Your new movie Alta Vista
- in a few words, what is it about?
about a screenwriter who moves from Iowa to Los Angeles after
the death of his father, and his journey through the
underbelly of Hollywood. It's a wild rollercoaster that
puts viewers on a whirlwind experience that depicts the
process of grieving in a raw manner that I hope connects with
people in a positive way!
To what extent are the goings-on in Alta
Vista based on your own experiences in the movie world, and is
your protagonist Sam in any way based on you?
passed away in Oct. of 2017, and I used real emotions in the
middle of processing that to create the film. Although it was
not initially intended as that, the film slowly evolved around
sources of inspiration when writing Alta
biggest inspriation was wanting to fulfill a dream of making a
movie in Hollywood. I've always wanted to make movies there,
and so this was a big bucket list item.
Vista doesn't follow a strictly linear storyline and is rather
associative in its approach, with bits of the surreal and absurd thrown in
every now and again - now what cpuld you talk about your movie's narrative
style for a bit, and how easy or hard was it to not (literally) lose the
plot in the process?
just as fluid in the creation process. The story was
completely different at its inception. In many ways, I've
grown to resent the non-linear story if its unintetional,
because it can easily expose the story for being incomplete or
not thought through. However, I think the production quatilty
by our crew members (specifically Ben Handler behind the
camera, Alex Kachingwe's soundtrack, and Catie Stark and
Sterling Lev's sound design), the raw emotion, and the
commitment onscreen carries
past these potential
Do talk about your overall
directorial approach to your story at hand!
It was a
very collabroative environment on set. I was in front of the
screen for most of the movie, so I had to lean on the
rest of the crew for help. I was taking direction from Ben
Handler (sound operator), Karl White (sound operator), Mae
Bartek (assistant director), and Tanika Vickers (co-star).
Everyone felt comfortable with throwing ideas out, which
created a very upbeat and energetic atmosphere.
play the lead in Alta Vista.
Now as someone who usually doesn't even necessarily appear in front of the
camera at all in his movies, what prompted you to take the lead role in
this one? And have you written Sam with yourself in mind from the get-go,
and what did you draw upon to bring him to life?
was origianlly designed for others in lead roles, and I was
going to be a supporting role. I grew my hair and beard out
for about 10 months. However, after the leads dropped out, we
had to scramble and adjust on the fly. I took my favorite
scenes from the orignal concept, and we started with a fresh
can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?
lucky to have this particular cast and crew. It was a project
that demanded a ton of commitment and dedication that spanned
years. Everyone that was involved was commited from beginning
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
It was a very
easy-going, fun, DIY style shoot. The hours were manageable,
and the set was kept very lighthearted. We only shot between
6-8 hours a day. It felt like a backyard movie, and we were
just a bunch of kids running around LA making a movie. It
truly was a dream come true.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Alta
has been more impactful than all of our previous films. I've
recieved powerful messages from people about how they could
connect or relate to the film, and their own experiences
dealing with personal issues. We had a successful film
festival run throughout the year, winning awards around the
world from Los Angeles to London, and have played in several
cities around the country.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
currently in development on our next film! We are aiming to
make a big jump across the board, and I'm exciting to see how
it plays out.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
movie's website, social media, whatever else?
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
is available to stream on Amazon, and I encourage everyone to
for the interview!