Your new movie Amber Road
- in a few words, what is it about?
At its core, Amber Road
is a murder mystery wrapped in a horrific and bloody story.
It has some up-close and personal gore, but the hope is that the
outcome has a payoff which makes its purpose understandable.
With Amber Road
exploring the darker corners of the dark web, what can you tell us about
your research on the subject?
The dark web is one of those
things we periodically hear about on the news. Socially, we have an
awareness that it exists, but most of us don’t really understand what it
is. Then, we periodically hear about some criminal organization that has
been discovered because of its activity on this platform and this news
brings some of these more nefarious aspects to light. Really, that’s
where my research was focused – finding out how people access it and how
they find one another.
Other sources of
inspiration when writing Amber
The Silk Road was the initial
inspiration – a famous online black market, which ran from 2011-2013
before being shut down. It took its name from the famous trade route
spanning continents and countries thousands of years ago. The Amber Road
was an even more ancient trade route connecting countries around the
Baltic, Mediterranean and North Seas, and that’s where the movie’s
name came from. Then I combined those dark elements of the digital world
with the concept of catfishing. The story evolved from there.
Road doesn't exactly hold back when it comes to gore and
dismemberment - so what can you tell us about the bloody bits in your
movie, how were they achieved, and was there ever any line you refused to
Not really, no. There weren’t
any lines other than budgetary limitations. I wanted everything to be
practical effects, we just really wanted everything to be close up horror,
and hard to stomach at times.
What can you tell us about Amber
Road's approach to horror?
Confined, claustrophobic and
personal. The goal was to create a murder mystery woven into a violent
What can you tell us about Amber
Road's quite star-studded cast, and why exactly these people?
This was a story written
specifically for most of the actors. It started with leads Rachel Riley
and Elissa Dowling, both of whom I had previously worked with, but wanted
to write a specific screenplay for. As the story changed, or as additional
actors were cast, the script changed as well to accommodate specific
people. A few of the actors were first timers for one of my movies, and
there were discussions about character development and various nuances,
but beyond what is written, the goal is to let the actors bring their own
uniqueness to each character.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
For as bloody and as intense as
this movie is at times, you would not guess how much fun we had on set.
Most of us have worked together for many years and know the nuances of one
another’s techniques. As far as the crew goes, it was smooth and
efficient every day of production. And the cast came ready to go. Everyone
was at the top of their game for this production.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Amber
So far so good. I really
enjoyed watching the reactions at our theatrical premiere on December 3 as
part of the Culver City Film Festival. People cringed and covered their
eyes at all the right moments. A few walked out during the gore but
returned to watch the story unfold. There
are some lighthearted moments in this movie too – elements to loosen the
tension, and those worked. The audience laughed when we hoped and cringed
when expected. What more can we ask for?
Any future projects you'd like to share?
Reanimator has just gone into production. This is an episodic series
delving into the lore of HP Lovecraft.
Additionally, I am finishing up production on a documentary, The
Horror We Make, which discusses why those of us who make and work in the
horror industry enjoy it so much.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
movie's website, social media, whatever else?
Road website: https://ambrroadmovie.com
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok: @koaalohamedia
Exclusively streaming at https://alohastream.com
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
With the intensity and level of
Road can be a tough watch, but if you can manage the gore,
we hope the murder mystery pays off in the end. It was an intense and fun
movie to create. We hope viewers are rewarded for our efforts.
for the interview!