Your new movie Blood
Riders: The Devil Rides with Us - in a few words, what is it about?
Riders: The Devil Rides with Us is a blood-soaked, adventure,
comedy that follows four high school graduates as they steal a car and go to
extremes in a tale of insanity to avoid getting caught.
How did the project fall together in the first place, and what drew you do
Lari Teräs [Lari Teräs interview -
click here] contacted me a year
after we met on set saying he won an award for his feature film script and a
grant for some equipment. He had $14,000 of his own money to put into the
film. I was a little hesitant at first but he sent me the script and I laughed
out loud when reading it so I agreed to produce it.
What were the main challenges when producing Blood
Riders: The Devil Rides with Us?
Riders: The Devil Rides with Us is an ambitious script to pull off for such a slim budget. 22
locations shot across 8 cities, lots of blood splatter, gunfights, several
scenes with a big cast on set, 18 days to shoot it and a maximum of 4
months to plan everything from scratch. Expecting everything to work
properly when you’re relying on donations is unreasonable so we had to
strategize alternatives to as many situations we could think of. You
can’t predict everything so some problems had to be dealt with as they
came up so we had to think creatively. In the end we shot the script Lari wrote with no compromises.
Do talk about
your director Lari Teräs [Lari Teräs
interview - click here] for a bit, and what was your collaboration like?
And how did the two of you first meet even?
and I first met on the set of an independent feature film and a year later
he asked me to produce Blood
Riders: The Devil Rides with Us. He has become a good friend of mine
since then. We work well together and had talked in the beginning how a
good producer/director relationship can positively affect the crew. Lari
and I have great communication and a mutual understanding when it comes to
filmmaking. We handle problems objectively and are sympathetic to the cast
and crew’s needs as well. If you ever meet Lari be prepared to learn
about independent films, Finland and Sambuca shots.
What can you
tell us about your key cast, and to what extent were you involved in the
were really searching for hidden gems and we found them. Lari even felt
that a few of the cast auditioning were exactly as he pictured them when
writing the script. The key cast had become friends on set, which
translated well on the screen. They all persevered through long days with
no complaints. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation.
Do talk about the shoot as such for a
bit and the on-set atmosphere ... and how hands-on or hands-off a producer
were you during the actual shoot?
the budget can’t afford to pay separate people to clean up garbage,
drive equipment and people around the producer has to find a way to make
it happen which usually means doing it themselves. All the crew members
including the keys had to take on roles that are usually divided into
separate teams. So we all had to collaborate and help out where it was
needed. We discussed this with everyone right from the beginning. The
dynamic was very transparent in that aspect. Everyone had fun and got
along very well and for that we are extremely lucky.
Anything you can tell
us about audience and critical reception of Blood
Riders: The Devil Rides with Us yet?
I think it has been very well received. It went to 12 different festivals
and won awards including, “Best Feature Film”, “Best Comedy” and
several honorable mentions. A few distributors contacted us about the film
and in the end we went with Brink Vision. I attended some of the festivals
in the US and across Canada and it was interesting to see different
audience reactions, especially to the comedic parts of the film. It really
exceeded even my expectations and has pushed me further as a filmmaker.
projects you'd like to share?
directing a documentary about a young prodigy artist, Josh Tiessen. Also,
I’m gathering resources for projects in the travel/documentary and
What got you into film
production to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the
elementary school teacher taught me how to do stop motion animation. I
collaborated on some short films in high school. My parents said that your
career should be something you love and enjoy doing in your spare time.
This was obviously filmmaking for me. Then I went to Humber College for
film and have been doing it ever since.
What can you tell us about your filmwork prior
Riders: The Devil Rides with Us?
collaboratively produced a short documentary, Voorje, which was screened
at Hot Docs in 2009. Since then I have continued doing work in producing,
visual effects, art department, camera department and editing for various
How would you
describe yourself as a producer?
think the biggest thing that sets Blood
Riders: The Devil Rides with Us apart from many other
projects is that we finished it. The most challenging obstacle most
independent films face is somewhere in post production when people run out
of motivation. As on set I have been very hands-on in post production. I
did the VFX and helped in several other areas not typically done by
producers. I am persistent in that aspect.
whoever else who inspire you?
Spielberg, George Lucas, Peter Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro, Ridley Scott,
Stanley Kubrick, Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino and Roger Corman [Roger
Corman bio - click here].
There are many others but these artists have inspired me the most.
Your favourite movies?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Park, Star Wars, Gladiator, Forrest Gump, The Matrix and
The Lord of the
Rings have always been at the top of my growing list of favourite movies.
and of course, films you really deplore?
movies with a weak story, especially big budget ones which can afford good
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
you for the interview Michael.
for the interview!