You are the director and
co-producer of a new film titled Sobrevivo. What can you
tell readers about this film?
First I want to thank
you for the opportunity to be a part of this interview.
the struggles of a woman in a post-apocalyptic world. When
April and her boyfriend's safe-haven is compromised, the
two must flee and search for a new place to call 'home'. After nearly losing her fight for survival,
April in taken in by a trio of strangers. While the world
outside of her new home is perilous, she begins to recognize
that the dangers existing inside may prove to be deadlier
and even more sinister.
How did you come up
with the title?
The title is actually a Spanish word
meaning "I Survive". Dena Schumacher, the writer
and co-producer, didn't want to title the film
"Survival" or "I Survive," and thus
"Sobrevivo". I think it has some mystery to it,
if you don't speak Spanish, and that's what I liked
The premiere for
this film is coming. What do you anticipate the response to
I can't say how people will feel about the
film, however, I would like viewers to note the craft that
went into this film, especially for the budget. The film
was funded through Kickstarter, raising $12,250 on the crowd
funding website. We pulled out every favor imaginable to
make this film. We borrowed equipment, asked friends to
help as background actors, crew and even featured zombies.
I think for the budget, the audience will be very
surprised with the cinematic value of the film.
Personally, I'm very proud of all aspects of the film,
including sound design, editing, music, make-up, and
lighting. It doesn't look like a film that was
produced for $12,250!
Dena Schumacher was
the writer and co-producer of this project. What was it like
working with a partner of this type rather than on your own?
I couldn't have made this film without Dena.
She is an incredible resource for energy and dedication.
The filmmaking process is long and arduous; there were
plenty of times where I needed an extra push, and Dena was
there to deliver that for me. While Dena and I called on
many people to help make this film, it was essentially the
two of us at it's core. I think that the film reflects
our passion to make this the best that it could possibly be
with the resources we had.
Do you have a
webpage for your company or about the
Yes! You can visit the official website @ www.sobrevivofilm.com.
There you can find links to our trailer, Facebook, Twitter, IMDb and other news on the film.
You have started
sending out press information and such about the film. What
has the feedback been like?
To be honest, we just
started sending out press releases and information. This
is our first online interview and we are honored to be
taking part in this!
The film is being
shown at Shriekfest which has always been helpful to
independent film, no?
Denise Gossett is as
important to independent horror as anyone out there. To
run a festival for 14 years (and do it well) is no small
feat. Working with Denise has been an absolute pleasure.
In summary, she "gets it". She knows the time
and energy that is put into any film and she has the utmost
respect for all of the filmmakers that are fortunate enough
to take part in her festival. While we haven't even
met in person, I already feel like I have a strong
connection with her. Dena and I are so excited to finally
meet her in October.
Do you plan on
sending the film to other
Absolutely. The plan is to see how
the film is received by the horror community first and then
cast our net to the wider world of film genres.
marketing strategies do you have for the
Right now, film festivals and a good online
presence are our plan. I want people to know that we are
excited about this film and pleased to talk about our
experience making it. I highly encourage anyone interested
in finding out about the project to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
films have been sleepers that emerged as big hits. What do
you think constitutes a good to great indie
I think what makes a great indie film is the
craftsmanship of the film: from storytelling, to acting, to
sound design, we have spent an incredible amount of time
fine tuning this film. It's all also about overcoming
your obstacles; with no money, you're faced with many
pitfalls. You have to be creative in both your financial
planning as well as your aesthetics. Great films are able
to accomplish both.
have been many productions that have left a little to be
desired. What constitutes a bad indie
First and foremost, in my opinion, is your
story. Without a good story, an indie film is shooting
itself in the foot. You have to engage your audience and
leave them wanting more.
As a director what
do you look for in actors?
As a director the
thing that I look for most in an actor is courage. Acting
is tough. That's why I choose to direct. It takes a
lot to go out everyday on auditions and get shot down.
You're putting yourself out there for anyone to peck
away at you. That's pretty brave. But when you take
it one step further, and really put yourself in your
character's shoes, that's what is truly impressive.
We were so fortunate enough to have the wonderful actors
that we did in this film which was brilliantly cast by Lexie
Pregosin. This production was particularly interesting
because the characters on screen are such awful people,
while the actors playing those characters are some of the
best I have ever worked with. It was amazing to see how
they would go from point a to point z with regard to their
demeanor. You wouldn't go within 1,000 feet of their
on-screen persona, but off the set, they'd be the first
person you would call up to grab a beer!
Do you give a lot
of leeway to the actors or take a more dictatorial
I think you HAVE to let actors find
themselves in their roles. Your job as the director is to
help them find it. But in the end, they are the ones who
must internalize it and embrace it. If it's not
believable to them, it certainly won't be believable to
your audience. As the director, you are that person's
shrink, helping them weave through the complexities of those
characters and rationalizing their thoughts and actions.
Do you have any
other projects in the works?
Absolutely! We have
several scripts that are either completed or are in the
works. We love so many of them that it's difficult to
decide which one to go with. Right now, we are working up
an idea about a hotel that doubles as limbo, in which its
inhabitants must face the decisions that they have made in
life and as a result, be judged either by themselves, or a
greater power. Another script we have focuses on a young
family whose daughter creates an imaginary friend that lives
in a shack outside their new home. But as the family comes
to realize, he's not so happy about the new tenants.
We are currently looking for producers and investors for
the next project, so if you fit the category and you like
this film, please consider contacting us at email@example.com
Do you have a
preference for producing, directing or other activities in
I really enjoy directing the most. I love the
idea of creating new worlds in which our characters and
audience can be completely immersed in. The creative side
of production has always been where my interest lies. But
when you are making your own film, often times you are
forced to produce it as well.
What is your own
film background? Did you study at a school or academy or
learn on your own?
I've been obsessed
with films since I was 3 years old and always wanted to be
involved in filmmaking. I went to Emerson College in
Boston where I received my bachelor's in visual arts.
From there, I went out to LA where I worked on several
different television shows on various networks. It was
hard to find time to work on my personal projects and it
wasn't until recently that I was able to dedicate the
necessary time to producing this film.
Do you have any
interesting behind the scenes stories to tell about the
making of this film?
Oh, maybe the time when
we wrapped production and on the last night, our makeup
artist took it upon herself to dump the entire bucket of
fake blood on me, much like you would see Gatorade on the
coach of the winning Superbowl team! That, well, that was
a good one. I'm still trying to figure out a way to
get her back!
I do not want to
create any bad blood or competition with your crew by
putting you on the spot, but is there any specific actor you
have worked with that shines through on
Honestly, I'm so thrilled with all of their
performances. I would have to say that it was an absolute
pleasure working with Rachel Napoleon who will undoubtedly
be seen in hundreds of other productions throughout the
years. She is one tough cookie. We really put her
through the ringer and she always came out smiling. Her
ability as an actor is fantastic. I always believed her in
every take and that was huge. This was not an easy shoot
by any means. People worked very hard and for that I am
In the same light,
what do you think constitutes a good or great
I think a great actor has the ability to remove
him- or herself from their personal life experiences and the
way that they would typically handle things. They immerse
themselves in the world of the character, going out of their
comfort zone and creating memorable roles in which they take
risks. Playing it safe can work. But it's not what
makes for a "great" actor.
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There are many
other points we could touch on, but this is a short
interview. Is there anything we missed you would like to
I think it's important to note
that we had the best cast, crew, and post production team
that I've had the pleasure of working with. Their
dedication to this project stands out and hopefully reads
well on film. We could not have done this without them.
Making this film has been one of the
most exciting, exhausting and inspiring events in my life.
While it took a lot out of me, it also required the help
of hundreds of other people, including our cast, crew,
family, friends and donors. I want to thank each and every
person who contributed to this film and believed in what
Dena and I were trying to accomplish. You made us very
proud and we hope that we can accomplish the same for you
with this film. Thank you from the bottom of our
Thanks for the interview!