Your new movie Amused
- in a few words, what is it about?
Simply stated, I wrote Amused
with the idea that with isolation comes
Here's the trailer: http://vimeo.com/48641544
quite successfully turns the typical idyllic peaceful countryside into a place of threat -
would you like to elaborate on that, and is any of this based on personal
experiences? And what can you tell us about your location as such?
I come from a small town in upstate New York, lots of farmland, open
territory and it's easy to isolate yourself if you wanted to. Many
people there live on huge properties, their house surrounded by nothing
but acres and acres of land and forests. Typically it's very nice, a
very peaceful and serene place to live. Your neighbors can be a mile
away, there's no traffic since your house is set so far away from any
As nice as all this can be, I find it a bit terrifying. What if
something happens, an emergency, and you're left alone, no one can hear
you scream, no one around to help in any way? That's what I wanted to be
the heart of the story in Amused. The emergency of
being a plagued creature of a man, perhaps a zombie-like creature. One
woman on her own way out in the country with no one but herself to rely
on to get out of her situation.
inspirations when writing Amused?
definitely. Stephen King used to have a column in Entertainment Weekly, and
he wrote about why he thought Hollywood horror films were lacking and what
he wanted to see more of. He mentioned that so many times Hollywood
depends on scare tactics like sound effects, silly plot turns, etc to
conjure up the scares. He mentioned how these horror flicks 'demand
explanations' - characters in the stories, aliens, killers, monsters, etc
- all have some kind of rambling back story that made them into the
murderous beings that they are - and Stephen King doesn't like that idea.
I agreed completely. Mr. King made me ask, 'Why can't someone simply be
crazy?" So the creature in Amused
has no backstory, no reasoning for
his state of being, no explanation - the creature just is. Here's a
link to the Stephen King article:
is a film without dialogue. To ask quite bluntly: Why?
I didn't intend the film to have or not have dialogue when I first sat
down and created the story. And in the early versions, there actually
was a single line near the end of the film, our heroine uttered
But the whole film as you said is sans-dialogue and it just didn't feel
right when we were filming to get that line of dialogue - mostly because
it's a lot of action when the character was going to say it, plus I
thought it took away from the overall creep factor of the film. Not to
mention there are only two characters in the film and one is trying to
eat the other so there's not really much to be said there - 'Don't eat
me!' - 'I want to eat you!' - 'No, Don't eat me!' Hahaha!
far you have been known mainly as an actor - so what prompted you to go
into directing for Amused,
and how would you describe your directorial approach?
I've wanted to direct a film for a long long time. I didn't think I was
ready though for a long long time either. I didn't have any experience
in the industry before I started acting and I literally learned
everything about movie making from being on movie sets. Sometimes I get
really bored on sets as an actor, there's so much waiting and whenever
that happens, I want to jump in and help set up lights, set the scene,
check the camera, just something more active and creative than waiting
to act. After years on set as an actor and slowly figuring out who does
what, how sets work, how actors, directors, producers work - I had to
try it out for myself. Plus, I'd seen so many bad movies in video stores
and on Netflix that I knew I could do better than that crap.
DP Colin Rivera, Cuyle Carvin
My directorial approach is a combination of methods that I've stolen
from directors that I've worked with who have directed me. Plus, coming
from an actor's background, I do think I tend to think like an actor or
from an actor's perspective more so than other directors. I suppose that
could be an asset or a liability though. But I do think it allows me to
talk to actors in a way that is more relatable than a straight-up
few words about your key cast, and has it at any point itched you to act
in Amused yourself?
Ryan Metzger, Elise Rovinsky
hired actors that I've worked numerous times with and also whom I love as
actors and humans. Elise Rovinsky and Ryan Metzger are awesome friends of
mine, personally and professionally, and in a way, they were the first
actors to come to mind to play these parts when I wrote the film.
want to be in Amused
- I'm not convinced I'll want to be in anything I
direct honestly, but maybe a cameo here and there would be quite chilly.
can you tell us about the actual shoot and the on-set atmosphere? And are
there any anecdotes you'd like to share?
The crew was bare bones. Besides the actors, it was me, the DP, and two
others who did everything else that needed to be done. We shot in the
middle of winter in upstate NY. Lots of snow and temperatures in the
zero - ten degree range. But everyone was great - of course we all
complained about the cold but we warmed up whenever we needed to. The
DP, Colin Rivera was a true champ - he had bare hands on the camera at
all times, I at least had gloves on! I owe Colin a snow cold brewski!
On the first day of filming we shot about 3 hours of footage that never
made it into the film and actually changed the script. Long story short,
we shot a bunch of footage of a particular vehicle for one of the
characters in the film and then on the final location for that vehicle -
it got stuck in the snow and couldn't be driven to the location we
needed it to end up in for the film. So we had to scratch that part of
the script, rewrite a bit and on top of that, also lost a lot of our day
shooting a bunch of worthless crap.
$64-question of course: When and where will the film be released onto the
just started playing at
festivals in the US. So far it's played in Atlanta at the HorrorQuest Fest
and in Michigan at the Three Corpse Circus festival. On October 27 it will
be playing at two different festivals on the same day - LA Horror Film
Fest and also ZED Fest. I'm attending both as both are in Burbank, CA and
hope to see your bloody shining smiles there!
Outside of the festivals Amused
will be released on my production company site www.BytheCProductions.com
- I plan on releasing it October 31 (my favorite day of the year). I'm also
selling a DVD version with special features. I'm encouraging people that
watch the film online, if they enjoy the film, to buy the DVD and help
support future projects.
After your experiences filming Amused
- will you ever be tempted to direct another film?
Of course! I'm already working on a few, including one horror film that
I believe is so unique I can't mention it to anyone because I really
don't want someone to steal the idea and make the movie first. It's not
completely unique but the story and character have never been done as far
as I'm aware - it's still a horror flick and falls within somewhat of a
recycled plot - but the overall idea of the film is unique and I think
it will be a real charmer among the audiences. As always, for any
updates, we keep our website up to date pretty well: www.BytheCProductions.com.
And I'm working with Bear Claw Films and Michael Coulombe on an awesome
new short, AX, which is going to be incredible.
who inspire you?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
M. Night Shyamalan, Ron Howard, Peter
Jackson & James Cameron for their unbelievable imagination and vision
- mostly small indie guys that no one knows or hears of - many of the
filmmakers I've worked with have great talent.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook,
Anything else you are dying to mention
and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Yeah, if any movie
reviewers are interested, I'd love to send copies of Amused
and any future
films to them for online reviews. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for the
No my friend, Thank you!!!