Your new movie Hobo
with a Trash Can - in a few words, what is it about?
with a Trash Can is a no budget anthology, comprised of 8
shorts by indie genre
in the fictional town of Retroville & centers around an empathic
homeless man, who has
upon touching certain items of trash. It's a mixture of genres: horror, sci-fi,
black comedy, B-movie, with a central storyline of local government corruption &
ties the first segment, Frying Saucer, to the hobo character.
What was the idea behind Hobo
with a Trash Can, and why did you insist on very low
budgets for the separate segments of your movie?
idea to produce an anthology came from the need to find better
short films, as features appear to hold more value. After previously
releasing two short
films, Conscience &
Director's Cut, I wanted to expand my
portfolio but was not ready to
a full feature. Therefore, a collection of short films, an anthology,
seemed like a
viable option. I also considered this to be a good opportunity for
to get some exposure & help each other out.
I was set on this path, I watched many horror anthologies to get a feel of
& the various styles. I decided that I wanted the look & feel of a
not a string of random stories thrown together with a narrator in between
anything wrong with that ;) lol). So, I needed a theme. What's a common
holds most Indie filmmakers back? Money. What style of cinema &/or
word, is equated
no budget films? Trash. The cogs started grinding over these answers &
to give each filmmaker an item of trash to base their film around, & a
$1 budget. True
Horror". I then had to incorporate these items into a central story,
thus the hobo
was born & everything fell into place.
the budget restraint was intentional, to truly create a 'Trash Cinema'/B-movie vibe. Also,
lack of cash forces people to be more creative & use their skills
& resources to the best of
ability. Most importantly of all, most indie filmmakers don't have access
to the kind of
needed to make an impact in the industry today (I'm including quality
gear in this
as funds are needed to secure such equipment), & crowdfunding is over-saturated
& requires good marketing skills to be successful. I did not want a
lack of personal
to prevent people from participating, or a failed campaign to squash the
each filmmaker with the same minimal budget, they would all be on an equal
in that respect.
easy or difficult was it to find filmmakers willing to participate in your
project, and what was your collaboration with these people like?
hunt for participants began with a filmmaker group page on Facebook, &
filmmakers were messaged with an item of trash, & asked to submit a
for a short film. The clips were then posted to the movie Facebook page
for a public
I have seen this technique work well for others, however, I am,
admittedly, very weak
the marketing/promo arena. I did receive a number of requests for trash
majority did not follow through. I guess the "prize" of a $1
budget to make their short,
not a big enough incentive! lol. Seriously, though, some were intrigued by
but the reality of the challenge was not for everyone. It's not an easy
task, so big
to my guys who rose to it: Steven Grainger, Lloyd Emmons & Kyle
Charles Adams [Mark Charles
Adams interview - click here], Tonjia Atomic [Tonjia
Atomic interview - click here], Vincent Marshall.
guess the short answer to the first half of your question: "How easy
or difficult was it to
filmmakers willing to participate in your project?" is, it was quite
difficult! Lol. As for the
aspect, each filmmaker was given some basic guidelines, then left to
was quite exciting waiting to see what they came up with. Deadlines did
cause a little
& had to be extended several times, but as you can imagine with no
relying on people to volunteer their time & resources, so you shoot
open, & well ... 'life' (& weather) happens. So you really can't
rush these things. You
to be patient & understanding when you're working with a group of
personalities & life situations. This can be a challenge in itself,
& as a selfproclaimed
I found it difficult at times.
what can you tell us about your own segments, Welcome to Retroville
and Frying Saucer - what was the inspiration for those?
Welcome to Retroville is the wrap-around story that ties
everything together, so I
to incorporate the items of trash used by the other directors. To create a
feel to the film as a whole, I invented the fictional town of 'Retroville'
- "Home of
past, present & future" - that suggests an ambiguous time zone in
which anything can
This would help to add validity to the different styles, & possible
time periods, used
the various directors. The 'hobo' character was inspired by the many
roles played by Christopher Kahler [Christopher
Kahler interview - click here] in local TV productions. He
'look' for it ;) lol, & I thought it would be fun to give him a
larger role in this guise.
The segment Frying Saucer' was actually written first. I liked the
idea of an 'homage' to
low budget sci-fi, but with a modern twist. I had to have an item of
potential trash as
focal point of the short, so with a little word play, I came up with a
great title & "reverse
the story from there. As the trash item, frying pan, had to ultimately
with the hobo, what better way than to hit him over the head with it! Lol.
into the main story of Welcome to Retroville. The conclusion of Frying
out through the hobo & there's an overlap of characters, again lending
to an overall
storyline. The other segments come into play at various points in the Welcome
as the hobo encounters them.
can you tell us about your directorial approach to Welcome to
as a director, I'd say I'm only as good as my DP. I heavily rely on my
Chris lol, to know all the technical details, like lighting, angles etc.
Chris has a cinematic
that I don't. I know what I'm looking for from my actors, but I can be a
bit timid on
I do need to gain confidence in directing & would love to work with a
monitor to help
get a better grasp of the cinematography. (I did run the camera, under
lol, whilst shooting him.)
Interestingly, in Welcome to
Retroville you direct Christopher Kahler [Christopher
Kahler interview - click here] while in Frying Saucer, he
directs you. So could you talk about that "reversal of roles"
for a bit? And was there any payback involved at any point? ;)
there really wasn't much of a role reversal, as I mentioned above, Chris
helps me a lot
I direct. He, however, doesn't need my help lol. We do have different
ideas, & that
leads to us butting heads on set. So, payback? ... from my side,
rather unpleasant things happen to the hobo, but that just adds to the
some sympathy for the character. It was well intentioned, & he was a
it, anything for the movie, right? Lol.
what can you tell us about your character, and have you written her with
yourself in mind? And how much of Claire 'Fluff' Llewellyn can we find in
knew I would be playing a role, logistically it just makes sense, but
wasn't sure what. So, I
intentionally write Mindy for me. My initial thoughts for her were for
& sexier lol. As I finished writing & thought about scheduling,
the Mindy role
a large time commitment & as our shoots require us to be very
flexible, it was just
for me to assume that role. (I'm also not opposed to playing a larger role
;) .) This
meant that I would have to cast someone with a British accent to play
I suck at American accents, so I convinced my own mother to participate
for how much of myself is in Mindy ... well, it helps to use your own
insight into others when you write, it adds to the realism of your
characters. So, yes,
is a part of me in Mindy. I wouldn't get married on a first date at this
point in my life,
there was a time when I could easily have been swept off my feet! lol.
What can you tell us about the shoots
of Welcome to Retroville and Frying Saucer as such, and the
were very fortunate that our executive producer/bad cop, Frank Kam, was
us with a location that covered the majority of our interior scenes for
was under major renovations, so he even provided the furniture we needed (& a
Frank's our hero :) It really is a team effort & people are always
happy to help out
they can. Locations are always tricky to find. Other cast members, Anthony
Dennis & Thom Oswald, also provided one scene locations. We also got
us footage for the commercial & montage scenes, which was a great time
for non-locals to be part of the film.
of the Retroville exterior scenes were comprised of Chris & I
running around town &
allies at night with the camera lol. Not forgetting the daytime shoots
with our dog,
who wasn't always in the mood to take direction! Lol
both sets, everyone had fun & did a good job. I appreciate everyone
who participated in
project, especially our loyal PA, Alexandra Roach, who is always game to
lend a hand.
will always remember Alex's pet rat, Scotty (RIP), who peed on Chris's
chest during his
The $64-question of course, when and
where will the film be released onto the general public?
is currently available as a streaming rental here:
are looking at other VOD platforms also & it will soon be available
digitally at FilmVolt.com,
a UK based distributor, & Amazon Instant Video. We are currently
the DVD, which will be available on our website & at various
conventions via the
Is Coming Productions booth. There may also be some convention
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of your movie yet?
had a theatrical premiere screening in Chicago in June 2015, & people
seemed to enjoy
We've had several reviews by various sites & the majority, being fans
of this genre, said
things about it [(re)Search my
Trash review]. Of course, it isn't
everyone's cup of tea,
we did get some not so favourable reviews too. You can read all the
reviews on our IMDb
website & Facebook page. At the end of the day, it's best to judge for
yourself, but if
like B-movies & can appreciate no budget indie fare, then I think
you'll enjoy it :)
Claire, Christopher Kahler, Vincent Marshall
on your experience with Hobo
with a Trash Can, will you ever do another low budget anthology
like that one - and other future projects you'd like to share?
thing I've learned from this film, is that I'm too highly strung to be an
& also manage all aspects of the project, creative & business.
It's just too much
one person, & it's not fun. It was difficult enough to manage my
individual short films,
when you add a string of outside directors, the workload obviously
increases. I only
out of necessity, I'd have no films otherwise. Ideally, given a realistic
be able to hire an experienced producer, or production team even, so I
more on the creative side. It's on my list to Santa next Christmas, along
& some gear ;) lol.
for future projects, I'm always working on something. I have a long list
of scripts in
stages, I find it hard to focus on any one idea, so I'm trying to approach
business mind & pick the most viable as my sole focus, so at least I
finish one lol. If you
my company page, Bloody Brit Productions - https://www.facebook.com/BloodyBritProductions/
-, you'll keep up to date
with what's in the
I'm also working on a couple of poetry books as a respite from filming.
One is a gothic vampire novel, (see the Victorian Vampire on
Facebook), the other is a
poetry collection, (working title: Kreepy Verses for Kreepy Kids). The
be illustrated by our talented Hobo
artist, Hannah Walker Rose, who drew
you see in the opening title sequence of the film. (Oh, & I'm always
acting gigs ;) )
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Hobo Twitter: @TrashAnthology
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
do want to mention the charity aspect of this film. As the title figure
& main character of
film is a homeless man, I wanted to give back to the homeless community.
with the movie premiere, I approached local businesses & artists for a
donation to a
raffle. I also initiated a food drive to take place at the event. I chose
to split the proceeds
between four charities, two of which I visited personally. These charities
Community Outreach, Chicago Canine Rescue (for the raffle
Friendship Center and Friendship Pet Pantry (for the food
continue supporting charities, I recruited a small team of ladies from the
movie to join
in the Chicago charity walk for suicide prevention, raising donations as Team
still, over the Christmas period, proceeds from the movie rental were
donated to St. Jude's
Children's Cancer Hospital.
I certainly don't get rich from my projects, but it's nice to give back even
in a small way.
for the interview!
you for some very thought provoking questions, Mike, I hope I didn't
waffle too much ;) Cheers :)