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An Interview with Joe Ciminera, Director of Acedia

by Mike Haberfelner

December 2012

Films directed by Joe Ciminera on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your film Acedia - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Acedia is set on a country estate where six priests are sent to rid a teenage girl of demons. While waiting for the ritualistic tenth hour, the priests start to uncover demons of their own as well as the dark secrets that haunt the estate.

 

Acedia has to say quite a few things about the Church, the Devil and the like - your personal thoughts on the subject?

 

I'm a very spiritual guy and my stories have a Godly kind of meaning to them. I interput stories from the bible and remake them in my own vision.

 

What were your initial inspirations when you dreamt up Acedia? And is any of the script based on any actual myths?

 

To be quite honest I don't do any script writing. I scout the location and sit there and go over the basis of scenes. It's not until the day of filming that I have actually put it together. I get in my trance and start creating in my mind.

 

Joe Ciminera (in white) as the Devil

As far as I know, Acedia was not based on a script per se but made up on the spot. Why, and how does this work? And what are the advantages and issues of filming this way? And how did you manage to not lose sight of your story?

 

The immediate disadvantage is most agents won't contact a well-known actor without first seeing the script. I tell them flat out that we are all actors living everyday of our lives with improv. Most people in the film industry don't look at it like that. Most of my shoot dates to complete a feature film are between 2-10 days, so I rarely lose sight.

 

In connection with this, what can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

Lots of running and moving. With no script everyone has to move quickly and pay close attention.

 

In Acedia, you have cast yourself as the Devil. Why the Devil, and what can you tell us about Joe Ciminera, the actor?

 

Ha ha, I get asked that a lot. I thought this was one scene where I needed to get the right person to play it carefully. I felt like the casting for Acedia went perfectly but I didn't have anyone to play the devil. Myself playing this character gave me the ability and freedom to also direct the film.

 

What can you tell us about the rest of your key cast?

 

Incredible, if you notice most of the actors have been in Purification, Acedia and in my new film coming out in January called The Library. I truly respect my cast and they are all very talented and are eager to help out and see the success of the films all the way through. In this regard I am a very fortunate filmmaker to have talented people to help tell the story.

 

How would you describe Acedia's directorial style?

 

I try not to do too many special effects. I like the old mind twisters of the Twilight Zone-school. My direction is mostly improv, so it involves a small amount of detail right before the shoot and needs to have actors that can relate quickly.

 

As far as I know, Acedia hasn't yet been released onto the general audience. Any plans on that front, and what can you tell us about critical reception so far?

 


I have waited to release Acedia because I have decided to self-distribute the film. I have partnered directly with theaters, retailers and VOD outlets. The film will have a theatrical launch on Feb 1, 2013. So far the anticipation for the release of this film has been incredible.

 

Before Acedia, you made Purification, as far as I know also made without a script - now how do the two compare, and what were the major differences in shooting them and the like?

 

Correct, both with no scipt. Totally different movies, but still have the same after-thought attached to both of them. I guess the biggest coincidence to them both is that they tie into the sickness of greed. In both films people looked after their own personal interest first.

 

The Library

You also just have to talk about your upcoming The Library for a bit of course, and is that one yet another "script-less" movie?

 

No script for The Library. In a small town circa 1860 small pox takes the life of a little girl. She enters a world that will get her prepped and re-incarnated for his next life. The library is a second chance, a place to select a storybook life and be reborn. The evil darkness takes the girl into lower earth. All the corners of hell are fighting to keep her from reaching the next level. Four guardians are sent to rescue her but they only have 30 minutes.

 

Any other (past/present/future) movies of yours you'd like to talk about?

 

Yes, I plan on making Prophetic and The Chance both early in 2013.

 

Your movies are all horror movies of one sort or another - a genre especially dear to you, and why (not)?

 

I have always loved horror films and psychological thrillers. This genre comes very easy for me to create. I can plan a whole movie from start to end in 2 days. I'm happy that I could put it into film form so everyone can see it.

 

As far as I know, your main claim to fame is not as a filmmaker but as a TV-chef. So what can you tell us about that aspect of your career?

 

Taste This TV

There are two things I love, and that's food and movies. I absolutley love cooking and my passion for doing it on Taste This TV has had us on the air for the past 10 years.

 

What got you into filmmaking eventually, and did you receive any formal education on the subject? And did your experience with cooking on TV help you at all with this venture?

 

I had admired many directors over the years for doing horror. I always thought that I would be good at it because of the stories that I would create in my head. I never went to school for filming or directing. The TV cooking certainly helped me out learning about camera angles, producing, acting, etc... I have made over 230 episodes for Taste This TV, this takes some practice to do.

 

The one stupid question I'm sure you've long grown tired of but I just have to ask anyways: What kind of food would you suggest to eat with your movies?

 

I love real potato chips with sour cream. I'm a simple eater... lol.

 

How would you describe yourself as a director?

 

Many first time actors I work with think my style is crazy until they see the finished product. I don't take hours to get a shot. I walk on set and know what I want immediatley. I'm firm on set but at the end of it all, both the actors and crew benefit from a firm set.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

God, Jesus, Walt Disney, Rod Serling, Alfred Hitchcok, Martin Scorcese and M. Night Shyamalan.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

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The Shining, Let Me In, 30 Days of Midnight, The Time Bandits. Really too many to name...

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

I hate too many special effects with a movie. Especially when they are not related to a scene but are used to stretch or cover up the story because it could not be properly narrated and delivered.

 

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

 

www.purification-themovie.com

www.acedia-themovie.com

www.joeciminera.com

 

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

 

Yes. You and others are the reasons why we can keep making movies and I thank you for it. It's so imprtant for writers and reviewers to help spread the word about films. There are so many hidden quality filmmakers out there that prove to the industry that you don't need to spend a million Dollars to produce a Hollywood quality film.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

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