Your new movie President
Wolfman - in a few words, what is it about?
The President of the United States is bitten by a werewolf and runs wild on
the streets of Washington on a murderous rampage.
What inspired you to piece together a new narrative movie
exclusively from existing vintage material? And how much fun was it to
play with all the rather eclectic footage?
Budget was my
first consideration. I was trying to figure out ways of making a movie on
very little money. I’d been working with stock and public domain footage
for some time, collecting it as a hobby and making short films, but I
always wondered if I could create a full feature out of it. It’s usually
old, grainy and washed out, which makes it unusable for most filmmakers,
but when I started thinking of it as “recycling”, it opened up a whole
new world of possibilities. Explosions, riots, animals, spaceships, wars,
dinosaurs… it’s all available in this crazy collection of footage that
I could never afford to shoot myself. And it’s enormously fun to comb
through the old reels looking for great and weird material, like treasure
portion of your movie was lifted from the 1973 flick The Werewolf
of Washington - in a nutshell, why that movie, and in what ways did you
change its plot around?
In order to make a full length
movie I need consistent characters, so I had to find an existing public
domain feature to use as a base to take footage from. I discovered The Werewolf
of Washington, saw a guy in a suit who’s a werewolf, he’s in
Washington… I got my story! Honestly, I’ve never watched the original
film all the way through, I just mine it for footage. But I do know that
the werewolf character is not the President and the story is completely
What were your inspirations for
the story of President
Originally the idea was to make the
President a hapless idiot who has this terrible affliction befall him.
That was when George W. Bush was still in office. But when Obama came in,
I started thinking about the frustration he must feel about being blocked
at every turn by his opponents. What would happen if he reached a boiling
point and started killing them? How would the public react? It made for a
far more interesting character, so, thanks, Obama!
Do describe your movie's brand of
humour for a bit, and how serious were you about the political satire
I would call the humor absurd, and the jokes
range from juvenile to cunning. I tried to throw everything in because
everyone's sense of humor is different, it just had to be non stop. The
satire makes some serious points, but I equally offend both
ends of the political spectrum because they all deserve to be made fun of.
What can you tell us about President
Wolfman's voice cast, and why exactly these people?
Evan Jackson, who plays the title role, is a brilliant comedic actor who
starred in several productions by my friend, director Matt Piedmont. He
sounds like a high school teacher whose entire class is tripping on LSD
but has no idea and is trying to maintain order. It's the combination of
staid and ridiculous that was needed to bring the character of John
Wolfman to life. Most everyone else are professional voice over artists
who do a lot of animation and commercial work. Each one plays about ten
roles in the movie, which you would never know because they are so
few words about critical and audience reception of your movie so far?
good so far. People get excited about the ‘green’ movie technique, and
in these days of $200 million Hollywood blockbusters and remakes, they
appreciate someone attempting something different even if it’s not quite
future projects you'd like to share?
I am currently working
on my next recycled feature. This time, it’s a World War Two epic.
What got you into
the filmworld to begin with, and did you receive any formal education on
I went to school for screenwriting. Writing is
my first love, but when I think about it, I’ve been making weird little
films since I was a kid.
Your directorial debut was, I believe, Sex
Galaxy - so a few words about that one?
It was my
inaugural attempt at creating a ‘green’ feature, a 1950’s style
sci-fi sex comedy about a group of astronauts who travel to an alien
planet that’s like a red light district for their galaxy. I used about
fifty different films as footage sources, for President
Wolfman I used
over one hundred. The new movie will be one hundred and fifty.
Wolfman and Sex Galaxy both made up from existing material,
could you ever be persuaded to actually shoot a movie?
could be convinced as long as drugs and prostitutes were part of the deal.
But for now, I’m very satisfied working in this genre.
filmwork of yours you'd like to talk about?
I do a lot of
freelance screenwriting and am always working on my own ideas for
screenplays. I also provide stock footage for more mainstream productions
and enjoy that as well. Call me, we’ll have lunch.
who inspire you?
Russ Meyer, Roger Corman [Roger
Corman bio - click here], Herschell Gordon Lewis [Herschell
Gordon Lewis bio - click here], Frederico Fellini, Stanley Kubrick, Billy Wilder, John Waters.
Your favourite movies?
the Valley of the Dolls, Planet of the Apes, Camille
2000, Faster Pussycat
Kill Kill, 2001: A Space Odyssey, This is Spinal Tap,
Midnight Cowboy, Adaptation, The Good The Bad and The Ugly.
and of course, films you really deplore?
understand The Avengers.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
One of my goals with the whole ‘green movie’ thing is to inspire
other filmmakers to make movies using the same technique. I kept a blog
outlining step by step how I constructed President
Wolfman as a resource
for others to use: www.presidentwolfman.com
I’ve also started an organization called Hollywood PD - Public
Domain that calls on Hollywood producers and studios to release their
unused and unwanted stock footage into the public domain, also as a
resource for independent filmmakers. Visit
for the interview!
It was my pleasure. Thanks for checking out President