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An Interview with Scott C. Sanford, Writer of Axe to Grind

by Mike Haberfelner

January 2015

Films directed by Scott C. Sanford on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Axe to Grind - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Axe to Grind was conceived as a satire of the B-movie industry; the finished product does capture some of that intent.

 

How did the project come into being to begin with?

 

After networking with several horror film industry actresses and directors, I wanted to write a script that both celebrates and at times satirizes their world.

 

What can you tell us about your director Matt Zettell, and what was your collaboration like?

 

I believe Matt Zettell has delivered a film that creates tension, suspense, and is fun. Too often these days the B horror movie market consists of mean-spirited, gore fests that have very little restraint or nuance, they simply try to shock with over-the-top torture porn elements.

 

Axe to Grind might have its flashes of violence, but it also has a humourous side to it - so what can you tell us about the movie's brand of comedy, and to what extent does it relate to your personal sense of humour? And how hard was it to balance the comedy and horror elements?

 

I felt Matt Zettell struck a great balance between humorous elements and he created suspense.

 

Your lead/killer Debbie Rochon [Debbie Rochon interview - click here] - since her character name is Debbie and she plays a veteran horror actress, which she of course is, was the character conceived with her in mind already, and what was it like working with her?

 

I wrote the project with Debbie (and others) as a basis for the character. I initially had cast Sean Young in the role of Debbie Wilkins, but when realities of our budget became apparent I figured I would ask the inspiration for the character herself if she'd consider doing the project. I'm glad she said yes.

 

What can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?

 

I wrote each character based on someone in the horror industry. The Delilah Finn character was inspired by Devanny Pinn [Devanny Pinn interview - click here]. Debbie Wilkins of course was inspired by Debbie Rochon. Peter Burgess was loosely inspired by Peter Bogdonavich and his penchant for dating his leading women.

 

You also have to talk about your wonderful location for a bit, and the advantages and challenges of filming there!

 

The advantages were that it helped create a creepy backdrop, was centrally located close to most crew and cast, and it was relatively cheap! One of the challenges was having to be off set by 7:30pm each night, we would have liked to have filmed a few more hours a day.

 

What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

The crew Matt Zettell assembled was a well-oiled machine; very professional and easy to work with. The cast was very open to collaboration with each other.

 

A few words about audience and critical reception of your movie so far?

 

The film opens on DVD Feb 3rd, but we did screen it for investors in Sacramento in a theater and the reception was mostly positive.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I'd love to get all the crew/cast and Matt Zettell together to shoot a vampire film I've scripted titled The Last Revenants. The impulse is to always do a "sequel", but I want to do something fresh with the same people.

 

What got you into screenwriting to begin with, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?

 

I've always written since grade school. I did have a formal education in English/Writing, but nothing specific to screenwriting.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Axe to Grind?

 

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Axe to Grind is my first produced script, and first project I produced. I have optioned several other scripts in the drama/comedy genre to various filmmakers/production companies.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

Kubrick, Friedkin, Woody Allen... any director who has a distinctive style.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Anything Jack Nicholson is in. Taxi Driver, A Clockwork Orange, The Exorcist.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

Each film I respect in some way that it got made/released. First day on set Matt Zettell addressed all of us and said "A lot of people TALK about making a movie... we're MAKING one."

 

Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

www.axetogrindmovie.com

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
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Michael Haberfelner

 

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