Your new movie Inoperable
- in a few words, what is it about?
A young woman wakes up in a seemingly abandoned hospital in the middle
of a hurricane and soon realizes it’s inhabited by malevolent forces and
that she needs to escape before the storm passes or she will be trapped
How did the project
come into being in the first place?
Lawrence Chapman interview - click here] and I met doing Clowntown,
which we both produced. During that he said he had access to medical
locations and wanted to do a hospital thriller, and it so happened I’d
been tossing around ideas for one as well and had a title I liked, Inoperable.
What were your
sources of inspiration when writing Inoperable?
was largely Chris’s idea. I think he knew (which we all know) that
hospitals are creepy.
can you tell us about your movie's approach to horror?
wanted to do a different take on it and not just another typical slasher
film. I think we succeeded at that.
talk about Inoperable's
co-writer/director Christopher Lawrence Chapman [Christopher
Lawrence Chapman interview - click here], and what was your
On the writing side, Chris had very
specific ideas about the whole time looping thing. I never quite
understood it 100% to be honest, haha. I helped translate Chris’s
ideas into screenplay form as well as added some ideas and suggestions of
my own, based on my own interest in wanting to do such a film. On
the producing side, Chris got access to a great filming location near his
hometown of Tampa, FL. He had a lot of local crew there he’d used
for a short. I helped secure Danielle Harris as the lead, and we got
some other actors on board that we’d worked with on Clowntown. I
got David Greathouse, who’d done makeup FX on Clowntown, to come in for
this one too, and he and Barry Aslinger did a great job on set.
Chris obviously focused on directing during the shoot. I helped with
some of the organizational stuff as well as marketing and distribution.
A few words about your hospital
locations for a bit, and what was it like filming there?
was an abandoned sheriff’s office in Dade City, FL, and had formerly
been a hospital. It wasn’t too big, but the winding, empty
hallways made it seem more so. I think everyone got lost more than
once, and it was a little creepy especially if you were walking around
alone. Bobby Marinelli, our production designer, did a great job
painting and propping it out to make it look more like a working hospital.
Otherwise, there was no hospital equipment and almost no furniture there.
were the main challenges bringing Inoperable
to the screen from a producer's point of view? And how hands-on or
hands-off a producer are you, actually?
I always knew
we’d sell it. All of my movies have gotten distribution, and I
knew we had Danielle Harris, an interesting story, and a creepy location.
I just wanted to make sure during the shoot we had enough scares and blood
and gore for the horror crowd. How hands-on or off I am depends on
the project. On this one, we had a great production manager (Philip
Jessen) and 1st AD (Ashley Eberbach) who kept things running smoothly.
On some smaller productions I do much or all of their work. I
typically deal with a lot of the financing (though not on this one),
organization, casting, and paperwork and often deal with SAG and insurance
and contracts and marketing and so forth.
What can you
tell us about your key cast, and to what extent were you involved in the
I secured Danielle Harris as the lead, and
we also got Katie Keene, Jeff Denton, and Chris Hahn, all of whom Chris
Lawrence Chapman interview - click here] and I had worked with
on Clowntown (and actually Chris Hahn played Paul Bunyan in
my film Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan, so he and I went
further back) . I also helped cast Cher Hubsher, one of the evil
nurses – I’d met her a month earlier at a wrap party in L.A. for
another movie and found out she was from Tampa and had actually been a
nurse! So that was a cool coincidence.
A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
It was in January/February in Florida, and I remember it being chilly for much
of the shoot. It was a professional atmosphere. I thought Giorgio
Daveed, our D.P., got some inventive shots. One day we had real cow or
pig guts for the freezer scene, and it smelled terrible and I think someone
threw up. I insisted on smearing them around the freezer because
otherwise they were sitting in Tupperware containers and didn’t look
Anything you can tell us about critical and audience reception of Inoperable
Because of its quirky time-loop nature, I think some
people don’t know what to make of it! But I think others have
enjoyed it for all the right reasons. Danielle Harris is a total
pro, never missed a mark, and she won Best Actress at FearNYC fest.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
The past couple of years have been crazy productive and busy.
I’ve been fortunate. The Russian Bride (with Corbin Bernsen) and
The Toybox (with Denise Richards and Mischa Barton), are recently
completed and should be coming out this year. Bug (my first drama)
is coming out this spring. A few that I helped executive produce –
Strange Nature, Mandy the Doll, and Angels Fallen – should also come out
this year. Ouija House (with Mischa Barton, Tara Reid, and Dee
Wallace) is in post-production. Death Kiss, an action-revenge
thriller co-starring Daniel Baldwin and Richard Tyson, is currently
got you into the movie world in the first place, and did you receive any
formal training on the subject?
I always had a creative
mind and wrote my first screenplay at age eighteen. I graduated from
the Media Arts program at the University of South Carolina. I wanted
to be a screenwriter and was mentored by James Lineberger, who had
co-written the movie Taps, starring Timothy Hutton and a young Tom Cruise.
I wrote a bunch of scripts and actually got paid for one, but nothing was
getting made, so I got into producing kind of out of necessity and soon
found I enjoyed it. Freakshow, an anthology horror film shot
in South Carolina, was my first feature credit.
What can you tell us
about your filmwork prior to Inoperable?
had a fair number of writing and producing credits prior to it. My
first three movies were made in South Carolina before I made the move out
to Los Angeles. My first credit in L.A. was for a script I created
and co-wrote (with Gary Jones) and sold to The Asylum called Jolly
Roger: Massacre at Cutter’s Cove. It’s a fairly cheesy film
but ended up selling to the SyFy
Channel. I wrote and produced a few
more after that before Chris and I met during development on Clowntown.
It turned out he and I had gone to the same college (University of South
Carolina), so we shared a lot of stories the first time we met, which was
kind of awkward for the others at the meeting.
through your filmography, one can't help but noticing that many of your
films are of the horror variety - is that a genre at all dear to you, and
Yes, horror movies scared and fascinated me as a
kid – that power to make you look under your bed at night or turn away
from something disturbing on the TV. Most of my films have been
horror, and that’s perfectly fine with me.
Writers, producers, filmmakers, whoever else
who inspire you?
What I call the “holy trinity” –
John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper. Lately I really like Mike
Flanagan’s work. As a producer, I love Roger Corman [Roger
Corman bio - click here].
Your favourite movies?
of the Lost Ark, Halloween
(1978), Scream, Rocky, Angel Heart, The
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) …
and of course, films you really deplore?
Nothing comes to
mind offhand, and even if it did, there’s a chance I may work with that
filmmaker someday, so I’d rather not say!
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you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
you like – or think you may like – Inoperable, check out some of my
other movies on Amazon Prime (since we get paid by view!) or wherever fine
movies are sold: Clowntown, Edgar Allan Poe’s Lighthouse Keeper, Axe
Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan, and The Burning Dead. Kill ‘Em
All (starring Jean-Claude Van Damme) is also worth a peek
for the interview!