Your new movie The Unearthing
- in a few words, what is it about?
follows a trio of friends as they spend their summer unearthing
a secret. Thereís the surface plot going on involving learning about a ghost
they encountered, but the true soul of the story is the relationship between
the kids and the secret one of them holds in.
What were your inspirations when writing The
Unearthing, and was any of the movie based on personal experience
(apart from the ghost/demon thing I hope)?
I lived in
Stillwater and developed the story surrounded by the town. I used to have a
lot of adventures with my friends there but not quite like whatís in the
film. I think the most personal experiences that are in the story would be an
essence of Parkerís struggles and qualities.
You were only 16 years old when you directed The
Unearthing - so how did the project fall together in the first place?
I had a series
of ideas that ended up leading to what the film ended up being. Once I came up
with Parkerís plot point and his confession to Autumn, the story seemed to
come together a lot easier. I talked Sean Pallas, who manages the Wardenís
House Museum among other important things, early on about the story taking
place in conjunction to Stillwater history. You can catch him in the film as
the curator, who unknowingly gives the kids some trouble when they sneak into
somewhere they maybe shouldnít be.
What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to
your story at hand?
Iíve been developing more and more
and canít recall exactly how
was made. I had some, what I
think to be now, stupid ideas about my shot selection. I tried to keep
things more basic and that when moments needed to stand out they would. I
try to let the story feel and flow naturally in my mind, experiencing it
myself, and then translate that into the production.
Unearthing being (among other things) a horror movie, is that a
genre at all dear to you, and why (not)?
I donít watch a
lot of horror movies these days but I did when I was younger. I think
has some horror elements to it but is mostly a coming of age
drama film. Letís be honest, I donít think the horror moments in my
film were very scary. I really like films of any genre if the story is
dramatic and gripping.
What can you
tell us about your cast, and why exactly these people?
very satisfied and proud of the cast members. The youth cast did fantastic
jobs especially for their experience levels and same with the adult actors
as well. Everyone really pitched in by volunteering and gave fantastic
performances and I hope to compensate them for that someday.
also have to talk about your locations for a bit, and what was it like
shot everything on location in Stillwater, Minnesota. Other movies Iíve
seen filmed in Stilly just cut together scenes with random areas, you can
see someone walking down a street then they cut to the character on the
other side of town. I didnít want to do that with my film, the places
the kids go are all real and are geographically correct in real life.
house that Autumn moves to in the film is owned by a couple named Tom and
Tina, and they really opened up their lives to us and let us film for many
days at their house. Iím very appreciative of that. Chicago Dogs is one
of my favorite places to eat at in town and the owner was cool with us
shooting there, as was the owner of Victorianoís Pizza. We were very
lucky to shoot at the Stillwater Public Library and Washington County
Historical Society locations such as the Wardenís House and the
Carriage House. I wouldnít have been able to make this without their special
What can you tell us about the shoot as
such, and the on-set atmosphere?
It was very casual, on an
average day the trio actors (Riley Yeary, Angelina Masciopinto, Kaleb
Miller) would show up at my place along with my two friends on crew (Max
Friedrich, Tanner Call) and the makeup artist (Lauren Friedrich) who
I was close to at the time. We sometimes would start shooting at 7am and
end later in the evening at 12pm or later. I would rush like crazy to get
the shots done and keep everything together including myself. Iím sure
if you ask everyone else theyíd have a different and interesting
perspective on the shoots.
Anything you can tell
us about audience and critical reception of The
critic reviews are almost all positive with consideration to my
amateurism. I have a lot to learn and canít wait to move forward until
Iíve mastered my craft. Some people fell in love with the characters and
really reacted to the movie. I love it when that happens!
Any future projects you'd like
Iím nearing completing the 43 minute final cut of a new film called
Freedom and Isolation. Iím looking at it right now and I feel like
itís too boring and needs more work. It was selected to screen at the
Minneapolis Saint Paul International Film Festival but I didnít bring in
the cut when they wanted so it was pulled. Thereís a whole ordeal around
that situation with the fest I donít want to go into here and now. I
recently acted as a featured German soldier extra in Steven Lukeís Wunderland WW2 film and got to die 8 times. According to the
cinematographer Iíve got the best German death in the movie (look for me
shooting an MP40 and screaming sterben before getting nailed)! Also,
thereís a film by my friend, Colton Fosson, finishing later this summer
called The 4th that follows a group of recently graduated high
school students that become independent from their dependencies. Itís a
fantastic film and I play a minor character named Kyle. I am in the early
stages of a follow up to The
Unearthing starring Parker, and a couple
bigger, exciting films Iím excited to tell right.
What got you into filmmaking in the first
place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
always loved movies. I remember I used to film random action movies and
stop motion Lego videos. I decided to make a short when I was 14 called 4:02, also filmed in Stillwater. The local cable station
Channels were the biggest part of my start, they provided all the
equipment, editing suite, and everyone there helped me grow through the
creative process. I didnít receive any formal filmmaking training and
learned most of everything through the internet and firsthand experience.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to The
The only other work Iíve got under my
belt besides The
Unearthing would be my first short 4:02, the unreleased
Incite film, and over a dozen acting credits.
would you describe yourself as a director?
asshole dictator. Iím kidding but itís probably true sometimes.
who inspire you?
Thereís a lot of filmmakers whose work
has inspired and entertained me. I really canít get a list together of
all of them.
Your favourite movies?
that I have enjoyed most are Mr Nobody (that was an experience of a
movie), The Raid, Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, Kick-Ass. My favorite
live action shows will have to be Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul, Vikings,
and Lost (old but gold). Iím really into animated shows though too and I
love Attack on Titan, South Park, Dragonball and Family Guy.
and of course, films you really deplore?
I donít really
deplore any movies, although I feel like the trend productions of
mainstream film/TV are often pretty shitty.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Facebook page is
Our IMDb is here:
And our trailer is here:
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
one thing Iíd like to say. Thereís a huge opportunity and world of
possibilities for independent artists now. Thatís filmmakers, musicians,
authors, ASMR video makers, etc. The connections are being made for anyone
to be able to reach and build their audience while generating income from
it. Iím really excited to see what the coming years have in store for
myself and the rest for the indie art community as a whole.
for the interview!
welcome and thank you for the interview! I love getting a chance to talk
about my work.