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An Interview with Mike Lenzini, Director of Beast: A Monster Among Men

by Mike Haberfelner

November 2013

Films directed by Mike Lenzini on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Beast: A Monster Among Men - in a few words, what is it about?

 

At the core I suppose it's about friendships and what we choose to ignore in the people we are close with.

 

What I found interesting about Beast: A Monster Among Men is that it on one hand works as a proper slasher movie, but on the other makes strong statements on bullying, rape culture and the like - so what were your inspirations when writing the film, and what can you tell us about your co-writer Darren Flores and your collaboration with him?

 

I have always wanted to make films so I tried to write something that I could conceivably make on my own for a very low budget. Being a fan of horror films I thought that it would be great to tell a story that was on one hand a typical type horror film but on the other hand I really wanted to give the characters some depth and tell a story about people's flawed natures and the secrets friends keep from one another while also turning a blind eye to things merely out of the discomfort of confrontation.

 

Darren Flores

I had written my first draft of Beast: A Monster Among Men probably 8 to 10 years ago and just put it away. When Darren Flores, a lifetime friend, moved to Vegas I told him about it and we went through the original script and pulled it apart, expanding it and adding depth to the story and characters.

 

Most of the murders in Beast: A Monster Among Men are kept off-screen - merely a budgetary decision, or was there more to it?

 

One of my favorite books was And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. I loved the way the story was laid out and that she hid the killer in a very clever way. With every death you continue to only really eliminate a suspect and when we are left with the last two characters something very unexpected happens. I loved that mystery and uncertainty and really wanted to tell a story in a very similar manner.

 

How would you describe the look and feel of Beast: A Monster Among Men?

 

I tried very hard to go for a dark uncomfortable, and dreary look to mirror the relationship between the characters in the film.

 

T.J. Lavin, Mike Lenzini

You also play a key character in Beast: A Monster Among Men - so what can you tell us about your role, your approach, and Mike Lenzini, the actor, of course?

 

I have always thought it would be a lot of fun to try out acting, and this was a great opportunity to really give it a shot. I chose the character of Bill because I felt like he was a bit more relatable for me and wouldn't be too tough to tackle.

 

A few words about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?

 

We had a tough time casting, mostly because I was a first time filmmaker, however I was VERY fortunate that I found a group of actors who really believed in the project and gave it their all! Many of the actors were also key components on the crew as well.

 

Blake Farris

Do talk about your remote (?) location for a bit, and what were the advantages of filming there, but maybe also the challenges?

 

Really the only challenge was with scheduling, because of the remote location.

The cast and crew all went up to Duck Creek, UT and bunked together in three cabins. This was really a great experience and a huge help as I felt it afforded everyone the opportunity to get closer to one another and create a great atmosphere on set.

 

What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

We shot the entire film in 9 long and grueling days. The cast and crew was really amazing and endured the lack of sleep and tough scheduling.

 

Do talk about critical and audience reception of Beast: A Monster Among Men for a bit if you can!

 

This was a huge fear of mine going into this project. When we screened our film the first night at the Palms Casino I was terrified that people wouldn't get it and think I was crazy. In the end though we really got a great response from our audience and it felt amazing!

 

As for critics who have given us a write up it's been about fifty fifty which honestly is great. I try to focus on the good while considering the criticism in order to make myself a better filmmaker.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

My co-producer / cinematographer Sean Gearing and myself are beginning preproduction on our 2nd feature film The Wrong House, a drama / suspense starring Blake Farris (Mike from Beast: A Monster Among Men) right now and will start shooting in February.

 

What got you into filmmaking to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

I have always loved films and it really was my dream to be a filmmaker for as long as I can remember. I couldn't really afford school for filmmaking but still had a strong desire to be a filmmaker. So I just dug in and read articles, books, websites to learn as much as I could about the process until I felt confident enough to take the leap.

 


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Beast: A Monster Among Men?

 

Prior to Beast: A Monster Among Men I worked as a grip on a Ted V. Mikels film, Corpse Grinders 2 and decided I really needed to push myself. Shortly after that I wrote an directed 3 other short films.

 

How would you describe yourself as a director?

 

I'm very passionate about filmmaking and the collaborative process. I believe as a director you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

There are so many but the ones who really drove me would have to be Kevin Smith, Robert Rodriguez, Richard Linklater, and Ed Burns. I love their approach and their ambition.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

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That's tough cause I really love so many. Godfather 1 and 2, Clerks, Memento, Pulp Fiction, Usual Suspects, Tape, any 80's slasher films... too many!!

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

The only films I truly dislike are ones that seem to go out of their way to avoid any story and be radically different just to be.

 

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

 

www.amonsteramongmen.com

https://www.facebook.com/AMonsterAmongMen?ref=hl

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Z2Yd6tR7yU

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

 

Jetzt kaufen bei
Lulu.com