Your new movie Incall
- in a few words, what is it about?
That's tough to explain in a few words (it has a very complicated,
twisty plot). It's essentially about a young masseur who, after the
accidental death of one of his massage clients and through a bizarre set
of circumstances, teams up with a cat burglar/hustler and begins murdering
his clients for money so that they can both flee the country.
What were your
inspirations when writing Incall,
and was any of this based on personal experience (not the killings I
The film is definitely not autobiographical. But
with that said, the film is definitely based on experiences that I have
had and or seen/heard about. It's essentially (among other things) a
social commentary on a society based on a predatory economic model
(without a civilized social safety net for its people) that forces a
certain segment of its population through the cracks in order to channel
the majority of prosperity to a select few. Those people who are forced
through the cracks are slated as "prey" and have every right to
"fight back". When they do it aint pretty. But the film does
deal with other themes as well.
You also play the lead in Incall
- so what did you draw upon to bring Kasey to life, did you write him with
yourself in mind, and how much of Brock Riebe can we find in your
Again, the film is not
autobiographical. But, I did write Kasey with myself in mind for the role.
Some elements of the character's personality are definitely based on me.
For example, Kasey's travel guide "addiction" is totally based
on me. But the specifics of his background are not based on my life.
Do talk about the rest of your key
cast, and why exactly these people?
Well... ALL the
characters in Incall are inspired in some way by real
"types" of people that I have met and known. Because I had a
clear idea about who these characters were, it was easy for me to write
dialog as I could almost hear them "talking to me." I definitely
relied on INTUITION in terms of casting. The actors HAD TO possess
somewhere inside themselves certain elements consistent with what of the
characters they were to play; whether they knew it or not haha. I knew
what I was going for. The talent pool was very limited (as this is a
non-union, micro-budget, guerrilla-indie film that was not shot in a
premiere entertainment town). Even so, I chose people who I felt could
deliver the characters. I was very impressed by my actors.
There is a darkly
comical flair about Incall
- so could you talk about the movie's brand of humour for a bit?
favorite types of horrors/thrillers are those that interweave humor with
thrills and chills (but ONLY in the proper doses). I'm not a fan of comedy
horror. In fact, I wont even watch it. I use humor that is only funny
(in my humble opinion) because one can see how something of the sort could
and does happen in real life, thus they can relate to it. It was important
to me that the "funny" parts be straight acted. Life is funny.
It's also many other things (including scary). Juxtaposing highs and lows
in a film creates a wide and steep emotional range with lots of ups and
downs (like a roller coaster ride - and who doesn't love that). I love
watching films like this. It also helps to bond the audience to the
characters so they actually CARE about what happens to them.
What can you tell us
about your directorial approach to your story at hand?
say my approach was very SPECIFIC. I knew exactly who the characters were
and what I wanted. Everything was very specific. I explained in detail to
all my actors what the backstories for their characters were. I went over
every scene with a fine toothed comb and explained what the motivations
were for everything. No accidents going on here. And yes, we rehearsed. I
don't look at contemporary film to draw inspiration. I look at what I feel
is QUALITY, and what I feel works. I don't care when it was made or by
Incall, you wore
quite a number of hats even besides writing, directing and starring - so
how come, and what did you enjoy the most, what could you have done
Why so many hats? In a word: BUDGET (or lack there
of haha). Incall is a full length (and some change lol) micro budget film.
As such, I had to do whatever was necessary to get it finished while
making the film I set out to make. So, I did what I needed to do. I didn't
take credit for much of what I did because the credits were getting
stupid. I am a professional editor and really enjoyed the editing for this
film. I also really enjoyed scoring the film. I enjoy working with other
talented performers immensely. I do plan to play multiple roles in future
films (including writing, directing and acting) to be sure as I consider
myself an auteur filmmaker. But there were some roles I could have done
without. Doing my own lighting, Argh. No. That wasn't the original plan
but that's what happened. Never again... no, just... NO!
What can you tell us about the shoot as such,
and the on-set atmosphere?
Hmmm, it was crazy and INTENSE.
The film deals with unusual subject matter and has an unusual cast of
quirky characters. The making of this film is a film in and of itself! In
fact, I'm not into comedy in general, but I have considered making a very
DARK comedy loosely based on the making of this film. The whole time I was
sweating bullets as I continued to play multiple roles and maintain
stability in what is inherently a completely unstable situation
(microbudgetville, or what I refer to as HELL lol). There were very
long hours involved, a LOT of multitasking, and lots of creating
"natural" behavior in very unnatural/confining
spaces/circumstances. But the experience was ultimately very rewarding.
This kind of filmmaking is NOT for the faint of heart, but really, if you
can make this type of film you can make any type of film.
A few words about critical
and audience reception of Incall
So far, I've received excellent reviews/reactions
for the film. It's so rewarding to bust your ass to make a film and then
have a random person walk up to you (after a screening) and reflect back
at you your exact intentions for making that film. It's really great.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
I have two film projects in the works. I am putting finishing touches
on one of the screenplays and have a solid outline for the other. What I will say is that they are both horror/thrillers and very
got you into acting and filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive
any formal education on either?
I've wanted to be a
filmmaker for as long as I can remember. I do have a degree in
Communications from the Univ. of WI. But the art departments at that
school are/were pitifully underfunded. So... I learned very little in
college with regards to filmmaking. I did the best I could with things and
moved to NYC after graduation, becoming a professional editor. While
working as an editor, and after several years of contemplating whether or
not I wanted to be yet another victim of the American FOR PROFIT
"education" scam (going to get my MFA in film), I applied to The
University of Miami (my top choice program). I was accepted but they would
offer no financial assistance for their $32K/year program; so I didn't go.
I knew I could make a full length film on FAR less than it would have
cost to attend that school. I also felt they (and schools like
theirs) are crooks whose main objective is to prey on artists and
dreamers. I decided to strike out on my own (SO glad I did). I am
basically a self-taught actor and filmmaker. I'm also a singer/songwriter.
I do plan to integrate that into my films as well. I "learned"
filmmaking pretty much by watching films that I like (a million times) and
then just making a film/films.
What can you tell us
about your filmwork prior to Incall?
I mentioned, I am a professional editor. I have also made four zero budget
short films (ranging from 15-22 mins) before Incall. The way I learned is
by FAR the best way to learn filmmaking (in my humble opinion). From these
experiences (and others) I learned to be VERY resourceful. I learned how
to make something from "nothing". I am also a student of human
behavior. Without having a solid understanding of human behavior
(something NO book will ever teach), it's not possible to write strong
characters. It also plays a MAJOR role in making/finishing a micro-budget
film! You pretty much need to understand the types of things that people
can/will do BEFORE they do it in order too keep up with the MAJOR demands
and overall lack of control associated with this type of filmmaking.
would you describe yourself as a director and as an actor?
As a director I would describe myself as serious, focused, artistic and
genuine. With Incall, I made the type of film that I would want to
watch. I refused to allow current "trends" in filmmaking (most
of which I do not like and I feel lower the art form) to
influence my vision. I'm interested in quality not quantity. As an
actor, I have much to learn (and I will). With Kasey, I was a bit
concerned that his character is so depressed during the whole film
(otherwise it makes no sense) that the portrayal wouldn't be
"likeable". With that said; I am very happy with my
performance and have no regrets.
writers, actors, whoever else who inspire you?
Um, that's always a hard question for me to answer. I don't really
"survey" film and/or directors. I basically just watch what I
like. The only director that I would say that I "borrow" from
would be Brian De Palma. I like his films (at least the early ones). With
Incall, the three films that were the most inspirational (and I LOVE
them all) were:
1) Apartment Zero
2) Eating Raoul
3) Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
All of those films are distinctive, well made, and cleverly
interweave humor with pointed social commentary and dark human
themes. Incall is definitely in the same vein.
I have so many. I'll just name a couple of the top ones here:
1) Salem's Lot (the '79 version, the remake is CRAP)
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
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The links below
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2) Apartment Zero (but the fact that there is no physical intimacy
between the two leads is ridiculous)
... and of course, films you really
Oh God, anything that came out of Hollywood after
about the early '90s (with a few exceptions). Don't even get me started.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Incall Facebook page:
Anything else you are dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
To watch the Incall
more about the characters, read about details of the film/trivia and learn
about upcoming screenings/ways to see the film please check out the Incall
website! Also like us on Facebook.
Thanks for the interview!