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An Interview with Ziyad Saadi, Producer of Bag Boy Lover Boy

by Dale Pierce

September 2014

Films produced by Ziyad Saadi on (re)Search my Trash

 

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You have recently produced a film called Bag Boy Lover Boy. What can you tell readers here about the plot?

 

It's a very twisted, fucked up film - but in the best way possible. Bag Boy Lover Boy centers on an oddball hotdog vendor named Albert whose bizarre physical appearance leads him to become the unwitting muse of a sleazy NYC photographer who exploits him in his extremely kinky photo shoots. But then when Albert sees how successful this photographer is when it comes to getting beautiful women, he tries to emulate him by trying to get women to model for his own weird photo shoots. Only Albert isn't so smooth, and things inevitably turn deadly.

It's not a movie for the faint of heart, since it features everything from necrophilia to cannibalism. But those who appreciate unconventional genre films will definitely go for this kind of stuff. And even those who don't go for blood and gore will still be able to appreciate the satire our movie unleashes on the NYC art world, which is filled to the brim with people abusing and exploiting you that it's enough to drive anybody insane.

 

Same question about the cast and crew?

 

The actors were amazing on this film and my director Andres Torres and I had a great time during casting. We managed to meet a very eclectic group of people in one of the most diverse cities in the world, which was really one of the biggest assets of Bag Boy Lover Boy. All the characters were so drastically different from one another in terms of age, race and physical appearance that it managed to present a side to NYC that is too seldom seen these days in movies.

Our lead actor Jon Wachter was definitely the most unique of the cast. He has an on-screen presence that you have never seen before nor will ever see again - seriously. His performance is so eerily authentic that people often mistakenly assume that's how he is in real life. It's truly magnetic.

Our crew was equally awesome. With independent films, you're often plagued with long hours, bad food and terrible working conditions. It's an experience we've all had before. And it tends to lead to a lot of tension among the crew. That's why I was especially conscious of trying to make this as pleasant a shoot as possible. Luckily, Andres and I both share the belief that when it comes to filmmaking, if you're not having fun then you shouldn't be doing it. That was the general atmosphere on our set. One that consisted of a group of friends who met in school and had already built a rapport with one another. That really helped in making sure we all had a great experience working together, and the fun time we had on set is really reflected in the film.

 

The film is going to be seen at Shriekfest?

 

Yes, it will be playing at Shriekfest on October 5th at 4:15 p.m. in the Chaplin Theater at Raleigh Studios. This will be our first screening in L.A., which we're definitely excited about since it's obviously such a prominent city for film. We also have a lot of people we know there who are dying to see it. 

 

This festival has always been good for gaining independent productions exposure, no?

 

Absolutely. I just recently read a great article about Shriekfest in the Huffington Post, which deemed it "American's Preeminent Celebration of Horror." It goes on to talk about the horror icons the festival has managed to attract, like Brad Dourif from the Chucky movies. We're really glad they selected us, since we're definitely hoping to make our own mark on the world of horror. 

 

Do you have any other showings at other festivals in the works?

 

We recently had our World Premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, followed by a screening in Germany at the Oldenburg International Film Festival. And we'll be having our US premiere just a couple of days ahead of Shriekfest at the Minneapolis Underground Film Festival. Soon after that, we're screening at the Telluride Horror Film Festival.

What's great about all these festivals is that they all seem to have an appreciation for very dark, disturbing films that more conventional festivals tend to shy away from. The best part is that they give you a chance to meet people who are interested in the same kind of stuff you are, and before you know it, you're getting invited to a bunch more festivals that want to screen your film as well. It's an amazing domino effect.

 

Do you have a webpage for your company that fans may visit or information on where to buy Bag Boy Lover Boy?

 

Absolutely. They can visit http://bagboyloverboy.com/. We've got great posters, stills and videos to check out, as well as the bios of everyone who worked their ass off on this film. Fans will also benefit from finding out about future screenings.

 

Do you have any interesting stories to tell concerning the making of this project?

 

So many I've lost count. My favorite one would probably have to be our 4th of July shooting day, when we were filming some of the scenes in the hotdog cart where Albert works and we got an endless stream of hobos and drunkards walking into our shot and demanding we sell them hotdogs. At first they didn't understand what the hell we were saying. And then they did. And then they were pissed. I don't think I've been verbally assaulted as much in one night as I was then. In the end, I think we did them a favor. Those hotdogs looked pretty rank. 

 

Future projects?

 

Not quite sure what's ahead on the producing front just yet, since I'm still technically working on Bag Boy Lover Boy. It's really a never-ending process. I am, however, veering a bit towards directing and will be filming two shorts next month, both of which deal with disturbing psychosexual issues. Bag Boy Lover Boy has effectively brought out my dark side.

 

Tell people a little about yourself. Did you study film any place or learn on your own?

 

I got my Bachelor's degree in Marketing from Concordia University in my hometown of Montreal (coincidentally where we premiered Bag Boy Lover Boy), figuring it would inevitably come in handy someday as a producer and filmmaker. And it did. I worked for about a year for a film distribution company, which was a great experience. And it didn't make me feel like a sellout who shunned his dream of working in the movie business for a safer career choice. I come from a family of engineers, so going into filmmaking was a bold move that I'm very glad I took. I hadn't actually studied film until I moved to NYC and went to film school there. That's where I met Andres and many of our crew members. As trite as this may sound, New York definitely changed me. I've been exposed to so many things that I can now no longer imagine any other kind of life except one that's completely filled with insanity. And I'm grateful for it.

 

What made you want to get in on the production end of the business?

 

I'm actually first and foremost a writer, and the reason I originally delved into producing was to learn how to produce my own scripts. To my surprise, I ended up liking it so much that I kind of stuck with it. It's an insanely hard job and one where you seldom get the credit you deserve - I mean who the hell knows what a producer even does? - but it teaches you so much about the nuts and bolts of making a movie. That's something that too many filmmakers ignore and it's often what ends up destroying the film. 

 

What would be some of the most difficult problems you have seen with getting an independent film made?

 

Of course the most common problem in indie film is a lack of time and budget. But considering Bag Boy Lover Boy was shot on a micro-budget in a total of sixteen days, I'm not convinced that that's the biggest detriment to an independent film production. So many great films have been made in even less time and with even less money. In our case, it was an insane feat that I can't deny was partly attributable to luck, but one that was achieved mainly because of the amazing team we had on board. The indie features I've seen that have failed the most miserably have failed because they didn't have a team that worked wholeheartedly together to achieve their common goal.

 

What about the positives or the easier side if there is one?

 

There's definitely nothing easy about independent film production. You're very restricted in terms of what you can do financially. But on the bright side, there are less restrictions when it comes to how much control you have over the final product. More control means more freedom, which ultimately means more fun.

 

What has feedback been like for Bag Boy Lover Boy so far?

 

Much better than we ever could've hoped for. I don't think any of us imagined it would draw the attention that it has. But so far we've gotten some great press, with reviews coming in from The Hollywood Reporter, Indiewire and Fangoria, among others. The film has actually managed to draw comparisons to movies like Taxi Driver and American Psycho, which may be the greatest compliment we'll ever get for it. And Andres is being compared left and right to Abel Ferrara, which I can only imagine is insanely flattering. And what's even better is that we seem to have really struck a chord with film lovers. Almost everyone we met at Fantasia told us what an awesome job we did. It even got to a point where people who hadn't gotten the chance to see Bag Boy Lover Boy at Fantasia were hounding us for screeners because they'd heard such great things about it. I mean, we knew going in that this wouldn't be a movie for everyone, but like I said, the ones who go for twisted stuff seem to really appreciate what we made. And it's very validating.

 

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USA  amazon.com

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Something naughty ?
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x-rated  find Ziyad Saadi at adultvideouniverse.com

Anything else you would like to add as I am sure we have missed some things in this short interview?

 

I'm an Aquarius.

 

Closing comments?

 

To anyone reading this: make sure to check out Bag Boy Lover Boy at Shriekfest and any other festival it's playing at. Hopefully we can get Albert's face etched into the minds of moviegoers!

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Dale Pierce


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

On the same day
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

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directed by
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written by
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starring
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Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
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... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

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