Your upcoming movie Massacre at Femur Creek -
how did the project come together in
the first place, and what convinced you to produce it?
I initially came aboard the project after I discovered Kyleís IndieGoGo
campaign to raise money for the production of the film. That was earlier
this summer. I watched his effective (and very funny) pitch video and I
contacted him directly with a desire to producing, while at the same time
making my return to live-action. Over the past few years Iíve been
producing animated feature films. Being an avid horror movie fan too, I saw
the potential to make a really great, thoroughly enjoyable short film.
can you tell us about your director Kyle Hytonen [Kyle
Hytonen interview - click here], and what was your collaboration
like? And how did you two hook up in the first place?
funny you mention it. Kyle reminds me quite a bit of what I was like when
I was younger. He is determined and passionate and knows exactly what he
wants. He has a fond appreciation for horror, particularly 80s horror,
which is the decade I was born and raised in. He also possesses a vigorous
drive to make his film no matter what obstacles come up along the way. So
what I see in Kyle is a lot of energy and enthusiasm. When you get to a
stage in your life where Iím at now where youíve got lots of
responsibilities it becomes more and more difficult to be that same
passionate and dedicated person you were despite your willingness to be.
Iím a very laid back now and I give a lot more creative control to the
directors and writers simply because I feel collaboration is more
influential than tackling every area of the film. I did that with
Severance (2010) and it was a little much. Kyle and I hooked up through
his IndieGoGo campaign for Massacre at Femur Creek. We knew each other based on our
previous works but we had never physically met until shooting began.
Kyleís a great filmmaker and a wonderful person overall, I look forward
to working with him again one day.
the film being set in 1984 - what kind of a challenge was that on the
production side of things?
anytime you decide to make a period piece, it becomes increasingly hard to
source out objects and/or items from that era in time for production. If
you find it local then thatís awesome, but sometimes you have to trek
out of your comfort zone to get what you need. For us, 1984 isnít that
far back in time, but finding vehicles and polaroid cameras comes with
their own adventures. Luckily for us it wasnít so bad. I very much
enjoyed having the red Beetle on set for one of our last shoot days. The
owner was a super nice guy and even trained one of our actors on how to
drive stick since it was a standard vehicle. I think the props really add
to the ambiance of the film and when youíre sitting there watching it it
really does feel like it was made in 80s.
What can you tell us about
your cast, and to which extent were you involved in the casting process?
wasnít involved at all. All casting was completed by Kyle early on. I
had never worked with any of the cast members in this film, so this
represented a great opportunity for me to approach something with a sense
of freshness instead of collaborating with the same.
With Massacre at Femur Creek
being an outdoors film - what can you tell us about your location, and what were the advantages
but also challenges filming there?
Massacre at Femur Creek
is a completely outdoors film. Whenever youíre making a film that
requires a lot of exterior shots, youíre dealing with plenty more
obstacles than one would contend with when shooting in a controlled
environment. With our film, weíre dealing with every obstacle you
can think of from torrential downpours and trains, to mosquitoes and
lengthy forest hikes. We shot in completely uncontrolled locations and
that made things more difficult than they needed to be. Itís not the
first time Iíve dealt with this, but when production finally wraps you
can sit and laugh about it because the footage you have is just amazing.
The rain and fog, while annoying during the shoot, just looks beautiful on
camera. Thatís for sure an advantage. The locations were perfect for the
atmosphere, which made it feel very
Friday the 13th.
What can you tell us
about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
atmosphere was terrific. As I stated, we were dealing with some
uncooperative weather during the shoot, but being on set and enduring that
with a great and dedicated team of cast and crew made it worth it. Despite
our issues with weather, we had a completely professional crew and cast
and those are the types of people you need when situations like that
idea when and where the film will be released onto the general public yet?
we are planning on premiering the film at the 2014 Hamilton Film Festival
in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Iím very excited to be back in Hamilton
to promote a new horror short. I had the opportunity to showcase my work
there for the past few years now, so Iím thrilled to be back at that
venue. Other than that there isnít anything on the horizon at the
moment, but I expect weíll be sending the film off to festivals around
the globe so weíll see where we end up.
future projects beyond Massacre at Femur Creek you'd like to share?
with Massacre at Femur Creek
wrapped and making the festival rounds in the next year, Iíve also
got my latest animated feature Cold Dark Mirror finishing up
production in the next few weeks [Cold
Dark Mirror interview - click here]. That should be released sometime next
year. Iím also in the process of getting my second animated feature, Origin:
A Call to Minds, a distribution deal, and I continue to work on
developing other films along the way, which I unfortunately cannot
disclose much about at the moment.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
the moment, Massacre at Femur Creek
doesnít have a website, but weíre working
on it. Feel free to visit my website
for all the latest info on what Iím up to and what films my company,
Moonlit Road Entertainment, is developing. Thereíll be lots to check out
about Massacre at Femur Creek
over the next little while too. Check me out on
Moonlit Road Entertainment on Facebook
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
you have the opportunity to do so, please check out
Massacre at Femur Creek
if it plays at a festival near you. Help support indie films and
for the interview!
pleasure, Michael! Thank you!