Your new movie A
Man Called Nereus - in a few words, what is it about?
It is about parallel universes and a man who has the
ability to manipulate them.
did the project come into being in the first place?
this project I had already written numerous full length screenplays but
they all required healthy budgets and a high profile names. When I write
like many writers often do I imagine a specific actor in the role. So what
I did was look around at what I had in terms of talent. I watched, met and
corresponded with the majority of them in order to get a bearing on who
they were. I had already formulated the story in my head and thought it
could be done with all the resources in front of me. I just then started
writing because without the blueprint no one was going to fund it.
David C. Hayes
an autisitic person as one of your protagonists - now where did that idea
come from? And other sources of inspiration when writing A
Man Called Nereus?
The idea for A
Man Called Nereus came from a dear childhood friend that I have always
kept in touch with over the years. He had a handicapped child when he was
first starting his family. I was amazed by his resolve and willingness to
embrace the challenge because in his youth he was quite the rebellious
type. The relationship that he experienced with this child enlightened him
in so many ways and aided in turning him into a wonderful human being. As
I witnessed this transformation it dawned on me that perhaps the
handicapped child is the one watching over us, enlightening us.
From that moment Nereus was born. At the time I was in need of a
name so I researched and found “Nereus” - The Old Man of the Sea. He was
a prophetic Titan Shape-shifter, perfect!
Man Called Nereus, you mix genres quite heavily - so do talk about
your rather unique genre blend for a bit, and did you ever have the
feeling you might be going too far in that respect?
this script I felt an organic approach was necessary, being that a strict
blueprint was not possible due to our budget and logistics. When you make
a nano-budget you have to be able to adapt as a writer and re-invent. The
first time I had to do this I
thought the world had ended but I had no choice but to sit down a re-write
a scene because the Caboose out in the woods is now going for 500 instead
of the agreed upon 150. In retrospect the script and the movie are a lot
different because of so many elements that nano-budgets face in
production. It is truly guerilla in so many ways due to the obstacles we
have to overcome.
My intent in the
beginning was not to mix the genres so heavily, more sci-fi if anything is
what I set out to do. My talent pool was very specific so I had to tailor
my characters to their strengths. As
I wrote I could see what was unfolding and decided to run with it. I also
figured we had nothing to lose, some of my favorite flicks are genre
smashers. The characters had a lot to do with the merging of genres. Joe
Ricci on screen is so good at what he does. His character has so much
presence but he isn’t going to be a hick Sheriff or a Neuro Surgeon,
He’s a gangster through and through. Once again the talent has a lot of
influence at this level so you have to adapt. In
the first few days of filming the comedic elements were growing and had to
be embraced. I thought when writing it would have a quirky tone but it
evolved into more dark humor.
can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?
the script was finished I met with the main cast except for Orchid Tao and
we discussed the characters and story. They then went home and read the
script and we had another one-on-one meeting to discuss their specific
characters. When the main cast arrived on set we were pretty much on the
same page. My approach is more of a personal one. I really enjoy meeting
with and hanging out with the actor it allows us to come to a better
understanding of one another. On set, it depends; sometimes I can act like
a football coach during action sequences and not give the actor time to
overthink the moment while on the other hand we can sit under a tree and
talk philosophy and then by the end of the night I will be have some beers
with my crew. My method is
simple, I just try to be myself and open the lines of communication the
best way I can. You never know who might have an insight that strengthens
talk about your cast, and why exactly these people?
has a lot of local talent that is so overlooked in the industry. Maybe
it’s our national image due to our deranged politics and the states
politicians’ clear disregard for the filming industry… Excuse
me, it’s a touchy subject… The talent here is diverse and is getting
better every day.
is someone I always wanted to cast, I mean look at the mug. It's Dafoe
meets Van Damme. Seth is a natural athlete and can handle action very
well. He also has a great work ethic. He is never late, knows his lines
and is drama free.
David C. Hayes [David
C. Hayes interview - click here] is another consummate professional. I
had met him before, seen some of his movies and had always wanted to work
with him. I thought if anybody would be game to take on Nereus it would be
him, he has no fear.
Orchid Tao was a little different. She came over one
day with Seth as I was writing the ending and they looked to so cute
together that I felt I had to ride their wave of love. I asked her if she
acted and she said, ”yes”. We all hung out and by the end of the night
I was convinced she would work. I offered her the part and she accepted.
Most of the other talent I had known previously from other projects where
I had worked as a producer or cinematographer, so I developed parts for
them as I wrote the script. One character, “Che”, played by Sam
Willette was a high school friend. He does eighty percent of the stunts
and rigged all of the gunshots with producer Keith Wilson. Unfortunately
he passed away after the shooting of the picture. The movie is dedicated
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
Gloria Jean Robertson
core of Armored
Vison: Keith Wilson, Lisa Wilson, Drew Pekke, Alexander
Bain, Asia Flood and myself are real close, so it's only natural that
whoever is on set with us seems to get sucked in. We like to keep a
family-feel to the set. The first period of shooting took place in Baja
California, Mexico. Majority of the cast went on this shoot for a week.
So we were able to really get to know one another and bond, thus
making the rest of the strenuous schedule more enjoyable. Believe me the
tensions were high amongst the producers because for many of us it was our
first feature with so many locations, characters, which cause a logistic
nightmare, and our limited budget that we had to squeeze for every ounce.
A few words about critical
and audience reception of A
Man Called Nereus so far?
the 2012 Phoenix Comicon, A
Man Called Nereus was awarded BEST
CHARACTERS in a film. Now that it is out for the masses and no longer
languishing in the desert we have found fans all across the world who love
the ride and are calling for the much intended sequel.
Any future projects
you'd like to share?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Man Called Nereus I have completed three new scripts and we are in the works of
producing them back to back. The first one, Hades Awaits, is a Western
fable, and 3echoes is about a love-triangle that transpires through
three life times and I can definitely guarantee this one smashes genres.
What got you into filmmaking in the
first place, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?
have always known I would be a director/writer. The path however has been
much different than I had imagined. I have been writing since I was in high
school and continued into screenplays when I was 23. I read Rebel
without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez and was convinced one had to make
features in order to learn, because I wanted to be a filmmaker, the whole
package. I figured to achieve this I better hone my peripheral knowledge
and went back to school where I majored in fine art and philosophy with a
minor in psychology. In the
beginning of this period I wrote, directed and shot a political thriller
titled American Bomber, and that was my first year of film school so
to speak. Having completed American Bomber I
then received offers to come work on bigger projects with more experienced
filmmakers. In those trenches I learned what I know now. But I am humble
to the fact that every day I learn something new about this medium.
for the interview!