David with Tritia DeViSha
Only recently, several your shorts have started being shown on TV -
so first of all, which movies are we talking about, and where can they be
Hi Michael, thanks for having me
as a guest on (re)Search My Trash. The
first TV show in the USA to be showing my films is Sinema Obscura on
TV via cable in Chicago. In
their current series, they are just showing the trailer for my upcoming
feature film Badass Bunyip. In
the next series though, theyíll be showing Life, Love and Death, Sex Robot and the
Darkness Visible music video Inquisition.
My inclusion on Sinema Obscura
came about through my short films being seen before main features at
cinemas around the USA such as Roxy 14 in California, Filmscene in Iowa
and Sinema Obscuraís own nights at the Logan Theatre in Chicago.
The other TV show that will be
showing my films is Dr San Guinaryís Creature Feature on Fox KPTM 42.2
in Omaha. Theyíll be showing Malevolent Pursuit. The
reason for them just choosing one film for now is that most of my others
are too adult themed for broadcast TV.
I have more to submit over the next month or two, so in time, this
should become a regular outlet for me.
So how did you get your movies on US-TV in the
first place? And how big a deal is that for you as an Australian
Getting onto TV shows in the USA
was a natural progression. Just
two years ago, my first short film, Dark Night of the Zomboogies was
shown at a few outlets, including a local indie movie night called Boogie Nights,
The Warrandyte Film Feast festival, an Asian VOD site
called Teeb TV, and the horror anthology Grindsploitation 666
via Body Bag Films and Troma . This
early success got me thinking about what other outlets might be available
for short films.
My first approaches to Australian
TV and cinemas came up empty. The
main Aussie community stations ask film makers to pay to go on air, as
well as bring in sponsors. So
as well as buying the air time off of them, you also have to be their
defacto advertising salesman and find them businesses that will purchase
advertising space. That
might be acceptable for some, but I need my money and time to produce
movies and canít do that while paying them for the privilege of being
I got nowhere with the Australian
cinemas either because most had sold the 15 minute block before the main
films to a company that ran advertisements.
This particular company has been doing that for decades and is a
household name in here. The
other stumbling block was that most cinemas said that I would have to get
the shorts rated and thatís a time consuming and expensive process.
Due to the roadblocks here, my
luck with getting onto TV and cinema in the USA means everything to me.
As for how I got there, it was due to making contacts in getting my
films shown on VOD, movie nights and included in anthologies.
What are the special demands for movies being
shown on US-TV, on both an artistic and purely technical level? And does
censorship play into this at all?
I had no problems with censorship
for cable. Broadcast is
different and most of my current films canít be shown on it.
Iíll be writing my movies differently in the future so that they
can be cut for broadcast, without destroying the story.
Some of my films, such as Life, Love and Death and Sex
Robot canít be edited because the premise itself is too adult.
Future ones will be have more gore, sex and nasties so that they
work better for cable, but the basic storyline itself wonít be adult.
Upcoming films will have things
like monsters and psycho killers and can get as down and dirty as we can
take it, but be able to get cut at the point where the gore or sex starts.
We can then cut to victim reactions, or use stylisations.
That way, we can make both markets happy.
I've read you're
shooting some more shorts specifically for a TV show - so what are they
going to be about, and does shooting for a show at all differ from just
doing it for the art's sake?
All of my shorts are going to be
made for TV, but also for all the existing outlets too.
Iíll just be creating them so that they are able to be cut, as
mentioned earlier. Every film
will be submitted to the cinemas where Iíve already been shown in the
USA and England, as well as to the TV shows and will be included on horror
Making a film doesnít guarantee
that it will be accepted by all of these outlets, however, if the film is
good enough, it has a high chance of success because Iím slowly building
a solid following.
With all that said, what
would be your advice for up-and-coming filmmakers who want to break into
the American TV market?
Most of the producers I see in
Australia arenít making enough films.
The most prolific seem to create just one movie every 6 -12 months
and think that they have this great masterpiece that will make them
famous. My advice is to stop
being so precious. Stop over
valuing your work. It looks
pathetic to me when I see filmmakers promoting their two or three year old
short again and trying to get people to come along to an indie movie night
to see it.
You canít rest on just one or
two movies. You have to get
busy, making film after film in order to hone your skills and get product
out there. If you manage to
get your short onto any outlet, whether it be a cinema, TV show, V.O.D. site
or anthology, then you need to have a second film ready to follow it up,
while be working on the third. It
takes more work to get onto one outlet than it does to maintain it.
Just to get a single place to show
your product can take a week of research to find as many places as
possible to approach, and then a further two weeks to approach them all.
You might be lucky and get one yes from a hundred that actually
replied to you. Why then leave
it at that and have to start the process all over again in 6 or 12 months?
Make enough product so that you can hold on to what you have and
then build on that by reaching out to more places.
Horror House - photo by Gary Bradshaw
To get onto TV in the USA, I
already had 15 short films finished. Only
1 of the 15 was accepted for broadcast at this stage, and only 2 for
Cable. If I had only had one
film, then it is likely that I would have been knocked back and that would
have been the end of the story. The
acceptance of these films though means that I now have a dialogue with
these outlets and can adjust my next films to fit their shows better.
The acceptance onto these two shows means that I now have a better
chance at getting onto a third show.
Any future projects you'd like
to share, for TV and otherwise?
I have a few being edited now.
- a shlocky gory feature film
Horror House Ė a hosted
A Night at the Movies Ė Indie
Style Ė a documentary on short movie nights
Your website, Facebook,
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Artist page on MyIndie:
Anything else you're dying to mention and
I have merely forgotten to ask?
covered quite a lot Mike. Iíd
like to just give a shout out to thank all those that have helped me along
the way. There are too many to
mention, but two of the people I work closest with, who I couldnít do
any of this without are Tritia DeViSha [Tritia
DeViSha interview - click here], who co stars in many of the films
with me, and Glen Cook who not only appears in many of the films, but is
the gaffer on most of them and has always been there to advise me on the
technical aspects of movie making.
Thanks for the
Thanks for chatting to me again