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An Interview with Preston Corbell, Co-Director and Star of Ellsworth

by Mike Haberfelner

March 2016

Preston Corbell on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Ellsworth - in a few words, what is it about?


Ellsworth is a film that follows Grayson Ellsworth (Preston Corbell) as he writes his next novel. While on a train he is faced with his worst fears. Once the pen hits the paper the results are startling!


How did the project fall together in the first place?


Ellsworth is a product of many short films my sister Chelsea and I put together. We received a lot of positive feedback, in which we were constantly asked when will you make a feature film. I was blessed with an awesome set for the film and great writing, so Ellsworth kind of evolved into the different and artistic piece that is it.


Do talk about your directorial approach to your story at hand!


So we had to stop and think about the approach because there was very little dialogue in the film. This is a common thread of ours among other films. In this particular case we have 42 minutes to fill with little dialogue. That being said the story line is actually very rich and plentiful if you will. There are a lot of twists and turns that make you constantly think throughout the film. So in a nutshell our directorial approach was to draw the viewer into the world of Grayson Ellsworth. Imagine the scenery, embrace New York City, let your imagination run wild as Grayson takes steps into insanity. It's not the dialogue we wanted to push its your imagination and full involvement into the character and life of Grayson we wanted to explore.


What can you tell us about your writer and co-director Chelsea Corbell (any relation of yours by the way?), and what was your collaboration like? And maybe you could also talk about the previous collaborations between the two of you for a bit?


Chelsea Corbell is my sister. That being said we butt heads at times, but we also connect on the same wavelength also. We can really flow quickly in the filming process because we get each other's creativity. Chelsea is the writer, and as the writer she co-directs so she can see her words come to life. I am the actor at heart and bring that script to the film. Together we make special projects together. In referring to our projects I like to say that some people love them, and others hate them. But at the end of the day we made you feel something and that is what film is all about.


You also play the title role in Ellsworth - so what do you draw upon to bring him to life, and how much of Preston Corbell can we find in Grayson Ellsworth?


As stated before I am an actor at heart. I really enjoy the filmmaking process but acting is my passion. That moment when you hear "action" is the moment when the world steps aside and you get to be whoever you what to be. I like to think there is a piece of me in all my roles. I always draw from disparity and sadness in any role whether it's dramatic or comedic. I am a method actor and I am known to get deep in the thought process of my characters. I did a film called The Name I Know, a mental health film. I got so into character that I was in that frame of mind for weeks. Grayson Ellsworth is so many personalities, he has so many angles to drawn from. Despite lack of dialogue Ellsworth as a character is completely fascinating and if the audience becomes fully involved with him the film can be so powerful.


You are also the only actor in the whole movie - so how much of a strain was that?


None at all actually. Ellsworth is so multidimensional that I feel like I am playing 4 different characters. Because there is only one character the audience can become fully engulfed into Grayson and the world of Ellsworth.


You just have to talk about the wonderful subway set for a bit, and was it made especially for the movie?


The subway set was such a dream come true for us. We where able to build it to what our vision was and it is the center piece of the film. And in many ways the star of the film because the detail and effects it brings allows the audience's mind to wander in so many ways. I knew we had something special with this set and I think Ellsworth used it to its full potential.


What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


The filming process was a whirlwind in a sense. We got so caught up in the story and developing the character, we just kept shooting and shooting and shooting until Ellsworth was completed. It was a very orderly process, while we had fun doing it. The overall mood on set was serious and purposeful. Ellsworth is a dramatic concept and to keep in line with my method acting and to be true to the character it was all business on set.


The $64-question of course, when and where will the movie be released onto the general public?


So I wish I had an amazing answer to that but at this moment we are shopping it around. We right now are setting our sights on getting onto a respectable streaming service.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


Right now Chelsea and I just started grad school for psychology oddly enough. While we love film and doing our best to get Ellsworth to the general public ASAP, our focus is on our education at the moment.


How did you enter the filmworld to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


To make a long story kinda short, I started film sorta ass backwards if you will. I started out working on major productions off the bat without any formal training. I was fortunate to be blessed with a great opportunity and I was thrown into the fire and learned very quickly. I started off on a show called One Tree Hill for two seasons. One Tree Hill was a spring board to other projects such as Cabin Fever 2, IQ-145, NBC's Surface, Eastbound & Down, a Ben Stiller project and so on. So I am very lucky to go into filmmaking with a wealth of knowledge.


When it comes to filmmaking, you've filled quite a few roles, from writer and director to actor to quite a few crew positions - so what do you enjoy the most, what could you do without?


I got my start in film as Chad Michael Murray's stand-in & photo double for 2 seasons on One Tree Hill. That led into a lot of other work as a stand-in which I loved doing. Being a stand-in is a position that I learned the most from because I worked directly with the director of photography, director, and actors. I was able to see behind the camera of multi-million dollar productions. Acting is my passion and I was able to act in some pretty cool projects as well. A job I am not fond of in filmmaking would have to be lighting for sure. I am a perfectionist and freaking lighting is an art-form. I will do it but I don't have to like it lol.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Ellsworth?


As a filmmaker I try to make meaningful projects that impact viewers. My films bring out strong emotions to viewers that are both positive and negative and I live for that. Film is what I love to do and I will continue to leave a piece of me on every project I do like a stamp of passion that shines through the screen.


Filmmakers, actors, writers, whoever else who inspire you?


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
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The links below
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Find Preston Corbell
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Preston Corbell here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Preston Corbell at

Filmmakers, actors and so on are inspiring of course such as Eli Roth and Ti West. But what really inspires me is art expression.


Your favourite movies?


I don't really have favorites, I love true stories though.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


I will be nice here because those films have a filmmaker behind them who believed in them.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


You did a great job with in-depth questions. My only addition is watch Ellsworth. It's different, it's artistic, it's strange and its unforgettable lose yourself into the world of Ellsworth.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD