Your debut as a director, 13
Hours in a Warehouse, has just been released. Would you like to tell
us what that film is about?
I think that Jason Buchanan from
the All Movie Guide said it
five underworld heavies settle in for an all night stay at an abandoned
warehouse and former film studio, a series of bizarre and unsettling
occurrences quickly lead them to believe they are not alone. It was
supposed to be a simple night of babysitting a single hostage, but when a
series of numbers began to appear on the walls, things soon took a dark
turn. Later, after the hostage escapes, the perplexed thugs not only learn
that there is a rat in the ranks, but also discover the unsettling nature
of the films that were shot in the warehouse. Now, as terror takes hold,
the thieves are about to discover that they are being stalked from the
shadows and that their odds of living to see daybreak are shrinking with
each passing minute.
How did you
come up with the idea for the plot, and where do you draw your inspiration
The inspiration for
this film came somewhere deep inside the dark recesses of my weirdo
oblongata. Usually my scripts get pretty complex, so I set out to test
myself to see if I could write a script that took place in one location,
with a handful of characters and make it something that would be both
entertaining and engrossing for the audience. 13
Hours in a Warehouse was what came out of that test. Once I had the
plot, the characters, and the conflicts, I had a first draft of the script
written in five days. As much as I try to stay true to my own ideas and
formulas, I guess the writing style of Tarantino creeps into my scripts,
and as a director, Hitchcock’s work often speaks to me.
The film was once described as "Reservoir Dog
with ghosts". How happy are you with that comparison?
I think it’s an
interesting comparison, but I also think it oversimplifies what the film
easy/difficult was it to get the project off the ground?
There’s an old
saying “All overnight success stories have ten years of hard work behind
it.” That is very true for me. I don’t believe I’m an overnight
success, nor will I ever be, because I look at success as a journey, not
as something you achieve and then move on. To get my career to the point
it is at now took me about ten years to accomplish. This project, however,
was fully funded and into pre-production within six months after I wrote
words about your actors and crew?
The film had a total
budget of under $100,000. For that, I felt that I was going to have live
with a lot of things that I knew I wanted but couldn’t afford. Cast and
crew being one of them. However, the caliber of talent we had in this film
was nothing short of astounding. I simply couldn’t have asked for a
better cast. The crew was also amazing. It’s because of them that
you’d never know the film was shot for so little money.
You shot your film
in Minneapolis, Minnesota. What can you tell us about the film scene there?
I think my previous
answer about our cast and crew can be cut and pasted here as well. There
is a huge talent pool in both cast and crew in this state. The support
services are there as well, and the Minnesota Film and TV Board is one of
the best in the country.
When and where will the film
The DVD will be
globally released through Maverick Entertainment’s Creep FX division on
October 28th, 2008 - 15 months after we wrapped principal
photography. It will be available in all rental locations (Blockbuster,
Hollywood Video, etc.), all online rental sites (Netflix, Blockbuster
online) and most retail locations (Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, etc.).
Your website/mySpace/whatever else?
Official site is: www.13hoursmovie.com
Myspace is: www.myspace.com/13hoursinawarehouse
horror a genre especially dear to you?
Dear to me? No. I
really enjoy the anything-goes mantra of the genre, but my strengths lie
in more dramatic pieces.
13 Hours in the
Warehouse is your first feature film as a director, but you have been
in the film business for years. What can you tell us about your career
prior to the movie?
When anyone first
starts out in this world, you take what you can get when you can get it. I
started as a PA on any film I could get involved with that shot in
Minnesota. From there I moved up to being an AD. When I moved out LA in
1998, I began producing student films at UCLA, essentially getting to go
to film school for free. When I moved back to Minnesota in 2001, I wrote a
novel, started a small publishing company, and was a concert promoter for
a while putting on the biggest music, film, and comedy festival in the
upper Midwest - the Wild River Music, Film and Comedy Festival.
Unfortunately, it was a lot of work for a little money, so I went back to
my roots in film following that.
Any future projects you'd like to talk
Right now I’m
working on a pet project, a documentary titled Herpers
on reptile fanatics of which I am proud to say I am one. The film will
have segments with Chad Brown from the NE Patriots, Henry Lizardlover, and
Slash. We’ll wrap that up in October, then it’s back into the
narrative world with a psychological thriller titled The
Psychosis of Ghosts, which we’ll film hopefully in January, but
because of the heating situations in these vacant hospitals, it may be
pushed back to spring. In the fall of ’09, I’ll be going into
production on Hugo Kreigler,
which will introduce a new movie monster to the world.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Directors who have really influenced you?
Spielberg is a big
one, and I’m not ashamed at all to say that. Hitchcock is a biggie as
well as Ridley Scott, Lawrence Kasdan, and Edward Zwick.
being a (first-time) director you are also an accomplished writer and have
written quite a few screenplays that are currently in various stages of
development. Would you like to talk about any of them?
Other than the two I
previously mentioned, I have a few others lined up. Immaculate Corrosion is a crime/drama/thriller,
Coast is based on my next novel which is based on a true story of one
man’s struggle to save a sea turtle nesting beach from a pack of greedy
poachers, Dreamnet is another thriller which shows how easy it would be for a
dictatorship to rise in this country, and I’m developing a TV series
titled Tex-Mex, which is a
dramedy that takes place in a small neighborhood restaurant.
you have also written and published a novel, Lake Desire, back in
2003. A few words about that one?
The book was written
from a screenplay I tried hard to get made in the post-9/11 economy. I
spent a few years dealing with rightfully frightened investors, then
decided to publish the story as a novel, and move on.
Your main influences as a
I love Stephen King
simply because he is a fantastic writer, not just because of what he
Your favourite movies?
I enjoy most of the
post-classic blockbusters of the 70's - Jaws, Star Wars, Close
... and some movies
you have really deplored?
I am constantly turned
off by the great Hollywood recycling bin. Nothing original is coming out
of that town, but yet I still give them plenty of chances to let me down.
Most noteworthy is Bug. Huge
potential, nothing there. Tarantino’s Death
Proof was another like that. And
don’t get me started about the King-dumb
of the Crystal Skull…
Besides film, another interest of
yours is reptiles. Would you care to talk about that for a bit?
I have been into
reptiles since I caught my first garter snake when I was 10. Since then, I
have not spent a lot of my life without them around me. In my office as I
write this, I have a Dumeril’s Boa, and Savanah Monitor, and couple
Leopard Geckos. There are no other animals on earth like them. I
absolutely adore them.
Anything else you are dying to tell us and I've just forgotten to ask?
Just a thanks to all
that have supported me and my work over the years. The best is yet to come…
Thanks for the interview.