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An Interview with Mark Anthony Del Negro, Screenwriter/Producer of Reservoir

by Mike Haberfelner

June 2014

Mark Anthony Del Negro on (re)Search my Trash


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


The pitch is "Poltergeist meets Friday the 13th", so it's going to be a "supernatural slasher film" so to say.


Your movie is based in part on the Quabbin Reservoir flooding - so what caught your interest regarding that story, what amount of research have you put into this, and how close will you stick to actual events?


Quabbin has always been an interesting topic, the history is taught in the public school system throughout Massachusetts. Plus our location manager and production assistant are freelance historians on this topic. What caught my interest was watching a documentary a few years back with scuba divers swimming through some of the submerged buildings in the reservoir. Kind of like a Colonial New England version of the Lost City of Atlantis. Then Chris Kellogg pitched the idea and we ran with it. In terms of how close to the actual events, you'll need to decide by watching the movie yourself and conducting your own research.


Other sources of inspiration when writing Reservoir?


I normally use people from my past when developing characters. I change the names up a bit but every character in my screenplays is loosely based on a real life person, I put those people into a situation and knowing them well enough I map it out how they would react. This enables every character to have a voice in the script. 


What can you tell us about your co-writer, radio host Chris Kellogg, what was your collaboration like, and how did he get involved in the first place?


Chris pitched me the original idea to the script, I have written the bulk of it as he is a professional editor and has added some great ideas for some really awesome scenes. Our collaboration has been great, it's scary how much we are alike, recently I told him he's like my brother. He got involved by approaching me via Facebook by pitching the idea for this movie in a private message. I fell in love with the concept immediately. 


How do you intend to approach the horror elements of your movie (as in atmosphere vs blood and guts, suspense vs sudden shocks and the like)?


Low budget meets classic horror is the pay off. What you can not see, "as in the killer(s)", is much scarier than what you can see. As for the special effects we're going mainly with practical effects, so it will look very real.


What can you tell us about the intended look and feel of your movie?


Dark and gritty image grade, spooky music, a fast-paced script full of action, and a bit of comic relief with the dialogue.


Felissa Rose

Shawn C. Phillips

Now my guess is a film like yours is heavily dependable on the right locations - so what can you tell us about yours?


We'll be filming at disclosed locations, both public and private.


What can you tell us about your intended cast, and why exactly these people?


Jonathan Tiersten

Jackey Hall

Jonathan Tiersten and Felissa Rose, who need no introductions as they're living legends from Sleepaway Camp

Frank Sorrentino of The Sorrentinos on the TVG Network, because he's funny and maybe he can introduce me to JWOWW. 

Ian Lyons of NBC's upcoming Series Odyssey and The Judge with Robert Downey Jr. I chose Ian because we met at a top casting agency in Boston and is one of the most talented actors I know. 

Then we have John J Thomassen [John J Thomassen interview - click here], Jessica Mazo, and Jackey Hall who are great players I pre-screened with The Undead, and Shawn C. Phillips [Shawn C. Phillips interview - click here], everyones favorite SyFy Channel guy. We will also be casting local principal and extra roles shortly.


As far as I know, you are currently running a fundraiser for Reservoir - so what can you tell us about your campaign?


This is phase 2 of our campaign, meaning we have enough assets to FILM A MOVIE. However we just do not want to make a good movie we want to make a GREAT MOVIE! Therefore these additional funds will enable us to use  top of the line equipment, purchase better music and create some really awesome special effects. 


Once your funds are raised, what's the schedule - and any idea when and where the film might be released onto the general public yet?


10-12 day shoot in late August, since Chris is the editor we're looking to have something ready for select audiences by Halloween.


Any future projects beyond Reservoir?


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Yes, The Undead is still on schedule [The Undead interview with Mark - click here], then Johnny Tiersten and I have some stuff in the works, so stay tuned.


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




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


Yes The Undead is not DEAD as some rumor mills have stated. Reservoir is being filmed before because it is a summer film and there is no reason to postpone it until next summer when we have the resources to get it into the can (industry term for completed) by early September. Then The Undead is a fall-based film which needs the New England fall foliage to bring the look I've always intended for it to have. If you look at The Undead comic book, that is the look we want. New England, especially The Berkshires is one of the most desirable places to be in the world during the fall months, we therefore look to use that natural beauty to our advantage.


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!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner


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