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An Interview with Seaton Lin, Director of Rumor from Ground Control

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2018

Films directed by Seaton Lin on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Rumor from Ground Control - in a few words, what is it about?


Rumor from Ground Control is the story of a local female investigative journalist who uncovers the mysterious death of an astronaut.


With Rumor from Ground Control being deeply rooted in the "conspiracy theory" phenomenon, is that something you're at all into or have done extensive research upon? And some of your favourite conspiracy theories, for whatever reason?


I enjoy reading about conspiracy theories. Sometimes I find them fascinating but mostly I find them entertaining. With our current state of affairs in the US, conspiracy theories for many people have become a way of making sense of the seemingly chaotic and random events that happen around the world. I have done some research, but the only one that I found to be true was MKULTRA.


Other sources of inspiration when writing Rumor from Ground Control?


Some of the inspiration when writing Rumor from Ground Control came from listening to a lot music, watching other films, and doing research into psychology and artificial intelligence. The music that influenced the tone of the film came from Neu!, Scott Walker, La Dusseldorf, Cluster, David Bowie, and Brian Eno.


To what degree could you actually identify with your lead character Erika ... or any of the other characters really?


With the lead character Erika, I identified with her on various levels. I was in a very dire financial situation living in Los Angeles at the time. I felt as if I was being pushed out of the city, socially and economically that affected my career and emotional state. I tried to portray Erika's character with that feeling and wanted to challenge myself creatively by showing it from a female's perspective. I also identified a lot with the character Jeffery and referenced some of my experiences when I first started working in journalism.


What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?


Since this is my first feature film, I tried to create an environment that made the actors at ease. Prior to shooting we did some rehearsals. Before each take, I would set the scene by telling the actors the facts and circumstances. I would iterate the events and explain the psychology of what the character's motivation might be, but overall I wanted the actors to bring their own emotional awareness and interpretation to their role.


Do talk about your key cast, and why exactly these people?


Majority of the actors came from the Stuart Rogers Studios theater group. That studio is well renowned in Los Angeles. It was through the handwork of our producers Matthew Tully Brown and Chase McGuire that I was able to work with such wonderful talent. For me as a writer an director, I'm often in my own creative and social bubble. I don't have much contact with actors in general. Matthew works as a writer, director, producer and actor. Chase works as an actor and musician. With the two of them collaborating together, they were able to find the best people for the film.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


The shoot was surprising smooth and relaxed. We had some long days, but overall it was low key and calm. Compared to some other sets I've been on, our production was well organized and on schedule. Everyone involved helped make this film out of their love and passion for the project, so that helped bring about a great atmosphere.


The $64 question of course, where can your movie be seen?


Amazon Prime:

Roku: Indie Rights FIlm Channel

YouTube Movies


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Rumor from Ground Control yet?


Audience and critical reception of the film seems to be similar for the most part. Rumor from Ground Control is a niche film that plays for a very specific audience. Depending on the viewer, if she or he likes dark, brooding, slow paced, mystery, drama, thrillers with a hint of sci-fi, action and film noir, then this film will appeal to them.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I have a few ideas I'm working on that are very different from Rumor from Ground Control. I'm back to writing and working on a new script now.


What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training in the subject?


I've always had a desire to express myself regardless of the medium, whether it was through writing, drawing, music, photography or painting.

I found filmmaking to be the most challenging of all because of the collaborative nature and the combination of different artistic forms. This instantly attracted me to the craft. I do not have any formal training in film. I studied communication at the university. Everything else I learned on the job or on my own.


Do talk about your filmwork prior to Rumor from Ground Control?


I have a background in journalism. I worked in live TV as a floor manager and in local news as a cameraman and photographer. Later I learned how to edit and do graphic design. I currently work in advertising and entertainment across the board from pre-production, to production and post-production. Without these skill, I wouldn't have been able to make a film at the budget that I did. 


How would you describe yourself as a director?


I am a director with lots of room to grow. I hope to have a very long career.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


Stanley Kubrick, Wong Kar-Wai, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Andrei Tarkovsky, Nicolas Roeg, David Lynch, Ridley Scott, Adrian Lyne, David Lean, Ken Russell, Denis Villeneuve, Tom Ford, Alan Parker, Paul Thomas Anderson, Billy Wilder, Orson Welles, Samuel Fuller, Alan J. Pakula, Elia Kazan, and  David Cronenberg.


Your favourite movies?


Touch of Evil, 2001, La Haine, A Clockwork Orange, Eastern Promises, Happy Together, Lola, The Lady from Shanghai, Nightmare Alley, The Third Man, Blue Velvet, In the Mood for Love, East of Eden, Blade Runner, Parallax View, Z, Boogie Nights, Shock Corridor, Amadeus, The Music Lovers, Walkabout, Chungking Express, Pulp Fiction, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Don't Look Now, Paris is Burning, Sunset Boulevard, The Harder they Come.


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


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


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


I've launched a new site for my other projects:

Thank you Mike for the opportunity for this interview.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




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


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD