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An Interview with Lewis Leslie, Director of Feast or Famine

by Mike Haberfelner

September 2014

Lewis Leslie on (re)Search my Trash


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Your upcoming film Feast or Famine - in a few words, what's it going to be about?


Feast or Famine is a post-apocalyptic thriller that personifies 21st century thinking: How many of us choose to believe lies on a daily basis, because we find comfort in the safety of our boxes? We operate out of fear, and constantly choose comfortable lies over the inconvenient truth.


What were your inspirations when writing Feast or Famine?


Feast or Famine is most obviously inspired by The Omega Man, I Am Legend, The Road, and many other post-apocalyptic films, but at its heart, if we're talking pure story, it takes its true inspiration from films like Donnie Darko and Fight Club.


Since Feast or Famine is taking place in a post-apocalyptic world - which kind of apocalypse are we talking about? And what can you tell us about your movie's approach to the post-apocalyptic genre as such?


There's much more to this story than your typical post-apocalyptic survival film. It's a psychological roller coaster ride. What motivates Cole, the protagonist, is his desire to connect to someone - anyone - after his wife's passing. It's not until he's visited by Sasha, a desperate woman searching for her lost boyfriend, that he's drawn out of his home, and forced to confront his inner turmoil. There's a lot of mystery to the story and the root cause of the apocalypse, but what I can tell you is there aren't many people around.


What can you tell us about your movie's intended look and feel?


What we're going for in this film is a feeling of isolation. What would you do if you believed you were the last two people on Earth? How far would you go to prove to yourself that you're not alone? It's Cole's inability to open up to anyone else since his wife's death that stands in the way of potentially answering these questions.

As far as the overall look is concerned, I want the feeling of Cole's remorse to come through in Earth tones, and a relatively bland color pallet. There are moments of clarity and solace that will play a little warmer, but the desperation of the situation will come through visually. We have an extremely talented and experienced camera crew led by Michael T. Sanchez, who is our director of photography, and Mikey Pounds, our 1st AC. Michael Sanchez shot our previous feature Killer Ink, and has worked on such films as Hatchet 2, MacGruber, and most recently Star Raiders: The Adventures of Saber Raine, which stars Casper Van Dien.


Bill Oberst jr

Do talk about Feast or Famine's projected cast for a bit, and why exactly these people?


The film's assistant director / production manager / my business partner at Under Fire Studios Melissa Bazis and I could not be more excited about the cast we've assembled.

Feast or Famine stars the deeply talented Hollywood actor Bill Oberst jr [Bill Oberst jr interview - click here], known for his Emmy award-winning performance in Take This Lollipop, a ratings-winning role on CBS-TV's Criminal Minds, and a featured episode of True Blood. Bill plays Flynn, a mysterious visitor who warns Cole of the dangers of getting too close to Sasha.

Andrew J. Katers plays Cole Nye. Cole is a loving husband turned recluse after his wife's untimely death. Some of Andrew's more notable roles include playing the lead role of Calvin in the upcoming crime-thriller series Anomaly, the heart-broken lover Thomas in Better Days, and Tom, a drug addict, in Hungry Ghost.

They will be surrounded by Colorado's finest talent, including young up-and-comer Lily Clibon. Lily is the daughter of assistant director Melissa Bazis. She recently starred in the emotionally charged film Faith. Charismatic actress Amirah Lee Counts will play Sasha, the female lead in the film, and longtime Under Fire Studios alum Kendra Buck will bring to life the character of Candace, Cole's deceased wife.

The multi-talented Jim LeVasseur will harness his inner conflict to play Blake, Sasha's missing boyfriend, and the extremely versatile Nissa Von Reiter will play Jenna, Cole's mother.


Andrew J. Katers

From the sound of it, Feast or Famine also seems to be dependent on the right sort of location - so anything you can tell us about yours yet?


Feast or Famine will be shot entirely in the town of Gunnison, Colorado, which was named in honor of John W. Gunnison, a United States Army officer who surveyed for the transcontinental railroad in 1853. It is home to Western State Colorado University. Although the film wasn't shot there, it is the setting of the science fiction film Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. The isolation of the location, and the beautiful landscape, are most definitely a character in the film in their own right. The use of a place like this will bring a unique look to the film that I'm certain will provide audiences with something they've never before experienced.


According to my information, the film is still in pre-production - so what's the schedule, and any idea when and where Feast or Famine might be released onto the general public yet, however tentatively?


We begin filming September 28th, and will be shooting for three weeks on the project. Melissa and I are planning to hit the festival circuit beginning the second quarter of 2015 to showcase the finished film.


Lewis with Melissa Bazis

Any future projects beyond Feast or Famine you'd like to share?


We have several projects in development, including The Diary of Melvin Sanborn, a psychological thriller about a young boy who witnesses his parents' death at the hands of a gruesome monster. It's a coming-of-age story that follows Melvin as he's tormented by visions of the monster into college, where he must choose to confront the beast, or continue to watch in anguish as all of his relationships are destroyed by his obsession.

Taking a slightly different tone, we are also developing a gritty faith-based drama called Faithbook, which is the inspirational story of H.S. student Taylor Morgan & her struggle to nurture friendships amid a constant sea of texts & status updates. This isn't your typical sugar-coated faith-based film.


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







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


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I want to mention a few more talented crew members we have on this project: Charles A. Baird, Kate Lowell, Mel Klein, Kathryn McGirl, Ross Smith, Curtis Devore, Dave Wellington, Michael D. McFarland, Helen Wilson, and our SFX Makeup artist Evil John Mays. 

I'd also like to thank you for the interview, and send a huge thanks to the town of Gunnison, Colorado for having us out to shoot this amazing 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


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!!!


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