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An Interview with Mitch Csanadi, Indie Filmmaker

by Dale Pierce

May 2012

Films directed by Mitch Csanadi on (re)Search my Trash

 

Quick Links

Abbott & Costello

Alice in Wonderland

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Bigfoot

Black Emanuelle

Bomba the Jungle Boy

Bowery Boys

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Lobo

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Superman

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Three Mesquiteers

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Yojimbo

Zatoichi

Zorro

Where is your Dirt Productions located and how long has it operated?

 

Dirt Productions is located in Northeast Pennsylvania aka Shitsville. No, we're about 30minutes North of Philthydelphia.

 

How did you decide on a name like Dirt for a company? 

 

When we started out we were dirt broke. We're still dirt broke, we just have better camera gear/editing equipment.

 

What is the company's URL?

 

Dirtproductions.com. we also support colostomybang.org.

 

Let us talk briefly about some of your productions, maybe covering the plots, the people involved and anything else you might wish to say on the same:

Nothingface?

 

I love Nothingface, it's a weird little short film where I wanted to do a horror/psychological that was like a really good Twilight Zone-episode with only 1 line of dialogue. I wanted heavy audio atmosphere and really disturbing and thought-provoking imagery, and this was first time working with a new cinematographer, Matt Hamm, and he delivered. This has won the most awards around the globe and Ii think it's because when you challenge an audience to actually think, rather than spell out every fucking move it makes your audience more invested in the film. Shot in Bethlehem, Pa with the awesome ruins of Bethlehem steel plant in the background (now there's a shitty casino) and also shot in a rundown fucked up orphanage/community college that has been abandoned for many years. My biggest mistake was not shooting more stuff in there. The basement was fucked up man. The best thing is we discovered an actual chapel inside this place. That of course made the cut!!!!

 

The Dead Have Risen? 

 

This is my personal fave. Next to a short called Torment we shot in 2005, this one has stood the test of time and still holds up today as a solid zombie short. Matt Naughton shot this and it's just a real good zombie story, taken seriously for once. This was the second thing I wrote and directed, and I wanted to experience what Romero experienced making a good zombie flick. At one point we had about 50 fucking extras in full zombie makeup waiting around to shoot their scenes. We also caught a sound blanket on fire on set in a huge caf. I lied to a college rep and told him I was shooting a romantic drama and needed this huge cafeteria to film from 11pm-5am. I thought if I told him we were chopping heads off and barricading doorways and throwing blood around, he'd never let us shoot. Needless to say, when local news showed up live I had a lot of fucking explaining to do. I did get a $500 fine for screwing up a light. Ah, it was well worth it.

 


Nacho Mountain? 

 

Oh the nacho lives. This was our first feature length comedy, and we learned a shitload on this one. I love the hell out of this one. I wanted to see a real good simple funny ass comedy, just like in the 80s when movies were great. Lots of farts, boobs, and rampant anarchy and racism (good racism--there's a difference). And I think we did it. Like I said we learned a lot, like next time rewrite your script, alot. Nacho rules!

 

Of these three do you have a particular favorite?

 

I think The Dead Have Risen is my fave flick we've done so far. It's just a badass zombie short, wastes no time, cuts right to the meat of it. And I also think zombies now have become cheeseball. When you have movies like Zombieland that make zombies a joke, you lose the heart of it. And zombie movies were always my damn favorite and scary as shit. The thought of armies of the living dead shuffling towards you makes me wanna shit my diaper and kind of gives me a woody at the same time!

 

With any of these projects, is there anything in retrospect you would have done differently if such could be done over?

 

Everything! 

No, ya know I can watch any movie we've done and think man this should've been shot this way or this dialogue doesn't, fit but that's the process of being a good filmmaker. I've grown to like our little fuckups because it showcases our thoughts and abilities at that specific time. If you are good you grow and get better. You don't get retrys, unless you're fucking George Lucas and you go back and fix and add a bunch of shit to your movie. Shouldn't be, I wouldn't want a movie like Basket Case rereleased with better audio and now CG, because that movie rules for all of its mistakes, it's still scary as shit!

 

Future projects?

 

Got a bunch of future projects in the pipelone. Right now we're filming a documentary on competiton bbq here in the states. It's all things barbecue. A whole underground world of people that compete for huge prizes by cooking up some slow smoked brisket and ribs. It is awesome. Hd slow mo food porn of bbq all set to a killer stoner metal and blues rock soundtrack. Fucking gold!

 

We're also raising money for a feature length comedy called Community Pool, hoping to film that next summer. We're rewriting and perfecting the script now but it is fucking funny shit (it's got Jersey tools, hot broads, a Sasquatch hunter, heavy drugs, and lots of jenkum--look it up), this one will be huge! Also working on some more horror shorts and maybe a feature horror in the future called Eat the Dead, that's a sequel to The Dead Have Risen.

 

Is there a certain element in the Independent film industry you find the most appealing, i.e. production, direction, acting...

 

Fucking no rules, freedom to do your own shit without a studio barking at you to change this or cut that or some fucking suit telling you to trim this down when they're just looking at numbers. Although studios have money, right, so maybe we should just sell out, at least well have a decent budget. No fucking way, we get to film what we want and that's that.

 

On the other hand, the least appealing? 

 

Least appealing for me is letting anybody on my set or involved with our films down. Ya know, with no budget filming most are working for credit and for free. And it REALLY fucking sucks not being able to pay people for their efforts. I know some scumbag filmmakers that their whole business plan is working people to the ground for free then kicking em to the curb. Not me, man, I try to make every production worth it. I dont like people regretting working on something with me.

 

The biggest drawback would most likely be costs, when it comes to indie cinema, would it not?

 

Exactly, you need a fucking budget, no matter what. And we kind of set our standards as high as we can, we won't shoot something unless we have a real budget and we can pull it off. You can't cut corners with certain things like FX or acting, you need to pay people whenever you can. Budget is necessary.

 

How do you cope with this challenge? 

 

We raise funds from outside investors, ourselves, friends and families, and our one producer Jer Rouse sells his small body on the corners of philly ($25 for an H job, adds up). We tried credit cards on Nacho Mountain, and I'm still paying those cocksuckers off! Don't do that! Raise money and make sure your project is good enough to merit peoples time and effort.

 

For actors and actresses, do you do actual casting calls, have a pool of people to draw from or both? 

 

Yeah, we do casting calls and that's important for us. Again it's hard to get great actors with little budgets, but they are out there. Actors wanna work, and if they believe in your film or if you are completely honest and they trust you, then you can help each other out.

 

What, saying anytime that comes to mind, might make your films more appealing than the loads of competition out there in the indie world?

 

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We're honest with our audience. There's a lot of egos and tools that make movies and usually 3 years later they are bartending at a shitty bar, because they are in it for the wrong reasons. We make films to entertain us because 97% of the films being shit out by the Hollywood machine fucking suck! Seriously, it's why we started filming our own, because I just kept seeing shit on the screen! And no, it's not just Hollywood, there's shitty films of every caliber out there - same with music or any art. If you are honest and you put your heart into it, then that will shine through and people will be able to relate. If we wanted to just make money, we'd be doing shitty romantic comedies.

 

Are there any really interesting stories you would like to tell of mishaps or unusual incidents while making these films?

 

Every film has a shitload of funny behind the scenes stuff. Nacho Mountain had a lot of people puking behind the scenes because of all the competitive eating scenes. Also, when the donkey took a huge shit on set that made everybody run off set.

With Nothingface my biggest regret was not shooting more of the abandoned building. That place was incredible. There's some funny facts on our IMDb page for Nacho Mountain.

 

Anything else you would like to cover? 

 

We'll be making films till we die, we're gettin better with every project. Hopefully people like our shit, if not, fuck off and go watch Twilight, then hang yourself. Thanks.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Dale Pierce


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On the same day
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A Killer Conversation

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directed by
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written by
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