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An Interview with James Christopher, Director of The XXXX Saga

by Mike Haberfelner

December 2012

Films directed by James Christopher on (re)Search my Trash


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Your upcoming duo of films, The XXXX Saga - in a few words, what is it about?


XXXX and XXXX2 (pronounced "Quad X") are two films dealing with the adult film studio of the same name. It follows several actors and directors as they struggle to get their films made while forces try to shut them down. In the sequel, they have to deal with all of that with a serial killer. Two very different movies for sure.


To put it bluntly, why pick the porn industry as a backdrop for the movies, and what kind of research did you do on the subject?


Well, we picked porn for a few reasons. Most importantly, the film is really about freedom of speech and expression. And so we felt like, from that industry, we could create some really cool characters and then create more colorful characters as obstacles.


Since we're already talking porn, and I'm sure especially the male members of my audience will want to know: How far are you planning to go in terms of nudity and sex?


That will have to remain a secret. Let's just say, we're not running away from it. We just have some fun ways of dealing with it.


Why did you choose the mockumentary-style of filmmaking for The XXXX Saga, and what can you tell us about the intended look of your film as such?


Well, we went mockumentary for a few reasons. It'll give the actors a chance to kind of run with their roles. We also felt that the added dimension of fake realism might make the whole thing seem even more outrageous.


The second of the The XXXX Saga-films, The Porn Movie Massacre, actually works along the lines of a slasher movie. Why, a genre at all dear to you, and some of your genre favourites?


The second one is (I think) the world's first slasher-mockumentary-comedy ever. But we did think it would be hilarious to change the genres up on the audience and offer something completely different.


(Other) sources of inspiration when writing The XXXX Saga, and how did the project get off the ground in the first place?


You know, we're Twitchy. So we got it off the ground by deciding to do it. This will be our 9th and 10th films. The idea started as a short film, then was a web series a few years ago, but never released. So when we were starting production on 3 References, we decided now was a good time to bring it back.


What can you tell us about your projected cast, why exactly these people, and did you throw any actual porn stars into the mix? And how hard is it to cast a movie about the porn industry to begin with?


Well, no, we didn't want any actual porn stars. A few approached us, but we need to make sure we keep it satirical. As for our cast, they are super taleneted folks. We auditioned a bunch of folks who wanted to do the film. So it was hard to narrow it down for us. As for their participation, they read the scripts and saw what we were going to do and were on board. Our cast is coming in from LA, Illinois, Canada. Going to be great.


A few words about your projected crew?


Our producers are Lauren Shelton, Francis Casanova and lead actress Terissa Kelton [Terissa Kelton interview - click here]. All of them are on their 2nd or 3rd Twitchy flick. Super talented and hard working. We're also getting help from Ford Austin on our fund raising. Ford is a very talented producer out of NY/LA. His credits span decades and he is a welcome part of the team


As far as I know, the film is still in its fundraising stages as we speak. So what can you tell us about your fundraising efforts?


It's been gangbusters. We're way ahead of the pace. We always try to offer a lot for helping us out. So $25 gets you both movies on DVD after their premiere. And we have some great perks for higher donors.


When and where will the movie go into production, and any idea when it's going to be released onto the general public (though I realize that might be waaaay too early to ask)?


We start shooting in August in Austin and we're looking at about a 2014 festival run.


Let's go back to the beginnings of your career: What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?


I did. I had an excellent film education at the University of Texas. I've learned a lot since then, obviously, but it helped my confidence to do this on my own.


What can you tell us about your early shorts, and your evolution as a director?


You know, I'm always evolving. But I really try to be varied in the films that I make. I don't want to be tied one genre or one type of story line.


Your first feature film was, I believe, Littlefield - so you obviously just have to talk about that one, and lessons learned from it!


Well, it's very much a first film. No budget, no real experience. My partner Chris Copple and I just dove in. It's SD, which is a bummer. But it's a film that close to my heart and there are a lot of moments I really like. But I think the thing we learned the most with that film is narrative economy. It's important not to fall in love too much with your own material.


Any other past films of yours you'd like to talk about?


You know, we've just had a great run. Every film has been different and we're finding our audience every time. In one year, over 40 film festival awards.


Any future projects past The XXXX Saga you'd like to share?


The thing about Twitchy is, we're always looking to the future. So yeah, we've go projects planned out for 2014 and 2015.


During your career, you have returned to the horror genre time and again. A genre at all dear to you, and why?


Well, it is. We do a bunch of horror shorts a year and XXXX2 will be our second feature. Every year we sponsor a horror film showcase called Scarlet Waters. But yeah, it's a genre we love. It's one of the genres that really allows you to make a statement about society and culture and really handle some cool themes in a veiled way.


What can you tell us about your company Twitchy Dolphin Productions, and the philosophy behind it? And please talk about your partner-in-crime Chris Copple?


Chris and I have been friends for 7 years now. We started Twitchy with my wife and brother in law over 5 years ago. Our focus has been to stay micro budget so we can make the movie we want to make and grow at a level that makes sense. Chris Copple is the vision behind the look of our films. I don't know if there are many better DP's working in Austin right now. He's got a great eye for color and selecting the right shot. He's also a bit of a MacGyver and can really make something out of nothing.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


I think I'm an actor's director, or a try to be. I believe in giving the actor the first take. That way you know their performance is honest and they're giving their best take. I think it also makes actors more open to direction. Giving the actors the last take in a sequence can taint their approach. I try to be laid back and keep the actors comfortable.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find James Christopher
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find James Christopher here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find James Christopher at

I'm a big John Hughes guy when it comes to how I try to write and approach a story. I'm obviously big Spielberg guys. Cameron Crowe. Richard Donner. Michael Mann. Mel Brooks. Robert Rodriguez. And I don't think there would be an indie scene without George Lucas.


Your favourite movies?


This is a hard one. In no particular order: Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Arc, The Godfather, Say Anything, Grosse Pointe Blank, The Dark Knight, The Breakfast Club, The Crow, Blazing Saddles, Heat.


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


Twilight! Just. Terrible.


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


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


Thanks for the interview! It's tough to be out here doing it truly independent. So any help we can get, we appreciate it.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




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


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD