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An Interview with Jared Masters, Director of Absolute Vow

by Mike Haberfelner

November 2017

Films directed by Jared Masters on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Absolute Vow - in a few words, what is it about?


A story in the Old Testament I wanted to explore, about a man who makes a promise to God and ends up being faced with the decision to sacrifice his only daughter, a young virgin, or break the vow he made to God.


With Absolute Vow being a bible adaptation, what made you go this route in the first place, and what made you choose Judges 11:29-39, a passage where God is, shall we say, not shown in the most favourable of lights?


It seems that a lot of believers and Bible scholars differ in their opinion about this story, especially its outcome, but no one seemed to wonder what the girls did in the hills for two months, and I wanted to explore what they might do, what they might be tempted by and have to overcome in the wilderness. I don't think God was being cruel. He just seemed to be "staying out of this one", to let man struggle with his decisions and results. You can't expect God to swoop in and save every insane person who thinks it would please God to drown their baby, et cetera. Also, child sacrifices were common place back then, along with other offerings, like livestock and crops. It was a strange story that I wanted to flesh out into a feature to help myself and perhaps others understand its meaning, and what it might have been like to be alive in that era.


Maybe connected to my last question, your thoughts about religion as such, and do you see yourself as an at all religious man?


I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. He died for us, to forgive our sins and we shall find eternal life through Him, if we accept Him into our hearts.


(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Absolute Vow?


The Color of Pomegranates, Holy Mountain, Satyricon, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Sin of Adam and Eve and Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments.


With Absolute Vow being a period piece, what were the challenges regarding that aspect of your movie?


It was hard to get talent to shake off their modern day accents for their characters. Some silly actors thought it would be funny to keep it in. I'd say the hardest part was most of cast didn't take it seriously and tried to make scenes comical when they weren't supposed to be. It was hard working with inexperienced kids, but a few I thought portrayed their roles very nicely.


What can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?


I was probably very vague and just hoped everything would fall in line. I had to shoot the entire thing myself because I fired the director of photography the night before principal photography began. It was very stressful to hike, shoot, direct, and try to comfort everyone with their problems, like getting thorns stuck under their fingernails. I shot the whole film handheld and didn't rehearse at all. I wanted to try to achieve a genuine performance, but I was surprised to see how much people dislike the great outdoors and think 70 degrees is cold.


Do talk about your key cast, and why exactly these people?


Kalvin Madsen (son of Michael Madsen) was an easy choice, and his girlfriend, Parker Love Bowling was chosen for the role of The Virgin and Lloyd Kaufman and Rodney Bingenheimer just kind of fell right into place, and I had my friend Aki Aleong play the prophet. I met Andy Dick's daughter, Meg Dick, at a show and asked her to be in it as well. Many of the others I had worked with before in my previous films.


Absolute Vow was almost exclusively shot outdoors - so where was it shot, and what were the advantages and maybe also challenges filming there?


It was hard shooting this period piece in Los Angeles with car horns going off and helicopters going over head. One day, a lady with a leaf blower wouldn't quit, just to spite us. I knew it would be hard to create a proper village for the times so I wrote the script to fit with what little natural environment Hollywood has to offer. We shot near the Hollywood sign and it kept creeping into frame. I wrote all the scenes to be exteriors so we wouldn't have to bother with light and generators to power them. I thought it was environmentally friendly in a way. Going green for cinema's sake.


What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


It was shot in seven days and the atmosphere was great, until Lloyd Kaufman arrived and tried to make a joke out of everything and made the serious actors question what kind of movie they were working in.


The $64 question of course, where can Absolute Vow be seen?


Right now the DVD is on, (Barnes & Noble), and Streaming platforms coming soon!


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Absolute Vow yet?


It's too soon to tell.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


Agalmatophilia, starring myself and the sensational screen queen dream, Brittany Ballantyne, from Teen Town, USA. It's a black comedy art piece about a love triangle between a businessman, one of his clients, and his mannequin secretary. Also, we are in development for Carny Girls and Slink 2, which is fully-fan funded and can be check out here: - pPlease help this film get made! It will be epic! The Slink saga will continue!


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
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The links below
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just there!!!

Find Jared Masters
at the amazons ...


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Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
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Your shop for all things Thai

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


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


My new book The Cinematic Equation is now available at Barnes & Noble and on Anyone in the industry or anyone who ever chased a seemingly impossible dream should order their copy here:


Thanks for the interview!


Thank you Michael!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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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
to the weirdly romantic,
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