Your new movie Never
Open the Door - in a few words, what is it about?
Itís hard to tell the story and make it sound interesting or
original. ďA group of friends rent a cabin in the woods, and shit goes
crazy.Ē But essentially thatís what it is.
were your inspirations when writing Never
Open the Door?
We made this for my producer Chris
Maltauroís grandfather, John Brahm. He made one of my favorite films,
The Lodger. As well as tons of Twilight Zone and
Outer Limits episodes. I
feel he is one of the most underappreciated directors ever. This certainly
was an homage piece to him.
Open the Door leaves several story elements utterly unexplained
(including why the heck is happening what is happening) - was this
intended from the beginning or did you discard of the backstory only
during the writing or revising process?
Yes, our intention
from the beginning was not to reveal everything.
What can you
tell us about your co-writer Christopher Maltauro, and what was your
collaboration like? And how did the two of you first meet even?
met on a USC thesis film I was producing called Weak Species. He was
Italian so we started talking to each other. I told him about a script we
were trying to make called Bloody Bloody Bible Camp (which Chris ended up
producing for me), and he told me who his grandfather was. We hit it off
real quick. Writing with him was fun. Iíve worked with many producers,
but Chris understands that story is the most important thing. Surprising
how many producers donít.
decided to shoot Never
Open the Door in black and white - blunt question, why?
an artistic choice. I love black and white. Our DP Joe Provenzano loved
the idea too. It made the collaboration a lot more enjoyable than just
shooting your standard B-movie horror flick.
Open the Door was filmed almost entirely in a single location - so
how limiting but maybe also liberating was that for you as a director, and
do talk about your location for a bit!
Financially that was just the only option. So I had to deal with it. A lot
of people say that when youíre limited it helps you be more creative.
Iím calling bullshit on that one haha. I do the best I can on low budget
films, but give me a budget, and Iíll give you something fantastic. I
feel many low-budget filmmakers would. The location though was up in Big
Bear. I loved that house. I wouldíve moved in there if I could.
What can you tell
us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
really isnít one. Limited time and budget means you gotta crank it out
and just do your best. If your budget only allows a 6 day shoot, then
unfortunately we canít be Stanley Kubrick or Alfred Hitchcock, but if
you can execute low budget well enough, then you can at least aspire to be
a Roger Corman [Roger Corman
bio - click here].
talk about your cast, and why exactly these people?
good sports! You gotta be when youíre dealing with me. But I love actors
and love talking with them. Iím a big fan of improv acting and certainly
comedic acting. But again in a film like this you just donít have enough
time to nail it. It can be frustrating for them at times. I met most of
the cast on my first feature Bloody Bloody Bible Camp. We all had a pretty
good relationship with each other. This was literally one of those ďgrab
your friends and go make a movie togetherĒ kind of movie.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
pretty sure the cast and crew all had a pretty good time. We stayed at the
house we filmed in so we were all together constantly. I rarely have a
good time though because I got too much going on in my head so I can never
kick back and hang out in the hot tub with the rest of the group (yup,
there was a hot tub there).
can you tell us about audience and critical reception of your movie?
sure yet. Fingers always crossed on that one.
future projects you'd like to share?
We just finished up a
horror web series I co-wrote/directed with Debbie Venegas who has been in
both of my features called Watch the Pretty Girls Suffer. Hopefully that
will be released early 2017. Iím also finishing up on a documentary
Iím doing on called Henchman: The Al Leong Story.
What got you into
filmmaking to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the
None! I shouldnít even be allowed behind a
camera. Iím like a drunk guy with a loaded gun.
What can you tell us about your filmwork prior
to Never Open the Door?
started out doing various crew gigs. From there I started directing short
films. They did pretty well so I just continued to move forward. In 2012,
I did my first feature and things started to open up a little more after
of your films are of the horror variety in one way or another - is that a
genre at all dear to you, and why (not)?
I love horror, but
more than anything I love movies. All of them. Horror is fun to do, but I
could wake up tomorrow and want to try something else. I get a kick out of
it when actors tell me I know so much about the horror genre. I want to
tell them I know a whole lot more about other genres, but donít have the
heart to tell them.
How would you
describe yourself as a director?
Probably a little
Filmmakers who inspire
I mean the best ever are people like Kubrick and
Kurosawa, but I grew up in the 80s. John Carpenter all the way.
Your favourite movies?
Godfather is my favorite movie ever. When they released that 7 hour
version, I was like now I know how Star Wars fans feel. And I love all
slasher flicksÖ and Antonioniís Blow Up.
... and of
course, films you really deplore?
Haha this is where I get
in trouble. Every year though weíre so quick to jump on a random
movieís bandwagon. This year it was The Witch for me. Everyone kept
talking about how creepy and atmospheric it was. I agree, but to me the
atmosphere could only provide a film about a guy who chops wood and has an
website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Our website is neveropenthedoormovie.com.
I think if you search "Never Open the Door" on Facebook the page should pop
up. Iím not sure I donít run any of them.
Anything else you're
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
think we covered it all! I hope we did. Brain isnít working at full
for the interview!