Your new movie Axe to
Grind - in a few words, what is it about?
was conceived as a satire of the B-movie industry; the
finished product does capture some of that intent.
did the project come into being to begin with?
networking with several horror film industry actresses and directors, I
wanted to write a script that both celebrates and at times satirizes their
you tell us about your director Matt Zettell, and what was your
I believe Matt Zettell has delivered a
film that creates tension, suspense, and is fun. Too often these days the
B horror movie market consists of mean-spirited, gore fests that have very
little restraint or nuance, they simply try to shock with over-the-top
torture porn elements.
to Grind might have its flashes of violence, but it also has a
humourous side to it - so what can you tell us about the movie's brand of
comedy, and to what extent does it relate to your personal sense of
humour? And how hard was it to balance the comedy and horror elements?
felt Matt Zettell struck a great balance between humorous elements and he
lead/killer Debbie Rochon [Debbie
Rochon interview - click here] - since her character name is
Debbie and she plays a veteran horror actress, which she of course is, was
the character conceived with her in mind already, and what was it like
working with her?
I wrote the project with Debbie (and
others) as a basis for the character. I initially had cast Sean Young in
the role of Debbie Wilkins, but when realities of our budget became
apparent I figured I would ask the inspiration for the character herself
if she'd consider doing the project. I'm glad she said yes.
What can you tell us about the rest of
your cast, and why exactly these people?
I wrote each
character based on someone in the horror industry. The Delilah Finn
character was inspired by Devanny Pinn [Devanny
Pinn interview - click here]. Debbie Wilkins of course was
inspired by Debbie Rochon. Peter Burgess was loosely inspired by Peter
Bogdonavich and his penchant for dating his leading women.
You also have
to talk about your wonderful location for a bit, and the advantages and
challenges of filming there!
The advantages were that it
helped create a creepy backdrop, was centrally located close to most crew
and cast, and it was relatively cheap! One of the challenges was having to
be off set by 7:30pm each night, we would have liked to have filmed a few
more hours a day.
What can you tell us about
the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
The crew Matt
Zettell assembled was a well-oiled machine; very professional and easy to
work with. The cast was very open to collaboration with each other.
words about audience and critical reception of your movie so far?
film opens on DVD Feb 3rd, but we did screen it for investors in
Sacramento in a theater and the reception was mostly positive.
future projects you'd like to share?
I'd love to get all
the crew/cast and Matt Zettell together to shoot a vampire film I've
scripted titled The Last Revenants. The impulse is to always
do a "sequel", but I want to do something fresh with the same
What got you into screenwriting to begin with, and did you receive any formal education on
I've always written since grade school. I did
have a formal education in English/Writing, but nothing specific to
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to Axe to Grind?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
is my first produced script, and first project I produced. I have
optioned several other scripts in the drama/comedy genre to various
who inspire you?
Kubrick, Friedkin, Woody Allen... any
director who has a distinctive style.
Your favourite movies?
Jack Nicholson is in. Taxi
Driver, A Clockwork Orange, The
and of course, films you really deplore?
Each film I
respect in some way that it got made/released. First day on set Matt
Zettell addressed all of us and said "A lot of people TALK about
making a movie... we're MAKING one."
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
for the interview!