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An Interview with Shane Ryan, Director, Writer and Star of Warning!!! Pedophile Released

by Mike Haberfelner

February 2010

Films directed by and other interviews withShane Ryan on (re)Search my Trash


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Your latest movie is called Warning!!! Pedophile Released. In a few words, what's the film about?


Shane Ryan with Kai Lanette

The faults of the justice system (or it more asks if our justice system is flawed by the way it failed the characters in this story). Itís also about love, innocence, and small towns (or the decline of small towns as most of what you see are run down or abandoned homes and businesses).


What inspired you to do a film on that topic?


I actually canít remember. I was trying to think of a movie I could do in a week, like Amateur Porn Star Killer, and this was the first idea that came to mind. But the project grew and it took about 8 months instead of a week. When I was getting the project together I had inspiration along the way. I always loved The Woodsman, so even though I didnít get ideas directly from it I carefully watched it before doing anything. And just before shooting I saw Wendy and Lucy in the theatre, at least two or three times I saw it I loved it so much. Pedophile is nothing like it but it does feature a main character, a girl, who spends a majority of the movie homeless in a small town and walking around, so that film gave me hope that if people found enjoyment in that, they might find enjoyment in my film. Sean then came along and brought more inspiration and his own ideas.


Lead actress Kai Lanette does an amazing job in the film [Kai Lanette interview - click here]. A few words about her, and was she your first choice or have you ever thought about doing the film with someone else?


Weíve been dating for a while now and I came up with the idea of something we could work on together so she was always my only choice for the lead. I was going to have another actress play her for the interrogation scene because she was supposed to be 12, but I think she pulled it off very well and since she goes from 12 to 15 to 16 to 18 in the film it would have probably thrown people off if another actress popped in there somewhere. If she started off at 9 or 10 years old then Iíd obviously have to have used another girl for that age. Another problem was that people are so overprotective and paranoid and just plain stupid nowadays that when I was trying to cast that part they thought I was trying to get a 12 year old naked for it and didnít understand there was another actress over 18 already cast for the nude scene (even though clearly stated). So, I was getting threatening emails, and didnít feel like putting up with the bullshit since I already have to deal with it so much.


Kai Lanette's part in Warning!!! Pedophile Released is very unglamourous (and intentionally so). Did she have any problems with that?


One extra feature, if I were to have one, would have been to show how we shot this, only because people would probably have complimented Kaiís performance even more so. We shot out of sequence and had about 80 or so scenes and only about 6-7 days to shoot it. So, she had to change in between outfits/make up/ages/character sometimes every few minutes. Sometimes it really made her look worn out and sleep deprived and unglamorous simply because of all the rushing and reapplying make up. She was not an actor who sat around for 5 hours to work 5 minutes, it was completely vice versa. She also has a 9-5 job (and at that time the job was very strenuous) so she would get off work, be already exhausted, and then have to put up with me for the next 8 hours. Sean and I would work on stuff during the day and Kaiís average workday when she wasnít working her real job was probably 14 hours. Anyways, I donít think she had a problem with the unglamorous thing, it was mainly the HD camera that drove her nuts because it was so defined it showed flaws in the face the human eye doesnít even show. That drove me nuts too, Iím not really a fan of HD, if I had money itíd be film, so I did a lot of editing to try and bring down the quality and make it more rough.


Kai Lanette is also credited with co-writing the film. How big was her creative input?


Well, the entire crew was Sean Cain, Kai and myself, so Iíd say everyoneís creative input was significant. Sean more on the technical side and Kai more on the character side. I came up with the idea and wrote the outline based on locations I liked while Kai threw in things she would instinctually know having been a teenage girl once herself. She also was homeless while being a pregnant teen in real life, and has been through abuse and traumatic experiences so some of that came from reenacting real situations but changing them up for this story. She took me to the places in town where she actually slept and I just wrote ideas for shooting in those areas (though I think instead of shooting in actual places sheíd been weíd end up next door or down the street because it worked better on camera or was too difficult to shoot in those areas). What it came down to was that I wrote the outline and just had her do what came naturally once we were in each location. I didnít usually know exactly what she would do which is what I wanted because I wanted the camera to also be a character and be in the moment.


A few words about yourself as an actor, playing the second lead in Warning!!! Pedophile Released?


Hmmm, well, I hope I did alright. I think I would have been more proud of my performance if somebody else were directing because I was too self-aware, but until I start getting roles like this as an actor Iíll just have to keep doing it myself. I was hoping this would be a good chance for me to really find range in my acting but it ended up being more about the character of Echo, which is just fine. I felt much better shooting it than I did acting. I think I really would prefer to just act and just direct and switch back and forth but not both at the same time, at least not regularly.


Warning!!! Pedophile Released has at the same time a very improvised and carefully mapped out feel to it (if that makes any sense). How detailed a script (or even storyboard) did you have, and how much did you actually leave to chance?


No storyboards, no script, but a strong idea and a very specific outline with all of the locations in order. Since there wasnít much dialogue I just wrote down the idea of the scene and then trusted the actors could bring it with the improvising, which I think everybody did perfectly. I think I was the only one who had trouble with improvising. But if we got ideas along the way, or passed by new locations, etc, weíd go along with it.


On your Amateur Porn Star Killer-movies, you usually worked with the epitomy of a skeletal cast and crew (usuall two actors, one of whom also holding the camera, and nobody else). Did you have a bigger crew on Warning!!! Pedophile Released?


Nope, like I mentioned it was just me and 2 other people on the crew. Aside from one time I had to ask Rob, who plays Echoís father, to hold the camera for a scene. Iím not good with technology but I knew what I wanted in the camera work (as far as just going with the scene and NOT trying to make it look good) so Sean would set the camera up for me and then Iíd shoot Kai doing something while Sean downloaded the previous stuff in the car (he was the one who got stuck sitting around for most of the shoot). If I was on screen Sean would shoot it (in which case his camera work was usually too good so I had to look for when he was readjusting the camera to grab my shot in the editing room Ė I guess I have a thing for the imperfection). But there were still a few real cool shots he did that I had to put in.


A few words about Sean Cain, who acted as producer on Warning!!! Pedophile Released and also had a supporting role in it [Sean Cain interview - click here]?


Sean actually came up with his character, that was all him, I just figured out where to put him in the story but I think it was a great subplot to the film and gave more mystery (if not obvious) about the kind of stuff and people Malachi had to deal with in prison. But it also showed how Seanís character, whether you liked him or not, was trying to re-enter society and that it can feel pointless.

Sean also really had a lot to do with how well the movie turned out. Originally, when I was talking about the one-week movie, it was completely different. It was the same story only it was all to take place starting when Malachiís released and he gets a camcorder and documents his release as a journal because he doesnít want to write anymore. That was a way we could shoot it cheap and easy and, like Amateur Porn Star Killer, another mockumentary. I really liked the idea but another mockumentary seemed a little much (although when you work on 50 dollar budgets you donít really have a great list of choices). Sean heard about it and offered to shoot it on his camera, the same one he shot Silent Night, Zombie Night on. He also had the idea of his character and had some insight on what it was like for a pedophile in prison because of stories he had heard from people who went through similar things.

So, Sean really helped it go from another mockumentary to the more original/experimental film it became and if he hadnít come on board I might have had a film I felt proud of but I donít think I would have felt nowhere near as accomplished.


A few words about adult actress Joanna Angel, and how did she end up in this movie of yours?


We didnít even shoot Joannaís scene until about a week before the theatrical premiere. The majority of the film was shot in April, 6 months before, so that last minute scene was a lot of stress. I already had the scene in mind when we were shooting but the original actress I was going to use I just decided not to, I canít even remember why, but I didnít really know her and it would have been a favor to someone else. I ended up helping Sean out on a scene in his film Breath of Hate along with Kai (we were a strip club couple) coincidentally watching Regan Reese (from my other APSK films) strip. She turned out to be there with Joanna who had a part in the film so I thought Iíd ask Sean to get in touch with her. She wanted to do it and was really easy and nice to talk to (unlike some actors who give the worst first impressions) and I knew she had a fan base so I figured it could work. I told her the idea and she easily improvised it so it worked out great. The only problem has been that people think I made up the scene just for her but that was already part of the film before I even knew who she was. And in the long run her publicist couldnít even promote it because of the title. Call me naÔve but apparently you can murder as many people as you want, or talk about pedophiles and much as you want, or make movies about them, or EVEN BE ONE! (i.e. Roman Polanski, Victor Salva) but if itís in the title of your film youíre completely fucked and youíre a pervert.

Netflix, fucking Netflix, rejected the film because of the title, even though they have a film called The Hanger (and no disrespect to this filmmaker just the unfairness of Netflixís bullshit) where this girl has her legs spread open and we see her vagina lips and asshole (already way more graphic than Pedophile) and then a hanger is shoved through her clitoris and ripped out for a massive blood flow. Iím flabbergasted why thatís okay and a scene of a depressed homeless girl taking a shower to clean herself isnít. We even got rejected by DVD Empire who carried the APSKs (all much more graphic than Pedophile) although now theyíve dropped all of the APSKís because of this film. And they even have their own Adult Site -!?!?!? And the mainstream DVD Empire site carries this French film call Fat Girl which has a 13 year old actress (not just her character but the actress was 13, her character was 12!) being raped and it shows her actual breasts!!! I canít believe that was even legal. Our film has a 15 year old being raped but it doesnít even show her naked in the rape scene and the actress was 22, so where the fuck is there any sense or justice in that?!?!?!?!? 

Anyways, my ďI hate the world rant because itís full of dumb fuck inconsistent moronic sensitivities and pure bullshitĒ ... but on to the next questionÖ


What can you tell us about the rest of the film's cast and crew?


Molly Wryn, who plays my mom, is a close friend, her daughter Emily and I have worked on a bunch of projects together, so Molly was attached from the start. She did a small role in David Lynchís Dune and was an actress in some other good stuff back around that time. We had never worked together as far as me ever getting to see her act, but knowing her background I took a chance and thought she was marvelous. She also knows my mom, so that helped. I didnít want her to be a phony blind person like I see in many films, I wanted her to act like my own mother (as far as being blind but her characterís attitude is different though she has a similar look as my mom). Her close friend Rob Dale plays Echoís father and he really does look like Kaiís father so that worked out (though most people donít realize Kaiís half-white or can even tell her ethnicity so I guess it doesnít really matter but to us it was cool). I already knew Rob as a friend but not as an actor so I had him try the scene in several ways, from yelling to screaming to just doing it calmly and sincere which is what I ended up using in the film because I thought it was the most touching and added the most character for how short his part is.


Jerell Gray Iíve known for a long time and he makes movies too, which I act in some times, and I just thought the small part of the kind friend getting the drug hook up fit him. His friend Darrell plays the guy who hits me and we donít have the best past together so the tension I thought would naturally work for us.
And Alyssa, also known as Prelandra (a great artist) is Kaiís best friend in real life and she acted in a film I did 10 years ago, so that was just an easy relative shoot for us. Alyssa can be pretty moody some times so I told her ďjust be yourself in a bad mood.Ē

My brother, Jeremy, plays the cop in the truck whoís also the faceless cop in the interrogation. Heís several years younger than me but always looked older, and I thought the long hair and sloppy beard was great, a change from the Law and Order/CSI cop look, and almost an inside joke given my brotherís history with cops.

And then thereís Elina Madison, the biggest pro on the set ironically with the smallest part. Sheís acted in like 100 films. I had to pretend to rape her in a Creep Creepersin film (in which case she wasnít even in the scene for the bad rape part Ė I had to fake it completely) and she seemed really cool [Creep Creepersin interview - click here]. She had worked with both Sean and Creep several times so I just asked her and she had to squeeze it between films since she gets so much work. I almost thought I wasnít gonna be able to get her in it or Joanna since it was the same scene and they both work a lot. Anyways, I wish I could have used her more. Man, I hope Iím not missing anybody but I think that was our whole cast!


The locations Warning!!! Pedophile Released was shot in seem to mirror the mood of the movie rather perfectly. How did you find them?


Theyíre all from my home town, or in the area. Most of them. The abandoned town I walk through I saw on the way to Ojai one day. The second scene where Kaiís walking by abandoned cars behind a fence and that torn up area I saw when picking up my dadís dogs, I had to drive through this old road. Everything else I either already knew about or found when I was driving around gathering all of my ideas for locations. I love run down locations and stuff like that for its character.


Over long stretches, Warning!!! Pedophile Released lacks dialogue, which makes the incidental music all the more important. A few words about the film's musical score?


One song (which I got just before completion) was by Jacob Wild who used to sing with Emily, Mollyís daughter. Everything else was royalty music, and cheap royalty music surprisingly. The first musical piece in the film, just after the rape, kind of shaped the whole movie. I found that way before shooting and already knew I wanted Kai screaming (with no noise other than the music) when that intense beat kicked in. That was the one thing I was 100% specific about. I told her you have to scream at the top of your lungs (but weíre not going to use the sound) and look like youíre in the most emotional pain youíve ever been through. I had her scream so much I think she really was emotional damaged by the last couple of takes.
Everything else I found as we were shooting, or while I was editing, or Iíd go back and change the music. I was pretty picky about that and was really surprised I could find all that in royalty music. That still ended up being the majority of the filmís budget though.


Any films or directors who have influenced you on Warning!!! Pedophile Released?


Probably subconsciously but I canít think of anything else other than what I mentioned earlier. No, wait, Steven Soderbergh was one of them, I forgot about that. Just his camera work, and wanting to hold the camera himself, Iíve seen how he shoots A LOT of footage just to be in the moment, and is detailed with his camera movements about (what some would find) the most insignificant scenes or things. I did a lot of work for David Shepard when I first started out, working on very old films, restorations on DVD, etc. So I always feel I got huge inspiration from those, and using music over images to tell the story with little dialogue here and there (instead of title sheets). So, stuff like that.


With the Amateur Porn Star Killer-movies and Warning!!! Pedophile Released, hand-held camerawork has become a sort-of trademark of yours. Ever thought of going for more traditional camerawork?


I already did, 8 years ago, with my short film Isolation. The film was still experimental but there was minimal handheld stuff and everything was carefully lit.
I started out doing things the traditional way. A 35-minute film I made when I was 14 was shot mostly by my dad so we did it fairly professionally and had about 100 cast and crew. Itís not online but I do have a page for it, I even play identical twins in it and we did a special effects scene and stuff. Back in 1994 as a high school freshman working with pro-equipment that was pretty cool. Nowadays a 10-year old can throw that together on his computer. Kind of takes the fun out of it in many ways.
Eventually I got frustrated doing things that way though and realized the stuff I ran out and shot many times came out better than the stuff I spent time and money and a crew shooting with (lots of that had to do with getting good sound though). But it got me into the attitude of just do it. Like Amateur Porn Star Killer. I just grabbed a girl and a camera and shot an idea. But thereís also only so much of that you can do so our next film I finally got a cinematographer, and a producer. We shot some teaser trailers but we havenít shot the film yet. You can view all 3 trailers by going to the site 


The film's website, MySpace, whatever else? 


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As far as I know, it was due to Warning!!! Pedophile Released that the release eagerly anticipated Amateur Porn Star Killer 3D was pushed back. Any release date for that movie yet?


Nah, I havenít been able to get it together. Technical problems, I shot it poorly (which for this film it matters so itís been tough figuring out some stuff) and just uninspired. I got so fed up doing those films that Iím dying to get away from them. Plus I did the first 3 with this serious dark story in mind and the first 2 really felt necessary. I felt like I had something to say. Iím conflicted with how I feel about the 3rd but with the 3D one it just feels kind of dirty. Itís not me. People can say the first 3 felt dirty but I donít think they were. Again, conflicted with Part 3 on that but I donít feel the first 2  APSKs are wrong. Iím proud of them. But people forget that I was not into horror, or porn, or exploitation films. I was into the human mind. Human behaviour, true crime, or in the case of Pedophile, doomed love, faults of the justice system, etc. APSK3D isnít any of that. And itís not just a comedy for entertainment or laughs either, itís dirty in many ways. So, honestly, Iíve felt kind of disgusted when I try to edit it. Thatís why Iíve tried to get other people to edit it but because of how it was shot Iíll probably have to be the one. Iíll get it finished, I have to, and a lot of people contributed a lot of great things to it. But, itís honestly probably not a movie I should have made.


Any future projects you'd like to talk about?


Abducted Girl, an American Sex Slave. Keep an eye out. Iím also trying to get acting jobs, where Iím just the actor (thatís why I started making movies in the first place), so keep an eye out for any of those, or if youíre looking for actors, hit me the fuck up.


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


Yes, donít believe one goddamn thing ever that you hear on the news. CBS, CNN, The View, Fox, etc., itís all bullshit. Sites like this are probably the only honesty you get. You think you know this, you think the media is full of shit, but until you see yourself on the news and see their manipulative lies and bullshit and disgusting vomit just to get ratings (and then they act like theyíre the concerned ones) you just donít really know. For how full of shit Hollywood is, movies are far more real and honest than the evening news will ever be. Thatís all.


Thanks for the interview!




© by Mike Haberfelner

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