Your segment A Broken Promise
in the anthology Doomsday
Stories - in a few words, what is it about?
A Broken Promise follows the journey of Rick and his dog Lucy as they travel
by foot amidst the "Meanies" virus which has taken over the
world. Rick has to make the biggest choice of his life, but will he have
it in him to do what he thinks is right?
With A Broken Promise
being of the post doomsday variety, is that a genre at all
dear to you, and some of your genre favourites?
I do enjoy the post-apocalyptic genre, but if I had to rate my favorite
genres it would be:
1. Action/martial arts
sources of inspiration for A Broken Promise?
A Broken Promise
was inspired by a previous drama we wrote and directed,
Guardian Angel. We wanted to make another pull-at-the-heartstrings type
of movie. The last one we made went over really well so we are hoping
this one will as well.
have written A Broken Promise
together with your frequent collaborator Nina Trader - so what can you
tell us about her, and what was your collaboration like?
A Broken Promise
was written with my amazing and beautiful wife, Nina
Trader. She is a great partner and is the brains of the operation. We
collaborated on our first script back in 2017 on a film called
Guardian Angel, which she stars in and I directed. Nina and I also collaborated
on writing the film Slay
Ride, which is part of the Horrortales 666
Part 2, Death is
the Only Option, which is part of the Horrortales 666
part 3, and Holiday Party Massacre, which is the working title for the
next script we are currently writing for
Phil Herman [Phil
interview - click here] and Joel D. Wynkoop's [Joel
D. Wynkoop interview - click here] I Slay on Christmas anthology.
To what extent could you actually identify with A Broken Promise's
protagonist Rick and the pain he's going through?
I feel I can relate to Rick with his sense of loneliness, depression,
and isolation due to some real life tragic moments that Nina and I have
experienced in the past year.
A few words
about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
My approach as a director is to first ensure my wife and I were on the
same page with the final draft before anyone steps in front of the lens.
I discussed with our lead actor, Justin Bower, what the intention of the
film was. We wanted to show the struggle Rick had with his decision, and
pull at the heartstrings of our viewers. I always give my actors
creative freedom to stretch their acting muscles with improvisation or
any feedback they want to let me know.
can you tell us about A Broken Promise's cast, and why exactly these people?
We used many
Cheevies regulars who are passionate and dedicated. Besides
my wife, we had our dog Lucy as one of the main stars next to Justin
Bower, Joe Debartolo, Lillian Lamour, Jimmy Shay, Darin Bower, Joe
Rosing, Courtney Williams, Bryce Bower and my parents Julie and Ed
Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
We always try to keep a fun and light-hearted atmosphere on set. We get
our work done but I want to make sure the cast and crew are learning and
mentioned, A Broken Promise
is part of the anthology Doomsday
Stories - so how did you get involved with that project in the
first place? And was A Broken Promise
shot specifically for the anthology or was it a pre-existing short?
I got involved in this project because I had already been working with
Phil Herman [Phil
interview - click here] and Joel D. Wynkoop [Joel
D. Wynkoop interview - click here] for Horrortales 666
Part 2 & 3.
A Broken Promise
was written and shot specifically for Doomsday
Do talk about Doomsday
Stories' creator/showrunner Phil Herman, and what was your collaboration
Phil Herman has been an absolute pleasure to collaborate with. He is a
great filmmaker and a great friend and human being. He is so fun to work
with and he is also very supportive of my other projects outside our
Any future projects you'd like to share?
Productions, which is a company that I started in 2002 and
now run with my wife, has many projects on the horizon. My third
feature, Torture the Flesh, that I wrote, produced, and directed will
premiere this summer. It's a brutal and graphic horror/cop thriller
starring Darin Bowman, Joe Debartolo, and Myles Valentine. Also, we are
part of another anthology called Six Pack of Terror, a horror
that was started by filmmaker Jeramie Sandor of 3 Guy Productions. One
of our films Flesh Fire, is part of this anthology.
got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal
education on the subject?
My parents are the reason I'm making films. They always allowed me to
watch cable - Cinemax, HBO,
Showtime, rent movies, and go to the show.
But in 1986 my dad and mom bought a VHS camcorder from Sears and I was
filming everything in sight such as our family Christmases, setting up
the camera for Halloween pranks for our trick or treaters at my parents'
house, and shooting my first movies. I did attend film school at
Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois.
What can you tell us about
your filmwork prior to A Broken Promise?
I have shot many films, commercials, and music videos before A Broken Promise. My first feature that I directed and produced
The Icing. This film was my true film school because I learned so much about
putting the production together from start to finish. Also, I had the
honor of directing Jim McMahon, Chicago Bears Super Bowl champion quarterback. He played a very important part in the film. My second feature,
Murder for Pleasure, which I wrote with my crewmembers Mike Miller and Anthony Pellizzerri was a graphic and vile piece
in the mind of a serial killer. After these two features I kept
exercising my directing muscle with tons of shorts, commercials, and
How would you describe yourself as a director?
As a director, I feel that I am very persistent and attack all
my projects with bulldog tenacity. I am a collaborator and partner with
my team and open to ideas and teamwork. I also love to mentor people who
are just starting out.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Filmmakers who inspire me are Slyvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, Clint
Eastwood, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriquez, Kevin Smith, Brian De Palma, Emilio Estevez and Martin Scorcese.
Your favourite movies?
Some of my favorite movies are Rocky, Rocky Balboa,
Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, Clerks 3, Dirty Harry,
Braveheart, Gran Torino, Pulp Fiction, Grand
Canyon, Desperado, Scarface, Body Double, Texas Chainsaw
Massacre (1974), Men at Work, Young Guns 1 &
2, Point Break, Over the Top, Saturday Night
Fever, and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.
... and of course, films you really deplore?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
There's not much I don't like, but genres that are not at
the top of my list tend to be superhero movies, musicals and period pieces.
Your/your movie's website, social media,
Thanks for the interview!