Your new movie Sister
Tempest - in a few words what is it about?
love and mental illness wrapped inside a sci-fi/horror/surrealist
Tempest is a pretty wild mix of science fiction, giant monster
movie, psycho horror, body horror, and whatnot - so how did that blend
come about, and how did you keep your head clear amidst the patchwork you
inspired by the music composer John Zorn and his love of mixing and
mashing genres. I wanted to take that same idea and apply it to film. I have no idea how to keep it all together.
My biggest fear is that the story gets lost in the insanity.
As odd as it may sound given the surreal nature
of your movie, is any of Sister
Tempest based on personal experience?
totally is. It's really my most personal piece of art I've ever created. A
lot of it has to deal with my religious shame and how it has affected my
Tempest, you seem to ditch chronological storytelling ever so
often, and time and again go for a more associative approach to things -
so how easy or hard was it to not literally lose the plot making your
movie that way?
wrote the baseline story first and then continually added rabbit
trails and new layers until I found a balance between nonsense and
content. I'm kind of obsessed with associative storytelling (where one
idea leads to another idea that leads to another idea). A lot of that
comes from being inspired by movies like The Monkees' Head and Holy
Tempest features a short scene of a giant spaceman destroying a
city - now honestly, how much fun was this to shoot?
was the most fun and most frustrating thing that we shot. It was SUPER fun on the day of shooting. We were all like school kids
playing with giant toys. BUT it took about 7 days of making the city buildings and we were really
just making things up as we went along. My dad and one of the dads of the child actors, Brian Eiler, saved the
day. They actually had carpentry experience and were able to step in and
built the set much faster than I ever could! Plus, at the last minute, my
friend Mark Backus (who is a partner at OPA signs and graphics) swooped in
and saved the day by printing up a bunch of the buildings on foam board. Needless to say, it was A LOT of work.
can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at
sounds silly, but my main goal is just to get the entire story shot in the
time and money allotted (which wasn't much). There's no magic to it. I try
to do as much as possible in pre-production so that when it's time to
shoot, I can rely on everyone to just do their jobs. I try to find
talented people that know what they're doing so I can leave them alone and
let them do it.
Do talk about Sister
Tempest's key cast, and why exactly these people?
the character of Ginger, I wrote that role specifically for Linnea Gregg.
I had worked with her on The God Inside My Ear, so I knew what she was
capable of, and so I wrote the character around her acting style.
For the main character, Anne, I sent out a Facebook post needing actors
and did a bunch of video auditions and that's how I found Kali Russell.
She was just perfect. So easy to work with and such a natural actor.
Every character had to have a specific look as well. I wanted the sisters
to be blonde and redheaded and I was fortunate enough to find Kali
Russell and Holly Bonney to fit the roles. And they played off of each
other very well.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
was 22 days and $25k for a 2 hour plus film. It was fast and dirty while
still trying to look high quality. My editor always calls me Ed Wood for
that reason [Ed Wood bio - click
here], and I wear the badge with pride! I will say that everyone seemed to really have fun on set. I really try to
keep the atmosphere light and happy.
$64-question of course, where can Sister
Tempest be seen?
now we're submitting to film festivals. Check our Facebook page as we're
setting up screenings as we speak (even a possible secret test screening
Anything you can tell us about
audience and critical reception of Sister
just did a cast and crew screening plus we are getting in early reviews.
Lots of comparisons to Jodorowsky and other surrealists, which is an honor.
Any future projects you'd like to
now, I'm just focusing on getting this baby out into the world.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
think we're good! Thanks so much!!
Thanks for the interview!