Your new movie Hand Job
- in a few words, what is it about?
about a man conducting an interview with a housewife who recently
committed a triple homicide. As the interview progresses and the questions
become more intimate, the interviewer begins developing a psychosexual
attraction to his subject that takes the interview in a disturbing new
What were your
inspirations for writing Hand
I've been getting more and more into genre
films lately, mainly because I've met and have worked with a lot of people
who have done some. And what I've noticed about darker films is that even
though they may not necessarily be more fun to watch, they're definitely
more fun to make. You get to delve deep into your characters' psyches and
find new ways to explore what makes people tick and what are the things
that happen when they do. Ultimately, Hand
Job was rooted in an attempt at
creatively exploring what many of my favorite directors like Hitchcock and
Kubrick were so adept at capturing: the dark side of human nature.
In your movie, the camera stays on
Margaret's hands for the entire time, never shows her (or her
interviewer's) face - was this intended from the get go, and what prompted
The entire film was based on the concept of just
showing a character's hands. Even the story itself came afterwards. The
reason for it is that I'm always much more interested in what's outside
the frame than what's in it. I like engaging my audience by allowing them
to paint their own picture and draw their own conclusions. You don't
really know much about these characters, other than their sins and
perversions - and even those leave much to the imagination. We have no
idea who's interviewing Margaret - he could be a cop, a journalist, a
psychiatrist, a lawyer or something else entirely, and it creates an
unsettling feeling made even more unsettling by the fact that we don't see
anybody's face. I just felt like that was a very unique way of shooting a
Related to the last question, how much of a
challenge was it to have the entire movie carried hands and dialogue?
was challenging in that I had to make sure it was never too stale
visually. When you have a long shot focusing on one single thing, you run
the risk of boring your audience after a while. That's why the writing and
performances were so crucial. I also wanted the sound to play an important
role, which is why I recorded all the dialogue on a tape recorder that I
felt enhanced the aesthetic of the film by giving it a sort of
old-fashioned feel (this interview takes place in the 1970s). However,
being that this is cinema, I did have to come up with creative ideas for
the visual elements as well. The main idea there was to shoot the film on
two different cameras, a DVX for the interview to give it a cheap,
degraded look to match the seediness of the interview, and a Canon 5d for
the sex scene to give it a nice clean look that counters the scene's
disturbing nature. My DP was wonderfully effective in helping me create a
total contrast between the two parts of the film so that what seems like a
very minimal movie actually has a lot of detail to ponder over. For
example, the interview scene is filmed with a shaky, handheld camera while
the sex scene has an extremely smooth, deliberate, even sexy camera
movement. The former consists of very grainy, desaturated footage almost
like a surveillance tape, while the latter is shot in luscious black &
white like a noir film. And it's all done in accordance with the story and
the dynamic that these two characters go on to develop throughout.
can you tell us about your cast - and how did you go about finding the
right people for the special requirements of your movie?
DP Neal Todnem, Ziyad
had worked with my actors, Astrid Ovalles and Christian Thom, on a another
short film a while back and I loved their performances. Even more so, I
felt like they had very distinct voices that suited their respective roles
perfectly, which was very important given that their voices would end up
being the main tool (besides their hands, of course) to keep the story
moving forward while keeping the audience entertained. What's more is that
I needed to take into consideration the element of chemistry. For a story
like this, if the actors don't click, then none of it will work. And
luckily, Astrid and Christian had the perfect chemistry to keep the story
exciting and ultimately propel their characters' twisted dynamic into
talk about the shoot as such for a bit, and the on-set atmosphere!
wouldn't guess from watching the film, but the on-set atmosphere was
actually quite relaxed and easygoing. I made the movie in my apartment
with only two actors and two crew members (my DP and my gaffer), and the
whole thing took about five hours. Even the sex scene was pretty easy to
shoot! Fortunately, we all knew how to have fun and keep things light,
even while filming such a dark story.
you can tell us about critical and audience reception yet - and when and
where will the movie be released onto the general public?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
just finished the movie pretty recently and I'm hoping for some festival
screenings soon. Will keep you posted!
future projects you'd like to share?
Currently trying to
write up another sort of experimental film, only this time more comedic.
website, Facebook, whatever else?
can check out the feature film I produced here (also a dark genre film):
my personal Facebook page:
Anything else you are
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
that about covers it.
for the interview!