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An Interview with Dustin Hubbard, Director of For Christ's Sake

by Mike Haberfelner

March 2011

Dustin Hubbard on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your film For Christ's Sake - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Well, For Christ's Sake tells the tale of a pair of scientists who are involved in a top secret cloning experiment. They think they're going to change the world but things don't go quite as planned when their project suddenly spirals out of control and the subject they've so closely been nurturing gets loose. Unbeknownst to our scientists an additional group of characters enter the mix and before all is said and done everyone proves guilty with a large dose of hell to be paid!

 

Your main inspirations for the movie?

 

I've always loved horror and moreover the concept of iconic horror villians. The idea of a supreme force of unstoppable and uncontrollable evil is fun as hell to watch. You end up rooting for the bad guy. We all do. We love to see what they'll do next and how they're gonna take out the cast, how will they get defeated in the end and moreso how will they return in the inevitable sequel. So with For Christ's Sake I wanted to really stylize my concept of the most badass horror villian ever. It was just a matter of organizing the right story elements to make the thing work correctly. In retrospect, it's quite funny because I used to joke about stuff with co-workers that ultimately became huge influences on the genesis of this film.

 

How would you describe your directorial approach to the film?

 

In all honestly, For Christ's Sake was my first film as a director so I didn't necessarily have a particular directorial approach. It felt more robotic to a degree because we had a massive script to tackle, a modest sized cast, lotsa locations, a handful of tricky FX, etc. So it really became a day to day situation of needing to get X-amount of scenes in the can by the end of the day. Some people needed more direction than others but such is the case on any set. We had a pretty eclectic group of actors and characters so everyone brought a little something different to the movie.

 

For Christ's Sake might not be released yet, but I imagine it must have sparked enough controversy for its subject matter alone - is there any truth in my assumption, and could you elaborate on that?

 

From the very beginning one of the main reasons doing this project intrigued me was the whole idea of trying to make a film that would take on touchy subject matter and then handle it with intelligence and respect. Here the subject in question just so happens to be cloning Jesus Christ, so of course everyone and their brother seems to have a very outspoken opinion on the film. During preproduction and casting the full nature of the film and its contents were made very clear to all involved. We all needed to be on the same page as far as what we were doing and what the repercussions might be from doing it. Some people weren't into it and they didn't end up being a part of it. We did the film though and it was truly an experience. I think over the course of time that has passed since the production we've all caught some kind of hell because of what people THINK they know about the film. It all just goes to show that ignorance is ever-present and can truly be a weapon in and of itself.

 

Would you consider yourself a religious person of any sort?

 

I myself am not a religious person. I think religion can be a good thing though. We all need something in life and religion can give people something to believe in and something to live for. Much like ignorance though, religion can effect people and become a deadly weapon. How many lives have been lost in wars due to religion? In For Christ's Sake the religious beliefs of the scientists who clone Jesus are secondary to the positive outcome they wish to accompish with their project. It's not the religion that becomes their downfall, but rather the nature of being zealots who think they know what's best for society.

 

Jesse Kozel, Debbie Rochon

A few words about your leading lady, indie horror icon Debbie Rochon?

 

What can't be said about Debbie Rochon? I think she flew in on the night of production day number four. Naturally we let her rest up and when she came to set on night five the entire atmosphere changed. Always a consumate professional, she came in and took on the challenges of our low budget epic head on! She was a joy to work with and really became a mentor to a lotta the cast. Her ability and experience was beyond evident and she made a fine addition to the cast.

 

A few words about your Jesus-clone-actor Jesse Kozel [Jesse Kozel interview - click here], and how did you tell him to approach his role?

 

Jesse Kozel is a funny story because a few members of the For Christ's Sake preproduction team were trolling around at a horror convention in Orlando where we inadvertently crossed paths with him. Maybe a week passed and then for one reason or another the actor we had in the role of The Clone of Jesus was no longer involved in the film. Hence, we had a serious casting problem and we were right under the wire as far as our production start date. Turns out Jesse had been recently friended on the film's MySpace page. We had a role available and he was looking for work so that was that. I have to give Jesse this, he agreed on very short notice to take on what was hands down the most difficult role in the film. His dialogue was all bible scripture and old world english and he had to put himself out there throwing all inhibitions to the curb. We really didn't have much time to talk about the role other than a few phone conversations before shooting but we talked about the clone being a blank, robotic slate that eventually evolves into something else entirely. It was a challenge he accepted and we would have basically been screwed without him.

 

Your film also features two ubiquitous indie horror figures, Joel D.Wynkoop [Joel D.Wynkoop interview - click here] and Lloyd Kaufman. What can you tell us about your collaboration with them?

 

Joel is a force to be reckoned with! This man has such a rich history in the low budget, Florida horror scene and I felt honored that he said yes to being in For Christ's Sake. The role he portrayed I actually wrote for him and he made Father Carmichael a truly over the top character addition to the movie. As for Lloyd, his involvement was really random to be honest. We were at a convention and Lloyd said he wanted to be in the movie. So we scouted around the convention hall and found a fitting area where we just basically improvized a scene with him and one of the other actresses from the film.

 

Nicola Fiore

A few words about the rest of your cast and crew?

 

We had a pretty amazing cast assembled for this thing. Nicola Fiore and Michael Kenneth Fahr were my rocks throughout production. I couldn't have done it without them. They both acted in the film in major roles and really gave it their all. Since, Nicola and I have become the best of friends and have continued to work together and collaborate on other projects. Also in the flick was Peter Stickles who at the time had his own cable show and has appeared in some very awesome low budget flicks and indie gems. He gave us time out of his vacation visiting family to do the film and he just showed up and knocked it outta the park! We also had Monique Dupree and that woman is like a secret weapon! She has a lotta personality and character that shined through immensely and we all had a blast working with her.

 

Dustin Hubbard (center) and the cast of For Christ's Sake

You also make an appearance in For Christ's Sake yourself. What can you tell us about Dustin Hubbard, the actor?

 

It's rather funny because the role of the scientist that I played I wrote with myself in mind never really thinking that I'd actually end up having to play him. We ended up casting the film up and no one really fit that part so I just did it. It was fun to do and I loved acting out the more crazy scenes but it was very stressful. I'd over-focused and rehearsed everyone else to the Nth degree, all the while never taking the time to rehearse myself much. So I will admit, the role was a huge challenge. I've since acted in a handful of horror themed short films and two other features but all in fairly basic roles, nothing to the degree of my part in For Christ's Sake. So it's safe to say that acting isn't something that I want to pursue as a primary profession in the film industry, seeing as I'm more comfortable behind the camera instead of in front of it. I've been offered other film roles recently but we'll see what happens.

 

The 64 Dollar-question of course: When and where will the film be out?

 

That really is the creme de la creme of For Christ's Sake questions isn't it? I know the wait has been long but all great things come in due time. Much like the Son rose from the grave, so shall For Christ's Sake!

 

I've read somewhere that you planned a sequel for For Christ's Sake called For Pete's Sake - is there any truth in this?

 

Absolutely there is. In my mind, all great horror villians deserve at least one more stab at their cinematic mayhem. Hence, For Christ's Sake was originally conceived as a two part film series.

 

Any other future projects you'd like to talk about?

 

I'm really excited to see Slaughter Daughter get off the ground. This is a film that was written by Lauren Miller and it's going to be directed by Travis Campbell [Travis Campbell interview - click here]. They're the very talented pair behind the upcoming Mr. Bricks: A Heavy Metal Murder Musical. Slaughter Daughter will star Nicola Fiore in the title role and it's gonna be one crazy flick! I'll be helping produce that one. I'm also trying to get two short films that I wrote and directed locked very soon. They're both items that take place within the For Christ's Sake universe of characters which I think is pretty neat. The first one is called For Nicole's Sake and that one stars Cathy Wynkoop and Joel D. Wynkoop [Joel D.Wynkoop interview - click here]. Cathy is Joel's wife who is also an actress and I wrote the lead in this thing for her and lemme tell ya... she did a bang-up job! This woman needs more roles! Her performance is really intense and emotional and I can't wait for viewers to see what this true professional can really do! The second For Christ's Sake short flick is entitled For Nolan's Sake. It stars Frankie LaPace in the title role. Again I was blessed with another kickass lead that just floored me with his intensity and range. I think anyone interested at all in the For Christ's Sake mythos will find these two flicks of interest. If at all possible I'd even like to maybe direct another feature again by year's end. There's a lotta top secret stuff that's in development and various stages of talk that I can't really mention at this point. We'll see though.

 


You were also involved with the production of the movie Terror at Blood Fart Lake, right? Since I'm such a sucker for great movie titles, you just have to talk about this one for a bit?

 

Terror At Blood Fart Lake is a movie written and directed by Chris Seaver of Low Budget Pictures. He's a master at making insane gore comedies and this one was made to be a slasher spoof. I myself had very little to do with the film per se but it did feature Nicola Fiore in the lead role playing a woman hellbent on hunting down her psychotic brother who ends up doing battle with a murderous scarecrow played by actor Billy Garberina. Fun stuff indeed! Also, this movie was a perfect opportunity for Nicola to flex her comedic chops and do some physical comedy.

 

Any other movies you were involved in you want to talk about?

 

I helped produce and acted in Michael Kenneth Fahr's psychological thriller Victimized. He wrote the script and played the lead alongside Sarah Nicklin and Cuyle Carvin. That one should be an interesting view when it gets released.

 

What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any kind of formal training?

 

As far as filmmaking is concerned I haven't had any formal training. This whole trip has been a major learning experience honestly. I'm originally from Indiana and up there I dreamt of making movies, then one thing led to another and I ended up down here in Florida. It's here that I met that right group of people that got my creative juices flowing. Without these people I probably would have never gotten the inspiration and the drive to tackle something like For Christ's Sake but I did!

 

Your films all seem to be of the horror variety, to an extent anyways. Is horror a genre especially dear to you?

 

It certainly is. As a child the first film I ever remember going to see at the theate was Poltergeist and that just set the stage I suppose. Ever since I was hooked on horror films and I had to see and own everything I could get my grubby little hands on.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

I really look up to Charles Band and what he's built with the Full Moon Pictures label. I grew up watching his movies and they really served to inspire me and make me dream fantastic things. Another director that has really moved me is Gregg Araki. He has a visual style and distinct art to every little detail in his films that really blows my mind. He's a directorial wonder if I have ever seen one!

 

Your favourite movies?

 

I have three all time favorite movies. My favorite movie of all time is Scream. It was different and fresh, had attitude and fun characters that you cared about. That movie became an institution for me as a young adult and really exemplifies the great friends and times I had back then. I can think of Scream and it really makes me smile with fond memories. My second favorite film is Gregg Araki's Nowhere. The whole movie is like a painter's pallet come to life on film - eye-popping colors, crazy characters, wild dialogue, an endless string of odd celebrity cameos and even aliens! This flick has it all. Finally, my third favorite film of all time is The Crow with Brandon Lee. Only once in a blue moon does a film come along that's so emotionally heart-wrenching as this one is. In my mind I've always seen The Crow as a horror film with a real heart because it depicts true life horror and the lengths that one man will go to when pushed beyond the limit. This is one film that never ceases to tear me up.

 

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

 

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I hate the current remake trend. Hollywood seems to wanna re-do everything nowadays right down to even old school B-movies and forgotten horror gems. It's really sickening because all these updates seriously blow! I mean the critics and popular media love to debase the horror genre as being unoriginal and repetitive and then we the horror fans are subjected to subpar, regurgitations of better movies because that's what the studio system seems to think we want/need. No thanks! I wouldn't go as far as to say that I'd never do a remake though! I would, just depends on the title.

 

Your website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

This is my Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=522445142#!/profile.php?id=522445142

Here is my Myspace but mind you I only check my inbox and rarely utilize this account:

http://www.myspace.com/goin_nowhere25

The official For Christ's Sake Myspace page:

http://www.myspace.com/for_christs_sake

And finally the official Slaughter Daughter Youtube page:

http://www.youtube.com/user/myslaughterdaughter

 

Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

Nope! I don't think so.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

Thanks for your interest! It's much appreciated sir!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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