Your new movie To Hell
with a Bullet - in a few words, what is it about?
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?
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
What can you
tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
can you tell us about your key cast, and why exactly these people?
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.
talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
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!
can you tell us about audience and critical reception of To
Hell with a Bullet so far?
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
Any future projects
you'd like to share?
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
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?
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?"
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to To
Hell with a Bullet?
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
Hell with a Bullet.
How would you describe
yourself as a director?
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?
Leone, Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock, The Coen Brothers, David Lynch,
P.T. Anderson, Russ Meyer to name a few.
Good, The Bad & The Ugly, Taxi Driver,
Goodfellas ... literally anything by Sergio Leone and Martin Scorsese.
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
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
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
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
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?
my novel South of the Pole (via ebook) out soon on Amazon.com
Thanks for the interview!
you and all the film lovers out there for supporting independent
filmmakers like myself!