Your movie The
Darkest Corner of Paradise - in a few words, what is it about?
It's the story of Peter Landsman, a recent college graduate who moves
to the city to pursue a career in professional accounting. After multiple
failed job attempts and the disappearance of a mysterious woman, Peter's
lured into an underworld he never knew existed.
the disillusioned college graduate - how much of yourself do you find in
that character, both before and after he goes on his personal vendetta?
character of Peter Landsman was loosely based on the lead actor Patrick
O'Driscoll and myself. I never attended college but worked my share of
shitty dead end jobs and lived in pretty sketchy places with pretty
sketchy people. That was mixed with Patrick just finishing college and not
knowing exactly what to do next. It ended up a pretty balanced blend of
the both of us.
The personal vendetta part was a little more fiction, but still relatable
to most people who have searched for a purpose in their own lives.
sources of inspiration when writing The
Darkest Corner of Paradise, and what can you tell us about your
writing partner Michael Burgner, and your collaboration with him?
writing collaboration was interesting. I wrote a synopsis that was pretty
dark with almost no dialogue. The script I received from Michael was
almost 120 pages and stayed true to my original story, but with tons of
dialogue. I had a bit of inner conflict but decided to re-write the
script, using a lot of what he had written but taking out most of the
dialogue and changing the ending. He wasn't too thrilled with the end
result, but I couldn't spend the better part of a year working on a
project I wasn't passionate about.
your story at hand would suggest a very action centred approach, your film
feels very lyrical and moves along at a deliberately slow pace - care to
The pacing was by design, I'm just not a fan of
shaky camera work, chaos editing and a story that tries to take new twists
and turns. A classic story can be just as if not more interesting if done
What can you tell us about the
Oregon-locations of your movie, and to what extent did they influence the
look and feel of The
Darkest Corner of Paradise?
What's there to say,
can you tell us about audience and critical reception of The
Darkest Corner of Paradise?
There was not much of
an audience or a reception for this movie. I did the feature length horror
flick Melvin the year before
Darkest Corner of Paradise and it did really well. Playing in
multiple festivals, showing all over America and in a few other countries
and winning some awards. Also getting rid of a good amount of DVDs through
my website before a distributor picked it up.
Darkest Corner of Paradise on the other hand was a different story. I didn't really sell any
DVDs through my site and it was rejected from a handful of festivals. I
think most people classify it as an art house flick, which really wasn't
my intention. I intended for The
Darkest Corner of Paradise to be as dark and real as possible,
which is why a lot of the question you have aren't answered. I didn't want
it to be wrapped in a nice little bow. In real life a lot of questions
Long story short, a lot of the past movies I've done have a built in
audience. Something like The
Darkest Corner of Paradise doesn't have a specific genre and has
trouble fitting in.
What got you into
filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on
I've always been a huge movie fan, watching
tons of movies growing up and working in video store for a good part of my
youth. I never really considered making movies until my good friend I grew
up with and moved across the country to Oregon with died unexpectedly when
we were 21. As cheesy as it sounds, it made me realize life is short and
I should follow my passion. I bought some bare-bones equipment and wrote
my first short the week after he died.
As far as I know, you started out making
quite a few shorts to quite some acclaim - want to talk about those for a
Short films are the way to go for aspiring filmmakers.
You can get your idea out, learn a bit about honing your craft, and get
people to sit and watch your flick without taking up too much of their
time. In my experience, people are into no budget indie films, just for
120 minutes into them.
I made short movies for 5 or 6 years before doing a feature, and learned a
lot along the way. I showed them dozens of times at the local art house
theaters and made the local public aware of what I was doing. It really
helped pave the way for the features I make.
You of course also have to talk about your feature
was a lot of fun. I grew up on Troma and no budget horror and always
planned to do a movie close to that genre I loved so much - Melvin
It was based on the first short movie I did (Inzomniac) that my
death inspired. We even got Lloyd Kaufman to do a cameo when he was
touring Poultrygeist around (we used the footage we shot of him in
2 different movies, a short and Melvin,
few words about what I believe is your latest film, Killing Me?
Killing Me is our latest feature, about a fame obsessed postal worker who tries to
achive his goal through serial killing. It was recently picked up by
Chemical Burn Entertainment and is being released VOD and on DVD this year
as 21st Century Serial Killer.
other films of yours you'd like to talk about, any future projects you'd
like to share?
I'm working on a short this year entitled
Strange Turf. I don't really want to go into any details yet.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Martin Scorsese, Sergio
Leone, John Boorman, Larry Cohen [Larry
Cohen bio - click here], Paul Voorhoven, John Huston, Sam
Driver, Point Blank, Robocop, The
Toxic Avenger, The Wild Bunch.
... and of course, films you really
At the risk of sounding like a total douche, I
don't really hate many movies anymore. A lot of stuff isn't for me, but I
do respect the work that goes into making a movie and who am I to say if
it's bad or good. I like the stuff I like and dislike the stuff I dislike,
but all movies have their place.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Thanks for the interview!