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An Interview with Shane Ryan, Director of Theatre of the Deranged 2's Segment Tag

by Mike Haberfelner

July 2013

Films directed by Shane Ryan on (re)Search my Trash


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How did you (or rather, your short Tag) get to be a part of the anthology Theatre of the Deranged 2?


James Cullen Bressack [James Cullen Bressack interview - click here] approached me for Theatre of the Deranged 2 and Treasure Chest of Horrors 3 (I also have a film in that anthology). I basically gave him several of my old short films to choose from. As well as the only new short film I've made in the past 6 or 7 years, which would be Tag, and I let him pick what he liked best. So, We Killed Our Parents was picked for Treasure Chest of Horrors 3, and "Tag" for Theatre of the Deranged 2.

I met James, actually, at the signing for Sean Cain's film Silent Night, Zombie Night [Sean Cain interview - click here]. I guess he was a fan of Amateur Porn Star Killer, and later got in touch with me after the signing, once he realized who I was. And then he brought up wanting to get a hold of any short films I might have and explained the idea of putting them in one or both of the anthologies.


Do talk about your short for a bit, your inspirations, style, cast, shoot, whatever!


Hmm. Well, it's a Japanese film, as in a Japanese cast, spoken in Japanese. I've really been dying to make films in other languages (i.e., My Name is A by anonymous is partly in Russian), so this was an opportunity to do that. The only reason it was a horror film was because I had made it for the competition for the ABC's of Death, so therefore one would think J-Horror was the inspiration, but it wasn't. I love the Japanese language, the country, etc., but I'm not a J-Horror fan. I think my style is more French than anything. My inspirations are definitely more from 1970's films and European films. But as I always say they're more about me, about the world. Observations, feelings. Etc. Tag is a ghost horror film, yes, but really it's about self abuse. It simply tackles the issue in a different kind of way. Of course, it's also about forgiveness and revenge, but self abuse more than anything. I shot it right after I was done with My Name is A by anonymous, which is also heavily about self abuse, but again in a much different way than Tag.


The cast was great, as was everybody. It was so last minute. We cast it on a Friday, I believe, and I wrote it that night, and we got everything ready over the weekend to shoot on Monday. It was a one-day, 20 straight hours shoot. And then I had about a week to complete all of the post-production, from the editing, to getting the right music and sound, the visual effect look, translating it, etc. A nightmare, but everybody gave it 100% so that made it work. My dear friend Andy Sere handled all of the Japanese angles, and I focused just on directing; working with Art, our cinematographer, and the two actors. Art shot My Name is A by anonymous, which was all run and gun, no script, no shot list, mostly natural lighting, etc. So, this time, he got to have a script, a shot list (to some extent), light every shot, use a tripod, etc. A completely different  working experience for us together, as opposed to My Name is A by anonymous.


Mariko was a friend of Andy's who I originally was going to use as the Miki character, not the ghost. But then we found Eri last minute through casting and suddenly I was looking at Mariko easily being more the ghost character, so we switched. Mariko was very much an "action/cut" actor whereas Eri was much more a method actor. Eri also barely spoke English, which looking at the two you'd think the opposite. So, there was a language barrier in the beginning, between understanding each other's methods and communicating, but I think everything worked out great. One of those perfect team experiences. Probably the easiest thing I've ever shot (with a script), and it was in a language I only know about five words in. French is the language I used to be fluent in, and I would love to direct, hell, even act, in a French film.


So what was your collaboration with James Cullen Bressack [James Cullen Bressack interview - click here] and the other directors on Theatre of the Deranged 2 like - and based on this, will you ever be part of another anthology movie?


Fortunately, or unfortunately, I didn't really get to collaborate with the other filmmakers. Which made it easy. I simply handed over my films to be included. But at the same time, I didn't get to have the fun of working on something new and meeting and shooting anything new. So, it was easy work, but I didn't get to really collaborate and have insane, hard-working film fun. But it will be even more interesting, having not been involved, seeing the outcome, how everything came together. And it's also flattering to see other people have to work on your film and getting a break for once (no offense guys, I mean that in the best possible way).


I'm sure I wouldn't mind being a part of another anthology, though I'm eager to see the outcome of these two films first.


Any idea when and where the movie might be released yet?


I have no idea, but I hope soon, and everywhere possible. I actually haven't had a film released in over three years (after a run of having four films put out in two years) so it'll be nice to start getting back out there again. Even if only for eight minutes of the film, ha. I believe that's how long Tag is in full cut.


Any future projects/projects beyond Theatre of the Deranged 2 you would like to talk about?


Well, I'm still waiting on my last feature My Name is A by anonymous to be released. It was supposed to come out last year, so I don't really know what's going on with that. I hope it comes out soon before people have completely forgotten about it. So, as I've been saying, keep your eye out for it (from Modern American Cinema, who's handling the VOD/Theatrical release [Modern American Cinema interview - click here]). I have a separate DVD release (from Wild Eye Releasing) which I've finally finished getting everything ready for. I'm guessing that could be in six months, perhaps. It's got the original 20-minute version of the film called The Columbine Effect. And it also has a brand new, alternate cut of the movie, which runs at about an hour long (the feature is 90 minutes). It's called i hate me, myself, and us (yes, in all lower case letters). It's made as if Alyssa, the character, had wanted to make a film, how would it look, very bare-bones. It's all on an older mini-dv camera.


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After that I have The Owl in Echo Park [The Owl in Echo Park interview - click here], a film I directed which I'm in post-production hell on. Hopefully I'll have it done soon. It stars Kevin Gage (of Heat, G.I. Jane, Con Air, and Sean Cain's upcoming Jurassic Block, which I also have a small part in [Sean Cain interview - click here]). I can also soon be seen in a film I co-produced called American Girls, which Kevin is also in, along with James Duval (Donnie Darko, Independence Day) and Bai Ling (The Crow, Crank 2). Not sure when any of these are coming out but hopefully all this year.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


Umm, nah, not this time. Somebody give me money, I'm exhausted.


Thanks for the interview!


Thank you, of course.


© by Mike Haberfelner

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and shall not be held responsible for
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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