I know we've talked about this before, but do bring us up to speed:
Your upcoming movie Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space
- in a few words, what is it about?
Hi Mike, Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space is a
comedic sci-fi/horror film that pays homage to the great B grade cult
movies of the 50's - 70's, while covering a number of the strange issues
that have come up during this pandemic year.
So at what stage of production are you at at the moment?
We have quite a lot of the footage in but thereís a lot more to
come. Gerardo has been editing
as scenes are received, but I would say that weíre only just approaching
the half way mark. Weíve
both been working around the clock, 7 days a week, for the last 2 months.
I can see at least the same amount of work ahead before we have a
ongoing Corona lockdown - in what way has it influenced, maybe changed
This movie was created after the lockdowns came into effect and is
designed to be made under the current conditions.
We were in a situation that we werenít going to be able to film
anything the traditional way because we couldnít have a crew on
location. If we wanted to keep
making movies then we had to adapt quickly and come up with unique ideas. The
whole situation is totally new and what weíre doing has never been done
before so the first way it has altered things is that we had to loosen up
our expectations and be ready to make any changes on the fly.
In the past, we had our script and knew what we were aiming at.
We kept on track the whole time and pushed things through with
determination. If I approached
this project with that sort of tunnel vision then things would all fall
You've gathered quite an international cast
for Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space
- so who are some of the people we'll be able to see in your movie, why
them, and how did you get them even?
I recruited all of the international actors via the internet.
Most times it was via Facebook and some were via email.
The main known ones that have come through are Destiny Soria and
Joel D. Wynkoop [Joel D. Wynkoop
interview - click here]. Both are
filmmakers so they had crews that were able to shoot their scenes.
Destiny is working on her own feature at the moment called Christmas Slasher so she had all the resources available to get a
professional level shoot happening. Joel
is also working on a feature called The Craiglon Incident.
We went a bit further with this one and his scene is a crossover
between our two features. He
plays his main character from his film ďParsons CooperĒ and the
footage will appear in both The Craiglon Incident and Toxic Alien Zombie
Babes from Outer Space. His
crew shot the scene and Gerardo edited it and added in the SFX.
and Destiny are technically just as far away from us as Andrew Bianco, who
is in Melbourne. Although he
is just a few suburbs from me, I canít meet with him physically.
He was working on his feature movie called Universal Dickhead,
but the stage 4 lockdowns in Melbourne put that all on hold. He
had costumes, vehicles and props all ready to go but suddenly was
hamstrung. Heís now working
with us and weíve made his character a part of our film too.
Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space will be a prequel to his
What are the
challenges of working with remotely filmed footage?
Oh boy! The challenges are
never ending there. The first
was in recruitment. I put up
messages on various Facebook groups but in this environment, some just
went bad and had to be removed. There
are so many people locked down who are bored with pent up energy that
simple requests can be twisted by trolls and then the next thing is that
you have a zillion social justice warriors making false accusations.
past the recruiting stage though, the next challenge is that some people
canít communicate well. We
are shooting worldwide, so a few donít have English as their first
language. Others who apply
just donít have the skills and can chew up a lot of time with silly
questions before you have to say that you will have to pass on their
scene. Then there are a heap
that have to be chased until they finally come through, or we give up. Thereís
also footage that comes back that is unusable.
Sometimes we get what we have asked for on the second shot because
the people re-shoot their scenes. All
other challenges we are facing at this stage were expected though.
There will be a lot of work in cleaning up sound and matching up
different types of footage.
are challenges to come that we will address when the time comes.
We might find that we have a lot of footage that seems disjointed
and unconnected. We planned
for that with characters filmed on green screen that can be put into
scenes. Also, my character is
a vlogger and will be filmed last. I
can put in any commentary or explanations to help join things together.
can you tell us about your collaboration with Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space's
director Gerard Chierchia during all of this?
I discussed what we were going to do with Gerardo before we started so
we both knew that this would be divided into 14 sections with a key scene
in each part. We knew how
things would progress but not exactly where each change would take place.
We also knew what things we would use to keep the ball rolling,
such as the slides to break up each section, rolling newspaper headlines
and a vlogger giving a narrative of what is happening.
The rest is lots of quick skits, so if a few here and there donít
come through, the movie still rolls on as planned.
way we are collaborating is that I write the scene.
I also find the actors. Gerardo
then breaks down the shot list and works with the actors and crews until
he gets the footage back. If
he tells me that it is usable, then I get the release forms to the actors
then tee up the IMDb credit when I have the paperwork back. Later
on, I will review the footage and chat with Gerardo.
If changes are needed or we have to get extra footage, then Iíll
$64-question of course, any idea when and where the movie might be
Weíve been saying that this will be released in November since the
start. I havenít been told
anything different but the sheer amount of work ahead has me thinking that
it is likely to be late November rather than on the
very first day.
for where it will be released, I have a number of TV stations and shows
that have asked for it. I did
email a large number of cinemas in Melbourne to see what the reaction
would be, before starting to contact others around the world.
So far, despite spending two whole days sending out emails, none
have bothered to reply. That
could change later when I have more to show them and if the buzz continues
to grow. Then
again, it might not change for Australia because there are obstacles.
For starters, we are not going to pay the ratings board to get this
classified. Aussie cinemas can
show unrated films but usually only do so if someone has hired their
theatre. There are also a lot
of things that donít get publicly discussed, but are considerations.
E.g. if Aussie cinemas decided to show unrated indie films, would
that affect them receiving the Hollywood blockbusters? I
believe that our cinemas will have to adapt or die.
They were already facing the challenges of diminishing crowds as
more people opted to see movies on V.O.D.
Further to that, many of the big studios have cut back the time
cinemas have the exclusive on a film and are going to V.O.D. earlier.
offer just might be the thing needed by cinemas to break the stranglehold
that the big studios have over them, but only if they are open-minded,
brave and adaptable. If this
does take off in cinemas then that will most likely be in the USA because
history shows Australians have rarely taken risks and opted to follow our
big cousins overseas instead.
Should the lockdown go on for a while yet,
could you ever be persuaded to make another film pretty much remotely?
The whole idea horrifies me, but the answer is yes.
Weíre not going to stop making films.
It seems to me that many of those in Melbourne have just decided to
give 2020 a miss and think that they will restart when the restrictions
are over. Iím willing to
accept the changing environment and to keep adapting. If
we do make a second film during lock down, we wonít be using all the
ideas we came up with to make Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space.
We will have to come up with even more innovations to keep things
interesting. Once our film is
out, people will be working out how we managed it and some will copy.
When that happens, it will lose that "wowĒ effect. I
prefer to keep at the forefront anyway by introducing new ideas and
other future projects you'd like to talk about?
We still have our feature film,
Badass Bunyip to finish off.
We decided to reshoot a few scenes at Easter, but thatís when the
lockdown started. Itís
almost complete and just requires 2 days of refilming scenes.
Iím hoping that we can do this around Christmas and be able to
follow up Toxic Alien Zombie Babes from Outer Space with it.
It would be great to come up with 2 fantastic releases back to
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
movie's website, social media, whatever else?
Here is the Facebook page for the film -
this group is for those that would like to be in the film and can self
shoot - https://www.facebook.com/groups/UfoScreamScene
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
The film is taking up all my time, so nothing more to promote.
I would say that we are going to emerge from this pandemic into a
changed landscape. Old empires
will fall and new ones will rise. It
will be interesting to look back at today in 12 months to see just how
much the world has changed.
for the interview!
Thanks for interviewing me again Michael.
Itís always a pleasure.