Your new movie WTF! - in a
few words, what is it about?
revolves around a girl named Rachel, who had already survived a bloody
massacre in the past. And now, three years later, she is invited back to a
cabin in the woods to get over her fears. Sadly, for Rachel, her new friends
start to drop like flies and she once again has to try and survive. This time
she plans on confronting the monster that is trying to kill her.
being a slasher movie, is that a genre at all dear to you, and some of
your genre favourites?
Yes, I grew up watching Nightmare
on Elm Street, Friday
the 13th and Halloween
I’m obsessed with those franchises. They all provide a little scare with
a handful of great one-liners. I like movies that can poke fun of itself
and break some of the tension while still delivering the terror.
sources of inspiration when writing WTF!?
in the Woods & The Final Girls. I started writing this back
in 2009. And I remember when Cabin in the Woods was announced I was
so scared that it could basically be the same movie. Thankfully that
wasn’t the case. Not at all. But I remember being inspired by it
nevertheless. About a week before production the team started watching
horror films. The Final Girls had just come out. I remember us all
watching it and loving it. I was excited to see another B-horror with a
fun campy story line.
can you tell us about WTF!'s
co-writers Christopher Lawrence Centanni and Adam Buchalter, and what was
your collaboration with them like?
I started writing this movie back in 2009 with Christopher. We
were at dinner one night talking about our passion for horror and we said
fuck it, let’s make a movie. We wrote for a few years slowly on the
weekends. And then eventually I brought on Adam Buchalter later in 2010
for a rewrite. The project paused for a few years and then started to get
traction in 2014 when we got funded by Cthulhu Crush
Productions. At that
point I got the troops back together. Adam really killed it with punching
up dialogue and restructuring the script based on locations. He was even
on set doing rewrites on the fly. Adam was great at cutting and adding
materials into the script in real time.
To what extent could you actually identify with
WTF!'s traumatized lead
Rachel ... or any of the other key characters for that matter?
I would say I could relate in some ways. The characters are
not meant to be super deep besides Rachel. There are many reasons I am not
like her. But I would say at a very basic level I have had a lot of bad
shit I needed to get through and the film's premise about getting over your
fear is one I practice daily.
Do talk about your movie's approach to horror for a bit!
is meant to be fun, campy, and yet have some emotional depth. This film is
set up to be a fun date movie, blood, bad words and nudity. I wanted to
have some fun with it. So we tried to put them in a bunch of different
locations and not make it stale and claustrophobic.
can you tell us about
WTF!'s rather wonderful
location, how did you find it, and what were the advantages but maybe also
challenges filming there?
We had a bunch of great locations!
But the main “cabin” or as I would say “Rich Uncle Travis’s Oasis
in the woods” was a real pleasure to shoot at. We got very lucky. The
house we shot at was actually on Mulholland drive in California. Right
next to Hollywood. We found a place with a bunch of greenery and did our
best to sell that we were in the woods.
A few words about your overall
directorial approach to your story at hand?
I wanted the
film to feel a little two faced. The beginning is fun and full of
one-liners and then it goes from 0 to 100 really fast. I had my reasons
for this. It will make more sense once you watch the film. But I really
liked how the actors helped bring the story to life.
about about your key cast, and why exactly these people?
spent months in casting. I wanted to make sure I got the best cast for the
job. Not only extremely talented, but a cast of people I could count on. I
needed them to be on board and passionate. I passed on a lot of potentials
because of the simple reason of it felt to me that this was just another
thing for their reel. I needed more than that to make this movie work for
under $100k. I couldn't be happier with the cast and the passion they
brought to the project.
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
it was a good set. We had days that felt like the end of the world. I was
in my own world most of the time. I had to wear many hats. So I missed out
on a lot of the fun things going on around set. But even in those moments
where we wondered WTF!, will this movie get made, we somehow got through
the day and did it. Everyone on set was great and respected each other. I
think there was only one day we broke a 12 hour day. Even though we were
non-Union we tried to follow the rules as best we could out of respect for
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of
We made the film for under $100k. We shot 12 days and most of those
days were only 6 hours due to the fact that we shot in the summer. I
couldn’t call action until 9pm and we needed to wrap by 3am because of
our permits. I think no matter how good or bad a movie is it will get some
critical reception. We know the challenges we faced and we know what it is
we made. I am thrilled with what we created on such a small budget. And
most of the reviews I have read so far aren’t super critical.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
have a few projects lined up. The one that seems to have the most steam at
the moment is called Locksmyth. It’s about an urban legend that
gets off breaking into the most secure homes in America. We have a great
cast attached already. More to come!
got you into making movies to begin with, and did you receive any formal
education on the subject?
All my training was out in LA. My
first ever job was at Spyglass Entertainment, now MGM. They had me PA on
the set of a film called Connie and Carla. It’s a fun little
comedy and it was my first real experience on set. From there I moved on
Warner Bros where I worked for 5 years in marketing before decided it was
time to branch out and make a movie.
What can you tell us about
your filmwork prior to
This is actually my very first feature. I did a couple short
films a long time ago that were never released. But I'm very new to
How would you describe yourself as a director?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
focused, fun, over thinker. I always had an answer on set. Wether the
answer is a delegated task or a direction of some sort. I can thank my
years in corporate America for that.
who inspire you?
Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan, and
Spielberg. I remember seeing Jurassic Park in theaters as a kid and
being so blown away by it. I honestly think that may have been the film
that made me realize I wanted to direct.
Your favourite movies?
on Elm Street, Friday
the 13th and Halloween.
All of them. Even if they were cheesy. I loved the series of all three.
and of course, films you really deplore?
Not a fan of the Saw-series.
I’m not into torture porn. It just doesn't do it for me.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
@WTFtheFilm on Facebook
@wtf_movie on Instagram
@wtfmovie on Twitter
you're dying to mention that I have merely forgotten to ask?
would finish off by saying that this was a labor of love. A lot of cast
and crew put their blood and sweat into this. We are thrilled with the way
it turned out. I hope I get the opportunity to bring the crew with me on
my next adventure in filmmaking.
for the interview!