Your upcoming movie Our Friend Jon - in a few words, what is
This film is really special to my whole family. It is about our
friend Jonathan who passed away last August due to complications stemming
from Sickle Cell Anemia. Before he passed away he was writing a horror
script he intended to make into a short film with his friends. Upon his
passing my mother brought it to my attention that my brother Garrett who
was best friends with Jon wanted to make Jon's movie with his friends, so
our documentary is documenting that process.
What do you find so appealing about this story
that you want to make a movie about it? And what can you tell us about
Jonathan Hernandez, the man?
Jon not only was a friend, but
a great soul. He lived every day to its fullest, knowing he wouldn't be
living a long life. He spend his every waking hour setting up fundraisers
and helping people with Sickle Cell Anemia live better lives.
So what can you tell us
about the movie in the movie, Rose Thorn?
give too much away but Jon really had a twisted imagination. The script
perfectly blends comedy, suspense and horror and I think people will like
documentary's three protagonists Garrett Payson, Nick Saporito and Brandon
Joyal - what can you tell us about them?
All three of these boys were friends with Jon. They met at program
called Living Innovations which aids mentally and physically handicapped
people in living normal lives, everything from enriched social
interaction to finding jobs and overall having a better quality of life.
Garrett is my brother. My entire life I've wished to trade places with
him. It has hurt me for years to think my brother will never walk on his
own. He was born with Spina-Bifida, a malformation of the spine. That
never stopped him. He always has a smile on his face. He was on our
basketball team and managed my football team in middle school knowing he
wouldn't get to play himself. This film (Rose Thorn) is his turn
to do something on his own with his friends and I am very excited about
Brandon Joyal is one of Garrett's best friends. Brandon met Garrett four
or five years ago and they have been friends ever since. He is one of
the sweetest people you will ever meet and easily puts smiles on the
face of everyone in the room.
Nick Saporito is the glue that holds this all together. Nick helped
finalize Jon's script and will direct the film. He a great guy and I
think he will do a great job.
Since this is a
documentary about the making of a horror movie - your thoughts on the
horror genre as such, and is this a genre you're at all fond of, and why
I love horror movies. Horror movies are the reason I became a filmmaker.
This will actually be my 5th feature film effort, all besides one
documentary were horror films but sometimes a change of pace is good.
What can you tell us about your directorial
approach to your subject at hand?
I have an outline of
questions but I feel like once the camera starts rolling they may go out
the window so I myself really don't know what to expect.
Since Our Friend
Jon is according to my information your first documentary, how do you
expect filming this will compare to shooting a feature film?
This is actually my second documentary feature. My first documentary
Unsigned was about three unsigned rock bands trying to make it in Los
Angeles over one year and went to a lot of film festivals in 2012 and
was available on Hulu and now on DVD. Someone said in a class of mine
one time that shooting a narrative film is like building a statue from
the ground up. You start with the base, then go to the feet etc etc. A
documentary is like someone handing you a rock and saying, mold this
into a piece of art. Same result but a lot more free form and open to
far as I know, your movie's presently still in pre-production - so what's
the schedule, and any idea when the film might be released yet?
plan to shoot at the end of October and into the middle of November. It
will be released late 2015.
future projects beyond Our Friend Jon?
I have a
bunch of horror features in pre-production and a horror anthology called
Edward Payson's Sunday Night Slaughters, currently in production.
you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
I did go to film school but really
learned all I needed to know by shooting my first feature as a freshman in
college. It was hard work but the experience wasn't matched in my four
years of film school. Moral of the story? Take all the money you were
going to spend on film school and put it into your first feature.
What can you tell us about your
filmwork prior to Our Friend Jon?
I directed a bunch of horror films.
Edward Payson's Sunday Night Slaughters:
The Cohasset Snuff Film: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2145903/?ref_=nv_sr_1
Morbid: A Love Story:
How would you
describe yourself as a director?
I'm a weird and wacky guy
who loves weird and wacky movies.
Filmmakers who inspire
Your favourite movies?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
1. Oldboy - 2. Night of the
Living Dead - 3. Demon Knight - 4. True Romance
- 5. Evil Dead
... and of
course, films you really deplore?
Twilight - 2.
There will be Blood - 3.
(2014) - 4. most remakes ...
website, Facebook, whatever else?
Right now we have a Facebook only but will have a website soon.
Anything else you are
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
is a story I think anyone who has ever felt like an underdog can get
for the interview!