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An Interview with Brande Roderick, Director and Star of Wineville

by Mike Haberfelner

September 2023

Brande Roderick on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your upcoming movie Wineville - in a few words, what's it about?

 

It's a film set in 1978 I like to call it a cross between Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Psycho, it's about a young girl of 15 that ran away from home because of severe emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her really messed up family. 26 years later she has to go back to the family ranch because her father has died, and she has to deal with the sale of the vineyard. But when she gets back home she finds that her family has become even more psychotic and all the dark festered secrets are revealed. We donít know if she and her young son Walter will escape and come out alive. Or even possibly repeat the evil cycle.

 

How did the project fall together in the first place, and what convinced you to star in it, produce and direct it?

 

I have always wanted to make a horror film, itís up there alongside murder mysteries as my favorite genre of film. I even took a course in college on serialkillers. I knew I wanted it to be at my friend's winery so writer Richard Schenkman and I went to the winery and came up with this really effed up story. This film is my baby and I wanted something I could be proud of that I was in charge of, that way I knew it wouldnít be crap.

 

What can you tell us about Wineville's writer Richard Schenkman, and what was your collaboration like?

 

I was introduced to Richard through another director, Brian Herzlinger, a friend of our producer Robin DeMartino. Brian thought Richard would be a good fit for my project. Richard and I hit it off right away. I felt like most the time we were thinking the same things and most of the time agreed with everything, and when we didnít we were great compromisers. We worked very well together. We both have the same twisted minds and we both like to push the envelope. Richard was with me through the entire process and has been an amazing mentor.

 

What were the challenges of bringing Wineville to the screen from a producer's point of view?

 

I donít know if I can answer that just yet since we just finished production. Now the fun starts! But what I can say is that during production it is extremely difficult waiting for people to do their job. Itís the waiting thatís hard. It takes a long time for a film to get made because you are at the mercy of everyone's schedules.

 

With Wineville being a horror movie, is that a genre at all dear to you, and why (not)?

 

The memories of horror films go all the way back to when I was 6 years old when I watched The Exorcist with my mother. From that point on we were always watching horror films together. I know that sounds kinda messed up but it's been a bonding experience for mom and I throughout the years.

 

A few words about Wineville's approach to horror?

 

We arenít your typical slasher, this is a film about a real life effed up family, and we explain throughout the film why they are the way they are. And you almost sympathize with the killers because you see how they got that way. It's really very story-driven.

 

Do talk about your directorial approach to your story at hand!

 

I wanted the film to have no cheese factor. No girls falling down running from the killer. I wanted everything realistic. Lots of practical effects as well, I aimed for a Hitchcockian smooth, steady style (as opposed to handheld or jumpy), making the images as beautiful as possible Ė while incorporating a 16mm projector ďhome movieĒ look for the key flashback sequences.

 

You also play the lead in Wineville - so what can you tell us about your character, what did you draw upon to bring her to life, and how much Brande Roderick can we find in Tess?

 

There is a lot of me in Tess, Iím a single mother of a young son. Iíve had adversities Iíve had to overcome throughout my life. My life wasnít always a bed of roses. And I will do anything in my power to protect my son as Tess would.

 

What can you tell us about the rest of Wineville's cast, and why exactly these people?

 

Carolyn Hennesy knocked her audition out of the park. She was the perfect Margaret. As far a Walter, that role was always my son's, it was written for my son Keaton. Heís such a natural talent and a strong kid. Casey King brought a nice tenderness to the character showing that sometimes evil doesnít always come from a malicious intent, but that it can just come from something imbedding into a person from an early age or even a bloodline.

 

A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

We shot the film in a short 12 days, so for me it was pretty stressful trying to get every shot done by the end of the day. One thing that Richard taught me was the importance of picking well-seasoned, great reputation actors for a low budget film because we donít have the luxury of multiple takes and drama on set. And boy was he right. Everyone came to set prepared and ready to work. We would have been in trouble if they werenít. And the result was a wonderful feeling of family on the set, lots of laughs.

 

The $64-question of course, any idea when and where the film might be released?

 

Since we just finished the film we missed the deadlines for most of the major film festivals but were able to squeeze into a few. The first one is the La Femme International Film Festival October 19th in Los Angeles, then off to Kentucky for Scarefest Weekend, where we will be screening at the prime time slot Saturday night October 21st at 9pm, then off to the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival to Scream, there November 4th at 8pm.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

Iím currently in pre-production on two anthology series, one regarding human trafficking and the other a revenge-based show. Both series are based on true events.

 

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

 

I have wanted to perform as far back as I can remember. Starting as young as six years old I was putting on performances for all the neighbors and would sell tickets to the show. I have been taking acting lessons since high school, through college, and then in LA with renowned acting coaches like Ivanna Chubbuck, Howard Fine and Sandy Marshall.

 

Of late, you've also increasingly taken up work behind the camera - why is that, and what side of the camera do you prefer, actually?

 

I now consider myself a filmmaker, I want to create content that I believe in. When it started it was content that I wanted to act in, but now itís more than that. For me it's about getting someone's story across, 'Im sure that will shift again at some point, and I may want to make a comedy and have a little fun, but for now Iím wanting to use my voice for something more meaningful. As far as which do I prefer? I love it all! Iím a filmmaker.

 

In the early 2000s you've starred on the TV show Baywatch - and since that show has many fans to this day, you just have to talk about your time on the series!

 

Baywatch was my real big break and Iíll be eternally grateful for that opportunity. That experience was truly magical, living in Hawaii and forming the bonds with the cast were like a family. Best job in the world truly!

 

Any other past film and TV work of yours you'd like to talk about?

 

I have been blessed with some amazing films and co-stars ranging from Scarlet Johansson in The Nanny Diaries to Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in Starsky & Hutch. Even my reality career had me working with the likes of Joan Rivers, Latoya Jackson, Trace Atkins, Clint Black and the list goes on.

 

How would you describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?

 

My acting approach is to be as real as possible. How can I relate to this character? What can I draw upon in my own personal life to mesh these two people together. I act in the moment - ďacting is reactingĒ -, but always be prepared

 

Actresses, filmmakers, whoever else who inspire you?

 

Iím inspired by actor/producers like Angelina Jolie, Jessica Biel, Elizabeth Banks and Charlize Theron.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Ö my all time favorite is, and always has been since our teacher had us watch it in the 5th grade, Gone with the Wind. I love the triumph of a women getting knocked down, losing everything and then getting back up and rebuilding it all again. Shows a very strong woman. My second favorite movie is the original film Spartacus starring Kirk Douglas, it's such a powerful story of love, courage and strength. My third favorite guilty pleasure is Pretty Woman. My top favorite horror films are Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Nightmare on Elm Street and Bram Stoker's Dracula.

 

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

 

This is a tough question, Iím pretty open to anything. If itís well made and has a good story, Iím open.

 

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USA  amazon.com

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Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?

 

www.winevillemovie.com

All social media, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. is winevillemovie

 

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

 

Ha ha, I donít think thatís possible, lol.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

Amazon

Amazon UK

Vimeo

 

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!