Your new movie Brackish - in a few words, what is it about?
Brackish (2015) is the story of a man, Jake, who is going through
major emotional trauma due to the brutal death of his fiance. His sister,
Tila, convinces him to go out with her friends on a camping trip to a
ghost town. There, he discovers the town's dark secret, which is the key
to bringing back to life his lost love. However, with that knowledge also
comes the price that must be paid by doing so. Hence the dilemma within
Jake throughout the movie as he takes steps in moving closer to his final
what I know, Brackish is a remake of your first movie with the same
title - so what gave you the idea to remake that movie, and what do you
think are the main differences/improvements?
Brackish (2007) was the first movie Mad Angel Films ever made.
Given that, we were obviously very inexperienced. We made a lot of painful
mistakes, but it was a film that we loved like our own little bastard
child. We always talked about doing it the right way so, eight years
later, we finally decided to actually start remaking it. In
Brackish (2007), the visuals overpowered the story so this
time, we brought the two on par. In addition, we worked on several other
things like pacing. For example, in Brackish (2007), the first
person didn't die until after an hour into the film, so we amped up the
slaughter and mayhem right off the bat with Brackish (2015).
your inspirations when writing Brackish, both the old and the new
The inspirations for Brackish (2007)
came from movies like Evil Dead, along with a number of
slasher films from the 70's and 80's. This basically stayed the same for
Brackish (2015), but with several improvements on the 2007
Do talk about your movie's approach to horror for
a bit (as in suspense vs sudden shocks, atmosphere vs all-out gore)!
takes a suspenseful approach that builds up to the gore. You'll see it
coming so just sit back and enjoy. There aren't any sudden shocks, but the
ending is quite brutal.
can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?
wanted to approach this film with a clean slate. It's a story I've
already told once before, but wanted to breath new life into. I wanted the
story to stand out and not be overshadowed by the graphic content this
what I've read, the right location is one of the key element of your film
- so what can you tell us about yours, and what were the advantages and
maybe also challenges filming there?
The right locations
can make a film and finding that right spot and exploring its
possibilities is one of my favorite parts of filmmaking. For
Brackish (2015), we were actually able to find an abandoned
ghost town in the Adirondacks and use that as the setting for our film.
The main advantage to having a place like this is you don't have to set
anything up. It was a perfect place - old rotten homes being taking over by
nature - giving you that Hollywood production look at zero cost. The
only challenge was that it's about 3 hours away from civilization and the
cast wasn't too fond of camping (HA).
Do talk about your
cast, and why exactly these people?
With Brackish (2015), our approach was based off the foundations of
the original film. We knew what worked in 2007 and what didn't. We wanted
to build on what worked and found people who not only did that, but were
able to take the characters and make them their own. They're all talented,
hard working actors looking to make a name for themselves and I had the
pleasure of working with them.
What can you tell us
about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
a very fun shoot. We made them all watch the 2007 version before setting
out to film the remake, so there was a lot of joking and bonding over that
right off the bat. Everyone had the goal in mind to not only make this one
better, but to make an overall great film that could stand on its own. The
biggest challenge was a camping trip overnight - it wouldn't stop raining,
but it didn't break their spirits and we pushed through it.
$64-question of course: When and where will the film be released onto the
We're having a premiere on Friday, Nov
13th. After that, we plan to send it out to a few film festivals and then,
hopefully, release it early next year on DVD, Blu-ray and Streaming Online
Any future projects you'd like to
have two more films in post production that we were able to fund through
The first one is Slade Collins: In and Out of Time, the
second in a series of adventure films about a relic hunter. In this
one, Slade travels through time to World War II to stop a Nazi plot to
take over the world. In the process, he meets his father and discovers
many things about his past and the conflicts within him.
The second one is Romeo 3000, a post-apocalyptic take of
Romeo and Juilet with touches of steampunk, set in the year 3000. In this
take, Rome is a Cyborg and the Last Montague, is still trying to find Mrs.
Right (or, at least Mrs. Right Now (HA)), but is also equally seeking
revenge for the death of his family by those of House Capulet.
year we have plans to start production on two projects, possibly more. One
of them is a superhero comedy called Failman, and the other's a
western/martial arts film called The Man With No Pants.
What got you into filmmaking in the first place,
and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
have always wanted to tell unique, interesting stories and to me, filmmaking has always stood out as the best way to do that. I have a fancy
four year degree in Cinema Theory, but that's about it. Everything else
was self taught and it's been a fun learning process.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Brackish?
is my 13th film to be released in the last 8 years. Past films have been a
healthy mix of horror, action, sci-fi, and drama. A few of my favorites
being Three Days in The Woods, Half Dead and
Slade Collins and Tree of Life. All low budget films, but we
strive for great production values and growing our budgets for each film.
would you describe yourself as a director?
I would like to
say I'm a ruthless dictator who directs with an iron fist but sadly, I'm
far from it. I'm very open to work with people and give the actors room to
play with their characters. My goal as a director is to make the movie
entertaining and that's what I strive for. Even if you hated the movie, my
goal is still to see that you had fun watching it and you where
entertained by it.
who inspire you?
There is one filmmaker who has always
inspired me and that would be John Carpenter. His style of filmmaking and
storytelling has always called out to me and one that I like to reflex on
the most. He's a filmmaker who has often stepped outside of the box and
created movies that were before their time.
Your favourite movies?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
movies are always a hard thing to pick for me. I would say some of my
favorite films are Big Trouble in Little China, The
Street Fighter (1974 film with Sonny Chiba), Escape from
LA, Young Guns 2, Lost Boys and The
and of course, films you really deplore?
Any modern day
ghost film currently plaguing the market. I just can't get into films
where nothing happens.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
(re-launching soon, working on some updates)
for the interview!