Your new movie The
Arrangement - in a few words, what is it about?
film is about two very different detectives tracking a mysterious midnight
killer. They discover a pattern in a photograph found on the first victim
that throws them further into a rabbit hole of both corruption and the
least for me, The
Arrangement is in equal parts cop thriller and horror movie - are
these genres at all dear to you, and why (not)?
they both are. I grew up on slasher flicks and horror films of the early
80s through the mid 90s. They sparked my initial interest in films and
filmmaking. Donít tell anyone, but I even made an homage to Halloween
when I was about 7 or 8, haha. As for thrillers, I always drew a lot from
cop thrillers like Seven, The Usual Suspects and even Witness. The notion
of corruption always drew me in as a kid. I donít know, maybe it was
because I was naÔve so these films highlighting corruption really had a
profound effect on me. I couldnít, at the time, fathom someone in a
position of power doing the wrong thing. Pretty silly now in hindsight.
sources of inspiration when writing The
Usual Suspects and Seven really inspired me to try to intertwine elements
of horror and mystery with cop thrillers.
What can you tell us about your
co-writer (and producer and actor) Andrew Hunsicker (any relation by the
way?), and what was your collaboration like?
heís definitely my father. I owe him a lot for my love of films and
filmmaking. He also happens to be a damn fine actor, a damn fine producer
and a damn fine collaborator. My father wrote the first script for the
film in the year 2000. I was a young child at the time. Eventually, he let
me read it. I was blown away. As he began acting more and more, I began to
dive more into filmmaking. We collaborated on some short films and
whatnot. It was great, but eventually he brought up the notion of us
taking on the film ourselves. Like, actually producing and shooting it
ourselves. The script had been optioned twice before, but it never went
where we wanted it to go. At that point, we figured why not? He asked me
to direct and help him redraft it a bit and we went from there.
about The Arrangement's
build-up of mystery for a bit, and was it always planned to eventually
veer off into the supernatural towards the end, or did that happen during
was always a supernatural element to the story, though it is kind of
ambiguous early on. It was my intention to have the supernatural element
really come to light later in the film. It was in the writing though. I
canít take too much credit for that. It was always in my fatherís
What can you tell us about your overall
directorial effort to your story at hand?
tell you this, directing a feature is a whole different animal. I had
directed shorts before. They were typically more isolated pieces. They
were more manageable. A feature, well, it is definitely not an isolated
piece. We shot all over Philly and parts of King of Prussia and Allentown.
I had to rely on my actors a lot to really know their lines, because well,
this was an indie production. We didnít have the luxury of doing 25 takes
of everything. We had a full plate in front of us. I try to be as laid
back as possible on set. No one wants an asshole director running around
making everyone uncomfortable. We hired people we knew. Professionals.
People who knew us and how much this meant to us. I knew that as long as I
laid it out to them thoroughly beforehand, they would be ready and have my
back. If we ran into issues or situations, we had the ability to talk
through it and get the shot. One thing though, and I feel the need to
emphasize this to other indy filmmakers out there - PLAN AHEAD. Really talk
to your actors before. Know who they are. Plan your shots carefully and be
ready to cut some things early if you need to. Whatever you have to do to
get exactly what you need.
Do talk about
The Arrangement's key cast for a bit, and why exactly these people?
Iíve known the two leads, Danny Donnelly (Harry Frick) and Jenifer Kay
(Jessica Alvarez), for quite some time. Danny is a phenom. I have worked
with him on every project of mine except Nod. I knew he was Frick from the
moment we began prepping for the film. Jen Kay is like the energizer bunny
on set. Seriously. Her ability to multi-task is second to none. They are
both great artists and it was truly something to watch them and work with
them on this film. Aimee Theresa (Melissa Ann) is a friend of mine as
well. She has always caught my eye in every project I saw her in before
meeting her. She almost brought me to tears on set a couple of times. She
really broke some hearts with her portrayal of Melissa. I couldnít
resist the chance to utilize the chemistry of Danny and Aimee on screen.
Again, I knew these two were made for these roles. They are both great
actors and great friends of mine. I want to take minute here to also go
over Dax Richardson (Nick Devlin). I had not met Dax until a table read we
had a couple months before we began production. I heard him utter a few
lines and I knew he was Devlin. He had such a righteous swag and style
that I knew would elevate Devlinís character beyond your typical film
Amber was an incredible addition for the film. She was a consummate
professional, who commanded the screen when she was on it. She was open
and accommodating to direction and very creative with her suggestions. She
not only never missed a line, she came up some hilarious ad libs. Britney
is just a fantastic actor. We also had some amazing and gifted East Coast
actors like Brian Anthony Wilson, Michael McFadden, Melissa OíDonnelI,
Allison Kessler, Deborah Twiss, Michael Everett Johnson, Sophia Parola,
Glen Macnow, Bev Gunn, Aaralyn Anderson, Jamie Kerezsi and my siblings
Melissa and Nick among others.
I canít forget Eric Roberts. The man is a legend. I remember the first
time I saw The Pope of Greenwich Village, wow. He blew me away. I knew he
would slay the PitchmanÖ it was just a matter of whether or not we could
get him. Thankfully, we did.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
was intense at times, but really only when we were in a crunch for time.
Everybody on set was a killer though. I tried to keep it light, ya know?
Weíre just a bunch of friends and family making some art.
$64 question of course, where can The
Arrangement be seen?
film is being released by Gravitas Ventures on many VOD platforms
(Comcast, VUDU, etc) this summer. Please check out The Arrangement
Instagram - @thearrangmentmovie - or on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/thearrangementNobleF/
- for updates.
Any future projects you'd like to
I have a few things Iím working on, but there are two projects Iíll be
putting the majority of my energy into. One is a script I wrote a while
back, tentatively titled Guerilla 187. Itís about an independent
film crew and their obsessive director that trespass on private property
a film without permission. Things go well until the cops get called, and
when the cops get called, deadly mistakes are made. The other is a modern
day homage to the Fritz Lang and Alfred Hitchcock mystery thrillers of the
30s and 40s. It is entitled In Broad Daylight.
What got you into filmmaking to begin with, and
did you receive any formal training on the subject?
watching films got me into filmmaking. Talking about films got me into
filmmaking. Watching my father pursue acting got me into filmmaking. My
love of storytelling got me into filmmaking. I have very little formal
training. I took a crash course with a great filmmaker and friend named
Christian Jude Grillo [Christian
Grillo interview - click here], but thatís about the extent of it. I consider
myself to be more of a writer-director. I donít have a cinematography
background. Thankfully I had an incredible cinematographer in Brian Keenan
who always gets what I am trying to say. I just always liked to write and
Iíve always appreciated and respected great acting, so I kind of just
took what I like and mixed it with what I learned from being on set with
my father when I was younger.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to The
I directed 4 short films. My first was called Post-Hit Measures. It was a
morality tale about two hitmen trying to get rid of a body. The second was
a film called Just Like a Human. It is essentially an adaptation of
a lovely Kris Kristofferson song called Here Comes That Rainbow
Again. The third was a grittier piece called No Strings Attached.
It was about two friends dealing with heroin addiction somewhere in
Suburbia. The final short I directed was called Nod. A nice little
film about two strangers crossing paths in the city and how their fear of
the unknown is not always justified.
How would you describe yourself as
am a collaborative director. Directing to me starts and ends with the
shots and the actors. The story is already there to be translated to
screen. I look at the scene visually, work with Brian on how we want to
capture it and then put together a game plan for the actors. I donít
generally do rehearsals, but I make sure we cast right and have some off-set conversations with the actors on their thoughts. I listen to the
actorís feedback, that is critical. In fact I listen to everyone on set.
Everyone I work with is a filmmaker. They all have value to add.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
many. But Iíll name a few: Quentin
Thomas Anderson, Steve
Coen Brothers, David
Gonzalez Inarritu, Jordan
many, but Iíll name a few:
Out, Birdman, One
Flew Over The Cuckooís Nest, Chinatown, Fight
The Right Thing, Halloween.
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
try not to throw too much shade at other films because I know how
difficult it is to make one. However, I can still say that two films
really made me angry. They were The Happening and Cloud Atlas.
There was some lost opportunities there.
Your/your movie's website, social media,
check out The Arrangement
page on Instagram - @thearrangmentmovie - or on
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/thearrangementNobleF/
- for updates.
Anything else you're dying to mention and
I have merely forgotten to ask?
but thank you so much for the chance to talk about The Arrangement.
Thanks for the