Your new movie Unsheltered
- in a few words, what is it about?
is about five
college students who are evacuating Florida because of hurricane Irma.
During their journey to North Carolina, they take a detour to avoid the
busy highways. However, they run out of gas, causing them to seek shelter
in an abandoned airplane salvage yard. Little do they know a deranged
killer lives on the property. So, even though they think that they find
shelter, they’re actually UnSheltered.
Now how did the project come into being to begin with, and what drew
you to it?
producing partner, John Hollaway, actually came up with the concept. He
pitched it to me and asked me to be the director. I instantly jumped on
the opportunity and the rest is history.
What can you tell us about Unsheltered's
writers Luis Canales and Marelize Roets, and what was your collaboration
was the first writer to come on board. For being a young writer, she did a
great job with crafting the story and giving it life. We then reached out
to Luis, who was more experienced, to help connect the dots because we
were on a time crunch. Both writers are phenomenal and both were amazing
to work with.
essentially being a slasher movie, is that a genre at all dear to you, and
some of your genre favourites?
be honest with you, I’ve always enjoyed slasher films but I didn’t
really become a fan until I signed on to this film. In my mind, horror was
horror. However, being a part of this project gave me the opportunity to go
back and watch some slasher classics. And I must admit, I can’t wait to
see how this genre evolves. My goal is to be apart of that process.
You of course have to
talk about the bloody bits in your movie for a bit, and how were they
have to give credit to our special fx guy, Alan Tuskes. He’s a legend in
the industry with credits that go back to Texas Chainsaw 3D, The
Marksman, Hard To Kill… I mean the list go on and on. One of my
favorite things that he did was create the heart that was pumping in the
killer’s hand towards the end of the movie. There were times while we
were shooting that I was looking into the monitor as a fan and not the
director. And that was one of them.
A few words about Unsheltered's
approach to the horror genre?
wanted to combine elements of “found footage” and merge them with
colorful cinematic elements. That was one thing that my cinematography,
Alex Purifoy, was adamant about… making it “pop.”
What can you tell us about
your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
was my first feature, so it took me a day or two to find my groove.
Luckily, I had a great cast to work with. We all allowed each other to be
fluid with our creativity. Even though we had a script, we still tried to
find ways to enhance the scenes and the story. I’m very big on dialogue
not sounding like it’s being read off of a piece of paper. I prefer
authenticity, so I’d let the cast say their lines in their own way. Also,
I wanted to take the viewer through the journey with the college students.
I wanted the viewers to feel as if they were on a long road trip as well,
so that their deaths would mean much more than they would if they were a
talk about Unsheltered's
cast, and why exactly these people?
cast was amazing! Most of them lacked experience but you’d never know it
unless you asked them. They were constantly working hard throughout the
whole shoot to make sure that we didn’t have to do too many takes. I
casted all of the actors based on their energy on and off of the camera.
It wasn’t about them nailing their lines. It was about making sure they
looked natural. There’s
no doubt that all of them will be major players in the industry down the
line. They’re just that good!
You of course also
have to talk about your breathtaking main location, the airplane
graveyard, and what was it like filming there? And how did you find it
I visited that location multiple times before the actual shoot, it
didn’t really have an effect on me. However, the first time I went to
location scout, I had goosebumps. It was authentic. It felt real. I could
imagine how something like that could actually take place. It was like
going into a haunted house.
the actual town of Geneva was scary in itself. It’s very rural. It’s
not a place that I’d want to be after the sun goes down.
What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and
the on-set atmosphere?
atmosphere was amazing. Everyone bonded. The egos were minimum. It seemed
as if everyone took ownership of the film and they were invested just as
much as I was. It was one of those shoots where I wished that we had at
least 10 more weeks of shooting.
Anything you can tell us about
audience and critical reception of Unsheltered?
going to be my biggest critic, but for the most part, people are enjoying
the film. Feedback from family and friends were positive, but that’s to
be expected. I wish that I could go back and fix some things. But,
hey… what am I going to do? I just want people to get sucked into the
story and not feel like they wasted their time.
future projects you'd like to share?
now, we’re in development for a new film that’ll take place in NY.
It’s a crime drama and we’re just waiting on a few big actors to sign
on. We’re looking to start filming later this year… so fingers crossed.
What got you into
filmmaking to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the
it or not, originally I wanted to be a meteorologist. Yes… I wanted to be
the weather man. That was until I actually became one for a day during my
senior project in high school. I couldn’t have been more nervous and
look more awkward on camera. However,
I was more intrigued about what was going on behind the camera. That’s
when I found my love for TV/film production. I
attended Full Sail University to study film. So, that definitely played a
part in my career.
What can you tell us about your filmwork prior
is actually my first feature. I’ve been in the unscripted world for most
part. Producing and editing shows for networks such as Lifetime,
would you describe yourself as a director?
the most part I’m picky ,but I give me actors the freedom to express
their characters the way that they see fit. I’ve never been egotistical,
so I welcome ideas from people on set. I think you have to be open to
ideas when there are bumps in the road.
who inspire you?
Peele, Wes Craven, Will Packer and Eddie Murphy.
Your favourite movies?
Wiz, Truman Show, Nightmare on Elm
Street, Up, and Coming To America.
and of course, films you really deplore?
know what, I had a list prior to directing this film. However, I
experienced first hand on how difficult it is to complete a feature film.
You just never know what happened behind the scenes.
movie's website, social media, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
website is videoproductioncompanyservices.com
that’s really long but thank the hackers for that.
to our film's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UnshelteredTheMovie/
can purchase and rent the film on Amazon Prime, iTunes, Apple TV and VUDU.
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
would say to my fellow filmmakers, stay focused on your purpose.
Everyone’s journey is different, so don’t get too discouraged when
your peers reach another level. Celebrate them because your opened door is
right around the corner.
for the interview!