You are both the writer and director
for the film Prank. Tell us about the plot!
Prank is a short
film based upon a feature length screenplay which I wrote. I took the
back story from the full length - which is revealed in flashbacks - and
crafted a short film around those visual/narrative elements. Prank
the story about a group of high school kids who amuse themselves by
pulling pranks on their fellow students, teachers, etc. They are all
popular, good looking, the rich, privileged kids voted most likely to
succeed and the assholes you just love to hate. One night, a prank at
the beach goes horribly wrong - which we see in the short film - and a
teenager is bullied and killed. The gang covers it up as a drowning
accident but five years later, their lives are turned upside down when
the leader of the group Jimmy Edwards - the creep who pulled the beach
prank - is killed by a serial killer wearing a bizarre Marilyn Monroe
mask. Jimmy is hung upside down and baked to death in a car spray painting
Where can this be ordered?
Great news! You can see
it online for free at http://vimeo.com/44686726.
You have a showing at this at Shriekfest in California,
This Sunday Oct 7th, 2pm at the Raleigh Studios,
5300 Melrose Ave in Hollywood. Prank
has been nominated for the Best
Short Film under 10 minutes.
Are any other showings planned in
the near future?
Happy to say that Shriekfest is the first
festival Prank was entered in. Stay tuned as it looks like I'm going to
have to enter it in more.
Is this your first film?
I wrote and directed plays for the theater but this is my first time
behind the camera.
Are there other films planned?
are several projects that I'm working at raising the financing and am
extremely excited about. Of course raising $$$ these days is a daunting
task, especially if you're a creative type and unfortunately inescapable
if you ever want to see your work done.
How do you anticipate reaction
will be at the upcoming Shriekfest?
I think Prank is going to
be well received. We've already been nominated for the Best Short under
10 minutes so that's encouraging. And Prank
is shot beautifully, the
sound is terrific and it moves through passages in time in under seven
minutes all the while keeping a really creepy tone. Hopefully it'll get
under everyone's skin at Shriekfest. Would really make my day.
Are there any interesting behind
the scenes stories to tell about the filming of Prank?
in LA and spent a day driving up and down Pico Blvd looking for a car
spray painting booth where I could hang somebody upside down. For the
record, the auto body shops on Pico are littered with the swarthiest,
most repugnant, unforgiving cast of characters you can imagine. They
could care less about you, your stupid little movie, and they would
rather see you dead than give you the time of day. I thought to myself
"This is never going to happen! I'm finished!" But the next
day, I drove up LaBrea and saw an auto body shop with a perfect spray
painting booth inside. Just so happens the owner's son was about to
graduate from the AFI's Directors Program, he had shelled out 70G for
his first movie and he let me have his place for $100. God bless him!
Another interesting tidbit: The guy who plays the killer Marilyn in Prank
also worked there and didn't speak a word of English. Still can't
get over that!
How did you choose the title?
Hayes, my producer, thought it would make a great title for a horror
movie. So I went home, wrapped my head around the prank concept, and
three months later I came back with a fantastic screenplay.
Would you see a sequel in the
That's the idea. But the first step is to raise the
financing to turn Prank
into a feature. I see no reason why this can't
be the next great horror franchise.
Do you prefer writing or
Writing is hard. Really hard. Every time I start
something new, I have no idea how I'm going to make it through. But I
have to say I really enjoy directing since it seems like a natural
progression from what's on the page to what's on the screen. And it
incorporates the four disciplines I'm very familiar with: writing,
acting, music and art.
Did you run into any difficulties
in doing both?
Definitely. As I was crafting the short from
the screenplay, I was cramming in way too much information for a short
film to handle. Just because something was in the full length, didn't
mean it had to be in the short. Took me a while to realize the short was
its own entity.
Any other things you might like
to touch on?
I wore a lot of hats trying to make this movie
happen. I did the casting, I found the locations, I designed the mask, I
pulled the props together, I made sure everyone on set was fed. It was
incredibly stressful getting 15 people in one place, all at the same
time and all for little money. But they came on board because they
believed and there is no way in hell I could have done it without them.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
recently came to the realization where I can look back at the horror
movies of my youth and smile fondly. Going to the theater, getting
scared, girlfriends clutching on to your arm scared out of their wits
and you trying to be cool, peaking through your fingers when you were
just as frightened. I wrote an ode to the horror genre which I posted on
my vimeo page and only seems appropriate to share with you here...
AN ODE TO HORROR MOVIES:
Maybe it was Abbott
and Costello Meet Frankenstein. God how I loved
that movie. The Wolf
Frankenstein. Even a cameo by the
Invisible Man. Saturday mornings were never better.
Or maybe it was The Exorcist. I wasn't right for a month. But I knew
every line of dialogue. "Your mother sucks ***** in hell!"
Or maybe it was Night
of the Living Dead. Midnight outside the
Lincoln Theater in Union City, NJ. I refused to walk home. My father had
to pick me up when I swore everyone in Hudson County was a flesh eating
zombie that craved brains. He was not pleased.
Or the end of Friday
the 13th when Jason shoots out from the bottom
of Crystal Lake and Eddie Devaney and Billy Faulkner damn near had heart
When Prank turned my corner like an unexpected knife in the night, I
knew I must heed its call.
Does the world really need another horror movie?
Yeah, maybe we do.
Thanks for the interview!