First of all, why don't you introduce yourself to those of us who don't
already know you?
Michael J. Schaefer, veteran of Renaissance
Festivals, singer, actor and a general huge fan of redheads!
As far as I know, you have worked in numerous positions on Legend
of the Red Reaper - so could you please specify?
Producer, Actor, Stunt Performer, Craft Services, Transportation
Supervisor ... and there is also a version of a Comic
Book roaming around somewhere that I wrote.
what extent could you relate to Legend
of the Red Reaper's fantasy theme?
It's The Hero's Journey to a T. We all have to go through that at some
point in our lives. Confront our fears, our hopes, our desires. Be Strong
yet be humble enough to seek help from trusted adversaries during the
face of darkness, both external and internal! Classic human (and Reaper) psyche!
How did you
get hooked up with the project in the first place?
I saw a repost of the casting from a
mutual friend of Tara [Tara
Cardinal interview - click here]
and mine. They asked for people who had experience
with stage combat, and their own costumes/weapons. So I dusted off my old
garb, and filled out an acting resume to send Tara.
It was a funny reply, at the time I was
6'5 and weighed 500 pounds. And When Tara called me back, she sweetly
asked "is this true... are you REALLY... (awkward pause for
proper phrasing) ... 6'5"?? I said Yes, and the weight is right too...
She immediately invited me aboard.
talk about Legend
of the Red Reaper's director/producer/star/creator Tara Cardinal [Tara
Cardinal interview - click here] for a bit, and what was your
collaboration like? And based on your experiences on Legend
of the Red Reaper, could you ever be tempted work with her again?
It was awesome - at first it was simply
in my role as Goran. But I had never been on any type of movie set before,
and I like to learn new things by observing, so I offered to help out
driving. One night after a long night of shooting in New Smyrna Beach, I
was driving Tara back to the cast house, and just saw how drained she was
from not only her job as the lead actress, but from everything else behind
the scenes she had to deal with, endure, and fix. It hit a soft spot with
me so I made helping her out a priority. So many people were giving her the
brunt of their hostility, and they didn't see that she was making herself
sick trying to fix things to make life easier for them.
She is an AMAZINGLY driven woman,
and over the years we have become great friends, I think mostly because
she knows that I have her back, but I'm not just going to tell her what
she wants to hear. At times I do, after all... REDHEAD!!
I would work with her again in a heartbeat! Someone has to remind her to
eat (even those NASTY COTTAGE CHEESE
Egg things she created)!
talk about the shoot as such for a bit, and the on-set atmosphere!
I think you have to break that question down into
separate parts, after all there were several shoots within the shoot. At
first, it was smooth enough... then as with most lower budgeted
things, when things get tight, it gets a little crazy, bringing in people who are used to things operating a certain way, and then, trying to
convince them they wanna go gorilla is hard work. Jane Goodall had NOTHING
on our set at times.
Other parts of it were straight-up nuts, with new
things being tweaked, added, and edited on the fly. Locations being secured,
than yanked out from underneath us... But no matter what we always
had FUN as a cast. We kept it light on set to keep sprits higher.
I'm Italian, and learned from my Sicilian Mother
that when you feed people well, they're happier. So my primary job
the second go around became feeding everyone. And making sure that no
matter what other craziness ensued, food was hot, tasty, and plentiful.
Rare on a indie project (unless you're smart, then make crafty a budget
future projects you'd like to share?
something comes along, I'll always entertain it. My time of late has
been much more limited, focusing on getting myself healthier. I've
recently lost 145 pounds, so, I'm pretty tied up making that happen.
I've done more producing lately than anything else on camera... but again,
if something came along that I liked a hole bunch, I'd entertain it!
You have also
worked on quite a few films directed by Joe Hollow [Joe
Hollow interview - click here], right? So what can you tell us
about the films you worked on with him, and what's your collaboration with
him usually like?
I've worked on 3 Joe Hollow Films. The
Family, Disciples, and A Blood Story, on A
Blood Story I had the pleasure of being a Co-Executive Producer. A tremendous experience and opportunity to work with some real heavyweights
in the horror scene! The Family will be my favorite though, because I got
to be a really bad guy that Joe and Wolfgang dubbed "Mr.
Working with Joe is always an amazing
experience. He really has a top notch team that he works with, and that
group is going to do great things, mark my words. Extremely dedicated to
one another. When you get talent and passion together, Look Out, only
great things can happen. It reminded me of the group associated with Legend
of the Red Reaper... it's not coincidence that I met Joe through there!
How did you get into the film world to
begin with, and what can you tell us about the film scene in your neck of
I described this earlier, but to follow
up, I am a movie BUFF, and have a rather extensive collection of cheesy vampire DVDs... so I was kinda drawn to the low budget film scene.
In my neck of the woods, if youre a scientologist, or filming a movie about a
dolphin... come on down! I kid, I
kid... (only come if its about the dolphin!)
Filmmakers who inspire you?
I am a HUGE fan of the movies that make
something out of nothing! The original Blair Witch, or Paranormal
Clerks - things like that really
make me happy. So also Kevin Smith, Robert Rodriguez, Chris Nolan (as I am a
Nolans's Batman Trilogy, MOST superhero movies, original Highlander,
Valmont, anything Disney Animation or Pixar.
I'm a big fan of movies that make you think. ClosetLand, one of the best movies 17 people
ever heard of. Love movies that have a reason for the scenes to be in them
- the "STORY WITHIN A STORY". I also like feel-good
types of movies. I still go to movies primarily to be entertained, and
forget about things for a couple hours - so if a movie can do that, I'M A
FAN regardless of genre.
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Oh my, here's where I
lose some street cred: I dislike MOST Quentin Tarantino movies, films that jump all over, out of order drive me insane (I don't want
a character die on the toilet, then have to watch another hour of him
still acting after it). Or any movie that totally bastardizes a mythos (cough cough TWILIGHT SAGA)
(side note, Meyer actually did a
decent job on the werewolves, but man she butt-raped vampires almost as
badly as Indiana Jones got it in that last Crystal Skull-crapfest!)
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
You never asked How I was feeling!
I'm wonderful, thank you for asking!
for the interview!