Your upcoming movie Call Girl of Cthulhu - in a few words,
what is it going to be about?
Call Girl of Cthulhu is our sleazy gore love letter to weird
fiction author H.P. Lovecraft. Inspired by his stories and the Cthulhu
mythos, our tale follows a virginal artist who falls in love with an
escort who is destined to be the bride of the alien god, Cthulhu.
Obviously, Call Girl of
Cthulhu was inspired at least to some extent by the works of H.P.
Lovecraft - are you following any particular story/stories of his, and
what can you tell us about your fascination with Lovecraft to begin with?
every role in Call Girl of Cthulhu is based on a character from a
We spent months researching and analyzing his stories. The major ideas we
borrowed from were Call of Cthulhu (obviously), but we touch
on many other stories of his (Terror at Red Hook, Music
of Erich Zann etc).
Lovecraft is very interesting in many regards. Culturally, he is the
unsung hero of horror literature. Sure, many fans know who he is (which is
ironic because most of his stories dabble in the idea of human
insignificance in the grand scheme of the universe), but it's an almost
cult-like fame that spreads his influence. I heard the term,
"Lovecraftian" as a young horror fan before I even knew he was
an author. His writing style and strange concepts were unbelievably
influential to an entire generation of horror storytellers (on both the
page and the screen).
Chris LaMartina, Jimmy George
What is fantastic about Lovecraft is the mastery of mood and atmosphere.
Everything swells with a "profound sense of dread". True horror
stems from the idea that horrible things are bound to happen ... they are
eventual, and there is nothing we can do about it. That's scary.
sources of inspiration for Call Girl of Cthulhu?
obviously it's a horror comedy... or hopefully that's obvious with the
title alone. That being said, we grew up on 80s horror comedies (stuff
like Return of the Living Dead,
NIght of the
Creeps etc). and those films (especially stuff like the Stuart
Gordon-Lovecraft adaptations) were definitely important to the genesis of
can you tell us about the actual writing process, and of course about your
co-writer (and co-producer, and frequent collaborator) Jimmy George?
and I have been best friends and writing partners since 2006. We met years
ago through a mutual friend in the punk scene and I can't imagine making a
movie without him.
The writing process goes a little something like this: First, I pitch
Jimmy a title and a logline - he then convinces me that we have to make
it "bigger" - I fight him on it for about ten minutes cuz I'm
cheap - and then, we settle on a general plot/beat structure (using Blake
Snyder's model in his book Save the Cat). We knock out a
treatment together (but usually Jimmy is the voice of reason here). Then,
one of us does a first draft and then the other knocks out the second
draft. We show it to 'script doctors' (professional folks who we pay to
tell us how bad our script is) and friends (professional folks who tells
us how bad our script is for free). Finally, we come together based on
those nights and assemble a final draft we believe in.
far as I know, you are currently still raising funds for Call Girl of
Cthulhu - so what can you tell us about your fundraising efforts?
We're almost at 50%. It's remarkable, but daunting. Our support
system has been amazing and I think we can pull off our proposed budget of
$25k. Fingers crossed. It's been exhausting promoting and sharing the link
every day, but we really believe in the project and we're doing everything
we can to make sure it comes together.
you can tell us about your projected cast yet?
cast yet. We have some ideas based on the folks we usually work with - but no parts have been "officially"
offered. But I will say
this, there are atleast 3-4 roles that were written with some 'regulars'
of ours in mind.
you tell us about Call Girl of Cthulhu's approach to horror (as in
mood vs all-out gore, atmosphere vs shocks, and the like)?
Call Girl of Cthulhu
is the darkest film we've written, but it's still funny despite it's grim
undertones. It's gross, but it still has heart. It's atmospheric, yet it
still has some truly shocking senses. There are plenty of characters that
the audience will love and root for... and there are some elements that
are completely morally incomprehensible. I'm not going to say
"there's something for everyone", because I don't think the
Moral Majority would give us thumbs up - but I believe both Lovecraft
fans and horror movie junkies will dig what we're doing.
Call Girl of Cthulhu will have a comedic edge to it, right? So what
can you tell us about the film's brand of comedy? And in private life, do
you consider yourself a person with a good sense of humour?
definitely a dark comedy with some weird, eccentric characters. There are
some good laughs and some sick ones too. To speak to my personal demeanor,
I do consider myself to have a "good" sense of humour. You have
to have a sense of comedy to enjoy this world sometimes. There's too many
horrible things that exist around us to be serious all the time. Without
smiles and jokes, you'll implode - and on that knowledge, I make sure I
smile too much to counerbalance some of the more depressing elements of
your schedule once your funds are raised? Any idea when you're going to
start shooting, or when the film might come out even (though I realize
this is waaaay to early to ask)?
We plan on shooting in the
spring... and hopefully finishing post production sometime in the fall.
Fingers crossed! That's IF we raise the $25k. There is no way we can make
this flick if we don't hit our Kickstarter goal - http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1972109475/call-girl-of-cthulhu-a-lovecraft-inspired-horror-f
Let's go back to the
beginnings of your career: What got you into filmmaking to begin with, and
did you receive any formal education on the subject?
long as I can remember, I've been telling stories, and when I finally got
my hands on the family camcorder at age 11... I knew I'd found my passion.
It has become an addiction like no other. I ended up going to an arts high
school with a Telemedia program, and then to Towson University in
Baltimore where I raised a BA in Film.
to my information, your first feature film as a director was called Dead
Teenagers. What can you tell us about that one, and lessons
learned from it?
Teenagers was a very cheap ($300, shot on a consumer camcorder)
anthology that I shot from age 18-20. It was a crash course in scheduling,
casting, and distribution. It's rough around the edges, the acting is
weak, and the editing is pretty sloppy... but one of the benefits was the
ability to gauge what needed work for our next project. You've got to walk
before you can run. It was an experiment to see if I could 1) finish a
movie and 2) find professional level distribution. Both of those were
achieved and we were ready to tackle another feature shortly after.
Two of your films, Witch's Brew
and President's Day, have just been released or are about to be
released in the next coming months. A few words about those two?
President's Day is a horror comedy about a high school
student election where a maniac dressed as Abe Lincoln murders candidates
during a student council election. It was shot for $5k and will be
released this winter through Spy Global Media.
Witch's Brew is a gory splatter comedy about cursed beer.
Basically, two microbrewers screw over the town witch and she makes their
latest batch of alcohol inflict ironic curses on anyone who drinks it. The
DVD for Witch's Brew comes out this fall from Media Blasters.
Is it true that you are currently in pre-production of a film called WNUF
Halloween Special - a few words about that one?
WNUF Halloween Special is a 1980s period piece/found footage flick
we are currently producing. It follows a local news channel on Halloween night
1987 where several TV personalities are exploring a the town's supposedly
haunted house during a live broadcast. It's a strange flick where every five
minutes we have commercial breaks (filled with faux 80s tv commercials we and
our filmmaker friends from around the country are producing). We just finished
casting and will be shooting through December. More news on that project as it
Any other films of yours you'd like to talk about?
I think you've covered the big ones.
Any future projects beyond Call Girl of Cthulhu?
WNUF Halloween Special, that's about it.
of your films are of the horror variety - is horror a genre especially
dear to you, and why?
I grew up on horror flicks and I love
them. One day, we'd love to produce a romantic comedy or a political
satire... but with no money and no star power, a project like that would
be a hard sell to a distributer.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Carpenter, Robert Rodriguez, George Romero, J.R. Bookwalter, Eric Stanze [Eric
Stanze interview - click here],
Tom Holland, Fred Dekker.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Harold & Maude, Jack the
in White, Monster Squad, Night of the Demons.
... and of course, films you really
Deplore is a strong word... and I think I can find
something to appreciate in most examples of visual storytelling. My mother
always taught me that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say
anything at all...
Your/your movie's website, Facebook,
Kickstarter, whatever else?
If you visit anything, check
out our Kickstarter!
Or find me on Facebook or "like" our production company...
Anything else you are dying
to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I think that
covers it. Thanks so much, Michael! We really appreciate it!
for the interview!
My pleasure, sir!