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An Interview with Vick Wright, Director of To Hell with a Bullet

by Mike Haberfelner

April 2015

Films directed by Vick Wright on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie To Hell with a Bullet - in a few words, what is it about?

 

It's about the lengths that certain people are willing to go to to obtain fame and forune. It could be construed as a reflection of contemorary culture where many people seek celebrity. Andy Warhol put it best in his 1968 quote, "In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes." Of course not everyone is famous, but it seems that more people than ever want to be.

 

What were your inspirations for writing To Hell with a Bullet, and is any of this based on personal experience, showbiz anecdotes and the like?

 

I was in the music business professionally from the age of 17. I understand the business well. I also understand how it's changed over the last decade or so. And not for the better I might add. I was a professional vocalist in the British band,Tokyo Blade back in the 80s and then with an LA group called Johnny Crash on Epic Records. I made albums, I toured the world, so I understand the dynamics of what goes on behind the scenes in a rock band. I personally believe that as a writer it is always best to try and write about what you know and love and understand the most. If you do this it's more likely that you will succeed in creating something that is authentic.

 

What can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?

 

As a first time feature film director I was aware that I needed to be able to tell a story that I could handle. I began by looking at things that I had at my disposal. Such as crew, locations, actors, equipment... even music. I took all these things into consideration and wrote the screenplay around what I had at my finger tips. Much like Robert Rodriguez did with El Mariachi. Making movies can be expensive so you have to find clever ways of cutting corners.

 

Quite naturally, music plays a big part in To Hell with a Bullet - so how much of a challenge was it to find just the right songs to be featured in your movie? And how does the film's score relate to your personal tastes in music?

 

It was important to me that we keep the film very "rock'n'roll". All the actors who play on screen are real musicians. I wanted the authenticity of real players who look like they really can play, as opposed to so many movies where the players are actors trying to fake it. The bands played live along to a backing track. Basically what you do when you make a music video.

 

Though I wouldn't exactly call it a genre comedy, there are some funny bits in your movie - so you just have to talk about To Hell with a Bullet's brand of humour for a bit!

 

Well, I am someone who loves dark humor. To me that means laughing at things you're not traditionally supposed to laugh at. Remember in Pulp Fiction when Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) hit's a bump in the road and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) accidentally blows the kid's head off who's sitting in the back seat? Well, that to me is darkly comedic. And that's what I like. I also am a big fan of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone. I always loved the irony most of those stories had to them, and that is someting I try to put into my scripts. Of course, a good actor sees that on the page and runs with it. If you're lucky it turns out even funnier than what's on paper.

 

What can you tell us about your key cast, and why exactly these people?

 

My lead actress, Danielle Vasinova was cast first. I worked with her in White Trash Noir and she was phenomenal. Once she was cast then she helped me cast the rest of the film. She's not only an incredible actor but she's also a great producer in her own right. I was having difficulty casting the part of "Boomer Cobb", the quirky neighbor. When I explained to her in detail who the character was, she imediately told me about Ronnie Gene Blevins. Ronnie is truly an actor's actor and I believe that he has some of the same elements to him that Jack Nicholson had in his early years. When I first met him I knew he was the guy. He loved the script and understood the part of Boomer Cobb on a deep level. He asked me who I wanted for the part of Dr. Devyril. I told him I wanted the Russian guy who plays the billionaire in the DirecTV commercials who says "oppulence, I has it" then kisses the mini giraffe. Do you remeber that crazy commercial? If not, check it out on YouTube, it's brilliant! Anyways, by some strange coincidence Ronnie told me he knew this guy, only he wasn't Russian, but he actually was an Irish actor called Timothy V. Murphy. The rest is history. Tim read the script and liked it and I got the guy I wanted.

 

Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

I like to keep the set very positive. No screaming and shouting. I like it really zen. The problem with the To Hell with a Bullet set was my DP. He was very loud and obnoxious and prone to asserting his authority where he had none. Basically, he was a frustrated director. Too bad, because that's my job. I won't mention his name because it's all water under the bridge, suffice to say I won't be working with him again. You see, the thing is, when you're on a limited budget, you need people to be on their best behaviour, and when they're not it is almost impossible to fire someone without losing traction, money and moral, so you find yourself pushing ahead no matter what, just so you can finish the film. The good thing is we got the footage we needed. And at the end of the day that's ultimately what you're shooting for!

 

What can you tell us about audience and critical reception of To Hell with a Bullet so far?

 

We screened the film at the AOF (Action On Film) to a sold out show. Everyone got scared and laughed in all the right places and in some of the wrong places too. But over all, it went down very well. Some people seem to think the film is a horror film and some think it's some kind of strange dark comedy, I happen to think it's both, along with the musical element as well.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I wrote and published a crime novel back in 2007 entitled South of the Pole. I finished the screenplay a couple of years ago. I always thought it would make a good movie. It's about a strip club DJ and his stripper girlfriend who steal money from their club and go on the run from something far worse than the law. I'm trying to get funding as we speak, problem is it's a $10 million dollar budget, so it might have to wait for now. I also recently finished another screenplay entitled A Lineage of Pigs. It's Deliverence meets The Three Little Pigs. It's a crazy fucked up little tale. This one is probably going to be the film I shoot next. Mostly for bugetary reasons.

 

What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

I guess I've always loved films since I was a small child. I remember my father letting me see Dirty Harry and The Good, The Bad & The Ugly at a very young age. I think it had a profound effect on me. I've always been a storyteller, or writer, whether it was drawing comic books in my early teens, or writing songs in my musical career. As for training, well, I guess I learned how to make films from reading books, the internet, or just simply watching and analizing films. Dov Simens put it best, "why spend fourty grand on going to film school when you could spend fourty grand on making a movie?"

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to To Hell with a Bullet?

 

I've shot video of various things over the years, but it wasn't until I made White Trash Noir that I finally understood the process. What it actually takes to produce a film from putting something down on paper to actually showing it to people in a theater. I won Best Director for a Short of Feature at the 2010 Action On Film International Film Festival for this film and this was probably the catalyst for me making To Hell with a Bullet.

 

How would you describe yourself as a director?

 

I think of myself as an "actor's director". I studied acting at Playhouse West and Stella Adler Academy in Hollywood before I wrote my first screenplay, and I think I understand and appreciate what a good actor brings to the table. I mean they literally make something that is two dimensonal become a living, breathing, three dimensional thing. I like to give them space to create. I will allow the script to breath, and I think most actors like that. What I mean is, if an actor wants to try somehting different, or change a line here of there then I allow it. Obviously, any changes made cannot be allowed to affect the direction of the story and all the good lines need to be kept in tact, but other than that I give them space.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

Sergio Leone, Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock, The Coen Brothers, David Lynch, P.T. Anderson, Russ Meyer to name a few.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas ... literally anything by Sergio Leone and Martin Scorsese. The Road Warrior, Pulp Fiction, Boogie Nights, Blue Velvet, Wild At Heart, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, The Exorcist, Blade Runner, Alien. So many! I could go on and on and on!!!

 

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

 

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Find Vick Wright
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USA  amazon.com

Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)  amazon.co.uk

Germany (East AND West)  amazon.de

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Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Vick Wright at adultvideouniverse.com

Mindless comedies in the vein of Scream and anything that Adam Sandler produces. Boring, boring, boring. I much prefer a good "dark comedy", where you find yourself laughing at stuff society tells you you're not supposed to laugh at.

 

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

 

See White Trash Noir FREE on my website at VicktoryFilms.com. Friend me on the To Hell with a Bullet Facebook page and keep up to date on what I'm up to next.

 

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

 

Get my novel South of the Pole (via ebook) out soon on Amazon.com and iTunes.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

Thank you and all the film lovers out there for supporting independent filmmakers like myself!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

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