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An Interview with George MoÔse, Director & Co-Writer of Counter Clockwise

by Mike Haberfelner

December 2016

Films directed by George MoÔse on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new film Counter Clockwise - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Hereís the logline Iíve said a million people:

A scientist accidentally invents time travel and is zapped 6 months in the future. But itís a dark, upside-down world where people are trying to kill him and heís framed for the deaths of his wife and sister. He must go back in time to uncover the mystery and rewrite history.

 

What were your inspirations when writing Counter Clockwise, and are you at all a fan of time travel stories in whatever medium - and did you do any kind of research on the subject?

 

Well my brother Walt (co-story, producer, editor) came up with the idea. Heís a huge sci-fi fan and had read a Philip K. Dick short story that was sort of like this. I actually donít know which story! I am a fan of time travel stories, and I did do a lot of research, mainly watching as many time travels movies as possible. Actually thereís not that many of note. Thereíre random ones like The Final Countdown and Timerider but theyíre not that helpful. The best ones are the movies everyone knows: Back to the Future, Terminator. TIMECRIMES is an amazing time travel movie and I also like Millennium.

 

Given the time travel aspect of your story - how hard was it to not just lose the plot with all the protagonist's travels back in time?

 

It was hard. I remember finding these traps going, ďfuck, canít do that. That will screw everything up.Ē You want to have all this fun stuff happen but are trapped by the structure and sometimes canít do what you want. Itís very rigid.

 

What can you tell us about your co-writer, production partner and lead actor Michael Kopelow [Michael Kopelow interview - cllick here], and what was your collaboration like before, during and after the shoot? And how did the two of you first meet, even?

 

Mike was my boss at this promotion job I had for Camel cigarettes waaay back. He was the coolest boss Iíve ever had. Very calm, very understanding. We slowly became friends and then very good friends and then best friends. We started writing together, other scripts, and eventually he got involved with this movie. Our collaboration definitely changed over the course of the movie. Before the shoot we were writing partners and just had a blast cracking each other up in the writerís room. During the shoot it was a split between Mike the actor and Mike the producer. Mike the producer was amazing and like my boss at the Camel job. Mike the actor was also great but it was challenging at first because we had different ideas for how the character should be played. He has a lot of experience and I was hesitant to really direct him at first. Eventually we got on the same page and, luckily, it all worked out. Mike doesnít really have a post production background so after the shoot was mostly the domain of Walt and I.

 

Do talk about your directorial approach to your story at hand!

 

As far as the acting I always want everything to be very real and very natural. Like a Milos Forman movie or Coppola or David O. Russell. But Iím also influenced by Verhoeven and Kubrick and Robert Kirkman comics, so when you see some of the bigger performances, thatís what Iím thinking. My approach to the visuals of the movie is to sit with the script and write a shotlist in the margins for every single scene. Itís very exciting because I get to dream up cool shots and cutting and hopefully surprise/impress myself. Which is good because when I get to set Iíll be excited to execute the shots. As far as the look, shots of the movie, I wanted it to feel like a hybrid of a Fincher/Polanski/Lynch/Scorsese movie. And Ridley, early Ridley!

 

What can you tell us about your cast, and why exactly these people?

 

Ha, why these people? Itís like what you hear, they come in, and you just have a gut reaction to them. For me, perhaps itís my realism/pessimism, but I feel like everything will always go wrong. So when the right person comes in and I know theyíll work, it makes me very happy and I start laughing. Some of the actors we auditioned, some were just people I knew. Frank Simms, who plays Roman, heís an old friend I met at my first job out of college in New York. I was an agentís assistant at ICM in the commercial voice overs department. Frank was one of our very top guys, making tons of money. I met him and he turned out to be just like me: extremely goofy and nuts. So we hit it off immediately, stayed very close, and I was able to bring him onboard.

 

A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

Well the shoot dragged on forever because we had to reshoot a lot and ran out of money and Mike was constantly going on the road with his promotion job to make more money. The atmosphere on set was great. Mike (as the producer) set an amazing tone where he let me indulge every creative whim. I would do a million takes of something, this happened often, and he would never complain and just let me go until I was happy. It was actually kind of a dream scenario. You hear about directors never having enough time and constantly compromising. I never did that. Because we were funding the movie, and the crew was so tiny, and he was the lead, and I was the DP/camera operator, we could do anything we wanted almost at all times.

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of your movie?

 

As I said I assume the worst so the positive reaction weíve gotten has felt very good. Itís funny though, thereís a very divisive scene near the end that completely ruins the movie for some people. Walt says this is a great thing though. That if you donít have some people hate the movie, you wonít have some people really love it.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

Iím working on a number of things right now. One is an homage to 80ís action movies and film noir called The Smell of Night. Itís about a reckless LA cop assigned to investigate the murder of his commanding officer and mentor. But all the evidence points to him as the killer. In a race against time to conceal his guilt while prove his innocence he enters the seedy underworld of political corruption to solve the mystery.

Another is an 80ís sci-fi horror movie called Killer from Space about an alien with the power to possess human bodies who goes on a homicidal, hedonistic, rampage in LA. The only thing that can stop him is a legendary tracker from another galaxy.

Mike and I have a new script called Problems with Girls, a comedy about dating.

And Iím also producing my brother Waltís next feature, an amazing project Iíve very excited about. Itís sci-fi home invasion movie called Ultraviolence about a twisted gang that terrorizes a family with devices that can read their minds.

 

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

 

Iím a triplet: one fraternal brother, Josh, one identical brother, Walt; and we were all completely obsessed with movies as kids. Also my family was always very into movies and the arts. So thatís what got me into filmmaking in the first place.

As far as training I did go to NYU film school, but I wouldnít say they Ďtrainedí us, which is good. They did exactly what they shouldíve done which is let us do any crazy thing we wanted. Where you do need training is all the technical stuff, like cinematography. I photographed the movie, which was very scary. Iím self-taught, slowly learning over the years by reading American Cinematographer, constantly bugging my DP friends for information, and shooting more and more elaborate short films. The fact that most people say the film looks good is incredibly gratifying.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Counter Clockwise?

 

Well Iíve made lots of short films. My first big short was called Out, where I spent a lot of money to do it the Ďright wayí. Full crew, the works. I walked on set and felt like a big shot. It turned out well but Iím still paying it off and it didnít lead to the opportunities I hoped for. I wanted to keep directing but was broke and couldnít hire a crew. So I did a short film called The List about my experiences dating where I did every role: director/cinematographer/camera operator/production design/editing/sound design/visual effects, and on. I spent like $1,500 and that was all on sound. It seemed to turn out even better than Out, get better responses, and no one seemed to care that I did everything. That success gave me the confidence to make Counter Clockwise.

 

How would you describe yourself as a director?

 

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Ha! Um, hopefully a good one! I try to be as nice as possible to everyone. Iím very particular and super anal about how I want things done. Iím often terrified, which Walt says is a good thing, meaning I really care.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

Scorsese, Spielberg, Zemeckis, Hitchcock, Fincher, Cameron, Polanski, Lynch, Verhoeven, Alan J. Pakula, James Ivory, Joe Wright, Edgar Wright, and on.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Die Hard, Schindlerís List, Goodfellas, Blade Runner, Silence of the Lambs, Robocop, Aliens, She-Devil, The Last Boy Scout, and on.

 

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

 

Ha. Well I really donít like Primer. That movie really divides people and itís just not for me. I recently saw Mr. Church with Eddie Murphy and was shocked at how bad it was. Nothing happened! Terrible plot. Oh, and I just watched Anti-Trust with Ryan Phillippe and Tim Robbins. Holy shit what a bad movie. It starts out alright and then derails more spectacularly than perhaps any movie Iíve ever seen.

 

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

 

https://www.facebook.com/counterclockwisethemovie/

 

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

 

Nope. The movie comes out December 13th. Everyone buy it!

 

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) Tršume ...

 

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

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

Jetzt kaufen bei
Lulu.com