Your new movie Lake
Michigan Monster - in a few words, what is it about?
its purest form, Lake
is a comedy. One, because it has
some funny moments. And two, because its very existence is laughable.
wrote the story of Lake
Michigan Monster together with Michael Cheslik (who also
produced), so what can you tell us about him, and about your collaboration
while dreaming up the thing?
call him Magic Mike due to his editing and visual effects wizardy, but
more so because of his flair on a stripper pole. Without Magic Mike, the
film would have been far more inferior than it already is.
Michigan Monster being a monster movie, is that a genre at all
dear to you, and some of your genre favourites?
enjoy old monster movies but I wouldnít say the genre is dear to me.
Godzilla vs. Hedorah is wonderfully bizarre. But the scariest monster
movie for me is Signs. The scene at the Brazilian kidís birthday party
when we first see the alien in broad daylight is incredibly shocking. As a
viewer you react exactly the way Cousin Merrill does. That movie had a big
impact on me as a swarthy young dockhand.
sources of inspiration when writing Lake
you know ó Guy Maddin,
Monty Python, The ĎBurbs, early Sam Raimi, The
Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Yentl. But the idea for the picture came
one rainy afternoon whilst sitting on Wine Rock along the shores of Lake
Michigan listening to pirate metal with Erick West (Sean Shaughnessy). We
were smoking Djarum Black Clove cigarettes and drinking $3 sweet red wine
when I turned to my companion and said, ďWhat if a mermaid washed up on
shore and we were the only ones around to see it?Ē
Do talk about Lake
Michigan Monster's brand of humour for a bit?
always preferred humor that is inherently funny. No psycho-analyzing why
itís funny or why you should be laughing. Itís just funny. So while
I was probably subconsciously influenced by
Monty Python the most. Just wonderfully silly things.
also have to talk about the wonderful titular monster of course, how was
it achieved, and how much say did you have in its design?
Castro [Joe Castro interview -
click here], Erick West, and Mike Cheslik had a threeway with that monster. Joe
provided the suit/makeup, Erick provided its limbic system, and Mike was
in charge of visual effects. It was a look that Mike and I came up with at
pole dancing practice.
can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at
the camera moving. Keep the characters moving. Keep the imagery coming.
Keep the comedy coming. Keep the booze flowing. Keep the pace up. And end
every scene with a question mark. My God, what will happen next!?
You also play the lead in Lake
Michigan Monster - so what can you tell us about your character,
and have you written him with yourself in mind from the get-go?
have always been drawn to the charlatan. Lionel Hutz, Lyle Lanley,
Gilderoy Lockhart, Charles Ponzi; these are my heroes. I donít expect
audiences to fully relate or trust Seafield. If they did, his bizarre
existence would cease to be a mystery. Much like Mothman. And yes, I
always saw myself playing Seafield. It gave me an excuse to portray the
love child of Orson Welles, Daniel Plainview, and DiCaprioís Jay Gatsby.
talk about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?
Because they were free! You see, the trick to making a movie on the cheap
is to round up a bunch of suckers who will never see a dime. If you can do
that, you too can make a spooky seafaring comedy about monsters and
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
were obviously some long, hard days considering that the cast was the crew
and the crew was the cast and I was often face down in the sand. But for
the most part, my crew mates and I had a blast working on the picture. We
were all on crazy Captain Rylandís movie voyage together, hellbent on
slaying our own Moby Dick: the feature film.
$64 question of course, where can your movie be seen?
heed, landlubbers! The Lake
Michigan Monster is now terrorizing the Apple
TV appís Arrow Video Channel and swallowing up the great galleons,
YouTube and Google Play! Grab some brews, grab some buds, and prepare
yourselves for an evening of Milwaukee monster movie mayhem!
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Lake
would say watch late at night with beer in hand and friends on couch. This
is an audience movie. People of all ages, creeds, and nations have enjoyed
this film, particularly in darkened rooms with booze flowing and pickled
eggs within arms reach.
Any future projects you'd like
new picture is a supernatural, no dialogue, physical comedy set during the
height of Americaís fur trade. The name of the movie is Hundreds of
What got you into the filmworld in the first
was sailing a schooner of spices from Puerto Rico to the Florida Keys
through the eye of the Bermuda Triangle when a storm kicked up and
transported me through time from the roaring 1720ís into present day
When it comes to filmmaking, you've filled many
positions on both sides of the camera - so what do you enjoy the most,
what could you do without?
difficult was director because if I didnít bring passionfruit La Croix
sparkling water to set my friends wouldnít perform. So I made sure to
always have two packs of La Croix at the ready before we shot that day.
The most rewarding position was actor because I knew if I nailed a scene
there would be a passionfruit La Croix waiting for me in the sand.
What can you tell us about
your filmwork prior to Lake
Michigan Monster, in whatever position?
directed, acted in many a short. But one day I said, no more shorts! Men
are remembered by the features they make!
writers, actors who inspire you?
filmmakers inspire with their tireless work ethic. Guillermo del Toro with
his imagination. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell because they grew up in
Michigan and also made crazy small budget movies. And of course Sylvester
Stallone and Jackie Chan ó writers, directors, actors, ATHLETES.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Your favourite movies?
a Wonderful Life, Cannibal Holocaust.
and of course, films you really deplore?
CGI nightmare, Ready Player One. REMEMBER THE 80ís!!!!????
movie's website, social media, whatever else?
can find me.
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
for the interview!