Your upcoming film is called Counterpart. Can you tell us in
a few words what the film is about?
When old school German crook, The Boss, and his
apprehensive underling Marcus Knight bootleg a couple of cases of peach schnapps from two seemingly
unsuspecting women, Loud Lily and Little Marie, they donít quite realise what they are in
for. When several bottles of the peach schnapps drink their way
through a rural community, itís not long before The Boss and Marcus realise the little bootleg
expedition was more than just a fun and rewarding night out.
Itís time for these two small town crooks to be dealt
with Ė multiplied by two!
With the film being
a rather wild genre mix, what were some of your main inspirations for the
The film is certainly a wild genre mix. A mix I was unsure
would actually work. Main inspirations would start with the early works of Peter Jackson namely
Bad Taste and Brain Dead. Quentin Tarantino is definitely in the mix as well as his
counterpart Robert Rodriguez. Iím a huge fan of Rodriquezís work and his hands-on approach to filmmaking
which I employed in The Counterpart. From Dusk Till Dawn was probably an inspiration for
the film story structure-wise and Martin Scorseseís film Goodfellas is always something I
draw inspiration from with any film I make.
How far are you going in terms of violence and
Not as far as many people would think. I wouldnít say itís
ultra violent and gore ridden. Letís just say it is heavy on the splatter, but the blood is there to
pull laughs. There are a couple of scenes which may get audiences squirming, however theyíll have
to be the judge of that. Having said all that I might be just immune to the film because Iíve
seen it so many times!
You haven't only written, produced and directed Counterpart, but you also play the lead. How hard was it to juggle all
these responsible, and how easy is it to direct oneself?
Firstly I admire filmmakers who can juggle these roles
through a feature film and remain still standing once the film is complete. I take my hat off to
Mel Gibson and Clint Easwood! It was ridiculous taking on so many roles, letís just say that.
It was a great challenge though, much was learned about the filmmaking process and different roles.
Itís given me a clearer understanding of why producers and actors act certain ways and demand this,
that and the next thing! I probably will not go back to taking on too many roles at once for a
very long time. Taking on so many roles did give me a lot of freedom in pushing the film in the
direction I wanted though. Directing oneself is difficult, you have to convince yourself you are
delivering lines and acting out your role correctly in the way which you have planned when bringing the script
to life as a director.
can you tell us about the female lead Julie Dickson, who I understand is a
frequent collaborator of yours?
Julie Dickson has been a driving force in helping complete The Counterpart. She certainly has
brought the character of Loud Lily to life which she plays
in the film. I had a clear picture in my head of how the character would be from day dot and once
Julie stepped on set she made that character a reality. Although her main interests began in
acting she has developed a keen interest in producing, assistant directing and writing. So much so
that she has been employed at Scheffilm Productions for over a year now as Business Development
Manager. She is very good at negotiating and making sure we secure deals which come
through Scheffilm Productions. It is certainly a partnership which was meant to be.
A zombie in The Counterpart
With Counterpart being
essentially a horrormovie, is horror a genre especially dear to you?
To be honest the horror genre isnít a huge part of my
filmmaking influences. I get really frightened of horror films and Iím a sucker for watching ones that
I canít sleep after watching. Iím really more of a fan of the gangster genre and action films. I think
you will see a lot of those influences throughout The Counterpart.
and where will the film be coming out?
Counterpart is available right now on DVD via our website: www.thecounterpartmovie.com
You are situated
in South Australia. How hard is it to get a B-horror project like Counterpart
going down there?
I funded the film out of my own pocket so in that respect
it wasnít that hard, it was just hard to find the time and the money to make it happen. We do have a
funding body in South Australia which provides government grants to filmmakers to make films
- however a film in the genre of The Counterpart I know for a fact would probably not see
the light of day if I approached them for funding.
Counterpart is your first
feature film, but you have been involved in making movies in one way or
another through your company Scheffilm for quite some years now.
What can you tell us about your company?
Scheffilm Productions is a business I started back in 2000
which I ran in my spare time that I shot weddings and my short films through. The business has now
escalated into a full time venture that deals with corporate videos, commercials, music videos,
short films and feature films. Eventually I would like to have a wing of Scheffilm which deals solely
in video production and another wing which deals only in feature films.
On the set of Coil
A few words about
your short Coil?
Coil is a short mystery/thriller I directed in a
co-production with another South Australian production company, Deor Productions, in January of this
year. Deanna Ortuso at Deor Productions wrote and produced Coil and asked me if I would
direct the film as she was impressed with snippets she had viewed from The Counterpart. Julie
Dickson also acted and assistant directed on the film. Recently Coil was screened at the
Cannes Short Film Corner and has also been doing the festival circuit for most of this year.
Any other film projects you've
been involved with you'd like to talk about?
Recently I played a small role in a South Australian short
film called Line of Friendship directed by Lenny Smith. Julie Dickson won a role in the film and I
was asked to jump onboard as a helping hand where I ended up playing a school teacher in the film
and also helping out as a stills photographer on set.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
projects you'd like to mention?
At Scheffilm we have two feature films in development. One
derives inspiration from The Counterpart and the other is a more serious drama based
on true events. We also have a short film in post production which Julie Dickson wrote, itís
a horror/thriller, more will be revealed on that short film very soon.
Your website, MySpace,
Scheffilm Productions: http://www.scheffilmproductions.com
The Counterpart: http://www.thecounterpartmovie.com
The Counterpart Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/the_counterpart_movie
Directors who have influenced you?
There are so many however this list is just a few:
Back To The Future
Viva Las Vegas (Iím a big Elvis fan)
Raiders of the Lost Ark
And of course, some films you really
The swag of remakes
they make these days!! What is with making them??
Anything else you are dying to tell us and
I've simply forgotten to ask?
I recently won a Bronze Australian Cinematographers
Society (ACS) Award in the music clip category of the South Australian Branch for a music video
I shot for local hip hop duo T.D.B. (Tha Deadly Boyz). The video was for their song
Rise - itís
on YouTube check it out!
Thanks for the interview!