Your new movie Chop Chop
- in a few words, what is it about?
Chop Chop, as I see it, is a satirical
slasher meets crime-thriller. It all
centers on one chaotic night when a head-chopping serial killer attacks a
mysterious young couple who harbors a dark secret of their own.
What were your
sources of inspiration when writing Chop
Iím a big fan of home invasion movies, we were really quite impressed by
some of the newer spins and tropes used in films like Youíre Next and
Donít Breathe. And then along the way my own love for crime-thrillers
started spilling into the mix with films like Pulp Fiction, a lot of Guy
Ritchieís work, Breaking Bad etc.
What can you tell us about your co-writer
Andrew Ericksen, and what was your collaboration like?
It was amazing. Super-talented guy! Really good collaborator. Iíve
mentioned this before in a different interview - it was just fascinating
how everything fell right in place with me and him; the characters, the
tone, the humor - - everything! We were very clear from the start what we
wanted Chop Chop to be,
and the finished film did not disappoint.
what extent could you actually identify with your main characters Chuck
and Liv, who seem to get deeper into the shit no matter what decision they
make? And/or could you identify with any of the other characters, and why?
I think me and my wife Prachi (also a co-producer), we can certainly
identify with the couple, not so much their choices of course haha. But,
for starters we shot a good portion of the film in our apartment, so the
in-home lifestyle of Chuck and Liv was quite literally built from our own.
And more than the plot I feel itís the coupleís routine/their habits
that Iím sure a lot of other couples can relate to as well. Itís
difficult to express but for me thereís definitely an element of
personal story somewhere, the whole date night aspect, themes of
uncertainty, past & present and most importantly love in togetherness.
Chop doesn't really shy away from violence - so what can you tell
us about the bloody bits in your movie?
wish I had more budget I would have loved to show a little more, haha.
Stylistically I wanted to stay true to the slasher portion of the film
despite the twist and the genre mash-up. Blood was super-necessary!
At least to me, Chop
Chop is also darkly funny throughout - do you at all agree, and if
so, do talk about your movie's brand of humour?
Yes, one hundred percent agree. When we were writing the script we were
actually very conscious about the satirical choices and the dark humor.
To me (and Iím sure Andrew also) irony and humor played a big part in
terms of what attracted us to the story.
you tell us about Chop Chop's
key cast, and why exactly these people?
Oh where do I start? Cast is my favorite part about the film. I mean they
are each so perfect in their individual role. I had worked with Mikael
Mattson before and it was a total blast. HAD to work with him again, and I knew
exactly what character to write for him. For the leads I had to pretty
much browse through hundreds and hundreds of profiles on Backstage and
other similar talent search sites until I ultimately landed on Jake Taylor
and Atala Arce. David Harper was a whole different story that I wonít get into right
now. But once we roughly settled on the key-cast, we just knew, there was
an instant connection of chemistry, look, style/acting - everything fell
A few words
about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
Iíd say overall it was a lot of fun for everyone, considering the scale
and the budget we were working with. Initially it was a little stressful
for me at times putting on multiple hats, I was juggling way more than I
could handle for sure. And like with any other DIY production, things did
get a little heated at times. But ultimately it all worked out great I
think for the most part. No real complaints! Only good memories.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Chop
I wonít know the general audience reaction until after the release of
course. But with critics, I was really surprised by some of the positive
reviewers on how spot on their overall interpretation was of the style and
the film in general. I was skeptical that most people wonít get the
style, the humor, and there definitely are a few that donít, but Iím
sure glad to see a discussion happening.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
I am working with some ideas, but nothing set in stone yet. For now, just
waiting for things to open back up safely.
got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
Yes, I studied film at Temple University. I was born and raised in India,
and I loved movies growing up, but back there studying film as a subject
wasnít even an option as far as I knew coming out of high school. When I
moved to the States (in college) I discovered you could major in film. I
quickly finished my minor in business and jumped majors without a second
thought. Parents freaked out big time.
What can you tell us about your
filmwork prior to Chop Chop?
is my first feature attempt. Prior to that, I did short films,
mostly horror/small budget stuff. Some of them are available on Vimeo
for those who want to check it out.
would you describe yourself as a director?
As a director I find myself constantly evolving and highly whimsical. When
I started directing shorts I thought I would only do horror, and I still
love horror donít get me wrong. But with Chop Chop
I was able to see and
experience this weird range I didnít think I had. I would love to
continue experimenting and see how far I can stretch it.
who inspire you?
Many but to name a few - Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, David
Fincher, Guy Ritchie, Vince Gilligan, Martin Scorcese, Duplass Brothers,
James Gunn, Sam Raimi etc.
Your favourite movies?
Off the top of my head - Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction,
Casino, Snatch, The Departed, The Blair Witch
Project, Rosemaryís Baby, District 9, Nolanís
Trilogy, Parasite, I Saw the Devil, La La
Land, Tangerine, Superbad, and many many more.
and of course, films you really deplore?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I donít know if there are any that I deplore. Maybe The Human Centipede?
That too was effective in its own ways. So none I can think of at the
movie's website, social media, whatever else?
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I think you covered it all! This was a lot of fun. Thank you so much for
the opportunity and support. Hope you and everyone else enjoy this crazy
little film of ours. Be safe!
for the interview!