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An Interview with Christopher A. Nooner, Director of Altered

by Mike Haberfelner

May 2013

Quick Links

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Your upcoming movie Altered - in a few words, what is it going to be about?


Revenge. Revenge, a mind altering new drug, a serial killer and zombies.


Altered is based on a short of yours of the same name - what inspired you to extend it into a feature?


At the beginning of the year Christina Gonzalez (our producer) and I were discussing our plans for 2013 and it just dawned on me that we had the perfect micro-budget feature just staring at us; so I did a little research and contacted a few people and got an offer for distribution if we could make the film. That made it a no brainer and here we are.


With Altered being a zombie movie - is that a genre you're at all fond of?


I haven't, in the past, been a huge zombiephile. In fact, our team had to talk me into doing the short last year. When I took on the project it was with the understanding that I would try it with my own spin on it and that was the result. Oh, and I kinda dig zombies now.


(Other) sources of inspiration for Altered - both the short and the feature?


1920's pulp fiction for sure. I love the hardboiled detective type like Marlowe and Spade. I think to some degree my love of comic books as a kid. Dark ones that reach into your soul and pull you into their world of good vs. evil.


storyboard drawing

Both serial killer and zombie movies come with a lot of blood and guts almost by definition. Is this true for your movie as well, and what can you tell us about your intended gore effects?


It is true. We have some special things planned. I'll give you a little taste of one I particularly like. A teenage boy comes into the police station looking for Ransom (the main character). The boy is covered with puss-like bumps, he delivers his message from Jerimiah Quick (the serial killer) and then he erupts as bugs tear out of each one of the puss bumps.


Quick has some pretty gruesome murder scenes as well. I have to tell ya that he is based on three real serial killers and they were more brutal than anything I could ever envision.


How would you describe your overall approach to your story at hand?


I am a writer first, so the story is very important to me. I have crafted this one to be a true crime thriller. Like The Following meets The Walking Dead. So my approach is to tell a riveting edge of your seat thriller that has the feel of a dark zombie flick.


Anything you can tell us about your intended cast yet?


We have some great actors. Tom Barlow, our bad guy, has been in movie and tv for 20 years. He was in Flubber with Robin Williams and was in Nash Bridges as well as many others. One of our other actors was just in Olympus Has Fallen with Morgan Freeman.  


We have some great new faces as well that will blow you away with how powerful they are on screen. Look out for Josh Wilkins, Paxton Taylor Carr, Mayat Durre' and Caleb Barnick as well as many others.


As far as I know, as we speak your film is still in its fundraising stages - so what can you tell us about your fundraising campaign?


The campaign is almost over. 2 Weeks to go. We have had good response and some great things have happened. We landed an awesome product placement deal, an agreement to release our film in 27 theaters nationwide and have received some private funds that have made it so we know for sure that Altered is a go.


How will you proceed once your funds are raised, and any idea when and where the film will be released onto the general public yet (and yes, I realize it's waaay too early to ask)?


We are shooting August 1st through August 11th, and we are hoping to have it in theaters by late winter or early spring. Our big premiere will be right in the city I live in. On a massive Grand Screen.


Any future projects beyond Altered you'd like to share?


We currently have three future projects in the works. The Remorseless Rise of Man, Through the Door, and Awakening. If all goes well with Altered, we will begin pre-production of The Remorseless Rise of Man next summer.


What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


I have been writing since I was 12 years old and thought my calling was going to be novels, but when I was introduced to screenwriting I instantly knew that it was my place. I went to film school at SFI shortly after and have been making movies ever since.


I have written 5 feature length screenplays, 2 of which have won national awards and one of which you will see when we release Altered.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Altered?


Let's just talk 2012, it will give you an idea of where I have been. In 2012 I was DP on two feature films - Camera Phone and The Soul Gatherer - as well as Writer/Director of two short films - Patient X and Altered. Altered of course is an award winner.


You just have to talk about your company 7 Crow Productions for a bit!


7 Crow Productions is my own personal production company. We do everything from writing and corporate to music videos and feature films. The name comes from an old nursery rhyme about telling omens by counting crows. 7 Crows stands for a story or secret never told. That's what I do. Tell stories that have never been told before.


Besides making movies, you're also a published poet and playwright, right? Care to elaborate?


I am. You did your homework!  I was first published in High School. Poetry. Through out my HS years I continued to win awards for my poetry, and was extremely encouraged by that.  


Last year I was asked to write a stage play for a local company for their murder mystery dinner theater and I was able to not only do that but got a great seat on their first performance. It was a treat to see my work displayed in such a dynamic atmosphere like live theater. I loved it.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


Focused. When you direct micro budget features and no budget shorts you learn how to get the most out of your time, cast and crew without killing anyone. Most of my team has been with me for over a year and we love working together. I know what they can do and they know they can trust me to pull the best out of them.


I come into each production knowing exactly what I want and have a really solid idea of how to achieve that. It doesn't always work out, but thankfully it has most of the time. I have to admit though, it's because I have such an amazing cast and crew.


Filmmakers, writers, whatever else who inspire you?


Storytellers inspire me no matter what the format. Music, movies, novels, TV. I love it all. I would say though that some of my biggest inspirations come from a couple of my favorite authors and a couple of my favorite filmmakers. I'll give you a couple.


Raymond Chandler and Alexander Dumas are my favorite authors. Those guys knew how to tell a story.

Akira Kurosowa is one of my all time favorite directors. The beauty of each frame is what I strive for as a DP and Director.

I am also a huge fan of Connie Hall and William Goldman, Christopher Nolan and J.J. Abrams.


Your favourite movies?


Classics: Yojimbo, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Chinatown.

80's - Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, and The Thing.

Today: Inception, Super 8 and Star Trek.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


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


You can find us at,,, @alteredmovie on Twitter and @alteredfeaturefilm on InstaGram.


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


This film has received some amazing support; we have been given the use of a helicopter for aerial shots, we are shooting on a Red Epic that kind of fell into our laps, and we have met some amazing people that have already given a ton of great work and effort to this project. You just wait; you won't believe what we can do with such a small budget. I mean if you want a taste you can check our original short film out on our website and see what we did in just 48 hours with absolutely no budget.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




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


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD