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An Interview with Stephen Michael Giglio, Director of Epidemic

by Mike Haberfelner

August 2018

Films directed by Stephen Michael Giglio on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Epidemic - in a few words, what is it about?


An estranged father saving his daughter from a deadly virus.


With Epidemic being a zombie movie of sorts, is that at all a genre dear to you, and some of your genre favourites? And what do you think makes Epidemic stick out of the crowd of undead cinema?


I was always a fan of George Romero, and zombies are a prime choice with horror. I also enjoy the supernatural. With Epidemic, my co-writer Adam Romanchik and I tried to blend the two - as we have the physical manifestations of the virus (the ghouls) as well as the mental & psychological effects caused by the disease.


(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Epidemic?


I pull inspiration from my own life, weaving stories that punctuate things that hit close to home.


What can you tell us about your co-writer Adam Romanchik, and what was your collaboration like?


Adam and I grew up together. We met in middle school and started making movies since eighth grade. The journey has not stopped. Our collaboration is uncanny. We know each other so well, our strengths and weaknesses, but most importantly, we are honest with each other. Adam and I are both sculptors hard at work, feeding off each other's craft until the piece is exactly where we want it.


To what extent could you actually identify with Rufus and the drama he's going through on a personal level?


I have faced, and continue to face, my battle with addiction. Being in recovery, I have been able to face my demons and channel them in a healthy and spiritual way - my art.


What can you tell us about Epidemic's approach to horror?


Epidemic's approach to horror comes in many forms I believe - it comes swift and aggressive with the contagion spreading, the characters getting infected... and it also comes internally, as a ticking-time bomb driving our lead character to the brink of insanity.


Do talk about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?


I spend a lot of time in pre-production with my cast, from table-reads to one-on-one discussions, giving as much backstory as I can and helping prepare when it comes time to filming. And once we start, I conduct rehearsals as we block, choreograph, and mold each scene together... and there were a few moments as well when improvisation played a vital role.


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


The shoot lasted for approx. 14 days - we averaged an 8-9 hour shoot per day. The atmosphere was crazy at times, and sometimes very quiet. The cast and crew were a joy to be around. Everyone was on top of their game.


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


DVD and On Demand Sept. 4 - iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Playstation, Xbox, Vudu, Fandango, Comcast iNDEMAND, Dish Network, and Direct TV.


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Epidemic yet?


Not yet... I've only showed a rough and polished cut to my team and a pool of filmmakers I trust deeply. And the response has been positive so far!


Any future projects you'd like to share?


Just in the creative writing phase - nothing in the pipeline... yet...


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


My grandfather was a huge inspiration to me growing up, and my passion for film stems from him. I did go to film school at University of the Arts in Philadelphia.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Epidemic?


I spent years as an editor, working on trailers and feature films, after a while getting that portfolio under my belt I wanted to pursue my passion for writing & directing. It's been such a blast getting Epidemic made.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


Feeling lucky ?
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Find Stephen Michael Giglio
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Stephen Michael Giglio here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

I am very much an actor's director. I grew up in love with the theater and loved watching actors on stage. I chose film directing because I am also in love with the visual arts. The cinema is the perfect canvas.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


Stanley Kubrick. William Friedkin. Charlie Chaplin. Wes Craven.


Your favourite movies?


The Exorcist. City Lights. A Clockwork Orange.


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


Any horror movie Michael Bay is responsible for remaking.


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


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


Nothing! Thank you so much for your time. It was a pleasure.


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