Your new movie Hitchhiker Massacre - in a few words, what is
Hitchhikers and Massacres.
How did the project come together in the first
place, and how did you get involved as a producer?
writer/director (James L. Bills) has had the script kicking around for a
few years. While he was busy working on big TV shows like Revolutions and
Sleepy Hollow, I was directing and producing a long string of very low
budget features. When it came time to make his first low budget narrative
feature, he came to me to produce.
talk about Hitchhiker Massacre's director James L. Bills for a bit,
and what was your collaboration like - and since you're a director
yourself first and foremost, how on- or off-hands have you been during
It was 100 percent his movie. I simply brought
it into being. James L. Bills is probably the most enthusiastic filmmaker
I've ever met. He's about 10 years older than me and I'm in awe of his
energy. The really cool thing about working with him on something like
Hitchhiker Massacre is in other hands this could easily be a mean-spirited
exploitive piece of work. But with James' childlike enthusiasm the
exploitation and gore is almost cute. There were points during
production where it was difficult for me not to speak up as a director,
but James is super collaborative and while he does have a specific vision,
he's always open to suggestions.
To what extent could you identify with the
80's grindhouse style of the movie?
I grew up in the 80's.
That aesthetic is firmly engrained in my psyche, as it is in James.
Visually and tonally, I think we captured it pretty well.
What can you tell us
about your cast, and did you have any say in that matter?
cast was great. James had most of them in mind before auditions. I brought
in Allen Perada (Trap and Monsters in the Woods) as the sheriff. And
would like to think Stephanie Gerard was my pick. But James gets 100%
credit for the others, especially Ely LaMay, she was a great find.
talk about the actual shoot and the on-set atmosphere for a bit!
first third of the shoot was on location in the main 666 house. It was
miserable, physically. While it was perfect for the movie, the place was
absolutely disgusting. However, it kind of brought the cast in crew
together in an "us against nature" kind of way. It ended up
working nicely for the movie. The rest of the shoot was all cherries after
$64-question of course, when and where will the film be released onto the
I'd say summer to spring 2014.
Any future projects beyond Hitchhiker
Massacre you'd like to share?
next up for Retrofocus Pictures is Chophouse. I wrote and will
direct/produce that one. It's a pretty gruesome urban cannibal flick. Then
right after that we're doing a crazy vampire flick called Worm. I wrote
that one as well, James will direct. The plan is to complete another two
movies after that, before summer.
As mentioned above,
you're first and foremost a director - so what got you into filmmaking to
begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
never loved anything as much as I loved movies. Instead of playing sports,
I watched movies. I got a BA in film production from the University
of New Orleans. But I learned most everything I know from actually
watching and making movies.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Hitchhiker Massacre?
wrote and directed my first feature, Rise of the Undead, in
2003. I followed that up with Edges of Darkness in 2007.
Between the two I edited a string of low budget, faith movies. Then I
wrote and directed Trap in 2009 and Monsters in the
Woods in 2010. Because of my ability to complete work on schedule
and on very low budgets, I was hired by a couple of companies as
a director and editor. Between 2011 and present, I directed another ten
low budget flicks, mostly faith, comedy and drama. But I'm very happy to
be back working in horror.
can't help but notice you do return to the horror genre time and again - a
genre at all dear to you, and why (not)?
Horror is just
fun. I love all kinds of movies and like to work in other genres, but time
and time again, I'm just amazed at the overall enthusiasm of the cast and
crew while working on horror flicks, as opposed to other genres. It's
How would you
describe yourself as a director?
first. Good with visual composition.
Filmmakers who inspire
John Carpenter. John Woo. John Ford. (That’s it for
the Johns.) Tarantino. Walter Hill. Curon. Del Toro.
Your favourite movies?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
World According to Garp. John Carpenter's The Thing. Children of
Men. Reservoir Dogs. The
... and of
course, films you really deplore?
The Baby Genius-saga.
website, Facebook, whatever else?
Anything else you are
dying to mention and I've merely forgotten to ask?
for the interview!