You have recently written and produced two erotic genre comedies, Scared
Topless and Shark Babes - so in a few words, what are these
(ScaredTopless.com), a group of college students
embark on an adventure to test the limits of lost love and the boundaries
of their own mental and physical confines (haha).
In Shark Babes
(SharkBabes.com), super sexy marine
biologists, down at the Shark
Anomaly Center (SAC), battle the evil Finkelworth corporation,
hellbent on destroying the environment for their own financial gain!
How did these two projects get off the ground
to begin with, and what were your inspirations for writing them?
Back in 2012 I was working as an animator for Rockstar Games,
specifically working on Grand Theft Auto 5. Around that same time my interest in
Roger Corman [Roger Corman
bio - click here] had flared up again and I started buying many of his films on
DVD. A director's name I kept seeing was Jim Wynorski [Jim Wynorski
interview - click here]. I had become a fan
of his work also - this idea to create stories with large scopes and small
budgets. I wrote Jim a few letters asking him questions about his
process and we became friends. He ended up hiring me for a few of
his projects, these type of late night cable erotic films. I saw that Jim
was trying to cram as much story and scope into this framework as he could
- with a tiny budget. I was fascinated with this. I thought it would be a
good opportunity to create something like that, and get my start in
producing my own content, which I had always wanted to do since a young
writer and producer, how hands-on or hands-off are you on your own movie
You have to give the director room to work
and of course when I am working with a legend and wizard like Jim
Wynorski, I make sure to follow his lead because his experience and
know-how is priceless. Of course I have a specific vision for the tone and
that is discussed beforehand. I take a more hands-on approach after
the filming is done. Working with the editor and sound designer,
exploring distribution opportunities, creating the artwork and promo
material and discussing the film with fine folks like you!
What can you tell us about your director, industry
veteran Jim Wynorski [Jim Wynorski
interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like? And
whhat made him perfect for the job in the first place?
Over the years Jim has become a good friend and mentor to me.
Working with him was like attending film school and being instructed by
one of the zen masters. This guy eats, breathes and sleeps movies - he
knows every film and every sound track. One of the best parts of working
with Jim Wynorski is just sitting around drinking coffee and asking him questions -
he has so many wonderful stories of working in the industry for as long as
he has. Why was he perfect? Him and Roger pretty much invented this genre
of film, who better to learn from?
A few words
about the movies' brand of humour, and also the kind of erotica you're
These films are light-hearted and do
not take themselves too serious. They are erotic films but within that
framework I tried to create something that feels like an old school B
movie, good old fashioned grindhouse. I think we achieved that to some
extent and I am proud of the goofy and fun tone the films have. They also
have that sex appeal, of course. I would say this type of erotica is more
fun and “standard”, nothing too crazy or explicit goes on in these
It is good for adults of varying ages to have some fun while they watch -
it is escapism after all.
do talk about the two shoots for a bit?
These were true
marathon shoots! Jim has really perfected the process for doing these
types of films. One of the great ways to keep your budget down is to keep
your shooting days to a bare minimum - and that is what we did. Each film
was shot in two days. Jim’s mind works like a computer, compiling
info and data on how to make the most efficient use of the time and space.
Anything you can
tell us about audience and critical reception of Scared
Topless and Shark Babes?
I am very
pleased because the vast majority of the people out there understand what Scared
Topless and Shark Babes are. These films are not trying to change
the world, they are fun and sexy and provide escape for people, if only
for 80 minutes. You can go on adventure to a haunted house or a shark
tracking expedition - all the while you are accompanied by very attractive
people LOL. I am also really proud that most people can see that the
filmmakers are trying to create something more here than just a nudie
film, they have a little more depth than your average addition to this
As far as I
know, Scared Topless
and Shark Babes are the first two films of your production company Old
Mill Entertainment - so what's the philosophy behind the company
and why did you launch it to begin with?
After Grand Theft Auto 5 was released I knew I wanted to do
something different. I had a wonderful time working with Rockstar Games
but my heart was always in film and doing my own productions. Old
founded to do exactly that. My relationship with Jim had grown and I
saw an opportunity to create what would become Scared Topless. The
philosophy behind Old
Mill Entertainment is to follow your dreams and that
is what we are doing. I grew up on Old Mill Road in a small town in
Long Island, NY. This was the first place I began making films, little
clay-motion films with my dad’s high-8 camera when I was about 10 or so.
The dreams and aspirations that began on Old Mill Road are still alive
today and that is why my company’s name is a tribute to that and to the
support my parents always gave me.
projects you'd like to share?
Yes! I am currently
developing an animated project, geared more for the mainstream. I am
very proud of it, it’s like a modern mythology with my own twist. I will
have more to share soon. OldMillEntertainment.com
will have more info
What made you enter the
filmworld in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on
I think from a young age it was something
I was always attracted to, being creative and having that be a source of
fun. My parents took me to Universal Studios, Florida when I was young, and
seeing all the classic rides like Jaws and King Kong, with their wonderful
animatronics - the spectacle of this got me interested in those films and
so on. I have received some formal training after attending the New
York Film Academy and Quinnipiac University, but I think i learned most
from doing my own productions.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to Scared Topless
and Shark Babes, in whatever position?
always been making little films on my own and they kept becoming more
involved. I have worked as a PA on various productions, as an animator at
Rockstar Games and also as an editor. Little steps is what I try to do, to
keep making improvements in what I do and create.
Besides movies, you also did
quite a bit of work on videogames in various positions - so do talk about
that aspect of your career for a bit? And how does it influence you as a
producer/filmmaker (and vice versa)?
I learned a
tremendous amount about time and resource management, working with large
groups of people on time sensitive projects and how to initiate user
involvement in story development with working in a sandbox atmosphere!
Filmmakers, producers, whoever else
who inspire you?
I am inspired by many other types of people and figures. I
really love history, I am inspired by great generals and heroic people who
stood up for what they believed in, even when the odds were stacked
against them. I am inspired by explorers and specifically the Apollo
program. I am inspired by people who are searching for answers and
following their dreams. People who build and create things.
Your favourite movies?
My favorite films of all time (in no order):
Star Wars, The Godfather Part I, Pulp Fiction, The Big
It’s a Wonderful Life, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone, Apollo 13.
and of course, films you really deplore?
There are no films
I truly deplore, I think. Who am I to say another filmmakers vision in
invalid? What I am not a fan of is this modern corporate thirst to
re-brand and re-boot every successful idea that already existed. It takes
the fans for fools and exploits them. Humans have a pure desire to
be entertained and to be inspired, It’s a magical quality that should be
treated with more respect - the enthusiasm people have needs to be honored
better by making NEW things that are wonderful for them to enjoy. I
think that the new Star Wars movies are big, clunky, corporate things. I
prefer the older films with the hand-made quality, when Lucas was a young
man working hard to make his vision come true, when no one believed in
him. That aspect of it, Lucas’s own journey, added to the film’s soul.
The new Star Wars
movies lack that inner soul and feel empty to me. This
how I feel about most, if not all, re-boots and re-brands. The magical
ingredient is the passion the filmmaker has and the obstacles in their way
(and how they overcome those).
company's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Check us out! in a few places:
Twitter and Instagram: @ScaredTopless
else you're trying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I think you got everything! Great set of questions, thank you so much for
for the interview!