Your company Midnight
Prestige - how did it come into being, and what's the philosophy
I tell you, Chris [Chris Gierowski
interview - click here] nailed it on the head. He gave a literal copy
of our conversation and that explains it all. We talk in nerd code and if you
can decipher it then you're one of us! Seriously, though we've been friends
for years now and after working on so many low budget films/videos together we
wanted to make sure and keep that magic alive. With us now living in separate
states (and time zones) it is very difficult to maintain contact the way we
used to. With forming Midnight
Prestige we are making a commitment to ourselves to stay in touch
and keep the work flowing... and hopefully entertaining viewers.
What can you tell us about a typical Midnight
Prestige-shoot, and what kind of talent does each of you bring to
Each member has their talent. We all try to
grow and expand but there is a certain level that we just expect from each
other. While there are certainly more "professional" people out
there we use Midnight
Prestige as a way to expand our horizons in a friendly environment
without all the politics and nonsense that can occur with bigger budget
productions. Strangely enough, I hope we get there some day.
Any on-set anecdotes you'd like to share?
of my favorites is while shooting February
4th. Scott Gleine (who is our eyes and ears of the
post-apocalyptic experience) [Scott
Gleine interview - click here] is in a small room with Nathan Pinsoneault.
Nathan is super entertaining as the constant worrier/doom-harbinger and
while freaking out and muttering to himself in the shot, Scott uses his
free hand and gives him a good smack to calm him down. This caught Nathan
by surprise (as the entire shoot was improvised) but he ran with it and
didn't break character to punch Scott in the gut as a reaction.
talk about the company's films you've worked on as such for a bit?
We have had many other projects we have collaborated on that are not
Prestige but in my heart they are. There are so many that each
member has started on their own and we all came together to its
completion. It is kinda like being a member of a band. Each band member
has a great idea for a song and the others come together to make it a
great show. For Midnight
Prestige itself, we did something with February
4th where we became so in sync in such a short time. The original
idea for this video was to actually have it be a zombie
"choose-your-own-adventure". As a viewer you would start with
track 1 and at the end would reach a choice along with the characters.
"Do you go to track 2 and let Cooper kill Shaun or go to track 3 and
try to get Roger a cool drink of that 100 proof vodka that he needs so
bad?" The problem was that I did not have the technical expertise to
get that off the ground. Instead when it came time for us to get together
and shoot, I thought it would be really fun to mix the creativity of
Alfred Hitchcock's Rope, with its one seemingly endless take, and
combine that with the premise I was already coming up with for February
4th. Our zombie movie didn't have a name originally and we chose February
4th because the day we shot the short happened to fall on George
A. Romero's birthday. We thought it was too much of a coincidence to
ignore. We actually even met the
big man at a signing and gave him a copy of our movie! To this day I
wonder if he ever watched it but I hope at least he saw that here were
even more fans inspired by his ghoulish vision. Another great project was Sadie
Jane, which while I was not there in person, I was there in
future projects you'd like to share?
So many projects, so
little time! We are working on a collaborative script together (a first
for us) called Monsters. We love our existential scares and we
hope this to be one too. We're even coming together in LA this October and
hope to get the treads firmly in the mud on this project. Another
continuous production we've worked on is Schlock Shock Radio. We're
skipping the visual scares and transmitting the terror directly to your
brain via ear canals.
When it comes to
making movies, you have done pretty much everything, writing, directing,
producing, acting - so which do you enjoy the most, and what could you do
I love acting. I've never considered myself a
solid director because I let the actor do the part as they see fit and
sometimes that is not always the best way to go. But I love acting itself.
The idea of taking your life experiences and turning yourself into a
parallel universe version is fascinating to me. I also really enjoy
editing and writing. Creating those worlds and presenting them for an
audience to see. I used to work for a summer camp and one of my favorite
things were our weekly campfire skits. Being around that fire and just
using talent and minimal props to tell a story is one of our purist forms
of entertainment and I think we as a company use that same philosophy in
You of course also have to talk about Schlock
Shock Radio for a bit, and how did that one come into being? And what are
your usual inspirations when writing it?
This is a new one
for us because instead of coming together in person to record the audio
together, I am writing the scripts and each actor is recording their part
separately with a phone or other device and emailing it me. Then using
some cheap editing software I'm putting it all together to make something
coherent. It's an exercise in skill-building but absolutely a means for us
all to come together even if not able to in person. A great many of our
actors are friends from our past and they are contributing to make this a
reality. It's so much more enjoyable than just posting silly quotes on
never seems to stray too far from the horror genre - pure coincidence, or
is this a genre you're at all fond of, and why (not)?
is in our bones. Some of the most influential movies I've seen are not in
that genre but there is something about getting that spine-tingling
emotion out of someone that is extremely rewarding. All in good clean fun,
of course. I would like to someday move towards a sci-fi comedy or period
piece musical but funds are not quite there yet. A sweeping epic on the
planet Europa would be awesome.
would you describe yourself as a writer and a director?
I mentioned earlier, I am no director but as Hannibal Smith said "I
love it when a plan comes together." It is so rewarding to get together
as a group and create. In all honesty, I feel that most of our projects
are co-directed by everyone. We're very much a community of visionaries.
As for writing, I have ideas coming out the gills but getting them on
paper is another story. I was very inspired by something Akira Kurosawa
said. To paraphrase him he said that he needed to at least write a page a
day or else his scripts would never get done. I'm very much the same way
and have to get completely in the mid set to get to work or the other
things rattling around in my head get in the way and I can't stay in the
who inspire you?
Murder in my Hallway
Haha, I just realized that I've already
mentioned a few. I know one that sometimes goes unnoticed, but was hugely
influential to me, Buster Keaton [Buster
Keaton bio - click here]. Like anyone who is new to studying
film, silent movies can at first be a real turn-off but Keaton's
dedication is too inspiring to ignore. His films shine with his passion to
perform and that amazes me. I tell anyone who is interested in learning
more about film history to immediately watch Keaton's The General or
The Navigator. His movies are what I put on to get the brain pistons firing.
Your favourite movies?
AKA: The Hardest Question to Answer Ever. Haha. I could go on and on
with movies that I would consider my best but I'll go with the biggies.
Like anyone my age, Star Wars was a huge influence. I've made more fan
films as a pre-teen than I care to admit. In fact when I first borrowed my
parent's VHS-C camcorder I was grabbing Star Wars toys and taking them
back to that galaxy far, far away. Come to think of it, my parents even
had an 8mm print of the original film and we would watch it on their home
projector along with Frankenstein Meets The Space Monster
and Mighty Mouse
shorts. That reminds me, I really need to dust off the Super 8 camera and
give that thing a whirl. And while it's not a movie, I'm a huge fan of the
Metal Gear Solid video game series because of its theatrical aspects. I
accidentally always sneak in a Metal Gear reference or tonal delivery in
... and of course, films you really deplore?
Feeling lucky ?
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That's also hard because so many films have their merits. I think the
films I truly dislike are the ones where it is obvious the
filmmakers/studio just didn't care. I'm also a big video game fan and the
same problem happens there and as a viewer you feel cheated and
disappointed. It is even more tragic when you can tell that the movie
could have been good but outside forces didn't allow it. I'm sure Chris
mentioned that we are huge Twin Peaks fans. And there is a great example
of something as good as apple pie and midnight black coffee, but other
entities cut it down before it was truly allowed to blossom.
Your/your company's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Chris is our marketing director, he'll let you know. Haha.
Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten
The only thing I can think of is thanking for allowing us to talk about Midnight
Prestige. We are so excited on the direction we are heading and we
hope our viewers will enjoy the ride!
Thanks for the interview!