Your new movie Crisis
Function - in a few words, what is it about?
is about Andrea Knight, a quiet woman living
with diabetes who, unsatisfied with the inaction of the police,
decides to investigate the murder of her best friend Daniel. As she finds
clues in his home she suddenly finds herself the victim of violent
confrontations with a group of people she doesn’t know.
read that Crisis
Function was shot in three days during downtime from another film
of yours, The Perfect Letter
- so was it always planned to pretty
much squeeze the film in there, and how did you come up with the idea and
the script and all?
I really wanted to make something quick and dirty, like a back to the
roots run and gun thing. My last movie, Epitaph: Bread and
Salt took about three years, and even The Perfect Letter
is even taking longer than planned. I wanted to know if I still had it
in me to knock out a movie all by myself and create something from
nothing. While The Perfect Letter
is more of an exercise to see how much I can do
by myself and on a small budget, Crisis
was more of an editing exercise
to see if I can take a loose plot and come up with something worthwhile.
I wasn’t planning on shooting Crisis
when I did. I told Anita Nicole Brown [Anita
Nicole Brown interview - click here], the lead, about the idea, but was expecting to shoot further down
the road. Anita wrote me back and said she had two weeks off beginning that
next week so I got to work. The goal was to create a movie from a bunch
of sequences in a week or less. There were very few scripted parts. I
knew Anita could ad-lib from some a scene she did with Kelsey
Zukowski [Kelsey Zukowski
interview - click here] in Epitaph so the plan was to build on that.
There was never a full script. I made up with situations and told the
actors what they were usually a few minutes before the scene, maybe a
night before if the scene was complex. And when they asked questions I
simply reversed it, like an actor would say, “How does character X
feel about this?” I would say, “I don’t know, how do you think
they would about feel about that?”
Function is very labyrinthine in its structure - so was there ever
a time even you ran the danger to lose the plot, and what can you tell us
about the movie's storytelling techniques to begin with?
employed a tactic I used when I used to run role playing games. I would
fill one person in on information, while leaving the other person (usually
Anita) out of the loop. I would also feed lines to certain actors with
various instructions. Some of these moments altered the feel of the film.
I gave Valerie Kessler instruction that she toss out random cryptic
statements as long as she ended it with “follow the butterfly”. One
of the lines Valerie added was “the wolf is waiting”. That
became the theme of the film suddenly making it into a twisted Red
Riding Hood-tale. That fit right in with a movie about a person
being hunted and watched. Since I was handling everything, shooting,
editing and writing (the little there was) I could simply throw out anything
that didn’t work with the plot which wasn’t much as I was pretty
specific when giving instruction.
Nathyn Masters shooting Anita Nicole Brown
would you describe your directorial approach to your story at hand?
Run and gun and better than ever. We had access to some nice places,
because we came in with small pocket cameras. I used Kodak Playfull ZEs
for several scenes allowing us to move around virtually unnoticed. If
someone noticed they simply saw a guy with a tiny camera making a video
with some friends. Nothing to see here. And we were shooting multiple
fight scenes in a day whereas usually a really good fight takes a day or
two, but this was all about time. Normally a fight is planned then acted
with some choreo beforehand. This we choreographed as we shot. I shot as
much coverage as possible to string the fights together based on a few
signature moves I gave the Andrea character, spinning and slamming into
the attacker, throwing and striking then taking them down for a ground and
pound. Every fight consisted of these elements. Plus the hook was Andrea
would fight with skills she didn’t particularly know she had. Also I
relied a lot on their skills more than my directing. It was about what
they could pull from the situation and as much as a challenge for them as
it was for me.
Shavar D. Clark, Anita Nicole Brown
can you tell us about your cast, and why exactly these people?
I worked with Anita Nicole Brown [Anita
Nicole Brown interview - click here] and Shavar D. Clark before in Epitaph. I wanted to get Anita
used to action because I wanted her to be in the Wages of Sin-sequel, so there would be a heavy focus on the fights. I also needed the
lead to be able to play a range of emotions from being extremely
vulnerable to being a strong action heroine, to slightly off not to
mention the need to be able to ad-lib. Anita fit all of those qualities.
The Black Shepherd character had to be handsome and have a very
masculine presence. Shavar was good for that and also turned up the
creepy vibe on the character too so we kept that in. White Shepherd had
to be the female equivalent to Black Shepherd, with a quiet
seductiveness and the ability to create and use hypo agency to
accomplish task even if that means using her husband seduce an intended
target. Shannon Lee and I had been talking about getting her involved in
a project. She was free at the time. I explained it to her and she was
Valerie Meachum is an actress I met on the set of a movie I was working on with
JR2 Films. She was also in Epitaph and is a geek girl at
heart which is awesome, because she understands my kind of movie and can
add to it as she did.
Meiling Jin is acting in The Perfect Letter, and she was excited about the
prospect of being in a fighting film and since I was unsure about the
other film I had in mind for her I threw her in this.
Christian Creasy was an actor I met on Epitaph. He played Arcus
Fallen. He's a martial artist and stunt fighter and generally always down
for a showing off some martial arts moves on screen. His height and
size also make him an intimidating villain so I cast him as one of the
main antagonist. Latoya Glaves had a small part in Epitaph and she
wasn’t busy so I contacted her and she wanted in too.
Dragan Nikolic was one of the stunt
fighters on Epitaph. He played one of the demons at the end. He was
a great kicker and had a strong face. He was open so I added him to the
I had never met Dora Santillan Hulihan, Marc Peurye or Ricardo Estrada before. Dora and Ricardo wanted
to get their acting careers started and Marc, I hear, has been around a
bit, but this was my first time working with him.
talk about the shoot as such for a bit, and the on-set atmosphere?
was a lot of fun. We all knew each other and enjoyed each other’s
company. I tend to keep working with many of these people because of that.
If they’re able and willing I like to work with people who know me and I
know them and they know how I work and vice versa.
can you tell us about critical and audience reception of your movie so
I really don’t know. People liked it, it got a lot
of thumbs up initially. It got to about 2000 view then it became randomly
unmonetized. I re-uploaded it and it now has over 2000 views. So far
it’s 6 likes to 1 dislike so I’m assuming people are enjoying it. A
lot of the viewers were fans of Anita and they seemed to enjoy it. You
were the first person to review it on a website. But it’s open to the
public and free for anyone to review.
The $64-question of course, when and where will the
film be released onto the general public?
It’s out now on YouTube. Viewers can check it out here at
and please share and subscribe. The DVD with extras can be purchased
from our site www.timecodemechanics.com
for $9.95 so if people want it they can get it there.
projects you'd like to share?
We’re still working on The Perfect Letter, we just finished some scenes with actress
Claire “Fluff” Llewellyn [Claire
"Fluff" Llewellyn interview - click here] who's playing one of my character’s
confidants and his addiction sponsor. And I'm slated to shoot with Kaylee
Williams [Kaylee Williams
interview - click here], who plays my ex-girlfriend, and Rebecca VanSickle in the role of
her sister. We should be finished by the end of spring and out by the end
of summer, hopefully. Then we hope to move on to the Wages of Sin-sequel starring myself and Anita, and then hopefully a sequel to
Epitaph: Bread and Salt which I think will be focused on Victor
Locke and maybe Decoy from Abiding Lilith.
Your/your movie's website,
Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
All of our movies can be seen on our
YouTube page at
and bought from our website
and fans can follow me at
on Twitter @nathynmasters or on Tumblr at nathynbrendanmasters.tumblr.com.
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Blackrayne and the sequel Midrash Express are both on Amazon
as well as my newest books The YouTube Producer’s Handbook and
IOS Filmmaking Quick Guide.
Anytime. Always a pleasure.