Your upcoming movie Gnarly - in a few words, what is it
Cocoa Beach, shark attacks are on the rise and so is local surfer Brenton
taking blame for the disappearance of his girlfriend, Parker begins a
downward spiral into the deep unknown and reveals why the water has become
With Gnarly being a maritime thriller,
what meaning has the sea to you in your personal life, and maybe connected
to that, to what extent can you identify with your movie's protagonist
The first time I rode a surfboard I was 13; by the
time I was 16, I was surfing everyday. It gave me (and still gives me)
something nothing else can - the ability to maintain complete
inner peace despite my surroundings. The ocean has depth, mystery, danger,
layers and elements we still know NOTHING about. The ocean gives hope and
inspires change, but could take everything away at the same time. The sea
represents everything to me. Identifying with Parker is nearly a task for
me - his character will be widely identifiable. Parker rises to
fall, loses to love, and most of all makes choices that forever change the
course of his life.
(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Gnarly?
Movies without intent, people without integrity, and a
culture that deserves to be ignited.
Sharks have become very popular movie monsters of late
- so what makes Gnarly stand out in the crowd of shark movies?
Sharks simply pose as threat in Gnarly - a very terrifying and
real threat. The sharks in Gnarly don't have two heads or end
up in a tornado, they aren't overgrown and fake. In Gnarly,
the sharks are one of the most real things portrayed in the movie and can
hardly be categorized as "monsters". To me, that is what makes
them scary - knowing they are there, knowing we are in their territory and
knowing the risk every time we enter that water. THEY ARE REAL, THEY DO
BITE, and THEY CAN EAT YOU - NO MOTIVE, NO WARNING, NO CONSCIENCE.
do you intend to handle the shark effects in your film? And connected to
that, how do you go about the violence the genre usually suggests?
is the first thing I am concerned about. There will be real sharks, that
is all I can promise you. Violence is touchy and Gnarly
suggests a title of gore, guts, and guns. In order to appeal to a LARGE
audience, the script was written with a message of terror, lined heavily
with comedy, depth, layers, a message, but most importantly a twist that
will make you feel. Anything is possible in this movie and in order to
depict a very violent idea to as many people as possible, the story
requires a meaningful build up. Yes - a brutal, bloody shark movie with
can you tell us about your film's intended look and feel?
scene will have a dark undertone in a very sunny world, or a light
undertone in a very dark world. It will feel intimate; every person will
be able to understand at least one of the main characters. That's
what I want from this: a personal experience that reveals something to all
of us; something personal, intimate, and real. Because if you let it - Gnarly will.
key factor of a film like this is at least in my opinion the right
location - so what can you tell us about yours?
is beautiful, the waves are clean, the beach is gorgeous, and the fun
never stops. However, this beach town has a very dark, addictive, and
engulfing quality about it where sin is simply that - just sin. It is the
perfect city for this movie - a HUGE inspiration for the message.
you can tell us about your key cast yet, and why exactly these people?
final decisions have been made about ANY of the main cast. BUT there a few
familiar faces we are considering, and keeping our fingers crossed
on a person who put Cocoa Beach on the map. We were EXTREMELY lucky in the
amount of buzz our casting created and have a pool of extremely talented
people, have had a difficult time narrowing down.
far as I know, your film is still in pre-production, right? So how are you
planning to proceed, and any idea when the movie might be released onto
the general public yet (and yes, I know it's waaay too early to ask)?
is in the early stages of pre-production. We are dotting our I's and
crossing our T's, so NOTHING is overlooked and I mean NOTHING. The message
this film will provide is intricate and EXPENSIVE and in order to
fulfill those 2 elements, an effective business plan is being constructed
by a very impressive team.
future projects beyond Gnarly?
I wouldn't be very committed to
the now if I was already thinking of the future. Not to mention, the
various elements the Gnarly brand is comprised of - this
project could literally last a lifetime.
So what got you
into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
I've been writing short stories
since I can remember, but never thought film-making made me tick. I knew
making movies made me tick, but for almost 10 years now, thought my place
was an actor. After being mistreated (shaving my head down the center,
owed almost 10k type of mis-treated) by a certain director (who will go
unnamed) I took a step back and realized, if this idiot can do it (which
he couldn't), then I can too. I vowed to never lead on talent, never
promise anything I couldn't. There are just so many indie film makers that
gave a bad name for indie film and I am determined to defy that. I want to
be one of the good guys - there needs to be more of them. I've also
been that annoying actor that asked the crew questions and told the
director ideas since conception. (HERE'S MY APOLOGY!)
What can you tell us about your
filmwork prior to Gnarly?
A few acting credits are Spring Breakers, Alvin and The Chipmunks 3:
an ever-expanding list of indie flicks. Asides from the promo videos, some
light shorts, and a few personal projects, I am as green as they come in
How would you describe
yourself as a director?
An actor's best friend.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
favorites are Harmony Korine, Darren Aronofsky, Stephen Chbosky,
Wes Craven and Oliver Stone.
Savages, Spun, American Psycho, The Rules
Of Attraction... etc. etc. etc. etc.
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
There are almost as many films that piss me off as
there are films that innovate me. I'll stay professional and simply state
that any movie failing to contain substance just has to go. Even a movie
with pure entertainment value should be trying to say something. I'll
watch reality TV if I want shit. Save the story for the big screen.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Anything else you are dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
you hear about the shark that walked into the bar?...
Thanks for the interview!