Your upcoming movie Paranormalice - in a few words, what is
of the social conscience, and karmic justice. Or did you mean on the
surface? Itís about a writer who goes looking for a particular story of
a paranormal legend in a small Alabama town and discovers that his destiny
has been entangled with this legend all along.
the anthology we have creepiness, excitement, some sexiness, some gunfire,
some really strong female leads, and blood. A good bit of blood. But this
is far from being a slasher. Itís really a drama with horror elements,
which is why we refer to it as a ďsouthern gothicĒ tale.
How did the project get off the ground to
When Daniel L. Bamberg [Daniel
L. Bamberg interview - click here] brought me the script I knew
we had a story that would both entertain people and make a social point.
To me, thatís what movies should do, so I ran with it and we started
gathering people who wanted to help. The response of filmmaker friends and
actors was fairly overwhelming, and before we knew it we had something a
lot bigger than we first intended. Someone would read the script and get
excited, tell friends about it, theyíd get excited, tell friends about
it, and so on.
You of course have to talk about your
co-conspirator Daniel L. Bamberg for a bit, and what's your collaboration
on the project like? And how did you two first hook up to begin with?
and I went to high school together, and thatís not in a Ronin
reference CIA sort of way. Weíve known each other for over 20 years, but
hadnít worked together on anything until last year when he asked me
about producing another script of his, which happens to be one of the
Mosswood-Trilogy. The more we discussed it, the more we realized we should
do this anthology first, so we sort of reconstructed parts of it to make
things work. To test out our ability to actually work together, I produced
a short that he wrote and directed, also (Is This You?), which we
shot in December, and it recently screened at Sidewalk Film Festival to a
We work very well
together, really. We have similar ideas of where we want to go, down the
road, and know each other well enough that we can be honest about things
and not piss the other one off. Heís really the heart of the
collaboration, and while he certainly isnít without brain, thatís
really my job. He keeps us on vision; I keep us on practicality and
talk about your segment in the movie for a bit, as in what's it going to
be about, what can you tell us about its intended look and feel?
of Blackwoods was inspired by the classic Connell tale The Most
Dangerous Game, with a sprinkling of some old German folklore added for
flavor. Thatís not to say itís derivative, though. Itís focused
around some unscrupulous characters that all have ulterior motives. One of
Paranormaliceís most memorable characters, Radatat (played by Dallas
Taylor), will leave people shocked and laughing.
for the look and feel, Iíve always been a fan of dark and shadowy
forests. Thereís a natural fear of the unknown, and the mystery of what
lies in the deep shadows of the woods can really screw with your head. I
want to bring the audience into the woods with the characters as much as
possible, and give them that sense of being stalked by a predator that
Iíve experienced as a backpacker in mountain lion country.
can you tell us about the other directors of your anthology, and what made
them perfect for the job?
in order, Daniel Emery Taylor (The Hospital) definitely has the horror
chops to pull off Evil She. Chuck Hartsell (Hide and Creep) has the
skill to handle the subtleties that About the Neighbor requires.
Daniel L. Bamberg [Daniel L.
Bamberg interview - click here] obviously wrote the whole thing, and his closeness to The Virgin Witch makes his vision of it imperative. Doing
of Blackwoods seemed logical for me, as it has lots of gunplay, and
Iím our usual firearms expert for other projects. Justin West and
Scooter Lee are directing the frame narrative Mosswood Motel because
theyíre pretty cool guys we wanted to give a shot because weíve liked
their music videos. Justin and Scooter also did the teaser promo thatís
posted on the IndieGoGo page, and we think it looks awesome.
Is there any overall visual
theme to your movie, and how much freedom is each of director given for
his segment, stylistically?
decided to go with a single director of photography throughout, which
should help glue it together stylistically. So, within the freedoms
allowed of him saying ďnoĒ to elements that would totally clash, the
directors are allowed as much of their own vision and style as they can
squeeze into it.
What can you tell us about
your key cast, and why exactly these people?
have a great cast. When we put the casting call out there, we had only a
few people who we already had in mind for certain roles. The casting
process was tedious in a good way, being that we got so many fantastic
auditions. We were forced to make some tough calls, picking good versus
good, instead of ďwell, thatís better than the other crap we gotĒ as
is so often the case on smaller projects. People like Paula Marcenaro
Solinger (Blood Sombrero, Salem) [Paula
Marcenaro Solinger interview - click here], Nicole Kruex (After the
Dawn, Faux), Jim
OíRear (The Dead Matter, The Hospital) [Jim
O'Rear interview - click here], Wanda Morganstern (iMagine,
Lost Footage), Scott Tepperman (Id: Donít Look in the Basement 2,
Hunters International), Dallas Taylor (The Possession
Experiment, Blood Type) Ö and many other great
actors, have all been hugely supportive. Everyone we cast had that certain
something that just made them that character.
appear that your movie needs rather specific locations - anything you can
tell us about that aspect of Paranormalice yet?
been tricky. Some sets, such as the early 1800ís town for The Virgin
Witch, definitely require a particular look. Weíve been very lucky so
far in finding locations that are as perfect as we could ask to find.
There have also been a few hiccups, as is expected, but overall weíve
really found some great locations and cooperative property owners.
far as I know, your film is presently still in its fundraising stages - so
what can you tell us about your fundraising efforts?
are partially funded. Itís been a long and tough road. As one tweet I
saw recently said, ďFilmmaking is like pushing a rock up a hill, and the
hill is on fire, and the rock may suddenly disappear.Ē That really sums
up the funding process, which is always the hardest part of making a
movie. We are still talking to potential investors, and have launched an
IndieGoGo that we hope will find enough support soon (two weeks left now)
to help us be able to make this film in the way it deserves. Weíve
attempted to set up the IndieGoGo with good, creative, and unusual incentives
even at lower levels. Even the $10 slot gets more than just a ďthank
you.Ē Thatís always annoyed me about crowdfunding, when filmmakers
offer just some piddly junk or nothing at all for people who canít
contribute more than $50. Times are tight, but there are still plenty of
people out there who want to support art and artists, even if they can
only chip in $10 or $20. We want to be sure those people get more than a
pat on the back, and actually feel like they got something for their
money. They are the heart of it. They are the audience. Theyíre why
weíre making this thing. So everyone donate!
your funds are raised, how do you plan to proceed, and any idea when and
where your film will be released onto the general public?
are actually proceeding now, with partial funding. Itís a gamble, but we
are laying it out there and are determined to make it happen. If all goes
according to plan and funds come through, we will wrap production before
November. We arenít sure yet when it will be released (hopefully mid to
late 2015), but the initial premiere will definitely be in Birmingham,
Alabama. The creative community here is very supportive of each other.
Besides, itís set in a fictional Alabama town, so where else would we do
it right that Paranormalice is only the first film of a planned
trilogy - if yes, what's to expect of the other films, and to what extent
will the movies be interlinked?
thatís true. It wasnít initially planned as such, but as we developed
it, we realized how the story could be tweaked here and there to give it
much more depth. Now we have the plot arcing across all three films as a
proper trilogy, carrying some key characters through, and revealing more
and more secrets of Mosswood along the way. The second film has already
been penned, and will be a traditional (non-anthology) feature. The third
we are already developing and it promises a big and exciting resolution to
all the twists and threads weíre establishing in both Paranormalice and
the second film.
(Other) future projects
you'd like to share?
the other two Mosswood films, Suncrow Productions has in the hopper a few
other features, not the least of which is a fantastic thriller written by
our director Chuck Hartsell. Iíve actually already attached a few great
actors, but like everything else that needs more than a fistful of dollars
to get going, funding is the issue. Iím also writing a feature myself,
which I will add to said hopper when itís done.
What got you into the filmworld to
always loved movies, and when I was in Junior High one of my classes had a
special project to make a short film. We broke up into groups, and my
group spent a weekend with my dadís VHS camcorder and lots of sugary
snacks coming up with a movie on the spot. It was tons of fun, and
exhausting. Since then, I wanted to get into film more seriously. In 2010,
my friend Chuck asked me to run sound on his short Transfers since I
had a background in mixing audio for music and events. I was hooked even
harder after that weekend, and people around town kept calling me to help
with their films as the sound guy, then for mixing, then sound FX work,
and so on. The more I learned what I was doing the more I wanted to do
even more. Now Iíve found myself as a producer on a feature zombie
comedy (Red Season) and Paranormalice. So, who knew?
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to Paranormalice?
sound work as production mixer, post mixer and editor, sound FX editor,
etc. Iíve worked mostly on horror and sci-fi type films. One that
wasnít was actually a dark comedy from writer/director Yuri Shapochka
called Clubhouse. It starred Leslie Easterbrook (The Devilís
Rejects, Halloween ), Christopher Murray (Just Cause,
General Hospital), and Tim Abell (Soldier of God, Mercenaries). I really got some
great experience there by being able to work with so many professionals.
They were all fantastic! That film has gone on to win the grand prize at
two major festivals.
From what I've read, your
segment in Paranormalice will be your first movie as a director -
so what made you try your hand at directing, and how do you plan to
approach your job?
Daniel talked me into it after I mentioned considering directing something
one day. It occurred to me that one of my faults as a producer on set is
sometimes interjecting too much of my own opinion about shots and story
mechanisms into the process. I realized I was pretty much co-directing
without meaning to. So, I figured, letís go at it on purpose this time!
My approach? Story first, and remember itís a visual medium and tell as
much of that story as possible through imagery. And allow the actors to
become the characters without being too concerned with the specifics of
the dialog. A natural and believable delivery in performance is more
important to me that getting every word of the script perfect. Also, argue
with the producer as much as possible (which will be Daniel, as our roles
will reverse on that segment).
Filmmakers who inspire you?
a long list, and Iím bad with names, even famous ones. And each has a
different reason for being on the list. So just a few in no particular
order: Brian De Palma, Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese,
Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, John Carpenter, Frank Darabont, Clint
Eastwood, Terry Gilliam, and as a writer, John Milius. Plus, almost anyone
out there who can pull off a low budget film that doesnít suck. Thatís
inspiring in itself.
no particular order Ö The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Raiders of the Lost
Ark, Ronin, The Untouchables, The Outlaw Josey
Wales, Star Wars, Tucker
and Dale vs Evil, Pulp Fiction, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance
Kid, Fandango, 28 Days
Later, Predator, Ö
this could take all day so Iíll stop.
... and of course, films you really
tend to put those out of mind, so itís harder to come up with a list.
The ones that piss me off are
the ones I try to like because I think itís a cool premise, then are so
bad I canít make myself keep watching past act one. That said, anyone
who can complete a film gets my respect. Itís a tough journey, and even
the best films have problems.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, IndieGoGo,
Anything else you are dying to mention
and I have merely forgotten to ask?
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Thanks for the
you! This has been interesting and enjoyable, trying to think of answers.