Your film El
Monstro del Mar! - in a few words, what is it about?
Killer vixens vs a giant sea monster.
I had to guess two key influences on El
Monstro del Mar!, it would be H.P. Lovecraft and Russ Meyer
(though there is no nudity in your movie). How far off is my guess?
say you were spot on!
Monstro del Mar! is also reminiscent of drive-in and
grindhouse monster fare from the 1950's through to the 70's. What do you
find so appealing about these movies of old, and some of your favourites?
a huge Roger Corman fan [Roger
Corman bio - click here]. What I find appealing the most about
his films are the boldness of concept and mashing of genres. He knew his
audience and gave them what they wanted. Of course a lot of them are
unintentionally funny but that's part of their charm. As far as old
monster movies go, I really love the Japanese versions. I admire the hands-on
approach of puppeteering combined with miniature sets, and there's just
something cool about the abrupt sound effects and creaure designs from the
sources of inspiration for El
Monstro del Mar!?
I took character inspiration from
my love of the Juvenile Delinquent genre, popular in the 60s drive-in, and
the girl gang films of the 60s/70s (both American and Japanese).
How did the project come into
being in the first place?
After toying with the idea of
doing a sea creature film with my friend and El
Monstro del Mar!-producer, Fabian Pisani, I talked with SPFX
artist Nick Kocsis about the practicality of building a creature on a low
budget. We came up with a few potential ways and were confident we could
do something worthwhile. I started to work on the script straight away. It
was lots of fun to write.
What can you tell us about
your key cast, and how did you get them?
I wrote the
character of Beretta with Nelli Scarlet in mind. I had worked with her on
a video clip before hand and thought she had a very striking look and
stature that would be great for a bad ass gang leader.
was another actress I had worked with briefly before, also on a video
clip, and I instantly thought of her when casting for Hannah the innocent
teenager. She has this sweet quality that shows through on camera and of
cours she e is gorgeous.
I found Karli Madden from some auditions we
held, and Kate Watts was suggested by Nelli after I told her I couldn't
find the right girl to play Snowball. I met up with Kate and thought she
was perfect. Plus I loved the idea that Kate and Nelli already knew each
other and I could try and capture that familiar chemistry between
Norman Yemm, who plays the grump old sea baron Joseph, was
also suggested to me by a local filmmaker here in Melbourne, Richard
Wolsterncroft, who had recently used him in his own film. Norman was very
approachable and a real professional.
You have to
talk about El Monstro del
Mar!'s monster for a bit, and about the effects work that brought
it to life?
Well when designing the monster I did a mock up
with photos, combining different parts of ugly looking deep sea creatures
together. I gave that to Nick Kocsis as a rough reference and then he went
ahead and drew up some more details designs based on those ideas. We would
bounce ideas back and forth until we were both happy and then he made a
miniature version in silicon that could be used under water. We had life
size versions of the tentacles, also made from silicon, that could be
operated by puppeteers as well as miniatures of the mouth and the eye that
we would insert into the house's window and doorway. So we basically used
old school techniques, combining puppets and green screen compositing.
In my opinion, another key element of El
Monstro del Mar! is its location. So what can you tell us about
your location, how did you find it and how did you get to film there?
had heard of the beach where the main shacks are from different friends
and had always meant to check it out. So when this project arose I went
and had a look, and once I saw all the rusty old shacks and the seaweed
infected waters, I instantly knew it was perfect for our monster horror
movie. Lucky for us Fabian knew one of the owners of the shack, and since
it's such a tiny community it was enough of an in that we were able to
talk the others into letting us take over the space. They were really
great and generous with their time. The opening scene was shot in the same
area as the first Mad Max film. One of my all time favourite
films. I also grew up not far from there when I was a kid, so there's that
traditional monster movies are not liked by everyone. So, what can you
tell us about audience and critical reception so far?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
been a great response from the Creature Feature crowd. I didn't realise
how hungry some people are for these types of films. I knew there was an
audience but had no idea how many websites there are dedicated to the
genre. It's awesome!
future projects you'd like to talk about?
I'm doing a very
dark suburban horror as well as the final segment in a three part
anthology. There's also our ongoing project, The Dark Psychosis, a
free horror web series. You can watch the first episode at www.thedarkpsychosis.com.
There's also a Facebook page so you can find out when the next ep is up - https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Dark-Psychosis/209898249033899.
Facebook, whatever else?
Find out about our latest productions at www.lostartfilms.com
El Monstro Del Mar: www.monstromovie.com
and FB: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/EL-MONSTRO-DEL-MAR/180877555583
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Please buy the
DVD! I need $$ to continue making films. And any producers interested in
working with me can contact me through the Lost Art website above.