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1. When and where did you form your present indy film company?
I completed my first short in the summer of 2002. I operate out of the San
Francisco Bay Area.
2. What is the url and can people order your films there?
My website is up at http://www.pochepictures.com
The website is being revamped (should be complete by the end of August
). Some of my early films will be available for viewing on-line for
free. There will be clips and trailers of the more recent ones as well.
3. Did you study film anyplace or simply learn on your own as you went
I have too many bills to pay so I couldn't return to college for film
school. Grabbing the bull by the horn and shooting was my film school. I
consider filmmaking a craft that you simply have to learn by doing, making
mistakes, then doing it again.
4. Where do you find your actors ?
Initially I went through the Beau Bonneau casting agency here in the Bay
Area. When I first started back in 2002, I was be deluged with headshots
from local actors. I think this is primarily because Nash Bridges
was still shooting here and there were quite a bit of people looking to
break into acting. Now that the show has been cancelled there simply
aren't enough actors locally for me to choose from. There are definitely
not as many people pursuing acting locally as there were a couple years
Typically I want at least 150-200 headshots to choose from for a
particular role. I audition a few, if they live too far I have them send
me demo reels, and usually the decision on who to cast becomes patently
Lately, I've had to import most of my actors from LA. I've used Backstage
but now primarily use Nowcasting.com which I think is the premier place
for finding good people.
Now that I have a few movies under my belt I use a mix of people I've
worked with before plus some new blood.
5. Didn't you use a regional beauty queen of some sort for one of these
Well, most of the actresses I've used can be described as beauty queens,
LOL. You're probably referring to
the fact that I was hired to film a local beauty pageant back in '04.
Ironically, one of the contestants was someone who submitted to one of my
I should say though that Tamara Knausz who co-stars in The Wicked
is now a successful fashion
model. She will be featured on a Samsung ad that will be in Times Square.
She's Hungarian and has a terrific "model" look.
6. What is the plot for Oracle?
A young woman named Rachel returns to the house where her brother was
found dead ten years earlier. She shares the house with three other
college students one of whom finds an ancient oujia board in a closet. The
group then messes around with the oujia board, conjuring up a spirit and
all hell breaks loose.
7. The plot for The Wicked?
The film centers around a sorority of witches seeking to fill an empty
slot in their coven. Three would-be witches arrive to compete, going
through different tests to demonstrate their powers of witchcraft. The
most powerful candidate is given the snub and proceeds to exact her
revenge on the other witches. The movie is a mixture of horror and tongue
in cheek comedy.
8. There are some other films too, right? I know I have forgotten one
After shooting The Wicked, I shot A Candle In The Dark. Its
a short about a young woman who thinks her roommate may be a vampire. Had
a lot of fun shooting that, first time I hired a makeup artist to do blood
and gore. Shot two movies in 2003, one was called Conjure. It is
more mystery than horror. It centers around a drug counselor whose teenage
clients are covering up a murder. Later that year came In The Red.
Again, more of a psychological suspense movie than horror. It is about a
man who thinks his wife is cheating on him and he plots to kill her. Last
year I shot Amped. Putting the finishing touches on that edit as we
I am well-pleased with how this turned out. The music is totally original,
one of the lead actresses (Susan
Stuart Brazell) is also a fantastic singer and performs three songs in the
movie. The film itself is about a rock band whose lead singer dies of an
apparent drug overdose. A detective is called in to investigate and
discovers that there is more to the story than a drug overdose. I consider
it to be a combo film noir/rock band movie. There are still some rough
edges but I feel I took a big leap forward in my filmmaking skills after
completing this movie.
9. Upcoming projects?
I'm doing pre-production on a flick called By Any Other Name. It is
about three female assasins, Cowgirl, Jazz and the Trigger. When Cowgirl
fails to perform a hit, Jazz and the Trigger are ordered to dispose of
her. Its going to be a challenging shoot, A LOT of action in this
one. I'm going to have to choreograph a lot of fight scenes and teach
these actresses some basic jiu jitsu.
10. Any interesting behind the scenes stories you would like to tell
about your ventures into indy film?
For the most part I pre-plan everything so I have very little interesting
anecdotes of crazy things that have happened. We have had the obligatory
run-in with the police. We were filming a scene from "Conjure"
at the old Naval base in Alameda. The naval base is for the most part
totally abandoned. A few business have moved in but for the most part it
is a ghost town of abandoned buildings and barracks from the old Navy
days. So, we're pretty much out in the middle of nowhere preparing to film
a scene where one of the characters has some gun play. From out of
nowhere, a squad car pulls up behind us. Its about midnight, there is no
one around and he's asking what the hell we are doing there. So after I
nervously described we were harmless and making a movie he turned cool and
let us film there. Turns out he was staking the area out because there was
an arsonist torching the building we were in front of.
Ironically, being interrogated by the cop put my actors a little on edge
and it helped the scene a great deal.
11. Do you ever make the conventions and market your products or enter
them in horror film fests?
Conventions? Good idea. I would consider going to the conventions but
would rather be invited as a special
guest. I really have no desire to sit and sell stuff. When I get
more notoriety I would be more open to meet and greet some of the fans out
Currently I'm re-editing my earlier stuff and plan to submit to some of
the horror film fests around the globe.
12. Isn't the Bay Area big on indy films?
Given the beauty of the area I'm surprised more folks haven't come here to
film, indies and big studio
productions alike. There are a lot of San Francisco State and Academy of
Art (San Francisco) students that do shorts in the area. The Wachowski
brothers did film portions of the Matrix sequels here in my
hometown of Alameda. When I was a kid I remember the studios filming The
Principal with Jim Belushi around the corner from my house. It was
kinda exciting to see the big Hollywood trucks and lights in my own neck
of the woods.
13. Is horror your favorite genre?
Film noir is probably my favorite genre. I like downbeat stories with
quotable dialogue, femme fatales, movies that keep you guessing. I am a
fan of horror although I should say I like "thinking man's"
movies. Stuff like Session 9 and The Machinist. In my
opinion, horror movies have to have great
atmosphere. I thought 28
Days Later was excellent and did a damn good job of creating an
ominous atmosphere. But typically I don't like the standard fare of horror
14. Anything else we may have forgotten as this page tends to like
short and to the point interviews?
Be on the lookout for some of my upcoming movies. In the Red will
be distributed by Echelon Entertainment
out of Burbank. Amped will be submitted to some of the major film
15. Closing comments?
Thanks for the interview.