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An Interview with Edward Payson, Director of Our Friend Jon

by Mike Haberfelner

September 2014

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Your upcoming movie Our Friend Jon - in a few words, what is it about?

 

This film is really special to my whole family.  It is about our friend Jonathan who passed away last August due to complications stemming from Sickle Cell Anemia. Before he passed away he was writing a horror script he intended to make into a short film with his friends. Upon his passing my mother brought it to my attention that my brother Garrett who was best friends with Jon wanted to make Jon's movie with his friends, so our documentary is documenting that process.

 

What do you find so appealing about this story that you want to make a movie about it? And what can you tell us about Jonathan Hernandez, the man?

 

Jon not only was a friend, but a great soul. He lived every day to its fullest, knowing he wouldn't be living a long life. He spend his every waking hour setting up fundraisers and helping people with Sickle Cell Anemia live better lives. 

 

So what can you tell us about the movie in the movie, Rose Thorn?

 

Not to give too much away but Jon really had a twisted imagination. The script perfectly blends comedy, suspense and horror and I think people will like the result.

 

Your documentary's three protagonists Garrett Payson, Nick Saporito and Brandon Joyal - what can you tell us about them?

 

All three of these boys were friends with Jon. They met at program called Living Innovations which aids mentally and physically handicapped people in living normal lives, everything from enriched social interaction to finding jobs and overall having a better quality of life.

 

Garrett is my brother. My entire life I've wished to trade places with him. It has hurt me for years to think my brother will never walk on his own. He was born with Spina-Bifida, a malformation of the spine. That never stopped him. He always has a smile on his face. He was on our basketball team and managed my football team in middle school knowing he wouldn't get to play himself. This film (Rose Thorn) is his turn to do something on his own with his friends and I am very excited about that.

 

Brandon Joyal is one of Garrett's best friends. Brandon met Garrett four or five years ago and they have been friends ever since. He is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet and easily puts smiles on the face of everyone in the room.

 

Nick Saporito is the glue that holds this all together. Nick helped finalize Jon's script and will direct the film. He a great guy and I think he will do a great job.

 

Since this is a documentary about the making of a horror movie - your thoughts on the horror genre as such, and is this a genre you're at all fond of, and why (not)?

 

I love horror movies. Horror movies are the reason I became a filmmaker. This will actually be my 5th feature film effort, all besides one documentary were horror films but sometimes a change of pace is good.

 

What can you tell us about your directorial approach to your subject at hand?

 

I have an outline of questions but I feel like once the camera starts rolling they may go out the window so I myself really don't know what to expect.

 

Since Our Friend Jon is according to my information your first documentary, how do you expect filming this will compare to shooting a feature film?

 

This is actually my second documentary feature. My first documentary Unsigned was about three unsigned rock bands trying to make it in Los Angeles over one year and went to a lot of film festivals in 2012 and was available on Hulu and now on DVD. Someone said in a class of mine one time that shooting a narrative film is like building a statue from the ground up. You start with the base, then go to the feet etc etc. A documentary is like someone handing you a rock and saying, mold this into a piece of art. Same result but a lot more free form and open to interpretation.

 

As far as I know, your movie's presently still in pre-production - so what's the schedule, and any idea when the film might be released yet?

 

We plan to shoot at the end of October and into the middle of November. It will be released late 2015.

 

Any future projects beyond Our Friend Jon?

 

I have a bunch of horror features in pre-production and a horror anthology called Edward Payson's Sunday Night Slaughters, currently in production.

 

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

 

I did go to film school but really learned all I needed to know by shooting my first feature as a freshman in college. It was hard work but the experience wasn't matched in my four years of film school. Moral of the story? Take all the money you were going to spend on film school and put it into your first feature.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Our Friend Jon?

 

I directed a bunch of horror films.

Edward Payson's Sunday Night Slaughters: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2765102/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1)

The Cohasset Snuff Film: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2145903/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Unsigned: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1701227/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Morbid: A Love Story: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1283923/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

 

How would you describe yourself as a director?

 

I'm a weird and wacky guy who loves weird and wacky movies.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

George Romero, Dario Argento, Roman Polanski, Stewart Gordon, Sam Raimi.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

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x-rated  find Edward Payson at adultvideouniverse.com

1. Oldboy - 2. Night of the Living Dead - 3. Demon Knight - 4. True Romance - 5. Evil Dead

 

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

 

 

1. Twilight - 2. There will be Blood - 3. Godzilla (2014) - 4. most remakes ...

 

Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

Right now we have a Facebook only but will have a website soon.

https://www.facebook.com/ourfriendjondocumentary

 

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

 

This is a story I think anyone who has ever felt like an underdog can get behind.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

Jetzt kaufen bei
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