Your new movie Reel Evil
- in a few words, what is it about?
It's about a behind the scenes camera crew that finds the place they're
shooting at is far more interesting than what they were hired to shoot.
Why did you choose the found footage approach for Reel
Evil, and what do you think sets your movie apart from other found
Moon Features wanted to make a found-footage film, and asked me to
direct it. I've always wanted to try this style of filmmaking, which I
found can be challenging and limiting in what you can do.
As someone who has made quite a few
"making of"-featurettes himself - how much of your own
experience can we find in Reel
A lot. I've shot and edited plenty of behind
the scenes footage when I was first starting out. It was a great way to be
on set, and actually be useful and get near the filmmakers and learn.
What can you tell us about your screenwriter Shane
Bitterling, and your cooperation with him?
Shane was a great experience. We hit it off right away and he really
understood what we were trying to accomplish with this script.
In a few
words, how would you describe your directorial approach to the story at
Keep it REAL.
can you tell us about the actual shoot and the on-set atmosphere?
We shot at the very haunted Linda Vista Hospital in East LA. Several
people, including myself, had otherworldly encounters. But the set was
always a fun place to be. Crew and actors are more like friends to me on
set than just people who are there to do a job for little pay. I hear the
place is being converted to senior apartments now, which seems insane to
Evil was produced by Charles Band's Full
Moon - a company you're not exactly a stranger to ... so what can
you tell us about working with the company, both on this particular
project and in general?
I've been friends with Charles for
over 10 years. He never ceases to amaze and inspire me with all his crazy
films. I've edited so many of the films they've done over the past 10
years, and my company still handles the majority of the post-production
work. It's really like a movie factory, one I've been lucky enough to be a
big part of for the last decade.
Let's go back to the beginnings
of your career: What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did
you receive any formal education on the subject?
went to Emerson College and graduated with a degree in film. I also spent
a few years at Berklee College of Music in Boston in the film scoring
What can you tell us about some of your
One of the best experiences I had was making Deathbed
with horror legend Stuart Gordon. I learned so much from him as a
director. I'll never forget chilling at his house with D.P. Mac Ahlberg,
watching horror films and analyzing them, particularly Rosemary's Baby and
The Innocents. Two films I love dearly.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
I'm working on a new film called Hair Metal Massacre, which I hope to
have out this year from my own company. And there is another film in the
works as well.
films are almost invariably of the horror variety - a favourite genre of
yours, and why?
I grew up on horror, sure it's one of my
favorite genres. But, I'm really more of a romantic comedy guy most of the
When it comes to filmmaking, you have
pretty much done it all, directing, writing, producing, editing,
cinematography, and whatnot. What do you enjoy the most, which could you
As an indie, you're forced to do it all most of
the time. I liked that at first. Now I like to delegate a little more. I
like directing and working with actors the most.
Besides making movies, you have also written
three books on horror filmmaking, right? So what can you tell us about
these, and any one-phrase advice you can give an aspiring young filmmaker?
Yes! If you want to be a indie filmmaker, I highly recommend my book The
Filmmakers Book of the Dead. It took me a year to write it, and I
really wrote it for aspiring filmmakers. I cover everything you need to
know and more. My only advice is don't wait for others to create
opportunities for you, create your own. GO MAKE YOUR FILM!
Filmmakers Book of the Dead:
would you describe yourself as a director?
I'm an actor's director. I really love actors, so I try and fuse my
technical knowledge with my appreciation of actors and what they go
through on set.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
who inspire you?
Your favourite movies?
The Breakfast Club
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Come stay in touch and friend me on Facebook:
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I have a new book coming out in May 2013, called Genre Filmmaking, which you should check out:
for the interview!