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.
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
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
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.
idea when and where the movie might be released yet?
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.
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
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
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
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?
not this time. Somebody give me money, I'm exhausted.
Thank you, of course.