music videos, but I'm quite visual director.
Many times I see scenarios, moods or even specific shots before I have a
single line of story. Whatever I do I want my films to evoke emotions in
viewers, whether good or bad. That's why my films usually have quite grim
mood, those kind of emotions are much stronger in me.
who inspire you?
I already mentioned Se7en earlier so
obviously David Fincher, then Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Lars Von
Trier, Chris Cunningham, David Lynch.
Your favourite movies?
answer that one. If I name one, I come up with another one, then another
one, then another one....
and of course, films you really deplore?
Never thought of
films that way
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
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movies' website, Facebook, whatever else?
find me on Facebook at
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
forgot to ask what's my favourite beer and that would be Kozel. Thank you!
for the interview!