Category: Interviews

Happy Death Day Poster

Jason Blum has been the man behind some of the most influential horror franchises of the modern era – films like The Purge, Sinister, Paranormal Activity and Insidious just to name a few. Dave G caught up with Jason to take a look back through his career and to chat about his brand new film Happy Death Day.

You can listen to or download our Jason Blum interview right here.

 

The Hitman's Bodyguard

Few trailers have had people talking as much this year as the trailer for The Hitman’s Bodyguard – let’s face it if you’re an action junkie then this is going to be one of the best films of the year. The film sees Ryan Reynolds team up with action star Samuel L. Jackson.

Directed by Australian director Patrick Hughes, who showed enough with his debut film Red Hill to find himself in charge of The Expendables 3, The Hitman’s Bodyguard sees the legend himself Samuel L. Jackson play a character that needs to be protected by Reynolds, an actor who has shown in recent years that he is no slouch when it comes to action either – think Deadpool and Safe House for some of his best action work.

“I play a guy called Michael Bryce who suffers from extraordinary hubris,” says Reynolds with a huge grin on his face. “He is an executive protection agent, he is a self-proclaimed Triple A rated executive protection agent. Early on in the movie he loses a client and that sends him down a kind of shame spiral – his life then sort of unravels and this superficial existence that he had is all kind of lost. When we find him at the beginning of the film he is still actually believing that he is a much lower-rent protection agent, but he is still the best in the business he’s just taken a little bit of a fall from grace. He is then asked by a former flame of his, somebody that he used to be really in love with or perhaps still is, named Amelia from Interpol for help, she needs his services immediately. She’s not really asking him for his services she is telling him. So he complies, shows up and finds that his charge is a hitman who he has had a number of encounters with in the past so in a nut-shell my job is to protect a man who has spent the better part of a decade trying to kill me. These guys couldn’t be more polarised when we meet them but as we move through the film they both seem to get a begrudged love and respect for each other, and it is a love story. To me that is the story of the film – it is a love story wrapped in this whole crazy, zany action set-piece.”

Reynolds says when he first read the script he knew exactly who he wanted to have starring alongside him in the film. “Early on when I read the script the first thing I said to my agents was can we get Sam Jackson because I’d done an animated film with him years ago called Turbo and they paired us together for the junkets and we had great chemistry and I remember making a mental book note at the moment and thinking ‘oh if I ever find a kind of two-hander movie this would be a good guy to do it with and it proves in my opinion that we were right. We have a good thing going – and I think that is nice.”

Early critics screening of The Hitman’s Bodyguard has seen critics talking about the fact that this isn’t just your average action film and that is something that Reynolds agrees completely with “There is a certain heightened tone to this film and I think the audience are going to be excited to see that we embrace that tone in a wonderful way,” he explains. “You can have these amazing action sequences but they aren’t really ladened down with these depressing emotional spirals they are all kind of uplifting and fun, and you know every set-piece is very unique, it has its own beginning, middle and end and I think audiences are going to find it is one of those movies that just zips past so much that when you get to the end you’re like ‘what… I want thirty minutes more. I want to see these guys together more.’ At the end though we take them on a real adventure.”

Teaming up with Reynolds and Jackson in the film is Salma Hayek who moves away from some of the comedies that she has been doing recently – Sausage Party, Grown-Ups etc – and one again returns to the action genre. Here she plays Sonia – the wife of Samuel L. Jackson’s hit-man character, Darius.

“Sonia is a fantastic character,” says Hayek when she is asked to explain her character. “She is a married woman but her marriage is a little bit unusual because she is married to a hitman and she is not an outlaw but she is really, really tough. If anybody can handle by husband who is insane and very, very dangerous it is definitely Sonia. Everything that happens happens because Darius is in love with me, and he is so in love with me that everything he does is to prove his love for her. So it is really a love story and they have this amazing, wonderful, passionate, crazy relationship and even in the few moments where you get to see it it’s insane and romantic and full of fire in every way. You definitely get a glimpse of the fact that this woman is his match.”

For Hayek she says one of the highlights of working on The Hitman’s Bodyguard was certainly getting to work with Samuel L. Jackson. “I love Sam,” she says laughing. “I had been a fan for many, many years. He’s a legend and I was so excited that I got a chance to work with him and it ended up being so easy and it’s been fabulous to be his wife – his crazy, crazy wife – and she is very unpredictable and in a way very volatile, but he is still very solid, he is still a very stable character but with her you never know what she is going to say – you never know what is going to come out of her mouth. I think that is what makes her special. One very special trait of my character is that she has the dirtiest mouth of any character that I have ever played, and I have played characters with dirty mouths before. I say so many dirty things, bad words and I repeat them one after another and I have to say I love her. She is cuckoo but I love her.”

 

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is screening now.

Monster Fest Perth2

 

Monster Pictures’ Grant Hardie chatted to Heavy Radio’s Dave Griffiths about what the people of Perth can expect this weekend at Monster Fest Perth 2017.

Perth genre fans will get a taste of Monster Pictures’ annual Melbourne-based genre film festival Monster Fest this July thanks to the continued partnership with Event Cinemas to present MONSTER FEST TRAVELLING SIDESHOW at Event Cinemas Innaloo on September 15-17th, 2017.

MONSTER FEST TRAVELLING SIDESHOW is a mix of horror-centric highlights around the globe and will feature some select Australian and Adelaide premieres!

Opening our festival is the Perth premiere of Tyler MacIntyre’s brutally hilarious slasher TRAGEDY GIRLS, followed by the Australian Premiere of surreal sci-retro-tech horror SEQUENCE BREAK and the claustrophobic Spanish suspense-driven thriller THE GLASS COFFIN will also have its Australian Premiere. Following their acclaimed Lovecraftian feature SPRING, writer/directors Aaron Moorhead & Justin Benson’s THE ENDLESS will have its Perth Premiere, making its Australian Premiere is Colin Minihan’s zombie apocalypse game-changer IT STAINS THE SAND RED while Italian horror maestro Dario Argento’s 1977 masterpiece SUSPIRIA will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a presentation of the all-new stunning 4K restoration.

Another 4K restoration making its Perth debut is David Lynch’s TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME, a window into the last seven days in the life of Laura Palmer. Australian mockumentary and recent Fantastic Fest official selection, TOP KNOT DETECTIVE will have a hometown screening along with a filmmaker Q&A. In association with Umbrella Films, we are proud to present tribute screenings to George A. Romero with the undisputed 1985 classic DAY OF THE DEAD and Tobe Hooper with THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. 

TICKETING:
Single Session Tickets
Adult $21
Concession $17.50

5 Film Multi-Pass
Adult $82.50
Concession $71.50

10 Film VIP Pass
Adult $132
Concession $110

Make sure you grab your tickets from www.monsterfest.com.au

Phoenix Forgotten Poster

 

Some actors, for one reason or another, are forced to direct films outside of their personal interests or preferred genre. Have you been lucky enough to only work within the genre, and your preferred type of film?

I wouldn’t say I have a preferred genre in terms of film.  I love drama, because you have a lot of emotional rope to play with.  I love comedy because it’s so much fun -  I trained at UCB and the Groundlings and I like playing and improvising and making people laugh.  And the last few features I’ve done, Like Phoenix Forgotten, have happened to be horror films, or at least had a horror element to them.  It just worked out that way – and I also happen to be a horror fan, both as a viewer and as an actor.  I love movies like Peter Jackson’s early film Dead Alive.  Shaun of The Dead is another favorite, and  I loved this year’s Get Out and Ingrid Goes West (which I would totally describe as a horror movie though I realise that’s contentious!).  In horror movies the stakes are heightened – and that’s a really fun world for an actor to work in.  And I think the best horror movies have moments of both comedy and drama – so you get the best of both worlds.

 

How soon before filming did you get involved?

I had worked with Justin Barber (our director) and T.S. Nowlin, our writer, on some other projects prior to this one, so I was lucky enough to be involved with this movie right from the initial test shoot.  I didn’t know if the project was going to get to be made into a feature, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to even audition for the role I ended up playing, there are always so many variables in the process of making a film.  Obviously in the end I did get to audition and it worked out for me! I’m very grateful I got to be a part of the film from beginning to end, that was a really special part of this experience for me.

 

How long has it been since it was completed? Was it an anxious wait for the release?

Going into this project the goal was for it to feel like you’re watching a documentary my character, Sophie, has made about her brother’s disappearance.  So we had a great script that our director Justin Barber co-wrote with our writer, TS Nowlin (who also wrote The Maze Runner Trilogy).  But going into pretty much every scene we also improvised a version of it – so it felt like real moments from real people.  This meant that the film changed a lot as we made it – because obviously in improvising you’re not planning what you’re saying, and you’re finding new stuff on the day.  In a documentary you never know exactly what you’re going to get – you shoot all your stuff and you sift through and it all comes together in the edit.  However, with a real documentary you just have to use whatever you end up with after you film – if you are making a narrative feature you get to go back and shoot anything you feel like your story is missing later on!  So we had a couple of re-shoots right up until right before the release date – I think it was a month or so.  I had already seen a couple of cuts of the film so I wasn’t anxious – just excited to see it come out.

 

Did it turn out as you envisioned it would?

Because in a way we were approaching this film as you would a documentary, that set a really high bar for our acting.  Approaching this role I felt really committed to being grounded and subtle and making sure Sophie felt three dimensional and believable.  One of the things I think is so cool about this film is that we weave fact and fiction together – there are actual real people in the film who we interview about some of their real experiences.  So personally my goal was to live up to the example set by the wonderful moments we got out of our real interview subjects.  I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a great cast and I think everyone did an amazing job – so yes, in that sense I think what came out of that is a movie that feels like the real doc my character would have made, and that’s what I had hoped for and envisioned going in.

 

Were any scenes of yours lost in the editing room? Any moments you remember filming?

My character initially had a love interest, who was the brother of one of the other kids who goes missing.  Dan still made it into the movie but he and Sophie didn’t end up getting their walk off into the sunset together -  which was the ending of an earlier edit!  Sorry Sophie!

 

How much say did you have in how the film was marketed?

I can take zero credit for that – that was not my department.

 

Do you get to approve stills that you feature in?

I think so?  That wasn’t a huge issue for me on this one.

 

Have you been lucky enough to work with a filmmaker that involves you in the entire process – right up until release?

Well this project was an especially collaborative one.  Not only with all the research and preparation we all did separately and together, and the collaboration and improv on set, but usually you don’t get to see initial edits and stuff on a project like this.  With this film I got to see several cuts before the final version, which I actually love.  Some actors don’t like watching themselves but I kind of feel like it’s like an athlete watching tape of themselves swimming or playing football or whatever – I like watching it with an analytical eye and seeing what went right and where I can do better.  I’m a weirdo like that!  I will say though, I also like seeing the film by myself first, before I watch my giant feature film sized face in a theater in front of everyone I know.  Just so if something didn’t come out how I wanted I can work through it in my alone time and then watch it in public without feeling traumatized.

 

VOD or theater. Where, if you had your choice, would you prefer your movies – not just this latest one, but all of them – be seen?

I love the accessibility of VOD, and I think in terms of movie watching, it means I’m more open to watching something I maybe wouldn’t necessarily risk trying out in the theater.   But you can’t beat going to the movies.  To me there’s nothing like sitting in the dark with your buddies, with your popcorn, all experiencing the same thing.  I think VOD encourages a solo viewing experience, and I think going to the movies makes it a group experience, so that’s the difference for me.  I think there will always be a place for movie theaters, for just that reason.

 

Where do you think the future is headed as far as film distribution is concerned?

It’s no secret less people are going to the movies, so it looks like it’s headed in a digital direction.  I can see moviegoing becoming more of an event-movie only thing – we only go see the big budget marquee movies in the theaters and we save the little indies, and the smaller comedies, and the more subtle dramas for watching at home.  But that does make me sad.  I think seeing films on that big screen with great sound – no matter the movie, that’s the environment the filmmaker was hoping you’d see it in – you’re seeing it at its best.

 

Do all these extra channels and platforms open doors for actors? More work?

Well it seems like VOD has ushered in this amazing time for television we’re experiencing now.  I think shows that might previously have a more niche audience or might not have rated well on Network Television – the audience for that stuff now has easier access to it.  So yeah there are new outlets, which means new shows, and I also think shows have the potential to stick around longer, which is all good for actors.  And my theory is that it’s good for filmmakers too – there’s far less cost associated with digital distribution than there is with a theatrical release.  So this is by no means based on expert knowledge perhaps it becomes easier for a “riskier” film to get made – you can make it for less money and there’s also less pressure for it to succeed at the physical box office.

 

If your movie was an answer to a question in a trivia contest what would you like the question to be?

What was that great found-footage alien movie that famous actress Florence Hartigan was in? ;)

House On Rodeo Gulch Poster

Having lived all over the world as a Navy brat, William Scherer grew up mostly in the Washington DC area and went to college at the Virginia Military Institute. Upon graduation he received an Officer’s commission in the Army where he spent three years with the 82d Airborne Division as an Airborne/Ranger. Having done theater in high school, his nights were spent at the Fort Bragg playhouse where he had many leads.

Upon leaving the Army, Bill travelled to Hollywood where he got involved in TV and Movie industry. He has acted in movies and theatre with Academy Award winner George C. Scott, Dorothy Lamour, Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, Carol Burnett, Helen Hunt among others but it was behind the camera that most fascinated him the most. There he was able to learn his photographic craft from some of Hollywood’s most celebrated directors and cinematographers like Academy Award winner, Robert Wise. The first script he wrote, a TV comedy pilot, got him signed with one of the top agencies in Los Angeles and was bought by Universal Studios which got him into the WGAW. He is also a member of SAG and AEA.

Bill eventually relocated north to Central California where he raised a family, and became involved in numerous business and media projects. Having learned to fly in the Army, he acquired an airplane and quickly became one of the leading Fine Art Aerial photographers in the country (See: www.WilliamSchererPhotography.com). As Bill explains. “There’s something fulfilling about shooting Fine Art Photography while flying 100 mph, 300 feet off the ground.” Along the way in his spare time, he set three World Land Speed records on his Kawasaki ZX-14 motorcycle at the famous Bonneville Salt Flats where he went 200 mph.

A movie maker at heart, Bill continued writing and developing story-lines for full length features. After completing the script House on Rodeo Gulch, a psychological thriller, loosely based on personal experience involving a rental tenant-from-hell experience, Bill decided it was time to produce and direct. His vision was to create a compelling independent movie with the production values of multi-million dollar Hollywood production.

The film, inspired by some “tenants from hell” that he knew, is now available on Vimeo and next week hits Hulu and iTunes.

 

 

Some filmmakers, for one reason or another, are forced to direct films outside of their personal interests or preferred genre. Have you been lucky enough to only work within the genre, and your preferred type of film?

I don’t think a Director is ever “forced” to work outside his or her interests in these modern times. In the old days, Hollywood studios had actors and directors under contract and could tell them what to do. Today, an independent Director would be glad to land a picture whether it’s in their genre or not. If the subject of the movie bothers them then they aren’t true Directors. Like an actor, Directors should always seek other genres to challenge their minds and help improve their craft.

 

How long did it take to put together the film – in terms of scripting, financing and casting – before shooting it?

It took approximately two years to write “House on Rodeo Gulch” and casting about three months. I live in a small surfing town called Santa Cruz where there aren’t many actors in the area much less actors that have film experience. Eventually I had to open it up to actors in LA and San Francisco area. The hardest part to cast was the young teenage girl, Shani. I needed a pretty girl that looked 16 but had to be over 18 so she could drive. She also had to have a fiery temper and be a great actor with a lot of acting experience as she was one of the leads. She also couldn’t be afraid of shooting a gun as she was the “Texas State Junior Pistol Champion” in the script. I searched all the local high schools but could find no one close. Expanding my search, I took to the casting websites but found it hard to ask someone to drive two hours for a 15 minute interview. About to give up, I received a phone call from a young fifteen year old girl, Megan Jay Simrell, from Palo Alto which is roughly two hours away. She sent me two bad pictures over the internet and we set up a meeting. Her parents brought her to my house and she read for me. The reading was somewhat rough but I knew I had the girl I was looking for. She had no acting experience except for being an extra in two small films but I knew Megan was a diamond in the rough. She reminded me of a young Jennifer Lawrence with her power, timing and humor. I hired her immediately and now, after having worked together, expect Megan to become a major film star. With the release of “House on Rodeo Gulch” now out, I expect her to get noticed very soon.

 

How long has it been since it was completed?

We had a small premiere here in Santa Cruz on July 22 so it’s only been out about a month.

 

Is the film indicative of your original vision for it?

The film is what I envisioned when I wrote it and am very proud of it. Of course our budget was limited so I had to cut some corners but I think a true filmmaker should be able to do a good job with what he or her  has. The same goes with editing. Find a way to edit what you have and don’t rely on reshooting scenes months later.

 

Did you have to trim much from it in the editing room?

“House on Rodeo Gulch” first cut came out at around 125 minutes. I had a difficult time getting it down to under 100 minutes because I had to cut some of the scenes I was most proud of. They were scary and the visual effects were terrific but in the end I had to ask myself “does the scene really advance the story” and most of the time the answer was no.

 

How much say did you have in how the film was marketed?

Since I am the producer I call all the shots. I read a lot about other filmmakers, how they handled their movies and learned from it. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. I’ve found that most artists have a hard time promoting their work but having been in sales a number of years I don’t find it that difficult and sometimes even exciting.

 

Do you get to approve poster artwork?

Yes I do. I’ve created two posters for “House on Rodeo Gulch”. The first one was fine but when I went to the American Film Market last September to find a Sales Agent, I spoke with a number of distributors who told me they didn’t like it and told me why which made a lot of sense. My poster was immediately changed and now I’m very happy with it.

 

Have you been lucky enough to work with a distributor that involves you in the entire process – right up until release?

I don’t have a distributor at the time but do have a sales agent who handles it internationally. I’m marketing the film on VOD which is what I initially wanted to do. It’s currently on Vimeo on Demand and will come out next week on I-tunes and Hulu. To find out more about the movie, one can go to our website at www.HouseonRodeoGulch.com

 

 

Who did you originally intend the film for and have you discovered another segment or demographic that – maybe even to your surprise – enjoys the film just as much?

I wrote the script because I like tough women and movies that make you think. I also know that when you spend so much time writing and rewriting a script it has to be story that excites you yourself. I’m a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock and wanted to incorporate some of his story elements. Also knowing that major ticket buyers are 16-24 year old males also helped in the preparation. “House on Rodeo Gulch” was created as a commercial movie and not necessarily one for film festivals.

 

Hollywood movies don’t put enough women in the leading roles and I think they should. I like tough woman that are put in challenging situations to see how they overcome adversity. Since the movie has been released I’ve been blessed with great reviews and many women and even senior citizens have told me how much they liked it. I’m excited that I’m appealing to all age groups.

 

 

VOD or theater. Where, if you had your choice, would you prefer your movies – not just this latest one, but all of them – be seen?

Obviously every filmmaker wants to see his movie on the big silver screen but with changing times and better living room TV setups, that is not the future. If you’re an independent filmmaker and do get distribution, it is likely you may not see any money down the road unless they give you a lump sum up front like at the winners of Sundance. By going VOD, you see the actual number of sales and get the true numbers on what your film is making. It will also be watched by thousands of more people than if it had been played in movie theaters.

 

Where do you think the future is headed as far as film distribution is concerned?

The Studios are hurting with VOD and they are the first to admit it. People don’t want to pay $80 for a family of four to see a movie when they can watch the same film in their living room, have real butter on their popcorn, not sit through commercials nor next to people with open cell phones and all for $4.99? It’s a no brainer.

The Studios know they can make the big budget projects with a lot of CGI and that’s the direction they’re heading. They also know in most movies that “sound is half the movie” so they’re putting elaborate sound systems inside theaters. Fortunately today’s living rooms are also getting better with systems such as 7.1 surround sound.

 

 

Do all these extra channels and platforms open doors for indie filmmakers?

I think they’re great for indie filmmakers and I’d like to see more of them.

 

If your movie was an answer to a question in a trivia contest what would you like the question to be?

What big low budget hit was Megan Jay Simrell’s first movie?

Anti Matter Poster

 

Keir Burrows’ Anti Matter – available in most territories now, with a US release due in September – talks about the film’s beginnings, the ‘interesting’ approach to marketing the movie in different countries, and where he thinks the future of film distribution is headed.

 

Some filmmakers, for one reason or another, are forced to direct films outside of their personal interests or preferred genre. Have you been lucky enough to only work within the genre, and your preferred type of film?

Well, so far anyway, everything we’ve done – six shorts and one feature – we’ve gotten going on our own steam, y’know? I write and direct, my wife produces, so I’m telling exactly the stories I want to tell. It’s not a genre thing I don’t think. Anti Matter is hard sci-fi but none of the shorts were. My next two feature films, neither are sci-fi (one is horror, one’s a drama). So yeah, best-case scenario is I keep making my own films, my own stories. If the opportunity came along to work on something else, a franchise or a pre-existing material, I’d look at it carefully and see how or what I would be able to bring my own stories on.

 

 

How long did it take to put together the film – in terms of scripting, financing and casting – before shooting it?

Anti Matter started out as a short film script called Worm that I wrote around 2011. I never shot it as a short, I had other things that were better or easier to do at the time, I can’t remember now. A year later I turned it into a feature. Then spent a couple years developing the script, looking for finance. Once we decided, early 2014 I think, that we were going to up and do it with our own resources, it was then like an 8 month process, prepping everything, before we started. Remember, we were fitting this in around day jobs, a new child, it was very much a part time thing then. We began filming end of 2014. Taking advice from Chris Nolan, on the way he made his first film, Following, we broke the shoot up into a dozen small chunks – so we shot over almost a year, doing a day here, a weekend there. We did one big block, 13 days, for all the lab stuff.

 

 

How long has it been since it was completed?

Interesting question, I haven’t had that one yet. So… very last piece of footage was captured in August 2015. We had a very rough edit done by October. But then to get to the final edit, grade, VFX, sound mix… That final film was ready, maybe July 2016. We got our distribution deals in place by September 2016. It came out in the UK in July 2017, and in the US September 2017. Long process!

 

Is the film indicative of your original vision for it?

Also a good question. Nice one. It definitely exceed my expectations. I mean that as modestly as I can – we set out boldly, ambitiously, but also realistically. Imagining we would stumble through, it was as much about just making something as it was about what the final thing would be. When we actually had that first cut, and it wasn’t just coherent but, at least we thought so anyway, kind of good, I was over the moon. It had no right to be good, we had no money, no help, it should have sucked. So it’s better than I expected. Beyond that, yes, it’s close to how I imagined it. Probably weirder, more colourful, more graphic novel – than I set it out to be, I thought I’d be making something dry as a circuit board, like Primer. It’s a more strange thing than I expected.

 

Did you have to trim much from it in the editing room?

Yes indeed. Loads. First full cut of the film was 2h13m, final cut is half an hour shorter, 1h45m. That’s quite a lot – and it was only a few small scenes that went, so most of the trimming was taking out superfluous dialogue across the board.

 

 

How much say did you have in how the film was marketed?

None at all! No, the distributors make all the decisions on that, on a project at this level. It’s been interesting. Mostly we’ve been very happy, they have taken our concerns on board. The trailers have been great. But you know, in the UK the main art, posters and DVD etc, it has our actress Yaiza made out to be a robot, when there are no robots in the film at all. And in the US, they had her making skyscrapers explode, which also… isn’t a thing in the film. So it’s been a learning curve. But I’m easy. Fun to watch what people do with it.

 

Do you get to approve poster artwork?

As above! Ha, no.

 

Have you been lucky enough to work with a distributor that involves you in the entire process – right up until release?

Uncork’d in the US have been great, definitely. I mean we’re first-time filmmakers, we didn’t know what to expect, hardly know our arse from elbow. They’ve been great, honest and open and explained the process, answered all our dumb questions. It’s been good. Again, a fantastic learning process.

 

Who did you originally intend the film for and have you discovered another segment or demographic that – maybe even to your surprise – enjoys the film just as much?

I’ll have to get back to on this – film isn’t out yet in the US so we’re only beginning to get feedback, find out who is watching it.

 

VOD or theater. Where, if you had your choice, would you prefer your movies – not just this latest one, but all of them – be seen?

Ha, I can’t imagine there’s a single filmmaker who won’t answer theater to this question. It’s what you want. The big screen experience. If you’re making something for VOD only, it’s not cinema any more, it’s TV, TV movies. If that sounds snobby, it’s not meant as that, getting an audience is better than nothing, by a long shot. But I’m sure we all got in to this work because we love sitting in that big dark room watching cowboys, or monsters, or people fall in love, on a 40 foot screen. That’s where you want to be.

 

Where do you think the future is headed as far as film distribution is concerned?

We’re obsessed with change at the moment, with ‘disruption’ – it’s such an ingrained part of our business culture now that we expect it, we can’t imagine it not happening. But I just don’t see huge change ahead. Movies will still open in cinemas. DVDs will ever more be replaced by VOD but it’s ultimately a similar thing, just a different delivery system. I guess with VOD it’s good as cost to entry is far lower, and your reach is immediately massive, global. The downside being you’re competing against so many others. But if you love film, you’ll celebrate that, good stuff should rise to the top. But my thoughts are, ten, twenty years, it’s all going to be much the same as it is now. There isn’t a revolution on the horizon.

 

Do all these extra channels and platforms open doors for indie filmmakers?

Yes of course – as explained above.

 

If your movie was an answer to a question in a trivia contest what would you like the question to be?

Is there more to us than just matter?

Death Waits For No Man Poster

 

The Postman Always Rings Twice meets Drive in writer-director Armin Siljkovic’s neon-doused indie noir-thriller Death Waits for No Man.

Expected to release late 2017/early 2018, it’s the unnerving and complex chronicle of a neon art collector that seduces a lone drifter into killing her abusive husband.

Black SailsAngelique Pretorius headlines a cast that includes Bradley Snedeker, Corey Rieger and Travis Myers.

 

Some filmmakers, for one reason or another, are forced to direct films outside of their personal interests or preferred genre. Have you been lucky enough to only work within the genre, and your preferred type of film?

For this film, yeah, I guess you can say I was lucky. I wrote and directed and edited the film, so it’s definitely a film that I wanted to make and a story that I wanted to tell.

 

How long did it take to put together the film – in terms of scripting, financing and casting – before shooting it?

It took about a year to write and rewrite the script, then we spent probably another year finding the funding for the film. During that time, I started on some of the pre-production, like storyboards, the cast, etc.

 

How long has it been since it was completed?

It’s only been about six months since Death Waits For No Man was completed, so it’s still very fresh in my mind.

 

Is the film indicative of your original vision for it?

It is. No film is exactly how you pictured it in your head when writing it, but I’m happy with the way the film came out.

 

Did you have to trim much from it in the editing room?

Yeah, sometimes certain things have to be trimmed for pacing reasons, other things you trim because it didn’t work as well as it did on the page. This is quite common in films — you never really know 100% how things cut together until you’re in the editing room.

 

How much say did you have in how the film was marketed?

We just started the marketing process with a great team who are working hard to get the word out, and it’s interesting to be a part of and participate in this side of the film.

 

Do you get to approve poster artwork?

I did, I think we got a great poster artwork that captures the look and feel of the film.

 

Have you been lucky enough to work with a distributor that involves you in the entire process – right up until release?

We’re just started looking for a distributor through our sales agent, so I’ll have more on that in the future.

 

Who did you originally intend the film for and have you discovered another segment or demographic that – maybe even to your surprise – enjoys the film just as much?

I originally assumed that the core audience would be people who are into thrillers and film noir. But judging from the screenings we’ve had so far, I think the film reaches a wider audience whom I didn’t expect would enjoy a film like this.

 

VOD or theater. Where, if you had your choice, would you prefer your movies – not just this latest one, but all of them – be seen?

I think every filmmaker wants their film to be shown on the big screen in front of an audience. Sometimes that’s not possible, but the good news is that with platforms like Netflix, a small indie film can reach a far greater audience than ever before.

 

Where do you think the future is headed as far as film distribution is concerned?

I think it’ll continue in the direction it’s headed now: more films will premiere on streaming services like Netflix, but I think people will still go to the theater to watch movies on the big screen. That’s just something you can’t get at home, no matter how great your home theater is.

 

Do all these extra channels and platforms open doors for indie filmmakers?

I think they do. I think ultimately, it’s good for indie filmmakers: they have more platforms than every before and can reach a bigger audience than ever before.