Your new film Familiar - in a few words, what is it about?
Familiar is the story of Johnathan Dodd, a man
who despises his family and will do anything to be free of them. As John
plots his escape he begins to question the source of his unfounded rage
and discovers a shocking truth not only about himself but perhaps the
very nature of human hatred and desire.
early storyboard drawing
What were the initial inspirations for Familiar, and how
would you describe the crative process from first idea to finished script?
Familiar is essentially the flip side of Worm, it deals with similiar
themes of anger and disapointment but to a different and more bloody end.
The inspiration for Familiar is really my desire to recontextualize the
ideas from Worm and suggest another explanation for the existence of
monstrous human beings. Worm
suggests human monsters are a product of
their choices, their environment and so forth, Familiar
takes a different
route and suggests those dark desires and motivations come from somewhere
or from something else.
Cathryn Hostick, Robert Nolan, Astrida Auza
you describe your directorial approach?
The film explores the mind of its main character so we kept things
tight and claustrophobic. I wanted an insulated, cut off from the world
atmosphere and with the help of our great cinematographer Michael Davidson
we pulled it off. The family in this film exists in a vaccum, visually and
What can you tell
us about the actual shoot?
shoot lasted a week, most days where 12 hours or longer. The cast and crew
really gave the film their all and I am greateful they were willing to go
the extra mile to finish the project. We had three days of basic stuff,
converstaions between characters and what not and two days of special FX.
The FX stuff is always so involved and complex and requires so much
planning and prep but our team The Butchershop was great and got the job
done and it looks great. Our D.O.P Micheal Davidson brought an incredible
team with him and really shot some beautiful footage which I can't wait to
show the world. The shoot was long and full of hard work but the end
result is worth it. The cast were really troopers, especially Robert Nolan [Robert
Nolan interview - click here]
who we had run ragged by the end of that last 18 hour monster day.
certain ways, Familiar is a sequel to your last short Worm.
How much groundwork for Familiar was already laid out in the
earlier film, and at what point during production of Worm did you
figure the film might deserve a sort-of-sequel?
Familiar is a kind of spiritual sequel to
Worm but it really stands on
its own as a story and narrative. It deals with similar themes but in very
different ways and to a very different end. There was never any plan for a
sequel and in all honesty I don't consider Familiar
connection, a shared universe but this is in no way a continuation of Worm, it is as I said before a recontexualization of
Worm. As for Worm,
that story will be continued but in feature form sometime soon hopefully.
Richard Powell, Robert Nolan, Zach Green
you once again used Worm's Robert Nolan in the lead [Robert
Nolan interview - click here]. Why him again (quite apart from the
obvious reason that he plays the twin brother of Worm's lead
Robert is the lead in Familiar
for three distinct reasons. The first is
I pictured him as John while I writing the screenplay.
The second reason
is after reading the script Robert let me know he was interested in doing
the film and after a few long conversations and emails I was convinced he
would be the best man for the job. I had planned on using someone totally
different but for no reason other than that, different isn't necessarily
better I've come to learn, i'ts usually just different. Robert and I had a
working relationship, he understood me and my style and I understood him
and his method. He gave me everything I needed and wanted for Worm
knew he could do it again in Familiar
and he did. I knew I could bank on
Robert to deliver, that's a confidence booster heading into a film.
third and last reason is Robert in an incredible performer and any
filmmaker is lucky to have him.
few words about the rest of your cast and crew?
was incredible. There are so many talented, hard working people out there
it amazes me. I really have to mentioned Micheal Jari Davidson once again,
without his help and talent the film would not exist. Originally we tried
to get a grant to produce the film and had attached Micheal to shoot the
project for us - when the grant fell through Micheal was still determined
to help us get the film made and he brought so much in terms of skill and
dedication to the poject and now we have a finished film ready to go out
the world. Our post team was incredible as well, from the editors Navin and
Tom to our sound editor Justin and our extremely talented composer Bernie
Greenspoon we were very lucky to have assembled such a talented group. And
of course none of this could have been assembled or arranged without the
tireless work of the films producer Zach Green [Zach
Green interview - click here] who ties it all together.
often than not, your films tend to feature deeply troubled, often
borderline insane characters. Why is that?
I find these kinds of characters more interesting. Their lives have so
much more potential for conflict and struggle and hardship. I wouldn't say
my characters are insane, that gives their behaviour an easy out. To
suggest these characters are sane and have valid grievences with the world
is whats most disturbing.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
question of course: When and where will Familiar be released?
The film is finished but as of yet we don't know where and when it will
be released. We certainly have a time and place we would like to
premiere the film but until we know for certain we can't say much.
Hopefully in the Fall is the most I can say.
future projects you'd like to talk about?
scripting the Worm feature so hopefully thats the next project from
Fatal Pictures. The script is very promising and I'm excited to get started on
film's website, Facebook, whatever else?
- and find us Richard Powell, Zach Green, Fatal Pictures, Consumption,
Worm and Familiar
all on Facebook!
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
sure to check out us out on Facebook and show your support! We love
talking to filmmakers and film lovers alike! As well as looking out for
news of the Familiar
film festival premiere look for Consumption and Worm,
both making their TV premeire on the American Horrors horror channel
for the interview!