Your upcoming movie Safe Place - in a few words, what's it
going to be about?
Safe Place follows a normal family man after this HORRIBLE tragedy
happens to him and his family. He changes into this man built from fear
and seclusion and hatred of the world outside. He crosses paths with our
pregnant heroine Lori and her 5 friends & wants to save them from the
world outside. Even if that means taking them all out of it one, by one.
What were your inspirations when
writing Safe Place?
My inspiration came from
the ideology that What if the place that's supposed to be your savior,
your shelter from danger is equally or even MORE dangerous than the
outside? The basic moral of Safe Place is there is no overcoming the world
outside, you just have to fight to survive
What can you tell us
about your co-writers, and what was the writing process like?
originally wrote Safe Place ten years ago, it was called Static
Nothing ever came of it. Fast forward 10 years and in February a friend of
mine who works for an unnamed movie studio came to me after finding it in
storage in New York, ever since then I've been working full force on this
thing. Since the screenplay was dated I looked to my talented co-producer
and star, Dominick Santarsiero and his partner Majeed Hazin and they
modernized Safe Place. The final draft was then prepared and executed by
Andrew John Robinson who is an accomplished novelist and screenwriter and
that about catches it up. Robinson really put the care into the story and
characters which is important to stand out.
talk about your movie's approach to horror (as in suspense vs sudden
shocks, atmosphere vs all-out gore)!
I feel that atmosphere
is everything. We don't need heavy computer effects, loud noises, and
torture porn to satisfy us as an audience anymore. We as horror fans are
evolving and we want to see smart characters, smart story, and realistic
in your face violence! The movies that rely more on these qualities and
less on others will succeed and earn the respect they deserve.
From what I know,
you'll be relying solely on practical effects for Safe Place
- so what made you make this choice, and what can you tell us about the
effects you have planned?
There are a lot of freaking
awesome effects in store, they are buried in secret though. What I can
tell you is I take heavy inspiration from Tom Savini, Rick Baker, etc.
Effects like these are important because it takes us to the golden age of
horror, where we didn't need to rely on computers to do our God given
talents. Look at all the original masters of horror, they didn't need it
and were able to create some of THE most disturbing concepts ever. We
still have it in us.
A few words about the film's
intended look and feel?
The film is going to be dark and
gritty, similar to old grindhouse features. We are going for a nostalgic
feel. We have the talented Lucas Quinn and Geoff Black composing an 80's
inspired retro synth score for the film, and the mysterious thing about Safe Place
is you never really know where or when it's taking place.
Anything you can tell us about Safe
Place's projected cast yet, and why exactly these people?
our amazing cast is led by my co-producer, main antagonist and one of the
writers Dominick Santarsiero, an awesome character actor, our main heroine
is portrayed by Tiffany Sefa, her boyfriend played by Nathaniel Matos,
their friends are portrayed by such talents as Tim Noble, Katy Votapka,
Yvelise Cedrez, and Nick Graffeo. Also Lloyd Kaufman, the head of Troma
Films and the father of the Toxic
Avenger, is filming an appearance in the
film. We also JUST brought on Ashley Mary Nunes who gained critical
acclaim for her upcoming award winning film All
Through the House. It's
very important that I have a tight knit and personable cast to make people
truly believe the relationships between them.
far as I know, Safe Place is still in pre-production as we
speak - so how far along are you, what are the main challenges, presently,
and what's the schedule, however tentatively?
we still plan to begin principal photography in January right after the
holidays, latest February because it is Florida and it's gonna be a
physical movie so I want my cast to be in comfortable settings, and
everyone will be nice and rested after holiday time. Our challenge
is reaching out to the private and crowdfunding sectors to help raise the
remainder of the amount to help finalize all the little odds and ends.
Besides that it's getting better and bigger every single day. We hope to
have a shot, chopped, and cut version ready for the festival circuit.
it might be waaay too early to ask, any idea when and where the film will
be released onto the general public?
We are targeting a
Fall 2017 release, hopefully October in time for Halloween.
Any future projects
beyond Safe Place you'd like to share?
right now I am reaching out to other filmmakers and writers, etc. for an
upcoming anthology horror film I want to do concerning fables, legends,
and tall tales from around the world. And at the same time I am in the
creative process or ironing out a super cool monster movie (all practical
effects like Safe Place) that takes place on the beach in Florida during
spring break. Need an animatronics guy or girl for that though haha.
Neither are titled as of yet.
got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
I am a layman, plain and simple. I
have loved horror all my life, and film in general (as horror is not all I
want to do). I have never received any formal training except hours of
watching people who built this industry on their backs for us, the
audience. It's an honor to work alongside such awesome people, without my
creative team this probably wouldn't have happened.
What can you tell us about your
filmwork prior to Safe Place?
Safe Place is
my first feature, although there is video of me singing The Outfield's
"Your Love" on YouTube somewhere.
you describe yourself as a director?
worked, humble. I want to see nothing more than my vision on the screen
and earn some recognition for the talent around me and for the industry.
As far as the black and white of who I am as a director I suppose that's
to be seen when you interview my cast and crew after filming.
John Carpenter, Alexandre Aja, Dario Argento,
Adam Green, Ti West, Wes Craven (the main antagonists name is inspired by
Wes) and Eli Roth.
Your favourite movies?
my there's so many. My top of the list is the first two Halloween films,
Fright Night (1985), any of the Friday the 13th entries,
Night of the Creeps, too many to list.
and of course, films you really deplore?
I don't really
deplore any film, there's been terrible films and amazing. The only thing
I really dislike is when a film is JUST churned out for commercial reasons
or hurried out without playing fragile with the story or its characters.
No hate for anyone or their films. Every person who's ever made a film in
my book deserves a handshake. It's hard.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
You can visit us
there you'll find links to the teaser
trailer, tracks from the score, and any other information can be found by
searching for Safe Place on
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
that there is a new day for horror coming, natural conventions about what
we know horror to be are changing. Get ready boys'n'ghouls and support
independent horror and independent filmmakers!
for the interview!
Thanks to you.