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An Interview with Megan Freels Johnston, Director of Rebound

by Mike Haberfelner

March 2015

Films directed by Megan Freels Johnston on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Rebound - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Rebound was originally titled "PTSD" which stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Rebound is about someone who has experienced such anxiety and profound loss that she would do anything to no longer think about it. To escape.

 

What were your inspirations when writing Rebound? And was any of this based on personal experiences (I hope not all of it though)?

 

Rebound was not really based on personal experience, but I do think break-ups are really hard and I am interested in what break-ups and loss can do to the psyche.

 

With Rebound being a horror movie - is that a genre at all dear to you, and how would you describe your movie's approach to horror?

 

I love horror. It is my favorite genre. However, I much prefer old-fashioned horror and psychological thrillers. I am not as much interested in blood as I am in suspense and mood.

 

Towards the end, Rebound features some very gruesome bits - so what can you tell us about those, how were they achieved, and was there any line you refused to cross (for other than budgetary reasons)?

 

They were achieved with some movie tricks. We had a wonderful special effects makeup artist Joanne Adolfo who really did a great job making everything look real. There are a lot of lines I couldn't cross or the ending wouldn't have worked.

 

What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?

 

Well first of all I had never directed anything before. My background has been as a producer. As far as a director, my main goal was for everything to seem real and a bit strange. Tone is very important to me. I was lucky to have an amazing cinematographer Stephen Tringali who was instrumental in making Rebound look fantastic!

 

Mark Scheibmeir, Ashley James

Wes O'Lee

Do talk about your key cast, and why exactly these people?

 

Ashley James is a friend of mine and we talked about doing something together so I wrote the script for her. Horror isn't even really her thing so she did a great job. Wes O'Lee is also a friend of mine who is not an actor. He's a musician. I just thought he would be so great.

 

We found the rest of the cast through auditions. We loved how Mark Scheibmeir read for Eddie. We thought he really brought something interesting to the part. He just got it! Kevin Bulla was great. He knew exactly what I was going for and made the bartender role so much more colorful than it was even written. Julia Beth Stern who played Shannon also did a great job feeling for her friend. 

 

What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

The on-set atmosphere was actually fun. We had a small team and for the most part it was stress-free. I didn't take myself too seriously as a director so there was probably a lot more laughing than yelling.

 

A few words about audience and critical reception of your movie?

 

The reception for this film has been really good. It's been a bit mixed at times but I think that is really due to this being a more specialized genre. It is technically a horror film but I think a lot of horror fans probably go in expecting more deaths, more blood, more... a lot of things. It's really more a neo-noir and that is an acquired taste, for sure. The people who like this film love this film! The reactions are more extreme.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I have several projects in development. I have 3 that I am producing that I also wrote which is great. Two of them have directors attached. I also have a project that I have been working on for a long time based on a famous memoir.

 

What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?

 

I've always loved movies. My grandfather was Elmore Leonard so I have had insight as to what is involved in making films from a very early age. It was unavoidable. However I didn't know that was what I wanted to do until I moved to Los Angeles. Before that I was an artist. Once I moved to LA, I worked my way up being an assistant for various agents, managers, producers and directors. I worked for some very high profile people and learned a lot. I didn't have formal training. I probably learned the most in the way of hands-on training during Rebound. Especially in Post Production.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Rebound?

 

Prior to Rebound I produced a half hour short film directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and a television pilot for the USA Network. It was written by the creators of Numb3rs.

 

How would you describe yourself as a director?

 

I am the opposite of most directors. I try to make the best film I can without being a total perfectionist. I think perfectionism can prevent a lot of people from completing things. Completing a film is one of the hardest things you can do. So you just have to try and do the best you can and have fun.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

As someone who didn't go to film school, I am constantly being inspired by films that somehow I never saw. I just recently saw Repulsion for the first time and I loved it! I love David Lynch, John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, Stephen Soderberg. I love directors who when you watch their film you can tell who the director is by looking at it.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Favorite movies is a tough question. I'm not sure I have favorites. I like neo-noir films and quirky comedies probably the most. So movies that would fit in categories like that would be Drive or Nightcrawler and Clue or Pineapple Express.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

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I have to say, I know this will not make me a lot of fans, but I just do not like superhero movies. I love almost every genre but that. It's predictable action. You know exactly where the film is going and it doesn't give me enough in the way of anything else to find it redeeming.

 

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

 

reboundthriller.com

https://twitter.com/Rebound_Movie

https://www.facebook.com/ReboundMovie

 

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

 

I would just like to say that when making a small film, it can go one of two ways in terms of the finished product. I was sooo lucky on this film to have an amazing post production team. My editor Eric Potter and assistant editor David Neff helped me so much. Also Steve Tibbo the post sound mixer made miracles happen and lastly Jacob Yoffee my music supervisor and composer Michael Boateng. I can't express this to young filmmakers enough, post production is EVERYTHING!

 

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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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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