Your new movie Once,
When I Was Dead - in a few words, what is it about?
When I Was Dead
is about an artist who has lost her creative way.
She has become complacent and her artwork suffers has a result. She
hits rock bottom and has to face her inner demon to reignite her passion.
did you get involved with the project in the first place? And to what
extent could you identify with the film's artworld setting?
Scott W. Perry [Scott W. Perry
interview - click here] had shown an interest in working on another project together.
He showed me a couple of scripts and I was drawn to the script of Once,
When I Was Dead. I felt it was a story with which most people
could relate whether or not they had an artistic background.
I am an art collector personally so I have a deep respect for how
artists pour their time, sweat, tears, and in the case of the script,
blood into their artwork. I have seen how competitive the art
world can be and how discouraging it can be to the artist when they feel
the art is not widely accepted.
were your main challenges when producing Once,
When I Was Dead? And did you have any creative control over the
movie as well?
I would have to say that the most challenging aspect was logistics.
I am located in the Houston, Texas area. Scott is in New York. We
brought in two wonderful actresses, Gabrielle Stone (Amelia) [Gabrielle
Stone interview - click here] and Tiffany
Shepis (Lucy) [Tiffany Shepis
interview - click here] from Los Angeles. Kaylee Williams (Alice) [Kaylee
Williams interview - click here] was
brought in from Chicago. Trying to coordinate a schedule in which
all of the actors and production crew were available at the same time
had its challenges.
I tried to leave the creative control to Scott, Steven-Mark Glassner
Mark Glassner interview - click here], and Shay Cully (art director). I would make
minor suggestions on occasion, but for the most part I tried to stay out
of the way.
What can you tell us about your director
Scott W. Perry [Scott W. Perry
interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like? And
how did the two of you first meet, even?
Scott is a very passionate individual. Once,
When I Was Dead appears to me to be a mixture of Scott's various personality traits.
He had told me that he had tried to make this film multiple times over
the years. For various reasons, that dream had been
unsuccessful. To be honest, that made me a little nervous at the
beginning. I was concerned that he was too close, too personally
involved with the script. The similarities between the script and
his personal life were so intertwined that I wasn't sure if he would be
able to be receptive to any suggestions that would allow the story to be
told on film. In the end, I believe he was able to tell the story,
the way he envisioned.
Scott and I met at the Macabre Faire Film Festival held in Long Island,
NY back in 2013 [Macabre Faire
Film Festival interview - click here]. He was there screening episodes of his
In Fear Of
series. I was there representing a film I helped produce
entitled Jacob. It was written and directed by Larry
Wade Carrell [Larry Wade
Carrell interview - click here], starred Grace Powell, Dylan Horne, and Larry Carrel
with appearances by Michael Biehn and James Hampton.
What can you
tell us about the shoot as such? And how much of a hands-on or hands-off
producer were you?
What can I say about the shoot? It
was Murphy's Law at its finest. The original shoot locations
fell through so we had to scramble to find new locations. We
had a mechanical failure with the camera jig on the first day so
there were several shots we had to forego as a result. It also
caused us to have to deviate from the production shoot list which caused
some confusion for makeup and wardrobe. We definitely had to stop,
take a breath, and regroup. Tensions were high. At that point,
I probably became more hands-on than I would have normally been. I
would say that for at least two or three scenes I started directing
traffic; telling which actors needed to be in make-up, re-organizing the
shot list with the director and cinematographer, setting time limits as to
when the next scene had to be set up and ready to shoot. It wasn't
long before everyone got back into their respective grooves. We can
laugh about it now.
Any future projects you'd like to
I do have some projects currently in the works.
Hell of a Night is a feature film by writer/director Brian Childs out of
Dallas, TX. It is a story based on a house that was built as a
funeral parlor in the 1920's and the experiences of the family that
currently live in the house.
Good Family Times is a full feature film in which I have teamed up with
Blanc-Biehn Productions out of Los Angeles. Meet Beatrice. She's
happily married, has a darling young son, and is a talented artist. Her
home is a happy one. Beatrice dotes on her family, and they love her
back. Too bad her husband and child are not exactly alive. When Beatrice
comes into some money, another family - one that's not quite so happy -
decides it's more deserving of the dough and sets out to rob her by
breaking into her home under the cover of night. In the course of that
one evil evening, both families soon learn the true meaning of
What got you into producing in the first place,
and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
I have always loved the film and theatre industries. I actually
stumbled into a producing opportunity with the movie Jacob. They
were in post production and still needed funding to complete the audio
for the film. I decided to invest to help the film get completed.
I also used some of my contacts in the convention scenes to help promote
the film and book screenings. After that I was hooked. I
formed Javelina 98 Productions, Inc last year as a result of the
numerous projects I have been fortunate to be associated with.
I have not had any formal training within the film industry, but I deal
with project management and contracts on a daily basis within my day
job. There are a lot of similarities.
have also been a producer on Scott W. Perry's [Scott
W. Perry interview - click here] In Fear Of
series - so you obviously have to talk
about that experience for a bit?
The In Fear Of
series is a great concept. I suppose my first
involvement with the series was a contribution I made to a crowd funding
campaign related to the series. Scott had been interested in
working with Larry Carrell. Larry and Scott collaborated on a
script and it was decided that they would shoot Autophobia (Fear of
Abandonment) in Texas. It was funny because they picked the
month of August to film. That was the hottest month possible. I'm
surprised Scott didn't melt. That turned out to be a great
shoot. It was also a great opportunity for Scott to taste
Scott and I later discussed producing a television pilot for the series. We
came to an agreement and produced the Fear of Clowns episode (also known
as The Red Balloon on the film festival circuit).
Other films of yours
you'd like to talk about?
Treachery is a full feature film that has just signed a distribution
deal slated to be out in October. Keep an eye out for it. This
film is more of a drama.
The Lincoln is another Suspense/Thriller that is scheduled to shoot in
late July or early August for a 2016 release.
Producers, filmmakers, whoever
else who inspire you?
There are so many great inspirations.
I would have to say that the one who has inspired me the most would
be George Lucas. His vision helped develop so many different facets of
the movie industry... sound, animation, special effects, and marketing just
to name a few.
Your favourite movies?
Some of my favorite movies include Star Wars, The Five Deadly
Enter the Dragon, Children of the Corn, The Wall,
Ben Hur, Nightmare on
I was also a big fan of television series such as The Twilight
Outer Limits, and Alfred Hitchcock
and of course, films you really deplore?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Films like art are
subject to interpretation. I don't know that I can say I deplore any
movie's website, Faceboook, whatever else?
You can checkout my other projects on my imdb page at Tony DeBenedetto -
Follow me on Twitter @javelina98
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm on Facebook under Tony DeBenedetto.
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
with the movie production, I have teamed up with Elsie Ginsberg, aka LC
Macabre [LC Macabre and Alan
Ginsberg interview - click here] and TwitchTwtch Productions to bring 2 events to the Long Island,
NY area. The first is the Haunt-Faire scheduled for August 1st and
2nd. This event is for Haunters who love haunting. You can
pre-order tickets at www.Haunt-Faire.com.
The second event is Immortal Con. This event will be more of a
comic/anime convention where partial proceeds will be donated to a local
charity benefiting Breast Cancer awareness. Follow me for more
for the interview!
Thank you for the opportunity to share
what's happening in my world.