Your new movie Love is
Dead - what
were your sources of inspiration when writing Love
is Dead - and is any of the movie based on personal experiences?
The film is about 90% based on real life experiences. I went through a
very dark point in my life where I was drinking a lot and doing drugs and
I had such a hatred of myself that I unfortunately took it out on my then
wife. She attempted suicide because of it and it's been something I've
been in counseling in ever since.
the central part of your movie taking place literally in the shower, what kind of
a challenge was that from both a technical and aesthetical point of view,
and what was it like to have your actors do key parts of their performance
pretty much in the nude?
Originally, the scene was to take place in a car but I felt putting it
in a shower would feel more claustrophobic and not allow our characters
or viewers an easy escape from what was happening.
Aaron Thompson and Joanna Angel both work professionally in the adult film industry so
nudity was never an issue to them but it would be a lie to say it wasn't
a shock to both my cinematographer Zach Shildwachter and myself to see
the beautiful Joanna Angel like that in person. That quickly went away
when we started shooting because the focus was solely on her
can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at
Dialogue is what's most important to me. First and
foremost. Everything I write is heavy in dialogue and it has to sound and
feel real. Aside from that, I am very influenced by John Cassavetes so I
like the camera to almost be a fly on the wall.
Do talk about your cast, and why exactly these
I knew Ruben Pla prior to casting him. He's a
tremendous actor and when he signed on, I was incredibly happy. The reason
I cast Aaron and Joanna is because I have such disdain for the stigma that
people have saying porn stars can't act. I cast them because I felt they
WOULD act their asses off and they did. Joanna has what was in my
opinion, the best drama performance of 2016. That's cocky on my part but
it's true. Aaron is also a wonderful actor and someone I feel is a kindred
spirit to myself and somebody I am planning on working with again next
What can you tell us about the shoot as such,
and the on-set atmosphere?
It was weird, only because we
were all laughing and talking about enemas and being silly and listening
to Nick Cave then it became emotionally devastating when we started to
So where can your movie be
It's on Vimeo.
A few words about audience and critical reception
of Love is Dead?
Ruben Pla, Jerry, Joanna Angel,
been absolutely wonderful and I am eternally grateful for getting such a
warm reception, especially given the subject matter. Some of my favorite
filmmakers have reached out to say they enjoyed it and it depressed them
future projects you'd like to share?
I have a short film
I'm shooting next called Penance which is a psychosexual BDSM story
starting the beautiful Elissa Dowling [Elissa
Dowling interview - click here] and myself and a bigger project that
will follow that one that will feature some Love is Dead
entered the film/horror world as a critic and journalist - so do talk
about that aspect of your career for a bit, and what ignited your interest
in horror movies in the first place?
I'm very much an active member of the horror journalism
community, being the Senior West Coast Correspondent for
Fangoria and writer for Blumhouse and Shock Till You Drop on
occasion. I got into film journalism due to the very kind Rob
Galluzzo and Rebekah McKendry, who really gave me chances to
I became a horror fanatic due to being abused and molested as a child.
My mom would give me money to stay at the next door theater all day so I
wouldn't get harmed by my then stepdad so I spent my childhood with
friends like Alice from A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and Jamie from
Halloween 4. Horror is my lifelong obsession because of that. My love for horror
has lasted longer than two marriages at this point, lol.
What made you pick
up directing eventually, and did you receive any formal training on the
I've always been a storyteller and directing was
something that always just seemed like the natural progression.
What can you tell us about your filmwork prior
to Love is Dead?
made shorts that weren't fully realized. There would be a scene or two I'd
like but the whole of the shorts left a lot lacking both for me and the
viewer. Love is Dead is what I consider my real debut.
would you describe yourself as a director?
mean spirited. Jk. I allow my actors to make the roles their own and
though dialogue is VERY important to me, I'd rather the actors feel
comfortable saying stuff how they normally would, for realism sake.
who inspire you?
John Carpenter, John Cassavetes, Nicholas
McCarthy and Richard Bates jr are HUGE inspirations to me.
Your favourite movies?
A Woman Under the Influence, Darling, Friday the 13th
Part IV: The Final Chapter.
and of course, films you really deplore?
Any and everything
Eli Roth does. Sorry guys, bro-horror is not my jam.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
really like sex. Jk. I thought it'd be funny to end this in a pervy way.
Ok, I'm not kidding. Sex is good.
for the interview!
THANK YOU so much!!