Your new movie Photokill
- in a few words, what is it about?
It's about a thief who steals a camera that he
contains photos of a hideous crime. Now he and
his girlfriend fear they are the next target as the photographer
How did the project
fall together in the first place?
I was looking for a new film to shoot after
strictly working in
photography for quite a while. Then Tom
presented me with a
horror/thriller idea based around photography.
It was a good
script and it had all my favorite elements in
the story, so we
ran with it.
What can you tell us
writer/fellow producer Tom Bragg, and what was your collaboration like?
Tom has been working with me as a writer on and
off since 2000.
As always, this project went just as smooth as
all the other
work we did together. Besides being a very
talented writer, he's invaluable to have on the set as well.
Two what extent could you actually identify with each of
Well, we all have different sides to us. For
example, I'm an
extremely nice guy but some days I can easily
turn into The
Hulk, and some days do. In Photokill I can
definitely relate to
the revengeful villain. I think we all can. It's
this guy is a maniac and acts on impulse. Then
there's Max who
we eventually learn is a coward. We all have
something or a
situation we're fearful of. And Max's reaction
is to run in
this situation rather than face it head-on.
Allie just wants to
be happy and loved, even if she has to be a bit
obtaining that. Just sides that many of us have
to make the story work.
Do talk about Photokill's
approach to horror for a bit, and is that actually a genre dear to you,
and why (not)?
Well, all of my films have either a horror or
to them if not both. I have loved horror films
since I was a
kid, it runs in the family lol. What made me
decide to want to
be a filmmaker is the film Night of the
Living Dead. So, when
Tom came up with this story which incorporated
the horror/thriller element & photography all weaved
into one, I was
You of course also have to talk about Photokill's
brand of comedy, and how does it correlate with your personal sense of
While I do love horror, I also love comedy.
comedies like It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad
Fatso etc. So it was fun finally
incorporating some comedy
into my horror, which the actors handled with
A few words about your overall directorial
approach to your story at hand?
I gave the actors open space to explore their
characters. It is
always fun seeing what they come up with. Of
course there are
guidelines to make sure they won't go crazy,
cause they will!
But, I keep the set light and try to make it
like we're one big
'family' making a movie. If it's not an
why do it?
What can you tell us
about your key cast, and why exactly these people?
Well, we previously worked with Mike Funk on a
(Help Wanted). We knew we needed someone
who could handle the
dramatic part of the role as well as the comedy.
Mike Funk fit
the bill perfectly and we were happy to have him
back. We found
Lauren A. Kennedy by going through reels and
short films. We
knew instantly when we saw her we wanted her for
the role. She
plays the part so naturally and eventually a
as well. Both Lauren and Mike have already won
for their roles in Photokill. They're both are
talented actors and also handle the business
side just as well.
And there's another talented actor in Photokill
and his name is
Drew Maniscalco. We've been working with Drew
since 2007. He's
been nominated several times for an earlier film
we did called Addicted. Like that movie, he also plays the bad guy
to hate in Photokill. He definitely can play
other type roles,
but he plays villains with such eeriness. Either
with his evil
laugh or the subtle raise of an eyebrow, you
know the other
characters are in big trouble.
talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!
As always the on set atmosphere is always a fun
one. I have
great group of people working with me and
everyone knows exactly
how to get the scene done. With the actors, I've
been called by
many of them as an "actor's director"
meaning I let the actor
explore their character and add their own flair
to the role. Of
course if I do not approve or if they go
overboard I'll reel
them back in. The majority of actors I've worked
with love this
style of directing.
$64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?
Right now it is in its 20th film festival, but
DVD and then online (further down the road).
future projects you'd like to share?
Tom wrote a great little drama To Be Normal, which is in preproduction now. It has a 'twist' ending as most of my films do.
What got you into
filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on
No I am self-taught. I asked my parents a long
time ago for a
camera and started making little films around my
neighborhood with my friends.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to Photokill?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Most of my work are short films. Being a big fan
Twilight Zone I love the short film
format. I had my own series
a while back entitled The Mind's Eye
which I called my version
Twilight Zone. I have done a few features
in the same vein as Creepshow.
would you describe yourself as a director?
I'm hands-on in every aspect. I shoot my own
films and also
edit them. But, as far as a director, like I
said previously I'm
an actor's director. I like to let the actor
character a little. I look at it this way, they
that character to life so I want to hear what
they have in mind.
It could be smoking a cigarette, wearing glasses
or a wardrobe
choice etc... whatever makes the character stronger makes the film better. So, I am good with it.
who inspire you?
George Romero, Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter,
Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock, Ron Howard.There are a lot...
Your favourite movies?
Night of the Living
The Godfather, Jaws. This list would be too long,
and of course, films you really deplore?
Honestly I can't name any at the moment. I find
in any movie. Even if I just study the lighting
in a movie I
partially don't care for. There's always
something I can take away from a film.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
You basically asked it all! I would just add to
starting out: Just get out there with whatever
camera you can
get your hands on, even a cell phone! Make your
movie, tell your
story. It's the best feeling seeing a finished
product and the
audience's reaction to what you've created.
for the interview!