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An Interview with Thomsa F. Mazziotti, Director of The Mimic

by Mike Haberfelner

February 2021

Films directed by Thomas F. Mazziotti on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie The Mimic - in a few words, what is it about?

 

A screenwriter explores the lighter side of a sociopath when he befriends a new neighbor on the local newspaper staff.  

 

What were your sources of inspiration when writing The Mimic, and is any of it based on personal experience?

 

The core of the film is based on personal experience. I then projected onto the possibilities of where it might lead. My inspiration came from an amalgam of characters while on that journey.

 

In all honesty, to what extent could you identify with either protagonist of your movie?

 

The Narrator. I can identify with his curiosity like one rubbernecks at a car accident.

 

What can you tell us about The Mimic's approach to comedy?

 

I approached this in a hyper realistic manner since sociopaths don't see reality as it really is. A conversational cadence to the dialogue best suits this style.

 

A few words about your over all directorial approach to your story at hand?

 

Since the script was very detailed, the over all directional approach was already there. This allows me to get the most out of the performances by shooting in longer takes and allowing the actors to take you exactly where their characters want to go.

 

Do talk about The Mimic's key cast, and why exactly these people?

 

The cast is entirely composed of experienced theater actors who made the jump to film. That is key when doing long takes. The restaurant scene is a good example of this. We shot 14 pages of dialogue in one day. When you have a cast like that the possibilities are endless.

 

What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

We shot in 18 days, 6 day weeks. The atmosphere was always upbeat since the challenge was daunting.

 

The $64-question of course, where can The Mimic be seen?

 

The Mimic releases Feb. 5th nationwide in theatres and on demand. Like "The Kid" in the film, it won't be hard to find.

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of The Mimic?

 

At the first preview screening in NY the audience mulled about for 30 minutes after the film. Most wanted to see it again. So far, the critical response has been positive to mixed, which is fair since it's so different from the usual fare.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

My next film deals with a famous mystery writer who is contacted by a fan that wants out of his marriage.

 

What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

I started in television production in New York and graduated into filmmaking because I had something to say. I attended the Rockport Film and TV workshops in Maine and  Laguna Beach, CA. They were taught by veteran directors George Shaffer and Richard Fleisher.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to The Mimic?

 

I started with a short horror film that played theatrically because the projectionist put it on before Pinocchio instead of Beverly Hills Cop. That got me into NY Magazine and eventually to Sidney Lumet's producer who made my first film. My first foray into comedy came three years later with Charlie Hoboken.  

 

Between your last movie Charlie Hoboken and The Mimic more than 20 years have gone down the river - now how come, and what have you done in the meantime?

 

That was a different era back then, 35mm, VHS tape, no DVDs. You had to know what you were doing. Once it got easier I lost interest. I substituted film with the restoration of historic real estate. Different vendors, same process. Final outcome is a house instead of a picture. I sold, changed my surroundings, got re-inspired and made The Mimic on 4K.

 

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How would you describe yourself as a director?

 

I put everyone at ease because I'm funny only because I'm disgusted. That's a good combination when making a comedy. I listen more than I talk and if someone has a better idea than me we use it because I get the credit anyway. A trick I learned in real estate.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

Sidney Lumet, Peter Bogdanovich, Hal Ashby, David Mamet.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Network, Harold and Maude, What's up Doc?, My Favorite Year, Things Change.

 

Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?

 

themimicmovie.com (all social tags @themimicmovie)

 

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

 

Best to make a movie if you're single. It will live on longer than any children you might not have.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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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
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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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD