Your movie Night of
the Seamonkey - in a few words, what is it about?
Boy gets seamonkey, boy loses seamonkey, seamonkey returns to fuck shit up!
Obvious question: Why a Seamonkey? And did you ever own a live (?)
Being a child of the 70's and 80's plus an
avid comic reader, Seamonkeys were definitely a part of my childhood. The
itself had been 30 years in the making. I remember begging my mom to buy
these little things about once a year just to see them get dumped on the
lawn a week later when they stopped swimming. Having a very active
imagination at my age I would lay in bed at night and vision these
creatures growing from the nutrience in the soil and reprising as an army
to turn the tables on my family... Yeah I was a freaky fucked up kid.
Other sources of inspiration when writing Night
of the Seamonkey?
I've always loved anthology
television shows and films such as Twilight
Limits, Tales from
the Darkside, Asylum,
Vault of Horror,
Creepshow, etc. So when writing
would often reflect on watching these great shows and films as a child and
young adult... I also found that listening to the soundtrack of the first
Rocky film helped too!
How would you describe the
film's look and feel, humour and approach to horror?
to describe the look first. This movie was my homage to those great horror
shows and films. So I'd have to say I was really going for that Creepshow/TerrorVision look, and I think we nailed it.
Now as far as the
feel I was very adamant on stable camera shots then transitioning to
handheld as we graduated into the horror and violence of the situation. I
called my DP Colten Currey up one day and said "Look we have 30 mins
to work with so I want the first 15 to be Facts of Life and the last 15
Breaking Bad." So along with Michael Burciaga's wonderful
editing, Luis Javier Obregon's chilling score and Brandon Hickey's badass
sound editing I believe in a nutshell that's what we got.
The humor of the
film is a combination of my writing and brilliant comedic timing from a
The horror aspect of the movie and its approach to it I
would have to say is a bit light-hearted. Although there is some gore and
violence it is not really going to scare the shit out of you,but it does
aims to entertain and that's exactly what I intended. We set out to make a
fast paced movie that's fun to watch, but doesn't insult the viewer.
of course have to talk about your film's creature and creature effects for
a bit? And are you personally a fan of creature features?
Critter) as we like to call him around my house (Ollie suspends above the
livingroom television in my home) was designed using my concept drawings
by the amazingly talented Matthew Wriston. When I say talented I mean
fucking talented! The guy went out, bought $50 worth of materials and
created a 4ft sea creature in record time. My hat's off to the guy and we
will definitely collaborate in the future.
Am I a fan of creature features?
What do you think brother?
film stars horror veteran Lynn Lowry in a rather hilarious role. So how
did you get her, and what was it like working with her?
had contacted me on my Facebook studio page in the fall of 2012 and asked
if I had any roles to consider her for? Now of course I am like wow! Lynn
"fucking" Lowry wants to work with me??? As enthused as I was at
the time I had written two feature screenplays, but really had nothing that
I thought would fit her. So I said sorry Lynn, but if I start something new
with a female lead or supporting role you will be the first one I
contact... Late one January morning 2013 I wake up with a wild hair and
banged out a 50 page script in two days. I emailed Lynn and said I want
you to read this. Now I was a bit hesitant about approaching her with the
role for the plain fact that Lynn Lowry is as sultry as ever and I am
asking her to play an absent-minded grandma. So what I did was sweeten
the pot by letting her know she would be the heroine of the movie and that
with acting senile I would allow free range to improve and take the
character to a whole other level. She took the part and did exactly that.
Lynn Lowry, Sean Laguna
Joe Mannetti, Lynn Lowry
Working with Lynn was great. She brought so much energy and experience to
the table and every scene she was in was just powerful. We both agree that
we make a good team and will definitely work together again in the future.
talk about the rest of your cast for a bit, and why exactly these people?
Lynn was the first one I contacted for the project, and Joe Mannetti [Joe
Mannetti interview - click here] was my
number two person. Joe and I had met on a brain storming conference call
in the summer of 2012. On our personal time we would talk for hours about
old films and possibly working together. I knew he was a great actor and
was always my first choice for Don O'Conner (note the three adult O'Conners
are named after famous O'Conners).
Gora Chand Saha sent me a video from
Bengal India asking for a chance to be in my movie... I think he is
hilarious and has potential to be the next YouTube sensation, so I said okay!
Sean Laguna was always my first choice for young Toby. I caught some
of his acting clips on YouTube and I felt he had that 80's kid look about
Now the rest of the absolutely brilliant cast was put together
perfectly in my opinion by Mr. Rob Edwards whom also plays our sheriff in
the movie. Stacie Stocker, Rj Markham, Caitlin Herst, Tyler Gallant, Patrick
Giglio along with Edwards gave top notch performances which has in turn
garnered rave reviews for the movie.
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
was shot in only 4 1/2 days, and because of scheduling conflicts we only had
certain actors for a certain amount of days or time. That's how it goes
when you make movies sometimes... Now when limited on time you have to work
with an on-the-ball crew and this whole movie's look and feel wouldn't
have been possible without the True Grip team of Colten Currey, Doug
Sampson, Rachel Watrous, Jack Schwitz, Jaymison Broyles and Kevin Ashton. Our
location was a 5 bedroom residence in Gilbert AZ owned by our property
manager Richard Weil. The location served as temporary home for some of
the cast and crew including Ms. Lowry and myself. The on-set atmosphere
was that of family. Everyone got along great and there were no egos
clashing about... Now I can't say there weren't times of tension. We had
less than a week and a house full of cast and crew working long hours. I
have to thank Dean "House" Johnson of our transportation dept
who acted as my full time driver and partime shrink. Thanks big guy!
Ricardo J. Vasquez my producer was also there to take care of the actors
and even headed our practical effects dept. Great job!
there ever be a Seamonkey II - and other future projects you'd like
If a studio came calling for a sequel or perhaps
a full length feature of the original I would sign on only and I mean only
if my vision remains intact... if not I take my ball and go home.
Other projects on my plate include an epic biker/revenge flick I co-wrote
titled The Fallen One. It boasts a huge list of really cool names that
have read the script and want to be attached. Currently the project is
seeking an investor... so If you're reading this and happen to invest in
films, you know what to do. I also have an overseas project titled 6Dana
66Godina that has horror icons Geretta Geretta and Bobby Rhodes of the
Demons-films attached along with a paranormal series I am co-producing
that should be out later this year, and two more shorts that I promise will
be a frightening good time.
What got you into filmmaking in the first
place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
wanted to make movies all my life, but had lacked the confidence and
courage to do so. I guess I had made the great compromise and shelved the
idea years ago. Well one day I was watching this independent movie on a
cable channel. It was low budget, but very ambitious and I could truly see
the passion behind it. At the end of the movie I caught the director's
name and wrote it down and some time a year later I friended him on Facebook. I told him that watching his film inspired me to go after my
dream of making movies. I asked him "What do suggest I do?" He goes
"So you want to make movies? Well go out and make a fucking movie."
It hit me like a bolt of lightening. He wasn't being sarcastic. He was
saying drive through that first gate and the rest will open up for you.
Three years and lots of lessons later I am speaking with you about a movie
I have made and that's super cool!
No school. Just a working stiff making movies I would like to see.
Cheesy as all hell, but true.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Night
of the Seamonkey?
the Seamonkey was my directorial debut.
My other credits are as a co-producer and writer.
How would you describe
yourself as a director?
Still learning,b ut plan to get
better with time and experience.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
boy that's a long freakin list, but I'll throw out a few. Bava [Mario
Bava bio - click here], Fulci [Lucio
Fulci bio - click here], Carpenter, Romero, Cronenberg, Kubrick, VanBebber, Akina,and I am
leaving so many greats out. Like I said, freakin long list.
I am across the board with genres.
All that Jazz, Night of the Hunter, The Gunfighter, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,
Night Patrol, Super Fuzz, Once Were Warriors, Raging Bull, Saturday Night Fever,
Rocky, Dawn of the Dead (original), Halloween (original), Reform School Girls,
Hell Night, Demons 1 & 2, Carpenter's The Thing... it goes on for days
... and of course, films you really
Remakes for one and found footage is starting grow
wary on me.
Anything else you are dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
Love you Mom!
Thanks for the interview!