Your new movie Maria's
Tale - in a few words, what is it about?
To me it’s about an artist’s passion and what they would give up
for their craft. Maria wanted fame and success so much that she put
blinders on to get the story.
were your inspirations when writing Maria's
Tale? And what can you tell us about your collaboration with your
Chase and Eoin Connolly?
Zachary Chase and Eion Connolly
originally came up with the idea and script. I helped to tweak it and give
it the punches I thought would help with the style I wanted while
directing. They did an excellent job coming up with an eerie little
story considering our uber-small budget. I think the main inspiration was
our budget. Make something cool that can be shot cheap and in a limit time.
few words about Maria's Tale's
approach to horror?
Well, it’s not a gore fest. To me,
it’s an artistic found footage film. I wanted the characters to care
about the look of their documentary, so we could use some different angles
and lighting without people saying “Hey, documentaries are not shot like
this.” I think this is best expressed in the Christmas scenes at
Georgina’s house. I also think there is a creepiness to Georgina’s
openness and the crew’s passion too. Some will wonder why the hell
they’d stay at the house. I say, why does an artist pass on a solid 9-5
job to focus on their art that makes no money? It’s all about the
You've shot Maria's
Tale found footage style, and it's not the first time you used
that approach - so what do you find so appealing about making found
footage films, and what are the advantages but maybe also challenges
shooting that way?
It started with the fact that they are
easy to shoot and cheap too. I like that you can shoot them in one long
take, to make it feel real. But shooting in one long take has its
challenges too, there is no room for error, because you really can't edit
Do talk about your locations for a
bit, and what was it like filming there? And how did you find them even?
Chase is from Buffalo and was able to secure the house we used up there, and it
could not have been a better fit. It was a beautiful area, but the first
weekend shoot was stopped because of the heavy snow. All the interviews
were shot in Brooklyn, which does not have the landscape as upstate NY,
but offers its own unique scenery. I wish we were able to shoot more on
the streets of Brooklyn but being from the area I’m sure we will get
can you tell us about your key cast, and why exactly those people?
cast at the house was mostly new actors and they all did an amazing job.
Zachary found most of them and they had the right look and fell into
character immediately. I met Michael Ciesla through an ad and thought he
had a great look. He was in a terrible car accident the night before
shooting. Being the professional he was he used his pain to add to the
character of George/Georgina.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
atmosphere was odd, because it was hot, and we had the place decorated for
Christmas and it took me a bit to get the Christmas music out of my head.
All the actors had fun with it and it played well in the film too.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Maria's
It’s still very early, so there has not
been much feedback. Whether people like the film or not I think the cast
and crew did an excellent job getting the story out there. The guys at POV
Horror liked it enough to make it a part of their line up and it will be on
Amazon/DVD soon, so hopefully people get to check it out and enjoy it. The
weaved in Christmas theme makes it a perfect holiday movie :)
Any future projects you'd like to share?
on a few things currently, but they are all in the initial stages. I’m
focusing on promoting the company now, Vicious Apple Productions, and hope
to grow it into something special.
got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal
education on the subject?
I like creating but could never
draw too well. I guess film just became my outlet. I always admired how
someone like Hitchcock could scare so many people with a camera. I mean,
some guy had an idea, took a camera and made millions of people scared to
shower. That is just awesome.
What can you tell us about
your filmwork prior to Maria's
As mentioned earlier I started in the found
footage genre with the most recent project being The Faith
enjoyed working on that film as to me it was found footage meets the
theatre. You don’t often see a musical number break out in a found
How would you describe yourself as a
I’m pretty laid back. I like to see what the
actors bring in the first take or two and then take it from there. With
digital you can do as many takes as necessary. I think I can get a good
feel of the first take or two and see if we need the actor to go in a
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Carpenter, Craven, Aronofsky.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Last House on the
Rocky, Friday the
13th. Any cheesy 80’s movie too.
... and of course, films you
I guess I don’t really hate any movie. I
can kinda see the glass half full knowing now what goes into making a
film. With that said I don’t really like rom-coms.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook,
Thanks for the