Your upcoming movie Stockholm - in a few words, what is it
It's about a man named Jeremy who kidnaps a young woman named Jennifer.
He holds her captive in his basement to escape his loneliness and you
watch a relationship between them blossom despite the conditions.
What were your inspirations when writing Stockholm
- and how much research did you do on the actual "Stockholm
I always liked stories that made you wonder who the bad guy was.
I saw this one Law and Order episode (and it was so long ago I
can't recall which one) where the serial killer actually felt guilty about
his crimes, so I couldn't hate him as a viewer; despite the despicable
things his character did. That episode combined with a random
article I read in the doctors office (a woman named Jaycee Lee Dugard - and
please if you can look her up it's jaw-dropping - she was captive for 18
years but got to the point where she was helping this guy run his
business) birthed the concept. As a viewer, I am really intrigued with the
feeling I get when I find myself siding with a character that's considered
evil. I also draw a lot of inspiration from Dexter and Silence
of the Lambs.
As far as Stockholm Syndrome goes, the name actually originates from
Stockholm, Sweden. This is where the Norrmalmstorg Robbery took place.
The bank robbers held a couple of the bank employees hostage, and the
employees began to become emotionally attached to these robbers due to
intense stress and fear. That's when it became a 'term'.
However, if you look at the basics of the syndrome itself, it is really
apparent in most abusive relationships out there. It's what makes
the girl stay with her boyfriend after he beats her up. Somehow,
these poor victims seem to think that lack of abuse is love, and the
really fascinating thing to me is how it just becomes a part of everyday
life for them.
Seriously, of the three main characters
- kidnapper Jeremy, victim Jennifer and the detective - who can you
identify with the most, and how much of your own personality is there in
each of these characters?
Well I can identify the most with
Jennifer because when I write, to be truthful to myself and the story, I
literally place myself in the character's shoes. It was an intense
journey. I even got to play her when I shot the short film version a
year ago. If it's not something that I wouldn't actually say, then
it doesn't go in the script. Jeremy was my monster, but I also had
to make him into somebody that I could see myself falling in love with.
Detective Marx served as my voice of reason. If imagined myself
walking up to someone suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and trying to
shake them out of it when I wrote his narrative.
What can you tell us about the
intended look and feel of your movie?
In all of my work I
try to provide the most realistic experience possible. So if you can
just pause for a second and imagine you're in a dim basement, tied by your
hands and feet, forced to allow this stranger feed you, bathe you, change
your diaper, inject you with drugs, and then I have to somehow get you to
fall in love with him by the end. It's a dark movie with a romantic
feel and an epic twist ending.
You have already
assembled quite an impressive behind-the-camera team - could you talk
about these people for a bit, and how did they get on board?
It really all starts with my producer James Morgart [James
Morgart interview - click here]. A long time
ago in a galaxy far, far away... (that's for you, Michael Siktberg) I
worked on one of his projects, Guy with a Camera. It was... an
interesting experience. We became friends because I was the only PA
willing to throw an old man mask on and shove a cucumber down my pants for
a comedy scene. Don't ask. Anyway, we became friends and he
was one of the first people I showed the script to 4 years ago. I
have been trying to make Stockholm for that long. It is a
piece that is very reliant upon the ability of the actors, and since I
come from a theater background I layed out an intense rehearsal process
for the actors. Needless to say I rehearsed 4 different sets of
actors over the span of 2 years because every time we got close to the
shoot date, someone had a conflict and I had to cancel the shoot.
After the 3rd attempt, I decided to play Jen myself. I shot the
movie. I edited it to 45 minutes in length. And then... MY
DRIVE MALFUNCTIONED and I lost all of the footage.
James was watching me go through all of this via Facebook. He
moved back from L.A and asked me what I was going to do, and I told him
that I was going to finish it no matter what it takes. He then took
pity on me and proposed the idea of producing the film for me. Then
I saw a ray of sunshine descend from the heavens and outline a halo around
I haven't officially met the rest of the crew. James specified
that if he was going to produce it, then he was going to pick the team.
But from the work I've seen them do I am super excited to have Suzi
Lorraine [Suzi Lorraine
interview - click here], Keryn Thompson, Wolfgang Meyer [Wolfgang
Meyer interview - click here], and Jon Bozeman on my team.
do talk about your intended cast for a bit, and why exactly these people?
Rachel Conn is playing Jennifer, and the thing I love about her the most
is how innocent and pure she looks. She's also a phenomenal actress
of course, but she offered something to the role that all of the other
actresses have not. She's got skill, class, and beauty, and I think
she's going to show Jen in an awesomely vulnerable light.
Michael Siktberg is playing Jeremy and I couldn't have found a more
perfect fit. He's super intense. He knows how to go to places
that are dark and complicated, but still maintain his boyish charm.
He's an amazing guitar player too, which is required of Jeremy. He
is a close friend of mine, but we have always had an artistic vein running
through our relationship. We're like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
I'm Matt Damon though.
Tony King is playing Detective Marx, and when he first came in for the
read, he brought a different feel to Marx. He came at it more like a
'cool cop' approach that was like something straight from a Cagney movie.
It's going to be fun to watch him loose his 'cool' cause I know he can do
far as I know, Stockholm is still in its fundraising stages - so
what can you tell us about your fundraising efforts?
We have an IndieGoGo campaign and we're trying to raise $10,000 to
cover the cost of production. We are definitely aiming to make this
movie as amazing as possible, but production is expensive. Check out
your funds are raised, how do you plan to proceed - and any idea when the
film might be released onto the general public yet (and yes, I do know
it's waaay too early to ask)?
We are set to shoot August
5th. It will roughly be 10 days of shooting. Then after we
wrap, we're taking it to a post house, and hopefully if all goes well it
will be finished before the end of the year. Knock on wood.
What got you into
filmmaking to begin with, and what can you tell us about your education on
the subject and your previous behind-the-camera experiences?
Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Hook, The
Goonies, and countless other
amazing films got me into filmmaking. When I was a kid I was the
'story-teller' when we played pretend. I told my friends what was
going to happen and how they were to feel. I really was directing
before I even knew it. Movies were an escape for me. In the
movies you could be anything and do anything. I have always been a
story-teller and I'll be one until the day I die. It's so much fun
to let your imagination go wild.
I went to school at Rutgers and I got a B.A. in Video. I wanted to
learn how to turn my passion into a technical skill. I run my own
production company RockBridge Visuals. I make music videos, I make
weddings videos, I make corporate videos (a girl has bills), so I know a
lot about the aspects of lighting, shooting, and editing. Combined
with my minor study in acting, my experience directing plays, and my
natural knack for writing, I think Stockholm will make people take
far as I know, you've also directed quite a bit for the stage. So what can
you tell us about your stagework, and how does it compare to making a
movie? And which do you actually prefer?
It has been my
greatest asset and my biggest downfall. Stockholm took me so long
because I was looking at it like a play, but it's not. The amazing
thing about film... sometimes you can get away with stuff. Don't get
me wrong, there are a lot of similar aspects; especially when it comes to
communicating with actors, but film tends to be a bit more fast-paced.
I loved the stage simply because once you're up there it's ALL of you.
There's no one to yell cut when you flub a line, no one to come in and
re-powder your face after you've been sweating under the lights.
You're in the story and there's no getting out. It's exhilarating to
perform and to watch because it's real. As a director, I loved to
watch the audience. I like to see what effect it has. It's
like watching a show in and of itself. Will they laugh? Will
they cry? Will they even get it? I love to affect people.
projects beyond Stockholm?
I have about 12 scripts
that I haven't even looked at since I finished them.
How would you describe
yourself as a director?
I'm not product-oriented. I'm
result-oriented. My vision is what it is in my head, but most of the time
someone comes in and gives me something different that takes it to a whole
new level. I'm an actor's director and an artistic collaborator.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Lucas, Hitchcock, Christopher Nolan, Kubrick, Tarantino to name a few.
But even these guys have directed some films that I don't agree with.
American Beauty is my favorite. I watch
that on repeat.
... and of course, films you really
Ummm, there were only 2 movies I ever walked out
on; Bad Santa (no class) and Indiana Jones 4 (they completely destroyed my
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, IndieGoGo,
Just have the IndieGoGo for now. Don't
worry, there will be plenty of material coming soon enough though.
Thanks for the