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An Interview with Chris Esper, Director of Steak Knives

by Mike Haberfelner

November 2014

Films directed by Chris Esper on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Steak Knives - in a few days, what is it about?

 

Steak Knives is a short dark comedy about a birthday present gone wrong as a husband gives his wife steak knives, which she is not happy about. So, she takes out her anger and frustration on him, threatening to kill him. 

 

How did you get hooked up with the project in the first place?

 

Through our leading actress and producer, Audrey Noone [Audrey Noone interview - click here]. The writer, John K. Fiore, had sent me the script first and I fell in love with it and was considering doing it. When Audrey contacted me, though, she had said that John also showed her the script and she loved it also and John had mentioned me to direct. Audrey and I had known each for a while by that point so it was easy for me to say yes.

 

What can you tell us about your directorial approach to your subject at hand?

 

Honestly, my approach was really simple. I just wanted to showcase what was in the script because it was already strong as it was and really my approach was to make sure the performances communicated what was written. Usually, I love to do a lot of the stuff with the camera, but here I kept it as simple as possible with minimal camera movement and just have the editing and acting dictate the comedy. I think, subconsciously, I had Jaws on my mind because Audrey's character, to me, is a lot like the shark. You don't know what she's going to do next. I also tried to communicate that feeling with the music by having it fade in and out at several points. I also thought of Hitchcock quite a bit.

 

What can you tell us about Steak Knives' writer John K. Fiore, and what was your collaboration like?

 

John is a great guy. He is well versed in his writing and has a great sense of humor. I've known of John and met him once when I first got my start in film, but it wasn't until late last year that I worked with him. I was a cinematographer for a short film that he had written called Crossing Paths, which Paul Medico directed. It was a great experience and John and I got to know each other well and he sent me a few scripts to possibly collaborate further, including Steak Knives. He was very open to both my ideas and Audrey's and just simply handed the script over to us. No questions asked. Then, when we would have edits to show him, he would watch it and give us some input. Thereby, still keeping his vision on screen.

 

A few words about your leads Audrey Noone [Audrey Noone interview - click here] and David Afflick, and why exactly these two?

 

Audrey is wonderful. She is someone I had known for a few months by the time we did the movie together. She would always ask me about certain technical aspects such as different types of cameras and audio equipment and she would show me some of her scripts or short films she had made and I thought she had a wonderful sense of humor and a lot of talent. When she asked me if I would direct and she would produce and act, of course I said yes. I thought she was perfect of the part. She has a ton of comedic energy that was great for the part.

 

David is fantastic. I had heard of him prior to filming and met him in person for the first time when we were rehearsing for a web series, In the Bedroom. We originally had another actor playing the part, but he was unable to commit. So, we read for David during the rehearsals for the webshow and he had this great presence that Audrey and I really liked. So, we cast him. He was a great foil to Audrey's on screen antics. 

 

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

 

We shot the film in a day at friend's house. He also happens to be a filmmaker, so he understood what we needed and gave us free rein of his place. The atmosphere was fun. We just had a ton of laughs when making it.

 

What can you tell us about audience and critical reception of Steak Knives so far - and of course, where can it be seen?

 

Thus far, the film has been really well received both by audiences and critics. It's being recognized for it's over the top cartoony feeling, which I did not even think about when shooting it. Though, I'm glad it's being seen for it's comedy and sense of fun. It was recently accepted into the #TOFF: The Online Film Festival, which will be taking place in December. It can be seen on both YouTube and Vimeo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzKXpJ6dzro

 

As far as I know, another project of yours, Please Punish Me [Please Punish Me interview - click here] is nearing completion - so you just have to update us about that one?

 

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Yes, Please Punish Me is one of my bigger short films since Still Life. This is a film I directed earlier this year and we now finished with the coloring grading process and now moving onto the sound mix. I'm really happy with it. We have great comedy as well as a great heart to the story with a lot to say. For those that don't know, it is a story about a businessman whose life is too good. Everyone around him receives the negative side of his positive gain. So, he seeks to be punished for his "curse".

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

Sure. I have quite a few things in the works. I just recently released a web show I directed last fall called A Guy Going Crazy with Rich Camp, who had written Please Punish Me. That too is finding some great success including be accepted also into The Online Film Festival along with Steak Knives and two other projects of mine (Always a Reason and Puppatics). For the future, Rich and I have been developing several web shows and short films. I'm also recently getting back into writing and hoping to make my first feature film within the next year or so. 

 

Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

My work can be seen primarily at my website: www.chrisesper.com. I also have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chris-Esper-Director/316989045002591 and I'm also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Chris_Esper

 

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

 

I appreciate you reaching out to me again for a second interview and thank you for all you do!

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

Thank you!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

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

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

Jetzt kaufen bei
Lulu.com