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An Interview with John K. Fiore, Writer of Steak Knives

by Mike Haberfelner

November 2014

Films written by John K. Fiore on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Steak Knives - in a few words, what is it about?

 

It's basically about a good person, a delightful little homemaker, who is going through a murderous mid-life crisis. I'm sure many husbands know exactly what I'm talking about. Well it's her birthday, but now the party is over and it's time for an intimate moment with her husband to discuss her present. He gave her steak knives. How thoughtful, and now she'd like to know the reasoning behind this gift and what better way than press one against his throat while asking.

 

What were your inspirations when writing Steak Knives, and is any of the film based on actual experiences?

 

Michelle Palmer, a good friend and actress from Chicago was here to work on another comedy I wrote called Dilemma. The shoot was over and Michelle was going home the following day. But that night I was perfectly happy watching the food network when she suddenly hit me and ordered me to write a quick little skit and make what would basically be a home movie, something she could take home to her kids and something we could all laugh about years later. So I quickly came up with a little idea, wrote it on Q-cards and along with my girlfriend Michelle, yes I get them confused sometimes, made it happen. I met Audrey Noone [Audrey Noone interview - click here] this past year and immediately knew she'd be perfect for a more professionally produced remake and along with director Chris Esper [Chris Esper interview - click here], they made it happen.

 

So what made Audrey perfect for the project?

 

She's a talented actress, storyteller, sharp as a steak knife and also insane. It's a formula for good filmmaking and I hope to work with her again in the future.

 

What can you tell us about your director Chris Esper [Chris Esper interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like? And how much creative control did you have on Steak Knives?

 

I don't recall how we met, but I've known Chris for a couple years. As far as my creative control I had little. I moved on to another project and put my faith in Chris and Audrey, knowing they would do a great job. Chris and I recently worked together on a drama I wrote called Crossing Paths. It's almost finished so I'll hold off giving anything away until it's out there or I do another interview.

 

Besides being a writer you're also an actor - so why did you decide not to appear in front of the camera in Steak Knives?

 

Well like I said, I needed to concentrate on another project. I might have changed my mind if Audrey and Chris were willing to pay me enough.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I have three, no four projects I would really, really like to see made. I'm currently in talks with people in New York for a feature length film I wrote about five years ago. It's a pretty intense drama about a jewel heist gone wrong and the police search for the badly wounded thief who holds a small group of people hostage in the back room of a tavern. The other three scripts are shorts. One is a crazy kind of spy vs spy comedy that seems to crack up those who have read it. That's got to be a good thing, right? I desperately want to get another drama, the thriller An Accident made. I also have a trilogy. All trilogies need to have a common bond. Mine has three distinctly, separate stories performed by the same two actors who would play totally different roles in each. It would make for a really good, though somewhat long acting reel.

 


As far as I know, you began your writing career as a novelist - so what can you tell us about your debut novel Treasured Islands, and how did you get into writing to begin with?

 

Best way to explain my novel without making a career out of it is for me to simply read the short version teaser from the cover. It's a story that in some small respect mirrors my own experiences, both here in Boston and the islands of the Caribbean. Having said that, It's about a character, Joey Martin who had always lived on the edge, sometimes a very dangerous edge. But Diana and their little girl Natalie had helped show him another way and find, within himself, a good and more honorable side of his nature. Where once he had known only cynicism and darkness, his family had become his life and the light by which he was guided. For a little while, he would know happiness and a contentment that had for so long eluded him.

 

In another place and time, it might have all lasted had not circumstances, beyond his control, plunged him deep into a dark abyss of smuggling, drugs, the mob and FBI intrigue. Once again, Joey would find himself within the shadows of his past and caught up in an extraordinary challenge, away from the love, the light and the life on his Treasured Islands.

 

What made you pick up writing screenplays eventually? And at which point did you get into acting as well?

 

I was about to write my second novel when my girlfriend Michelle, not to be confused with a actress Michelle asked me if I had ever thought of writing for the screen. I pondered that for a little while and decided to try it. I soon found I could tell so many more stories in much less time and I've been doing it ever since. Acting? It was one of the few artistic expressions I hadn't tried yet. As a teen I was a drummer, later keyboards, baby maker, then a singer/songwriter, painter, amatuer photographer, novelist turned screenwriter so what else was there?

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Steak Knives?

 

I wrote and helped produce a feature film in New York City called Twists Of Fate. It won awards in Atlantic City and is now in distribution. Another feature I wrote was with an extremely talented actress, director, producer, Cate Carson, titled Capture. I helped an attorney, now a Dade County Florida Judge, write an intense true-crime drama about the biggest murder case and trial in Florida's history that took place during the 80's called Danger Road. I co-wrote two feature length screenplays for the U.K. market with a great English writer, Ron Aberdeen. One script is called Stilettos. I consider The Lifeboat as my finest work and if you know a producer with roughly 50 million dollars, roughly 40 million Quid, have him call me, okay? I've written and produced a number of short films. Three have made the festival circuit.

 

How would you describe yourself as a writer and as an actor?

 

Aside from my ability to both blink and breathe at the same time, I know how to navigate my screenwriting software and read about my Medicare benifits. I am also drop dead gorgeous for a senior citizen and can still remember to bathe regularly. I just don't always remember why.

 

Writers, actors, filmmakers, whoever else who inspire you?

 

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The writers, producers, actors and directors of such films as Twelve Angry Men, Cool Hand Luke, Good Will Hunting, Saving Private Ryan, Mystic River, Cinema Paradiso, Silence of the Lambs, The Godfather and I'll leave it at those for now.

 

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

 

Final Hours https://www.facebook.com/pages/Final-Hours/200894943283099?ref=hl

Crossing Paths https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crossing-Paths/350064025138975?ref=hl

Treasured Islands https://www.facebook.com/pages/Treasured-Islands/159880017413171?ref=hl

 

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

 

“I'll Be Back!”

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

My pleasure.

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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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