Your new movie Flytrap
- in a few words, what is it about?
Paranoia. It’s about the people we pass every day as we walk down the
street, our neighbors, the clerk in a shop. What do we really know about
them. Who are they? What are they capable of?
is a pretty wild genre mix, blending a hostage situation with science
fiction, dark comedy with paranoia mainstays - so do talk about that
unique genre mix of Flytrap
for a bit!
For me genre comes from the original concept.
The sci-fi/hostage situation came logically from the original premise. The
paranoia angle really came from the character of James Pond. It’s his
worldview. A scientific fact-based world view that is lacking in real
world human qualities. So he’s naturally curious and also naturally
paranoid about things he doesn’t understand.
(Other) sources of inspiration when writing
Well I’m always influenced by other films. For Flytrap
inspiration from Stanley Kubrick. You will see distinct influences from
The Shining and oddly enough Barry Lyndon. My other great inspiration is
Andrei Tarkovsky. In particular his film Stalker. Which is somewhat opaque
in parts and requires the audience to read into the motivations of the
characters. Tarkovsky once said: “Never try to convey your idea to the
audience, it is a thankless and senseless task. Show them life, and
they’ll find within themselves the means to assess and appreciate it.”
Now I couldn’t make Flytrap
completely opaque as it still needed to
appeal to mainstream audiences. But there are Tarkovsky touches in the
film if you look for them.
few words about Flytrap's
very own brand of humour?
It’s a family thing. I can only
describe it as Brooks humor. My father had it. My uncle had it. My cousins
have it. My cousin’s son has it! There must be some odd genetic mutation
that has been passed down from generation to generation.
What can you tell us about
your directorial approach to your story at hand?
I want the audience to feel that they were in the room with these
characters. Trapped looking for a way out. I wanted the audience to feel
James Pond’s creeping sense of dread and his claustrophobia.
about your cast, and why exactly these people?
Well I first worked with Jeremy Crutchley in Johannesburg
South Africa many years ago on my first professional writing job, an
adaptation of a Stephen King short story called The
Mangler. Jeremy is a
huge star in South Africa. I told him after the first day on set that one
day he would star in a film for me. I didn’t think it would take this
long. But sometimes good things take time.
Ina-Alice Kopp is attached to another film in the pipeline. I met her
through the producer of that film. Once I had cast Jeremy Ina’s image
immediately popped into my mind as the perfect Mary Ann. Her acting style
is completely opposite that of Jeremy and I think that added an
authenticity to their interaction.
Billy ‘Sly’ Williams has been in my last 3 films. He starred in my
feature directing/writing debut Heads N TailZ and my short Binky. So it
was natural to cast him in Flytrap. Billy and I are like Scorsese and
DeNiro. We have a shorthand way of working together that is almost
Jonah Blechman was a gift from the casting gods. Well, specifically,
from Stanzi Stokes who also represents Ina. In fact Stanzi found all the
remaining cast members. Her taste in talent is extraordinary.
I just have to make you talk about the unfittingly colourful dresses
of your lead actress Ina-Alice Kopp for a bit, which fit the movie quite
so well - so care to elaborate, and who chose them, actually, and were
they designed especially for Flytrap?
I have to give Ina credit for the dresses. She found them on a website. They come in a variety of colors and patterns. I loved the idea that
Mary Ann changes outfits so often, yet always to the same basic dress
design. Just a different color scheme. It helps show her evolution as a
of course also have to talk about Flytrap's
Well Simon Boswell is a genius. I first encountered his work in Richard
Stanley’s Hardware. I was lucky enough to hang out a bit with Richard in
LA in the mid-90’s and saw his cut of Dust Devil, which also features
Simon’s score. To this day that is still my favorite film score. At that
point I promised myself Simon would score a film for me one day. And he
Simon is a BAFTA nominated film composer who has worked with Dario
Argento, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Danny Boyle amongst others. Simon has a way
of capturing the feel of a film, enhance it without overwhelming it. That
is quite a unique talent. He also has a great sense of theme and
variations on a theme. You don’t just get a musical backdrop with Simon,
you get Don Giovanni.
And the 3 songs in the dance scene are from one of my favorite bands,
the Santa Barbara based The Tearaways. The end title song is also one of
You of course have to talk about your
very restricted locations for a bit, and what kind of a challenge was it
like filming there and keeping things interesting?
was to plan a different shooting strategy for each scene. So we changed
angles, lenses. Sometimes we moved the camera other times it was
stationary. Also DP David Hardberger changed the lighting for each scene
to not only show changes in the time of day but also to alter the look
from scene to scene to keep it fresh. We also carefully staged each scene
so that the actors were in different parts of the room in each scene. Even
when they are in bed they switch sides.
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
on set atmosphere was focused but relaxed. I don’t run a tense set. I
think that’s counterproductive. We were moving pretty quickly so
everybody had to bring their best abilities to set in order to pull it off
and that required relaxed focus. We were shooting 8-10 pages a day so we
had to be on point!
can you tell us about critical and audience reception of your movie so
So far audiences in every screening have laughed at
the right points, and sensed the growing tension as the film progresses.
Even the audience at the world premiere at ECU The European Independent
Film Festival in Paris reacted this way. And that was with French
Any future projects you'd like to share?
I just finished filming a new top secret streaming series called Strings.
I’m not allowed to say too much other than the cast includes
some social media stars with millions of followers.
Also Iris, a short I directed last year, just won the Platinum Remi at
Worldfest Houston and will have its world premiere on July 19 in New
York City at the New Filmmakers NY Festival.
got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
I started shooting stills when I
was a child. I had an old Nikon SLR and some vintage lenses. That’s how
I learned about composition and how lenses control the perspective and
feel of the image. Then I started making short films. I did eventually go
to UCLA to study. However most of what I’ve learned I gleaned from
working on sets in various capacities and watching how other directors
What can you tell us about your
filmwork prior to Flytrap?
I was a VFX supervisor early in my career. I was mentored by two time
Oscar winner John Dykstra as well as VFX legend Harrison Ellenshaw. I
worked on various movies from Spaceballs to Dick Tracy. I was always
writing in my spare time and by this time I had 12 finished screenplays. I
moved into professional screenwriting when Tobe Hooper hired me to adapt
the Stephen King short story The
Mangler. I went on to write a couple of
other movies for Avi Lerner while directing 2nd unit on those
In 2003 I finally made my writing/directing debut with the multiple
award winning Heads N TailZ. The film won the Audience Award at
With Film in Los Angeles in 2005 and that proved to be the first of many
festival screenings and awards. The film is now streaming for free on the
ECU European Film Channel.
Just prior to making Flytrap
I made a short called Binky starring the
two co-stars of Heads N TailZ Billy ‘Sly’ Williams and Lucy Jenner.
who inspire you?
Stanley Kubrick. Andrei Tarkovsky. Mike
Nichols. David Lean. Danny Boyle, the Coen Brothers, Frank Capra. The list
Your favourite movies?
Space Odyssey, Dr. Strangelove, Stalker, Andrei
Rublev, Who’s Afraid of
Virginia Woolf, The Graduate, Lawrence of Arabia, Dr.
Zhivago, Trainspotting, Best Years of Our Lives, A Serious
Man, It’s A Wonderful Life.
and of course, films you really deplore?
Ha! No. I admire
anyone who can complete a film and get it in front of an audience. If I
don’t like something it’s just a matter of personal taste.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
The official Flytrap
The official Flytrap
Facebook page is:
My official site is: http://www.stephendavidbrooks.com
Jeremy Crutchley’s page is:
Jeremy Crutchley’s Facebook page is:
Ina-Alice Kopp’s website:
Ina-Alice Kopp’s Facebook page:
Composer Simon Boswell’s page: http://www.simonboswell.com
Simon Boswell’s Facebook Band page:
The Tearaways page: http//www.tearaways.com
The Tearaways Facebook page:
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Official Facebook Page for Strings series:
Official Page for Iris: http://www.iristhemovie.com/
Heads N TailZ on ECU The European Independent Film Channel (free to
Binky is available to screen for free here:
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
star Ina-Alice Kopp is Austrian! And our casting director Stanzi Stokes is
for the interview!