Your new movie A
Dark Place Inside - in a few words, what is it about?
Dark Place Inside is the story of Andy. He's an isolated man
battling with deep issues and horrible tendencies caused by his past.
Dark Place Inside is based on a story by Warren Croyle [Warren
Croyle interview - click here] - so what can you tell us about
your source material, in what detail did it outline the film, and how
close did you stick to it?
Warren gave me a very brief and
very loose outline. It was about two paragraphs long. He basically asked
for a movie about an isolated serial killer that abused the remains of his
victims with a specific request for the ending that I stuck somewhat close
What were your inspirations
when writing A Dark
Place Inside? And to what extent could you sympathize or even
identify with your protagonist Andy?
My inspirations were
everyday life. I just swapped a few things with rape and murder when
telling the story. I can identify greatly with Andy. He is drawn towards
something that isn't good for him at all, and he knows it, yet he
still does it compulsively. He works a job that he hates to allow himself
to do the things that he really wants to do. I think many people can
identify with that. They're just maybe not murdering people.
Dark Place Inside goes pretty far when it comes to gruesomeness -
want to talk about this aspect of your movie for a bit, and was there ever
a line you refused to cross?
My previous three movies were
pretty gruesome but all in a comedic way. I definitely wanted to stick
with that but lose all of the comedy. There were no lines that I refused
to cross but there was a thing or two that got changed due to other
reasons. I explained to Chris very early on about the content and that I
would be unwilling to bend. I wanted it done how I had written it and he
was on board completely, even adding some good ideas to the story.
What can you tell us about
your directorial approach to your story at hand?
approach is usually the same with all of my movies. I have a story that I
want to tell and direct my actors towards how I'd like that story told. If
they have ideas that I feel add to the story I'll run with them. If not I
have my idea fully laid out to work from.
about your key cast, and why exactly these people?
The only roles that I had cast for were Chris Dalbey and Kieran
Boyle's parts. Andy and young Andy. The rest of the cast were people
that I had worked with on different projects over the years or
friends of other actors that I had worked with previously that had
vouched for their abilities.
I had auditioned with close to 100 people for the part of Andy. I
met with one guy and really liked him. In my head I had already cast him but I decided to meet with the other actors as a
courtesy. Chris Dalbey was the very last actor that I had met with
and he threw a wrench into my plans with the other guy. I went back
and forth in my head and ultimately picked Chris. I told Warren that
and he told me that if I had picked anyone other than Chris that I
would have been wrong. I of course agree.
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
shoot was scattered over weekends in the summer of 2013. We shot it in
order basically. Although the sets and tone of the movie were dark and barren the atmosphere was pretty upbeat and light. Chris would need a
minute or two to get into character, then the set would take a more serious
tone. Besides that the sets were extremely hot. I think that added a
level of mystery and discomfort to the actors' performances. More than once
we had to stop because someone was dizzy or nauseous due to heat.
few words about critical and audience reception of your movie so far?
amazed, but so far the reception has been outstanding. It's still early
but the reviews have all been very positive.
future projects you'd like to share?
I'm finishing putting
together my next movie now. Chris was so good in A Dark Place
Inside that I used him
again in this one. It's entitled Ghostbox. It stars Chris and Carol
Florence who most people know from 12 Monkeys.
What got you into
making movies in the first place, and did you receive any formal training
on the subject?
I did not have any formal training. I just
read a lot of books on the subject. Getting into making movies was just
the next step in my creative pursuits I guess. I've done music,
photography, painting, tattooing and several other creative outlets so I
guess filmmaking was just the next outlet that I wanted to try.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to A Dark Place
I've done three features and three short
films of my own prior to A Dark Place
Inside, the features all dark
comedic horror and the shorts dark avant grade type projects. Besides that
I've done FX and camera work on many other people's projects. I'll even
act here and there when asked.
One can't help but notice that your
movies never stray far away from the horror genre - coincidence, or is
horror a genre at all dear to you, and why (not)?
horror genre is very dear to me. I grew up obsessed with it, so making
movies in it was the obvious move. I like to think that I'm exploring more
aspects of the genre now but at the moment most of my ideas still have a
horror theme to them.
would your describe yourself as a director?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I think I'm a
pretty easy director to work with. I have the idea that I want done and I
do what I can to get what I need from the actors. I'm also very open to
changes from them as well as long as it suits the overall idea of the
who inspire you?
I've always said that David Lynch, John
Waters, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and David Cronenberg were huge inspirations,
but I have my favorite directors in other genres as well: Sergio Leone,
Chang Cheh, Clint Eastwood, Raoul Walsh, etc.
Your favourite movies?
like all styles. My favorites are always changing but off the top of my
head I'll say that my favorites this week are The Public Enemy, Dead
Alive, I Saw the Devil and Unforgiven.
and of course, films you really deplore?
I can usually find
something I like in most movies that make an attempt to do something, but
I'd have to say that comic book movies and the current trend of remakes are
a huge turn off for me. So much so that I havent seen any in about 5
years. So who knows, I may actually love them now.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Maniac Films is
on Facebook. I'm on Facebook and Twitter but I don't do a whole lot with
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I think you covered it all. You are a most thorough interviewer.
for the interview!