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An Interview with Joe Stauffer, Director of Pieces of Talent

by Mike Haberfelner

August 2014

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


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Your new movie Pieces of Talent - in a few words, what is it about?


Pieces of Talent centers around two main characters, Charlotte Randall and David Long. Charlotte is a struggling actress & David is a special kind of artist. David and Charlotte have a chance encounter one evening and become friends. David takes a liking to Charlotte and begins building a bloody masterpiece for her. It's really a dark love story in many ways.


What were your inspirations when writing Pieces of Talent - and what can you tell us about your writing partner Dustin Lewis, and your collaboration with him?


Several years ago we shot a short film called The David Long Story. That's where the character originally comes from. We decided to take that short and build a feature around the character and world that we explored there. Dustin Lewis is a very close and talented friend of mine. We have a great working relationship. I like to play with his hair...


Having been in the film industry yourself for quite a while, I'm sure you've had a few unpleasent experiences with producers, filmmakers, whatever - so in what way is your film a poetic revenge on those people, and how much of yourself can we actually find in David Long?


Good question. There are plenty of instances in the film where we blatantly call out the film industry and it's slimy underbelly. I personally don't associate with those types of people and stay as far away as possible… they make this art form ugly… so we wanted to punish them. There is a lot of David Long in all of us, I think. A smiling, dark side.


What can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?


I like to give the actors as much freedom as possible. We had an incredible cast so they really made my job so much easier. There is a trust between us that is more important than anything else. We would talk about each scene and let it grow and change in order for it to feel as real as possible… but most importantly, we had fun.


Pieces of Talent's torture and death scenes involve quite a few accomplished devised and scenarios - so how did those come about, and did you ever have the feeling you might be going too far?


Tony Rosen did our special makeup effects. Get ready for the pun: He really killed it! We never felt like we went too far with the kills and had quite a good time doing it. We actually used a real shotgun for one of the death scenes. G. Scott Queen also brought his amazing artistic talent to the table by sculpting the beautiful torture device that appears in the silo. We just wanted to get creative with the kills, it's what David would do.


Do talk about your key cast and crew for a bit, and why exactly these people?


Kristi Ray, David Long

My cast and crew were some of my closest friends. We share a similar passion for what we are doing so there was really no choice to make, we knew who was going to be involved from day one. We love what we do and put our hearts into every project. Finding a group of people like that is rare. I cherish and respect it.


What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


We like to keep it fun on set. Of course there is always some degree of stress, but you have to ignore that and concentrate on having fun and being creative. It's all about respect. I couldn't make a film without an amazing team. Everyone had their own area of expertise and we all respect each other and work together to create our art.


A few words about audience and critical reception of your film so far?


I am pleased that folks are able to see how much of our soul we put into this film. It makes me happy. I welcome criticism, I love to hear how other people interpret what we made.


The $64-question of course, where is the film available from?


The film is available through the official website: We have an autographed special edition DVD, VHS and streaming VOD all available there.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


We have two projects coming up, both are in the horror genre. One is a supernatural, haunting type of film, one is more effects driven. Here are the links:


What got you into filmmaking to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


I dropped out of high school…I am self taught. I played in bands from my early teens to my early twenties. I got tired of doing the band thing so I decided to start doing music videos as a way to be involved in the music community without dealing with the headaches of being in a band. So I started doing live videos and stuff, and then got more into narrative based videos. From there short film, and then got hired to do more long form projects. In my early twenties is really when I had a realization of how much I really loved filmmaking. I'd always messed around with it previously, but in my early twenties I realized "This is for me". And that is when I started pursuing it, you could say. I still write and record music though, including several tracks for the film.


When it comes to movies, you've worn many hats, from producer and director to cinematographer and editor and everything in between - so what do you enjoy the most, what could you do without?


I enjoy the entire process. I love every bit of it and don't really have a favorite or least favorite.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Pieces of Talent (in whatever position)?


I have been directing, editing, etc. music videos, short films and other projects for years now. I try to stay in touch with all aspects and positions so I can really be well versed and have a solid vision of what is possible with every new project that I take on. Every project is a learning process, an experience… I hold that close and pay attention.


How would you describe yourself as a director?




Filmmakers who inspire you?




Your favourite movies?


That's tough, I'll give you one: Gummo.


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


I don't want to trash anyone else's art.


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Joe Stauffer
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Joe Stauffer here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Joe Stauffer at

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

Twitter: @piecesoftalent

Instagram: obeythetape


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


I just want to say thank you for your time and attention.

We truly put our souls into this project and are proud and thankful to have a historical documentation of that part of our journey as artists & filmmakers. Follow your dreams, put your heart into your work, respect others, and good things will happen. 


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

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


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
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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