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An Interview with Christopher Di Nunzio, Director of Her Heart Sill Beats

by Mike Haberfelner

September 2011

Films directed by Christopher Di Nunzio on (re)Search my Trash


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Your upcoming film Her Heart Still Beats - in a few words, what is it about?


A man becomes possessed by his wife's eyes and struggles to cope with the evil that comes over him.


Your story is obviously at least partly based on The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. How true did you remain to your source, where did you veer off, and what does Poe mean to you as a writer?


We open the film like The Tell-Tale Heart in the same sense that the main character is confessing to something he has done. Then after that we take the story in our own direction, but we keep a few elements of Poe's original idea throughout the film, like his obsession with the eye and the sounds of the heartbeat. But really we just touch on Poe's story but then take it in a more modern direction. It was really important to me when making the film that I make it feel more like a Christopher Di Nunzio piece and not just a Poe remake.


As a writer Poe means a lot to me. In high school a teacher introduced me to this story and I was hooked from there. I started reading more literature and from there started getting into other forms of art, like photography for example. Eventually I became involved in filmmaking so in a sense I credit Poe and his stories for that.


Any other sources of inspiration?


There wasn't much more inspiration than Poe, but the equipment I have in my hands now allowed me to create a film at the quality and level that I have always wanted to. I just love creating stuff!


How did the whole project come into being in the first place?


Jason Miller

I was looking to make a high quality piece to showcase my talent as a filmmaker and to use it to help get more future projects off the ground. Using the idea of Poe's story made sense to me because I have always wanted to make a film adaptation of one of his stories and I think of it as a tribute and a thank you to him.


What can you tell us about your producer Jason Miller, with whom you have worked quite a bit in the past?


Well I can tell you he is a great guy! He's also a very passionate filmmaker and someone I can trust. I like working with Jason because things always seem to move forward and never backwards. Also he's a long time friend so we generally enjoy working on film projects together. He also has a lot of patience! People should keep an eye out for his his new film The Loudest Sound. It's coming out great and should be out soon.


How would you describe your directorial approach to the subject?


For me it's all about rehearsals. That's where I give all my notes to the actors. I feel the Actor/Director relationship is a 50/50 one. They need to bring something to the table as well. Get it down in rehearsal so on the set I'm just a supervisor. Making sure it all goes as planned. I love rehearsal. For this film I thought a lot about the mood of the characters. I always do but Fiore Leo's role as Ed Gallo was a hard one, so getting that character down wasn't easy. He has a lot going on in his head but he can't show much of it or it would be too over the top and if he shows too little it's flat. I'm thankfuI I had Fiore for this one. Not too many people can play that role. I really wanted the film to play like a drama. I told the actors to think of this film as a drama more than a horror film. The writing sets the film up to be dark and creepy but if it didn't have good acting I would have just trashed the whole movie. It would have been bad.


Fiore Leo

What are we to expect from Her Heart Still Beats in terms of violence and gore?


Not a lot. Sorry gore hounds. This plays more like a dark thriller. It's a creepy film. There is violence but the film is more about the characters.


A few words about Her Heart Still Beats' cast and crew?


Leighsa Burgin

I loved working with all of them! I really did. I have worked with Fiore Leo & Leighsa Burgin before and I think they are so talented. When I was casting the film I went right to them for the main roles. They are great to work with and always bring their A-game. William Bloomfield & John Martellucci where so easy going and they each added something to their characters that brought the film up a level. Michael Capozzi makes his acting debut in this film. What a natural and he's such a funny guy. He reminds me a little bit of Robert De Niro. Don't talk smack till you see him! I lucked out with this cast. When people see them they will see A-list performances. 

My crew, James Sullivan (DP) and Chris Herbert (1st AC & Gaffer) worked so hard on this film! It was great to watch, they believe in what they do. Both will always have a place on my team. Martin Begue had to deal with some problems with our Zoom H4n (Sound). But he stayed on top of things and all the audio came out great! Justin Thibault. & Scott Reardon pitched in and were a great help on set.


The $64-question of course: When and where will the film be out, tentatively?


Late October or early November. Me and Jason Miller will be hosting a one day film festival with the main film being Her Heart Still Beats. So if you're in the Boston area keep a look out for that. It's going to be a great night. We'll be selling DVDs of the film right when it's released as well.


Any future projects beyond Her Heart Still Beats?


Feeling lucky ?
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at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

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x-rated  find Christopher Di Nunzio at

Yes! Like I was saying this film was a showcase for other projects. Me, Jason Miller and Nolan Yee, whom we've both collaborated with in the past, are going to make three short films that will be packed as a feature film. It's something we've wanted to do for a long time and it looks like it's finally going to happen. All I can say about it right now is that the films will have the same theme and they will be good!


Your/your film's website, Facebook, whatever else? - You can watch the trailer for Her Heart Still Beats.

And buy Livestock on DVD! 

Creepy Kid Productions - Facebook -!/

Her Heart Still Beats - Facebook -!/pages/Her-Heart-Still-Beats/263335193691613?sk=info


Anything else you are dying to mention and I have just forgotten to ask?


I would just like to thank my cast and crew again. If you read this whole interview you would notice I had a lot of praise for them. That's because they are so professional and talented. They made this the easiest film to work on. I'm thankful for that. Thanks gang! And thank you Mike for taking the time to interview me! To everyone out there: Remember support Independent film!


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD