Your new movie Bailiwick
- in a few words, what is it about?
is the story of John, a loner who
wishes he could fit in with his co-workers. He is given a gift that
changes his life. Dare I say it spans several genres, fantasy, comedy
and a bit of horror/suspense.
To what extent could you actually identify with Bailiwick's
John, and the situation he's in, and is any of this actually based on
I think if we're being honest we can admit
there's a John in all of us! What I REALLY love about it though is that
John goes through a transformation (under the influence of the book) and
is able to realize that the people he THOUGHT were so cool are actually
kind of annoying and vapid. In the end, one of the things I hope people
realize is to be happy the way they are and that everyone puts on a
front to who they really are. Be good with yourself! There's nothing
wrong with John after all.
(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Bailiwick?
Though I haven't seen it in sooo long,
Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Lost Boys were my inspiration
for the carnival scene. I have always thought of carnivals and kind of
mysterious and creepy so I really liked that. And one of my favorite
scenes is when John is chasing the kids from the carnival off to the
barn where the gypsy show is. I love seeing them run out of the dark,
leaving the carnival behind.
can you tell us about your co-writers Roni Jonah, Amy Austin and Cyndi
Moore, and what was your collaboration like?
Roni and I worked on our other feature together
called Selling Stupid, also available on Amazon and YouTube! For that
one, Amy Austin, my bestie and I wrote the majority of it and then gave
it to Roni to tweak and fill in with a bunch of scenes. For
wrote this in a crazy way. I had the plot in my head but we shot it
really sporadically and at no time did the lead actor ever have a
complete script to work with. There are huge parts of the film where
John doesn't actually speak so we had to just talk about the story. He
really trusted me and I love him for that! As long as I could direct him
as far as where John was in his journey he obviously performed
wonderfully! Regarding Roni, she is a fantastic writer!!!! She has a
great gift of dialogue, and I definitely am weaker there. I would send
her all of the scenes with the rants of the boss character and she
killed those. For
Bailiwick, Amy and Cyndi as well as my sister Starla,
the production manager, were more like sounding boards for me to talk
out my ideas and they helped that way. That's why they got writing
credit. They helped a lot! But Roni actually wrote a ton of the dialogue
about your movie's approach to horror for a bit, and is this a genre at
all dear to you?
I never set out to make any particular genre of
film but honestly, I'm happy with the mystery/fantasy/horror/comedy way
it turned out. I knew it was fantasy for sure but the rest happened
organically. I do really like horror! Though I've acted in a few horror
films and want to do more I haven't delved into that specific part of my
personality too far yet. I feel like there's something in my brain
starting to grow though! One thing I love about horror is the fans! I
love when people are passionate about something and horror fans are the
What can you tell us about your
directorial approach to your story at hand?
I've certainly been growing in my knowledge of
how to direct and I feel like I got to learn a lot during
thing I'm so thankful for is my camera man, Rick Moreau. He has always
been so supportive and encouraging. He's always up for an adventure and
he has let me learn over the years which is really amazing and has been
appear in front of the camera in Bailiwick
- so what can you tell us about your character, and have you written her
with yourself in mind from the get-go?
Yes, I wanted to be in it because I love the
rest of the cast and have been trying to grow as an actor as well. the
funny thing with my character, as well as all of John's co-workers is
that none of have anything of value to say through the entire film.
We're purposely vapid and chatty and hardly pay attention to anything
but COME ON! we all know those people! It's just to push the part of the
story where the audience at first sees John as a "loser" but
then that shifts to the co-workers being that. Spoiler alert - from the
start I told Roni that I wanted our characters to end up by each other
covered in blood. That's our relationship. haha. I love that girl.
What can you tell
us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?
Oh wow. I love them. I started out in film
doing hair and makeup on various sets in the Chicago, Detroit and
Michigan area. Through a few years I'd meet a person and just find
something great about them so when I sat down to write both Selling
Bailiwick it was just really natural to write a role for a
specific person I knew. I met Nick Mackey a few years ago on a set and
he told me and showed me he believed in me by investing in the films.
He's a really passionate actor and I love working with him! My friend
Suzy Brack is one of my best friends and she and I have worked together
about 9 times now! I literally could write about 8 paragraphs on my
friends in the film but I guess I'll just say I've collected them and
hope to work with them again and again.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
We have a low budget but I like to think
professional feel to the sets. I am a very organized person so I try to
get a lot of pre-production done so when we all get there we can be as
efficient as possible. Of course, delays happen, but for the most part we
get a lot done. Last summer on a shoot for a comedy written by Isiah
Barnes, that I directed, we had well-known actor Daniel Roebuck on set
and he said he never shot so many pages in one day.
I like and now insist on the atmosphere being
respectful for everyone there, but we have a very small amount of money
to work with, so one thing I do is make sure everyone knows that if
you're on set, you're expected to help with everything. It's just the
way it is at the point I'm at now. If you want to act, you have to pitch
in. I realize that isn't the way it is on most well-funded sets but I
can either try to make films with what I have to work with now or not be
able to accomplish anything. Everyone has been really great about it and
I really appreciate the teamwork. We definitely still have fun but it
HAS to be about the movie first.
$64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?
It's available on Amazon as well as YouTube.
We also have DVDs for sale on our Facebook pages.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of
I have heard so many differing opinions about
Bailiwick! When I hear something not great I have to remember that even
the biggest budgeted films have haters. It does hurt but I really do
realize that the pacing and quirky nature of the film isn't for everyone
and I guess, most importantly, I can tell you it is the film I set out
to make. It FEELS like what I had in my mind so I am very happy with
what it is. There are things I wish I knew more about, like getting any
kind of even small distribution deals, just to make a little money off
of it to be honest, but there are a lot of scammers out there so that is
something I need to continue to work on. But honestly, if anyone out
there likes it it makes me so happy and is such a thrill!
future projects you'd like to share?
I play a lead role in director Nic White's
short film Blood On The Lens which will be premiering in March and I'm
editing the comedy That Wasn't Supposed To Happen. That movie is going
to be crazy! Editing is certainly a tedious, high concentration-type job
but it's helping that the film is so bonkers! You can check out the
Facebook page for that one for updates but it will definitely be done in
What got you into
the filmworld in the first place, and did you receive any formal education
on the subject?
I started in hair and makeup and still do
projects when they come my way. My "day job" is as a
hairstylist and I have always loved it! My clients are great about
letting me schedule around shoots and stuff! My first film was a comedy
and from there I just met people and started acting and it's just lead
to more things. I love it all! No formal education.
When it comes to filmmaking, you've
worked in numerous positions, both in front of and behind the camera - so
how come? And which jobs do you enjoy the most, which could you actually
I love acting and, well, I love it all. I
actually love the variety but I definitely approach things in a
different way. If someone brings me on for a hair and makeup artist,
they're not needing a director or actor so it's not about what I want,
It's about trying to come up with looks that help THEM. As an actor I
want to bring a role to life but I still get nervous. My job as an actor
is to try to figure out what the director has in mind and why I got cast
and then give it to them. As a director it's really fun to see it all
come to life! I know being a director has helped my acting and vice
versa. I don't want to give any of those jobs up. Please don't make me!
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to Bailiwick,
in whatever position?
I've enjoyed everything. I love heading to a
set and literally not knowing what I'm going to find. Are the people
going to be nice? Is it going to be a bunch of really new people (I
don't mind at all!) Will they be organized? I've been on such a variety
of sets that I feel like I can truly say I have a lot of
"experience". Not too many things are shocking to me! I really
don't judge sets either. I get ultra low budgets, I get people doing
multiple jobs, etc. I just like the creativity and I am lucky to be a
part of it. If someone lets me be a part of their project I'm very
How would you describe yourself as
Hmmm, oh wow. I'm trying to put myself in my actor's shoes from last summer. I want the actors and crew to have
fun. Like I said before, there has to be a respectful environment on
set. I want everyone to know their work is appreciated, and yes, I know
that sounds like a director of ultra-low budget films, but it's just the
truth! Sometimes on a big budget thing people are just doing "their
job" but some of the magic of it can be lost. On a small film
people are there because they want to be. I think as a director
I'd like the actors to feel like they were a part of making their
characters come to life even better than they were written. That's a
great feeling and I'd hope the people in this new film would agree.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
If I go to the movies now
I really try to enjoy myself. I figure I'm not getting paid to review
something so why not try to find something to like in it? Some of my
favorites of all time are The Lost Boys, The Neverending
Story, Terminator 2, Jaws, I love sci-fi and horror.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
I just wanted to say thank you for
enjoying the film and the interview! I really appreciate your work of
helping people live their dreams of indie film life!!
Thanks for the interview!