Your new movie Rabid Love - in a few words, what is it about?
And what can you tell us about your characters in it?
pays homage to the fun horror
movies of the late 70’s and early 80’s. It starts off with the
classic cabin in the woods setup but as the characters are developed there are
some twists that make it original. The characters are fun and we made
sure they all had backstories so the actors could make informed choices on set
and had a frame of reference for the relationships.
So what were your initial inspirations for writing the movie, and
how would you describe the writing process?
actually answered this question several times before and I recently came
across some early notes on the story and I think I’ve been telling it
wrong. I now believe that the initial idea was the title but I have
no idea where it came from. Here is what my earliest story idea for
the movie was - “Rabid Love
- A happy couple goes
camping and gets engaged. The boyfriend is infected with some super
virus that turns him into a rabid creature. The girlfriend flees and
he gives chase. People are killed along the way. She finally
thinks she’s made it out alive but he cuts her off. Final scene is
him kneeling before her as she holds a gun to his forehead.” It
evolved from that description, which obviously changed a bit if you’ve
seen the movie.
spark a movie idea and in the case of Rabid Love, it was that final image that
really got me thinking, so I just started answering questions about the
situation to fill in the missing information. I spend about 90% of
my writing time developing the structure and overall story before even
typing the first page of the script. My method is just to
continually expand until all the detail is filled in - starting from a
logline, then a sentence for each act, then the major plot points, all the
film being essentially a slasher movie - is that a genre you can at all
say I can really relate to it except for the horror movies that I watched
as a kid like Friday the 13th and the ones we watched
while brainstorming for the Rabid Love
story such as Grizzly, The
Burning, and others.
How would you describe your directorial
approach to your subject at hand?
all starts with the writing and as much as I try to focus completely on
writing in that phase, sometimes I can’t help but think about
directorial decisions I want to execute when the time comes. I’m
very big on the look of a film and the overall production design is
extremely important to me because I want to create a cohesive, believable
world that the actors and, ultimately, the audience will buy into.
you also appear in front of the camera in Rabid Love
- what did you draw upon
to bring your character to life, and have you written him with yourself in mind?
we had most of the major characters already cast from the short version of
the movie that we made six months earlier, we were able to write for the
actors instead of having to create the characters from scratch and I think
that’s part of the reason they came off the way they did.
Initially, we wanted to create different levels of conflict amongst the
main group, so we looked for ways to introduce that tension via personal
needs and goals that were in contrast to the others.
Do talk about the rest of your cast
for a bit, and why exactly these people?
going back to the short, we wanted to keep the characters we had from that
so we did. As for the rest of the supporting cast, we used local
actors as much as possible and ended up with a cast that I was very happy
What can you
tell us about the actual shoot, and the on-set atmosphere?
me, the whole thing is a blur because I had so much going on, but I hear
that it was a fun shoot! As a first time producer and director also
juggling a fairly large role as an actor it was pretty crazy and there
were always things that needed to be done or that needed my attention, so
I did my best to prioritize and get things done. We couldn’t have
had a better area for shooting though, because we had pretty much total
freedom to go wherever we needed, when we needed to get the shots.
Although we had a schedule that we mostly stuck to, there were times when
we were able to stray from the plan and pick up things because it was
convenient and we actually ended up wrapping the shoot three days early.
Looking back on that, I don’t recommend it - if you have your cast and
crew for a planned amount of time you should keep them there and get
everything you possibly can! Collaborating on set was fun because it
was the first time I got to deal with actors and crew over an extended
shoot that was more than just a few days, so we really got to be close and
it was kind of a summer camp atmosphere.
What can you tell us
about critical and audience reception of your movie so far?
as far as we can tell it’s been great. We’re getting lots of
really good reviews and it seems like the movie is making it to an
audience bigger than just our friends and family. Some of the things
that are always mentioned are the great production design, writing,
acting, and soundtrack - which I’m really proud of.
far as I know, you and your leading lady/co-writer/producer Hayley
Derryberry [Hayley Derryberry
interview - click here] are partners professionally as well as privately - so
what can you tell us about your previous collaborations, and how did you
first hook up?
and I met at a wrap party for a friend’s project very early in our movie
careers in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We had both only worked on a couple
of short films and one of them that Hayley was in happened to be one of my
classmates’ at the time, so I recognized her from that and the other
one, which was a 48 Hour Film Project-short. Since then, we’ve
collaborated on pretty much every project and we share writing and
producing duties pretty well. Some of our earlier short projects
that I’m proud of are MyShadow and Blüm, which are both won
some awards and are on my YouTube channel here -
Any future projects you'd like to share?
don’t have anything set at the moment, but there are several options
we’re considering as our next feature project, and one of those is a
sequel to Rabid Love. Whatever it is, we’ll be back in
Kansas to shoot!
did you get into the filmworld to begin with, and did you receive any
formal training on the subject?
got interested when I got to be an extra on the movie Gamer, which
was shooting in Albuquerque, New Mexico while I was completing my
undergrad degree at the University of New Mexico there. I
immediately started taking film classes and working in the local indie
film community with friends. Since then, I’ve taken some UCLA
extension courses in film and also completed my Master’s in Producing
for Film and TV at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles.
What can you tell us
about your filmwork prior to
There isn’t a whole lot,
mostly short films for competitions like the 48 Hour Film Project and
National Film Challenge, which are great training because they put you
under pressure to complete a finished product on a tight deadline and use
the resources you have available. We’ve also done a few music
videos and other small projects as Rogue
Taurus, which can be seen on our
website here - www.RogueTaurus.com
How would you describe yourself as a director, as a writer and
as an actor?
director and writer I hope I come off as fun and nostalgic - I never want
to take myself or my movies too seriously because I always want to have
fun with them - just like my favorite movies do. Dark and serious
just isn’t my thing but I do hope to be somewhat original even if my
inspiration comes from other films, writers, and directors. It seems
like I accomplished that so far with Rabid Love
and I want to build on that with
the next project. As an actor… I’m really not at all. It
is very fun to get in front of the camera but usually when I do it, it is
out of necessity rather than a want to pursue acting as a career, which I
have no intention of doing. So I really just play myself when I’m
in front of the camera and try to surround myself with real actors that
can make me look like I know what I’m doing!
Actors, writers, filmmakers, whatever else
who inspire you?
particular order - Nicholas Winding Refn, Clint Eastwood, Billy
Morrissette, Stephen King, Rod Serling, Richard Matheson, Brian May, Pete
Townshend, John Landis, and the state of Kansas.
Your favourite movies?
in no particular order - Scotland, PA, An American Werewolf in
London, Beerfest, Valhalla Rising, Ravenous, Living in Oblivion,
Rocky IV, and The Good, the Bad, and
and of course, films you really deplore?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
of the big budget things the Hollywood studios are putting out, anything
considered to be an ‘art film’ or ‘experimental’, most remakes, Sharknado, and
movie's website, Facebook, whoever else?
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
think that’s about it! I am spending some time in Kansas this week
to scout and hopefully plant the seeds for our next feature film, so maybe
we’ll be shooting something by the end of this year if all goes well!
for the interview!