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An Interview with Mark Maille, Director of You're on the Air

by Mike Haberfelner

August 2020

Films directed by Mark Maille on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie You're on the Air - in a few words, what is it about?


The movie takes place in 1999 and is about a radio show host who gets involved in a live hostage situation live on the air. The movie talks about a shock jock and includes themes of guilt and media manipulation.


Basic question, why make a shock jock the lead character of your movie, and your thoughts about shock jocks in general?


I don't listen to shock jocks much, but I do find some interesting, like Howard Stern for example. Growing up in the late 90's he was everywhere so there is a lot of nostalgia for me there. I chose to work with a shock jock as the lead because they always give off a radiance of speaking for the people against "the man", or authority, and I think having a shock jock who speaks for the people be corrupt behind the scenes is interesting.


(Other) sources of inspiration when writing You're on the Air?


The biggest inspiration for me were the parallels between 1999 and 2017, which was the year I wrote the script. You had sex scandals in the White House in both years, school shootings, and there was even a new Star Wars movie both years as well. To me it was fascinating and also a little disappointing to see history repeat itself. And with the MeToo-movement it seemed like a important time to tell a story like this.


You're on the Air is limited to one room, location-wise, and has (mostly) only one actor on screen - so what were some of your techniques to keep things interesting?


I chose to make the film take place in one room in order to push forward this feeling of claustrophobia so the viewer feels trapped in the radio station with Max as he tries to navigate the hostage situation. Also the one room is representative of Max's world, and with the wonderful set design from Dana Tarr you can really understand the inner workings of Max Tanner.


Do talk about You're on the Air's cast, and why exactly these people?


Kris Salvi [Kris Salvi interview - click here] was the first person to respond to the email, and we met him at the Boston public library and he gave an amazing audition, but at the callback his performance as Max Tanner was so good it was impossible for me and Collin Rousseau to picture anyone else playing the role. Albert Bouvier sent in a haunting audition and stood out as the only choice for the role. Sophie Harrington is an old friend of mine who I had intended on working with before as she is the best actress I have met.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmophere?


We were blessed with a very passionate crew, so the entire process was streamlined, and it even felt like a party to be honest.


The $64-question of course, where can You're on the Air be seen?


You're on the Air is available for free on Vimeo, other works from Nihilist Media can be seen on YouTube.


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of You're on the Air?


So far thankfully we have gotten a great reception.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


We are releasing a few short films soon, one of them is out already on YouTube called Thankless, which is a gangster film starring Kris Salvi. We have another short film coming out soon reuniting the cast of You're on the Air, called Stand Up Guy, which stars Albert Bouvier and Sophie Harrington. We are also working on a documentary about the band Cornersoul, who were also the band that did the soundtrack for Stand Up Guy. I am producing a film called Man With The Third Eye, directed by Collin Rousseau. And then hopefully next year I will be directing a feature length film called About a Girl. So yeah we have a few projects on our plate keeping us busy.


What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


When I was 5 years old I stole my dad's copy of Jaws and I was hypnotized by it. The package had two tapes in it, and I thought the second tape was Jaws 2. However when I put the tape in it was the making of Jaws, and I was amazed at how they did it and even thought to myself "this looks easy" (it's not), and now I can't think of doing anything else. And I have been self taught since the age of 8.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to You're on the Air?


Though not very polished, you can see a lot of growth from my earlier projects to the things that I am working on now.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


I like to try and be very adaptive to who I'm working with and the environment I am in. Sometimes I can be very hands-on in the way I approach working with an actor for example, or on the other hand I know when to step back and let the magic happen so to speak.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


I'm very inspired by Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, Charlie Chaplin, Safadie brothers, Greta Gerwig, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Damien Chazelle, Coen brothers, Todd Solonds, George A. Romero, Spike Lee, Michael Powell, Billy Wilder, Lindsey Anderson, David Cronenberg, Elia Kazan, Milos Foreman, Barry Jenkins, Marielle Heller, Stanley Kubrick, Mike Leigh, Alfred Hitchcock, Lars Von Trier, Bo Burnham, Crystal Moselle, Quentin Tarantino, Francis Ford Coppola, and unfortunately Vincent Gallo.


Your favourite movies?


My favorite movie of all time is Taxi Driver, and then, in no particular order, Clockwork Orange, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Jaws, There Will Be Blood, Goodfellas, Apocalypse Now, Whiplash, Ladybird, and George A. Romero's Dead Trilogy.


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Mark Maille
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Mark Maille here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

... and of course, films you really deplore?


In no particular order, The Brown Bunny and The Kissing Bandit.


Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?


Nihilist.Media@instagram and MarkMaille@instagram, OfficialNihilistMedia on Facebook and Nihilist Media on YouTube.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD