Your upcoming movie Who? What?! Where?!? Wolf!!!!! - in a few
words, what is it about?
Well, its a horror comedy set in a ficticious northern island town
overtaken by some odd circumstances by werewolves. And a group of friends
trying to survive the night any way they can.
Is the werewolf movie a genre
particular dear to you, and some of your favourites? And how do you think Who?
What?! Where?!? Wolf!!!!! will stand out of the crowd?
have always been a fan of a good old fashioned monster movies, comedies
and sci-fi. I just always thought they were very fun to watch. As a kid I
was raised on An American Werewolf in London, The Thing, The Howling and
all of those great early 80's movies. Who? What?! Where?!? Wolf!!!!!
someday will be catagorized as one of those fun, scary, "Remember
that scene when..." movies we all love. And that's the
kind of movie we're all trying to make.
sources of inspiration when writing Who? What?! Where?!? Wolf!!!!!?
lot of beer (hahaha) and I just always loved the average person stuck in
terrifying situations, survival stories. Did I mention beer?
can you tell us about your co-writer Thomas Reeping (any relation by the
way?), and what was your collaboration like?
Tom is in fact
my older brother. He's a practicing veterinarian and a huge movie buff like
myself so we always throw ideas at each other. He starred and co-wrote my
first feature as well and is hands down my best writing partner because
he has no problem saying "Mike, that idea sucks." Haha!
about your movie's approach to both horror and comedy for a bit!
the way it's coming along, I'm trying to steer away from just throwing in
random comedy shticks. I want any laugh to be in the context of the story
and characters without it being gimmicky or throw-away, ya know? Which isn't that easy sometimes. So
it's really a balancing act. The thing I
always loved about a horror movie or going to haunted houses was the laugh
after the scare. Like the "you got me!!" laugh. That's just fun
said somewhere that there are mostly practical effects in your movie - so
you obviously do have to talk about the effects work in Who? What?!
Like I said, I was raised on those
old school monster movies and to me, you just cant touch the effects in
them. Stan Winston was a god when it came to monster making. There's, to
me, just something about those kinds of effects and that's what I'm trying
(with a very limited budget and a lot of work) to achieve. Granted,
yes, there are some impossible shots I came up with (I blame the beer)
that will require CGI and other techniques but those are very minimal and
not stand out. It was just tough to wrangle up hundreds of wild werewolves
What can you tell us about the
look and feel of your movie?
Well, the look and feel I'm
going for, and me and my director of photography Roger Gelik are both on
the same page, where we are using alot of slow pans, long shots and
static shots throughout the first part of the film, then pretty much all
hand-held once the shit goes down. Really get the audience in the
scene with these guys.
Do talk about your key
cast, and why exactly these people?
My key cast is
amazing!! Seriously, not just saying this because chances of them reading
this are pretty high. Hi guys! But really, some of Pittsburgh's best,
most commited, dedicated cast you could ask for. Nick, Brandon,
Brian, Evan, Brandon, Torrie, and Tom have been on board since day one and
very very patient with the shooting schedule as we all work separate
schedules and try to squeeze in what we can when we can. Theres a
huge level of improv and collaboration on set when it comes to some scenes
and we all just throw ideas off each other to figure out what would work
best at that time. If you ask any of them, they hear me say "trust
me" pretty much all the time when filming, because I trust them and I
direct as an editor so when I got the shot, I got the shot. There's just a
really really great enthusiasim from all of them which radiates on screen
and I could not be happier and love them all.
As we speak, Who?
What?! Where?!? Wolf!!!!! is 40% in the can, right? So what can you
tell us about the shoot as such and the on-set atmosphere so far?
It is about 40% shot and we haven't even started getting to the really
really fun, bloody stuff which we are all looking forward to! Like
I said, the shoot's been going great, looks fantastic in the roughs and
we cannot wait to push on. A lot of exterior shots and Pittsburgh in
January isn't the best setting for a "autumn" movie so right now
we're working on the interior scenes and the fundraising and editing
what I have.
I like to have a very loose, relaxed feeling set because as an actor
myself, those can be long days. So keep everyone happy, comfortable, and
excited about the film! We always have a movie or sports on and drinks
and especially in an ensemble piece like this, that's important for the
off-camera relationshios to develop.
currently running a fundraiser for Who? What?! Where?!? Wolf!!!!! -
so please talk about that one!
Yup! We are a little more than halfway through the fundraising
campaign and its going good and couldn't thank those that have
contributed already enough. Every dime is going to production cost.
My first film was all out of pocket and that's just impossible
right now so that's why we're all reaching out to fans of independent
films to help us little guys. My first film has officially gotten
a worldwide release date (May 10th, 2016) and will be in WalMart,
BestBuy, RedBox, NetFlix, Video On Demand so anyone who contributes
should be assured that I am not a 'fly by night" movie maker that
abandons projects or just does them for fun. I want people to see these
movies and hopefully, just a while, leave your brain at the door and be
So any donation is greatly appreciated by all of us and can only help
make this one more bad ass!
Once the budget's in
place, what's the schedule, and any idea when and where the film might be released onto the general public yet?
schedule is still up in the air as far as everyone full time job schedules,
but we are all sticking together and doing what we can when we can. I
would LOVE to have a big enough budget where we can all take 2 solid weeks
off of work and just pound through it. That would be a dream to me right
now. Unfortunatley, bills call. haha. I am looking for a fall 2016
premiere here in Pittsburgh then seeking distribution again on a worldwide
basis. Already have a few bites on that so that's very very exciting!
projects beyond Who? What?! Where?!? Wolf!!!!! you'd like to share?
theres aways like 2 million things in my head that I'm like "that
would be cool if that was a movie" - usually based on stories between
my brother and I. He actually wrote a very very cool sci-fi graphic novel
years and years ago that we always sneak into a conversation every once in
a while. So if it were up to me, I'd like to do that one. But for
now, I have tunnel vision surrounded by werewolves.
got into filmmaking via animation, right? So what can you tell us about
your animation days, and what made you pick up feature filmmaking
I love animation and it will always be my baby
no matter what. I had a pretty successful series Justin T Nick of
Time (which will always have its own place in my heart), then A
Guy, A Fish, A Cat and a Movie! which had a pretty good run and solid
fanbase. Problem with animation is, it is exceptionally time consuming,
especially being just a one man show. So whenever effects shots come up, I
use my experiences with animation and that makes them so much more fun for
me to edit. My first film was about 95% greenscreen so every shot was
pretty much an effects shot. This one, not so many. A lot of locations and
as said, practical effects with lots and lots of buckets of blood.
How would you describe
yourself as a director?
Ummm, I wouldn't say I'm a horrible director but certainly not an actor-friendly director. I don't mean that to sound like I hate my actors, if
anything, its the exact opposite where they have so much talent in front
of the camera I worry about the technical aspect of things. I direct as
an editor, so I'm watching the performance and thinking of the cut away
or whatever that will fit. I'm sure my cast is like "let's do one
more take" but from my eyes we have the shot, or we don't so we make
I saw a fatastic interview with Leonard Nimoy years ago and how he
directs and he said (and this stuck with me) "The best thing
as a director you can do is surround yourself with people more talented
than you" - and that is absolutley absolutley true.
There's a huge level of trust between me and the cast and my director of
photography that is really really working out great, for both my films,
so I guess I'm doing something okay (plus I just feed them a lot
of beer so that probably helps too).
Filmmakers who inspire you?
For me there's
Lucas, Kubrick, Spielberg, Fincher, Welles, and like 200 others but I
seriously get inspiration from anyone out there doing what they want to do
creatively. So to say THESE people inspired me is a little thin
where I get inspiration from certain movie scenes, a song lyric, a funny
commercial ... anything. It's out there pretty much all over the place. So I
am constantly getting inspired.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Haha, I'll be nice and give the short
list (otherwise we'd be here all day): Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost
Ark, Glenngary Glen Ross, The Black Hole, Airplane/Airplane 2 (I'm such a
sucker for those), Unforgiven, Night of the Creeps (the original),
Upon a Time (look it up, it's sick!!!), Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan and
The Undiscovered Country, Halloween,
My Science Project and about 8 million
more. (I seriously have like a hundred I could rattle off right now.)
... and of course, films you really
Anything that sucks
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, IndieGoGo,
You can find more on Who? What?! Where?!? Wolf!!!!! at
Thanks for the