Your upcoming movie Subconscious - in a few words, what is it
The basic story is about Peter Williams a history professor at the US
Naval War College who is searching for the truth behind is grandfathers
disappearance in 1943. Peter and his team discover that the classified
story about his grandfather's command, the USS Lionfish, and his grandfather
go deeper than anyone ever imagined.
What were your inspirations when writing Subconscious
- and why of all things a submarine?
My family is now 4th
generation military. Two of my grandparents were in the military. My
grandfather George Sterling was involved is locating and capturing Nazi spy rings in WW II. My grandmother was an Army major in
WW II, my dad was a
US Navy Seabee in the pacific in WW II and fought hand to hand in some of
the islands over there. I was in the US NAVY for 6 years as well. I worked
in Submarine Communications and the VLF site in Annapolis MD, and I was
involved in Anti-Sub warfare at the end of my Navy life and in Heavy
Military at General Electric. And my niece and her husband graduate
from US Army bootcamp this week and are on their way to South Korea for
their first duty station. So the military and, of course, submarines
are very high on my list, so I wanted to do a military movie and I wanted
to do it with other veterans and for veterans.
the actual USS Lionfish
How much research
did you put into both the historical and the time travel aspects of your
I've always been a big time travel, sci-fi, and
military story movie buff so the time travel aspect was pretty easy to
sort out. The historical aspects were more demanding - we wanted to ... and I
believe we succeeded in getting a few real history tidbits in the film to
really create a storyline with some truth in it. When there is a
bit of truth in a scripted story it just seems to make the entire story
much more "believable".
I think one of the key elements of a film like Subconscious
are its locations - so what can you tell us about yours, how did you
find them, and where do you see the advantages but maybe also challenges
in filming in these actual, authentic locations?
we were considering the usual sets... but I just didn’t like the idea of
yet another fake submarine movie. Even the good ones tend to cheat
the conning tower/bridge and the control room into one set. So
I started looking around and got some Navy veterans to help... We located
the USS Lionfish. A real World War II diesel sub that was perfect for our
movie. So we’re filming for the first time in the indie film world – a sub movie on a
real submarine. We also needed some establishing shots
for the characters as we meet each in their “normal” environment, so
we went to the real location and we’re filming Mike’s introduction in
the farmlands of Britain, Peter hopefully on the grounds of the US
Naval War College. Stacey and Vicki in Peter’s apartment in Fall River,
MA, and Mr. Garmin’s intro on board the USS Massachusetts – a real WW
battleship. So all our characters are introduced in their “home”
element in a real location. We’re still waiting to hear from the US
Naval War College. They’ve already provided a lot technical and
given us a technical advisor for the film, Lt. Cmdr Bill Murry USN Ret. So
we’re hoping they’ll approve our request to film on the campus.
Another major factor
are its special effects I suppose. So what can you tell us about that
aspect of your movie?
Wow, yeah, this is a sci-fi,
time-travel, military submariner movie... this is a visual effects-heavy film, and frankly if I didn’t have the good friends I have, it
could never get made for under $2M dollars, but I do have good friends and
I am also a visual effects artist. Between Avi Das at BarbedwireFX and my
“home” team in NYC we’re getting all the visual effects done at no
cost up front! So our visual effects will be right up there with Hunt for
Red October and others.
What can you tell us about your
cast, and why exactly these people?
They are all my friends...
and they’re great actors. Two of our
main cast are both US special forces veterans and are hard working actors.
Tom Stedham from The Glades and Tim Abell from
NCIS. We also have Amy Gousset, she was in Army Wives
and I worked with her on another feature Legend of Love. Added to
that we have a great Aussie actress, Naomi Brockwell, and to top it all off
Mike Beckingham in his first feature length leading role. Mike,
by the way is Simon Pegg’s little brother. Simon plays
Scotty in the new Star Trek films, he’s got a new film out as well,
World’s End. So we have big hopes for Mike to follow in his
Do talk about the
intended look and feel of your movie for a bit!
is a dark suspense/thriller borderline horror film, on top of the sci-fi
and military aspects. Come on, it’s set in a 70 year old metal can
designed to sink – that’s a lot of drama right there. Add in the fact
that the boat is a runaway and takes our team back to fight in WW II –
now the roller coaster just gets better and better. Because
the boat is a character in the film I wanted to let the audience feel
its presence and emotions as well, and of course the spirit that drives
it. To do that we’ve added some specialized camera shots and planned
heavy post processing for the “boat eye view” of the story. Along with
this, one of our characters plants some hidden surveillance cams around to
record the events, and these are written in and have special processing
planned as well. The two custom camera shots, along with being in a
sub deep underwater, create a vary dark and mysterious world our team have
to survive in... or not... but you’ll have to watch the movie to see.
Overall we’re really driving toward American Horror Story
as I know, Subconscious is presently still in its fundraising
stages. So what can you tell us about your fundraising efforts?
I’m self funding and using Kickstarter to finish up. All my
friends are helping across the board. We have a completely professional
team for cast and crew that are all working for next to nothing to help me
make this film. Our DP is an Oscar nominated Emmy winner, (Indiana
Star Wars, Air Force One and others), our Sound designer (U-571, Twister
and others) is an Emmy winner. the rest of the crew are right up there! So please go to
and donate and help us make a great flick!
the funds are raised, how do you plan to proceed - and any idea when and
where the film will be released onto the general public yet (and yes, I do
realize it's waaay too early to ask)?
We’re planning a
digital distribution in summer 2014. Beyond that, I’m not tempting fate
- we’ll see...
projects beyond Subconscious?
Yup. We have a buddy
motorcycle road movie that we’re hoping to film next with (knock on
wood) Simon and Mike. We’ll be using a lot of the same cast and
crew for that one as well!
What got you into
filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on
Nope... just love movies and got burned
out working for corporations on Wall Street. I literally quit and decided
to start a new career. I started as a sound designer/sound editor,
then started mixing/re-recording features, then started editing and doing
the rest of post, and over the past 3 years started directing and
producing. I learned how to do visual effects last summer.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to Subconscious?
I’ve done a lot of other
people’s projects and thought it was time to do my own. You can
see most of my info on IMDb or my website at http://www.georgiahilton.com.
you describe yourself as a director?
I wouldn’t dare try
to describe my directing... I’ll just say that all the actor’s who
have worked with me tell me I’m an actor’s director... you tell me
what that means. I just won’t let them get away with anything
but their best. By the end of the film a few of the hate me - until
they see the finished piece and then they call and want to work with me
again... so I must be doing something right. Frankly, I just
love the whole process of giving the audience a great story and a good
Simon Pegg, Kelsey Grammer, Cary Grant,
Tarantino, Hepburn, Ron Howard, J.J. Abrams, of course Hitchcock, Soderberg,
Your favourite movies?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Down Pericope, all the Hitchcock films, anything Star
Trek, the original Star Wars, U-571, Hunt
for Red October, K19, Das Boot, all the good WW II Sub flicks,
the first Matrix, The Lord of the Rings.
and of course, films you really deplore?
and 3, The Hobbit - most sequels. Why can’t they
just make a sequel with the same characters we’ve grown to like in
another really good film. Why do they keep having to “raise the bar”
only to trip over it.
movie's website, Facebook, Kickstarter, whatever else?
else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I’m good. Good set of questions.
for the interview!