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An Interview with David S. Hogan, Star of The Device

by Mike Haberfelner

September 2014

Films starring David S. Hogan on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie The Device - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character in it? And what did you draw upon to bring your character to life?


The Device tells the story of two estranged sisters, Abby and Rebecca, reuniting to honor their recently deceased mother. The sisters, with Abby’s fiancé, Calvin, travel to the family cabin where they find an strange object near a some kind of crash site. As the sisters attempt to repair their relationship, the object begins to reveal its true and nefarious intent. Secrets are revealed, tensions mount, and no one is left the same.

I played the role of Calvin in the film, and could easily identify with what the character goes through, and when I did not have real life experience to draw from, I used my imagination to get aligned with the character’s POV.


In what way did the fact that Angela DiMarco [Angela DiMarco interview - click here], your wife in the movie is also your wife in real life influence your performance?


Angela is not only my wife of 10 years, but she is an incredibly talented and generous actor. She influenced my performance by being her usual amazing self, and giving me a ton to work with.


How did you get hooked up with the project in the first place?


I auditioned for The Device. However, I had met The October People the previous fall when we collaborated on a short film I produced (with Angela) for the Seattle 48 Hour Horror Project. The film was a success (taking audience favorite), and I highly enjoyed working with Jeremy Berg and John Portanova [Jeremy Berg and John Portanova interview - click here]. The film is called Trauma:


Since the film's also about alien abductions - your personal thoughts about the subject?


My personal thought on abductions... I am very glad that I seem to possess nothing of interest to alien life forms.


What can you tell us about your director Jeremy Berg [Jeremy Berg and John Portanova interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like?


Jeremy Berg is a wonderful director who welcomes actor input and encourages collaboration. He also knows what he wants in a shot and scene, and has an actor-friendly way of getting what he needs. He is a cool customer on the set, and someone I look forward to working with again.


What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


The shoot was well planned and ran very smoothly. We split time between the city and the country, filming the cabin scenes in Kitsap County. On set energy was good, too, as the team hired a competent and friendly crew.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


This fall, I will appear in Z Nation - Resurrection Blues (episode 6). Z Nation is an amazing new episodic television show filming in Washington - In 2015, I am slated to shoot The Rectory in Los Angeles -


What got you into acting in the first place, and what can you tell us about your education on the subject?


I got into acting late into my college life. The first play I every did was Brecht’s The Three Penny Opera. I did not get a degree in the field, but when I graduated, I began auditioning for plays in Seattle. I worked fairly steadily as a stage actor, often with Shakespeare, from 2000-2010. I am a big believer in actor training, and I have studied with many great teachers who have been schooled by the heavyweights (Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, Leonid Anisimov, etc).


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to The Device?


I started my film acting career in earnest in 2011. I signed with a local agent, TCM, and starting going out on auditions. My first major film role was Allen in Shadowed, a feature film shot here in the Seattle area. Shortly after, I landed a role in Thunderballs, a pilot shot for the Spike TV network that, sadly, never saw the light of day. Since then, I have been fortunate to work on local short films, feature films, webseries, NBC’s Grimm, and, as mentioned, Z Nation.


As far as I know, besides movies, you've also done quite a bit of stagework - so how does performing on stage compare to acting in front of a camera, and which do you prefer, actually?


Working on stage is quite different, though approaching a character is identical. On stage you can’t have the same kind of intimacy, I find, and in filmmaking, you are always shooting out of sequence, which presents its own challenges. I like both for different reasons, but at this point I am pursing work almost exclusively in front of the camera because it is a newer habit I have acquired, and since I am never completely satisfied with my work and constantly looking to get better, I am always looking for my next fix.


You also teach acting, right? Would you care to elaborate?


Angela and I teaching acting for the camera courses under the Mighty Tripod Productions banner, where we also produce films. We also host actor business workshops, and workshops with casting directors. It’s our mission to educate and inspire to actors of the northwest so we stay competitive as a regional filmmaking hub.


How would you describe yourself as an actor, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?


I’ve been described as a “character actor with leading man looks”, and I will take the compliment. I employ a variety of techniques to bring life to a character, from Bogart to Meisner, and beyond. I work from the inside out, and from the outside in. I experiment, play, collaborate, breathe, and try not too take it too seriously. Yes, there is a lot of process and I have done a lot of training, but I have also learned that sometimes I just have to let it go and trust the moment and my preparation.


Actors (and indeed actresses) who inspire you?


Holy moly. Prepare for a long list. I LOVE actors (meaning men and women). I watch a lot of movies and TV shows, and am often introduced to talented people who I have not seen before. The standbys include Sean Penn, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo, Paul Rudd... (but I could go on and on). Lately, I have been throughly enjoying Claire Danes in Homeland, Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black, Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen in Hannibal.. .And, it’s hard to leave out heavyweights like Joaquin Phoenix and Matthew McConaughey.


Your favourite movies?


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Favorite movies include You Can Count On Me, In The Bedroom, Tropic Thunder, Mystic River, Full Metal Jacket, Her, Anchorman, Taxi Driver, and Good Will Hunting. And I love the gritty stuff, too! The Departed, The Town, Gone Baby, Gone... I am certain that I am forgetting some gems, but that is where I will start.


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


Films I deplore I don’t waste time remembering. I have no trouble changing the channel, turning off the DVD, or walking out of the cinema (or theatre). Life is too short to endure bad art.


Your website, Facebook, whatever else?






Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
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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


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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