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An Interview with Mikeal Burgin, Director of I'm a Gun

by Mike Haberfelner

November 2017

Films directed by Mikeal Burgin on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie I'm a Gun - in a few words, what is it about?


I describe I'm a Gun as a high speed head-on collision, into a sea of madness and violence. A gun-for-hire accepts a shady contract targeting a beautiful and deadly woman. When the mark's disabled brother gets in the way, the job quickly turns into a desperate fight for survival inside a den of madness and brutality.


I'm a Gun is quite a wild genre mix - so what was the idea behind that, and how much fun was it to play with genre mainstays as your film did?


I'm a Gun was spawned as a passion project for my love of 2 very specific movies, and I always thought it would be fun seeing them together as 1 film. Mashing them together was a blast. Seeing elements from a multitude of genres coming together, and flowing effortlessly into the same story, was truly surreal.


(Other) sources of inspiration when dreaming up I'm a Gun?


I've always had a love for anti-heroes. They always put the audience in a very uncomfortable position. Who do you root for? Bad Guy #1 or Bad Guy#2? As an audience you instinctively connect with one of them for any multitude of reasons, and when a filmmaker forces you to choose between 2 bad people I think it tells us a lot about who we are in a very primal way. Plus, I've always loved bad guys! I'd love to make a movie of nothing but bad guys for every character at some point!


To what extent could you actually identify with your film's main character, the too-cool-for-his-own-good gun for hire?


That's actually a brilliant question, because Chaisson was such a complex character and nobody else has even come close to asking me about him in this way. On a filmmaking level, I wanted to have a main character who was oozing confidence. Having someone who was a sure bet, and that the audience could place a bet on that was a guaranteed winner was critical to the story! Now, on a personal level, I'd be lying if I said there wasn't an allegory in Chaisson's arrogance in relation to a private frustration I have with indie filmmaking in general. I'll just leave it at that.


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


My approach was the same as usual, have fun while learning and growing as an artist. I primarily work with the actors in making sure they're confident in their performances, giving them the freedom to explore the characters in their own ways, while allowing the crew a lot of creative freedom to highlight these characters properly to enhance their performances. I am not one of these overbearing directors who has to control everything on set. My crew knows what their job is, they do it well, and I allow them to do it. If I don't understand it, or agree with their choices, we'll generally discuss it and we'll move forward when we are all on the same page. Shooting a film is a group effort, and everyone involved is a pivotal piece of the project.


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


Probably 75% of my cast & crew were people I had never worked with before, and it was glorious!  I love creating opportunities for people, and I ALWAYS learn something new from people I've never worked with before. I'd limit my growth tremendously if I never changed my cast & crew up. My key cast were all people I had never worked with before. I chose them primarily based on their audition performances, and their ability to trust in me when I gave them specific direction. Jason Neff encapsulated the callous & cool Chaisson, Kat Walsh wasn't afraid to yell profanities or be a cheerleader of violence, Ryan Stoick was just brilliant in some of his improv, and I was extremely impressed with Nick Austin's emotional roller coaster that I coerced from him. These characters were so abrasive, so off-the-wall, that the actors had to have complete trust in what I was asking them to do. I'm fortunate that they did, and that we were all able to communicate effectively.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


We shot the crime thriller portion one night and the horror portion the next night. Working with new people, we had some hiccups the first night, but everyone seemed to adapt to each other for the 2nd night. I really applaud this crew for being able to pull everything together, often times in tight quarters.


The $64 question of course, where can I'm a Gun be seen?


Well, in all honesty, nowhere at the moment. We're still trying to find our first film festival acceptance after 9 months of submissions. I'm kind of starting to wear it as a badge of honor - I'm a Gun is a film that is too extreme for film festivals!


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of I'm a Gun yet?


Our reviews have been nothing short of overly positive, so the mystery behind all of the festival rejections is quite compelling. I can say that I still enjoy watching I'm a Gun, and I'm eager for it to find the audience that festivals have denied. The fact that online reviewers have all liked it just proves that these festivals have gotten it wrong so far, but plans are in place to release it online sometime in the first few months of 2018. Follow us on the I'm a Gun Facebook page and you'll be sure to see it once it does hit the internet -


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I'm in pre-production for my first feature, which is another genre mash-up! This time it's a supernatural drama called The Caregivers. Hoping to shoot it in late 2018.


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Mikeal Burgin
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Mikeal Burgin here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

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


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


Despite all of the challenges we've had trying to get this movie in front of audiences, I'm extremely proud of it! Of all my films, it's the one that haven't grown tired of after hundreds of viewings. It's a violent, offensive, comical, nerve-wracking 10 minutes of solid performances!


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
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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


A Killer Conversation

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