Your new movie Solus
- in a few words, what is it about?
A reclusive woman finds herself trapped in her house and surrounded by
ghosts that are always just out of her eyesight. In order to get out
of the house she'll have to face what the ghosts throw at her.
What were your
sources of inspiration when writing Solus,
and to what extent can you identify with your lead character's
main inspiration was that I had a desire to create a movie that wasn't as
literal as my previous 2 movies had been. I wanted to make something
that was abstract and acted more as a puzzle in that you have to actively
watch it, pay attention to every detail and then decipher what's going on.
This is as opposed to having everything explained blatantly and up front.
far as the agoraphobia, I don't personally feel that I've suffered greatly
from agoraphobic feelings, however at the time I wrote the screenplay I
was feeling very isolated and that I hadn't done much particularly with my
life up to that point. It wasn't a conscious thing to incorporate
that into the movie but I think it sort of ended up in there anyway.
is pretty much all set in one apartment with only one actress in a
sizeable role - so how limiting but maybe also liberating was that for you
as a filmmaker?
I guess I never really thought of it as
particularly limiting or liberating. Obviously it's a horror movie
about isolation (hence the name of the movie) so it just made sense that
the movie would revolve around a single character. It was liberating
in the sense that it was pretty easy to film as it had a very small
cast and was all in one location.
Do talk about your movie's approach to
horror for a bit!
I was going for a "nightmare"
style. I wanted the movie to feel like you were watching someone's
nightmare or having a nightmare yourself. I didn't want the movie to
work on standard logic but at the same time I didn't want to explain what
logic it worked on. As previously stated, I also wanted the movie to
be constructed as a puzzle as well where you have to piece things together
from the clues being given to you.
What can you tell us about your
directorial approach to your story at hand?
Directing was a
bit difficult as obviously things are very non-literal and abstract so it
can be hard to explain to the actors what you want. Mostly I just
had to explain what was going to happen in very specific detail for each
shot and we didn't get to hung up on the normal "this is why this is
happening" type of conversations. The movie was based a lot on
feeling rather than direct logic.
about your lead Donna Moschek, and what made her perfect for the role?
is incredibly diverse in her capabilities and can wildly change how she
acts depending on the role. We've made 4 movies together now and in
each one she plays a completely different character, including characters
with different accents and speech styles. For a movie like this she
was really the only person I ever thought of for the role as I know she
can do so much. She's also not scared of weird stuff and is good at
going along with it.
few words about the rest of your cast?
They were also great
to work with and were very excited about doing a weird non-literal movie
like this. Everyone had ideas to contribute that were just as weird
as what was already in the script. We were all feeling the
same vibe which made things work very well.
What can you tell
us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
shoots were pretty easy and the on set atmosphere was good. We all
knew we were there to make a weird movie and that's what we did, lol.
One thing that came up with filming was that my daughter was born half way
through shooting the movie so we had to delay certain days of filming for
a few months.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Solus?
reception on Amazon so far has been terrible, lol. I'd say the
consensus is that most people find it confusing and it doesn't make sense
to them. This being stated though the movie has only been out for a
couple weeks so I don't know if I can really discern how the movie will be
received in the long run, but this being stated, I full well knew the
movie probably would be a tough sell to most people as it's very strange
and certainly not as in your face as most horror movies go. Also,
the movie is what a lot of people would classify as an "arthouse
film" and arthouse films obviously frequently get panned.
of that though, the movie actually got very good feedback on the film
festival circuit. It's been in a handful of film fests in the US and
it won Best Horror Movie at the Chain Film Fest in NYC.
It's going to be in the Chicago Blow Up Art House Film Fest in November
future projects you'd like to share?
I just finished another movie called Eddie Glum which I'm now in the
process of submitting to film fests. It'll probably be a year before
I'm able to release it out to the public, but I'm incredibly proud of it.
Outside of that I'm hoping to film another movie next summer (fingers
crossed I can get it together) called Portal Man.
another movie I made called The Arc of Methul is about to come
out on Amazon Prime as well (in time for Halloween!). Maybe I can
get you guys to review it too! lol.
What got you into
filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on
of a long story but the short version is I woke up one day and decided to
start making movies. I have no formal training at all.
I used to make radio plays for a podcast called Sci-Fi Radio Theater and
then I got bored doing that so I started doing photography. A friend
of mine was making a short film and wanted me to be the camera man
(because I owned a camera) and then I got interested and started making my
own films shortly after that. I've been making movies for a bit over
4 years now.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to Solus?
Solus is my 3rd film. Prior to that I made a movie called BLOOD
(suprisingly not a horror movie) which is a dramedy. My 2nd film is
The Arc of Methul (about to come out on Amazon as previously mentioned)
and is a hybrid horror/action movie that was filmed using all still image
photography (it was my attempt to combine the worlds of film, photography
and radio dramas).
would you describe yourself as a director?
lol. I'm still learning a lot, but I mostly just stick to saying
directly what I want as I've learned when you are doing weird abstract
movies you really need to be as specific as possible (surprisingly).
Also as my movies are all ultra low budget I'm normally running around
frantically trying to get everything done lol.
who inspire you?
For Solus, the japanese horror film
Kairo (called Pulse in the US) was a huge
influence and I even have a few call outs to it in the movie.
Outside of that I'm obviously a big of fan of David Lynch and I also love
David Cronenberg and Werner Herzog but I wouldn't say any of them were a
direct influence on Solus
per se. I'm also a big fan of Troma and
Lloyd Kaufman, particularly on his philosophy towards making movies ("make
you're own damn movie!").
Your favourite movies?
Of course this is a
hard list to come up with but here are a few: Lost Highway, Videodrome,
Grizzly Man, The Enigma of Kausper Hauser, Terror Firmer,
2001, Blade Runner, Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Braindead
(Dead/Alive), Lord of the Rings, Dawn
of the Dead, Kairo,
Fury... oye, I could go on.
and of course, films you really deplore?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I'm not a big fan
of found footage movies. I don't like shakey cam.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
best place to follow me is on the Chunkle Freaky-Facebook:
also on Twitter/Instagram but it's my personal account: @dasegad
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
out Solus on Amazon Prime!
for the interview!