You operate the production company Archangel Productions out of New York.
When was it formed and what previous experience did you have with film when
I started Archangel Productions in 2002 when I filmed my first short, a comedy
called Help Wanted. Before that I had no experience with film other than
writing some scripts.
How did you select the name of Archangel?
My name is Michael and he is my patron saint - so I thought it fit.
Originally, you made some short films. What were some of the titles and
Help Wanted is a comedy about a human resources exec that interviews a
group of applicants who show how freakish they really are.
Scars is a three and a half minute short about a young woman telling of
her experience dealing with the death of her grandfather and coming to terms
with her own mortality.
The Hit is a mafia-themed short about an undercover FBI agent that is
outed and must talk his way out of his execution when he is to be killed by
Regret is a two minute short about the death of one of two young friends
and how the guilty conscience of the other haunts him years later.
Have any of these ever made the rounds at contests or film fests?
Help Wanted and Scars has been shown at some local screenings but nothing more
You are presently producing a film called Domain?
The Domain with Dr. GriGri is an online horror host show, not a movie. Dr.
GriGri is a 12 inch tall voodoo witch doctor who interviews local filmmakers
and reviews indie films and old movies. I plan on adding more episodes soon
when I am finished shooting and editing my current feature, Cryptid.
So what can you tell us about Cryptid's plot and people involved?
Cryptid is a an 8 minute monster movie I am lengthening to feature length.
It’s about a mysterious creature set loose in the Adirondacks that the
government is trying to capture and contain. As I am filming it, Cryptid is
reminding me of the Charles Band movies I grew up watching and still love to
watch like the Ghoulies- and
Puppet Master-movies. I want it to be fun with
some comedic parts and hopefully some stop motion animation to go along with
the puppetry. Hopefully this will be appealing to horror fans.
In the past, Archangel also produced commercials for people, wedding
and the like? Do you still do this for the general public?
I do. Samples of the commercials can be viewed on the Archangel Productions
Aside from the obvious budgeting issue, what are some of the other
difficulties, if any, in making a shift from shorts to features?
One is finding quality local actors who will act for free to little money.
That can give an indie film unintentional character, if that’s what you are
looking for. That coincides with the difficulty of getting a project funded
with a decent budget. You get what you pay for, no matter how much ingenuity a
filmmaker has to make a movie, you need actors with the same passion you
should be having for your movie. Not just a bunch of buddies who think it will
be cool to get together with the new prosumer video camera mom and dad just
lent you money to buy and shoot some blood and guts on a weekend.
After Cryptid, do you have other projects planned?
After Cryptid I have at least two monster movies planned. One is an ice
creature movie and the other is an evil clown movie with little six inch high
clowns. I do have a documentary about local cemeteries in mind too.
For the short features did you actually do casting calls or go with
people you already knew to fill in the parts?
I did casting calls for my first short, Help Wanted and my first feature,
Bloodlust. None for any other shorts.
Among actors, actresses or related crew, are there any people you have
worked with that really deserve mentioning or even a big push?
Considering everyone I’ve worked with and how much they are pursuing their
acting and filmmaking goals, I would have to say Heather Blossom Brown, the
Informant in Bloodlust, has the most potential as an actor. She is an
excellent and professional actress who is still continuing to strive as an
actor. She has also put out some very nice short films from her Baru Films
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Jay Ruzicka is a friend and filmmaker who acted in The Vampire Assassin as
Veronica’s friend. Also, filmmaker/actor/friend Jeff Kirkendall. They both
have the most potential of all the Albany, NY area independent filmmakers.
What might you say would differentiate your productions from the tons of
other indies out there?
I try to make my films look good and take my time setting up shots that look
professional. An amateur filmmaker can make a very good looking film by not
rushing into it and by planning everything first. Also, using people who are
passionate about moviemaking is another way of making a film look better.
Not just friends who think it will be cool to make a movie and do not want to
commit their weekends when it is not convenient for them.
Anything else you would like to touch on that may have been missed?
Don’t TRY to make a movie. If you want to make one, DO it. It doesn’t
matter how bad your first one looks. Improve on your shooting style, lighting,
special effects, directing of actors. Improvement of yourself as a moviemaker
will reflect on the evolution of your movies from cheezy homemade videos only
your parents could love to film festival award winning movies worthy of mass
distribution. Never quit no matter how bad critics say your movies are.
Thanks for the interview and... buy and watch my movies!