Your new movie Circle
- in a few words, what is it about?
a drama/horror film about a witch who returns to a place she used to call
home in an attempt to save someone she loves.
mythology of Circle, is
it based on any existing mythology or made up for the movie? And to what
extent did you research the topic of witches covens and the like in
preparation for your movie?
completely made the mythology up myself and it wasn't based on anything else
per se. In terms of research, I actually did my Master's
dissertation on modern pagans in England and I know quite a few witches!
Lol. Though I can't say I really pulled anything from that or
any literature specifically other than concepts of what's called
"Goddess Worship" and just the general idea of a coven that's
tied to nature and performs rituals. It was really mostly just me
making it up.
(Other) sources of
inspiration when writing Circle?
main source of inspiration for me was things going in my life at the time.
Particularly the fact that both my wife and mother became very ill at one
point (both have thankfully (mostly) recovered) and I was faced with
raising my child on my own. The movie's primarily a reflection on
few words about Circle's
approach to horror?
don't know if I have a real underlying philosophy on how to approach
horror, it's mostly just what feels right in the moment for the scene.
In this film I have a bunch of stuff that was heavily inspired by Ken
Russell films I can say though.
What can you tell us about your
directorial approach to your story at hand?
lot of it was based on trying to get as much of Central Park into the
shots as I could and make it feel like the actors were really working with
the environment. I wanted Central Park to feel like a character
about Circle's key cast,
and why exactly these people?
worked with Leslie Dame (Katka) on my previous film Athas and I wrote this
role specifically for her. I just couldn't imagine anyone pulling it
off. We both work very well together.
also had previously worked with Jennifer Eiffert (Broozy Suzy) on my film
Portal Man and really wanted to work with her again as well - she's a huge
horror fan and giving her a more spooky intense character to play was a
lot of fun.
Mindell (Mr. Peter) had worked with me before but behind the camera - he
was one of my camera people on
Portal Man. He's a great
actor/comedian and we had done live theater shows together before. I
really wanted to see him try and pull off a serious role this time as I
felt he could do it. I originally was actually going to play the
role of Mr. Peter myself but I just had a premonition one day that Luke
would be better in the role than me - and I was correct. This is
actually the first movie I've made that I didn't act in!
Perry (Stacy) and I have known each other for years and she is one of the
people who runs the Chain Theatre here in NYC. I always wanted to
direct her in a movie as I'd seen her act on stage a lot and this seemed
like a great role for her.
Stamper (Rebecca) and I have known each other for almost 20 years and
she's been in every movie I've made (except Athas
due to schedule issues
at the time). I also wrote that role specifically for her and I
couldn't image anyone else pulling it off. At this point I've had
Hope basically be everything you can think of including a Rocker Girl, a
Noir Femme Fatale, a Shut In, a burnt out apocalypse survivor and a
Scottish demon. It was fun to give her like... a normal dramatic
role of a daughter who has issues with her mom, lol.
With much of Circle
shot in New York City's Central Park - why there, and what was it like
had filmed scenes for movies multiple times in Central Park and I really
wanted to make a full film set there. I just love Central Park and
go there all the time. There's something about the fact that you have this
giant arboreal area in the middle of a skyscrapers that I love and find
What can you tell us about the shoot as
such, and the on-set atmosphere?
flurry of activity! We filmed most of the movie in a week or so and
were basically just constantly running around trying to get things shot as
fast as we could. There was a lot of stuff involving dodging crowds
of people and airplane noises and rain. However, everyone was up for
it and we got it done!
Anything you can tell
us about audience and critical reception of Circle?
have been in a couple film fests so far and the reception was good.
The film was just released on Amazon and is out to reviewers now so we
haven't heard much back yet but we are hopeful it will connect with
future projects you'd like to share?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
have a few things I'm working on right now including another film -
however it's been stalled due to Covid. Hopefully this pandemic will
end soon and we can get it back up and running!
website, social media, whatever else?
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Thank you for the interview!
for the interview!