Your new movie Relationship
Killers - in a few words, what is it about?
is an actual mental health term that is used by relationship
specialists and they identify behaviors as well as speech patterns that
are on a personal level so severe or triggering to a lover that it would
cause them to want to end the relationship with their partner.
Is any of your movie based on personal experience with couple's
counseling or relationships in general?
I have struggled with mental illness issues almost my entire life and I have
a great deal of empathy for individuals who struggle with mental illness ,and some of my most favorite storytelling are scenes of debate or argument
where both parties are correct in one way or another. In this film I
wanted to show cognitive dissonance inside of two individuals who struggle
with mental illness issues so severe that the only more powerful, more
severe than their mental illness issues is their love for one another and
the desire to continue to be together.
(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Relationship
have lived with all the lethal ladies in my dark and broken psyche of an
imagination for so long to the point where for prose and plot on this film
I literally just had them tell me what the story was. Instead of letting
my characters serve as plot points, I just let the characters meander with
nothing but their desires and struggles to guide the story.
A few words about Relationship
Killers' brand of comedy?
is definitely a piece of black comedy set in a psychological neo noir
thriller. Honestly the tone was quite difficult to get correct. In fact
what youíre not seeing in the final cut of the film or a great deal of
jokes that landed unfortunately on the cutting room floor because they
were causing the film to run a little too long, as well as pushing the
pendulum up towards punchy situational comedy, and I didnít want it to be
punchy whatsoever. I just wanted the comedy to be as honest and real as
possible, just like the tension and the steady crescendo of stakes.
What can you tell us
about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
wholeheartedly believe that films are made in prep. One of the most
disheartening things I have experienced over a career as a line producer
is the myriad of filmmakers who struggle viciously on set because they did
not put the work in and prep. Now admittedly I prepare to the neurotic
extreme. I prep possibly beyond the point of reasonability or necessity.
But it is extremely important that not only my keys and department heads
but also everyone that is a part of the cast and crew for my film, know
exactly what I want and know that weíre going to create a familial and
collaborative environment to achieve that but we are going for my vision.
So my approach
to direction is prep to the max and treat my cast and crew like the gods
of creation they are.
any filmmaker, Murphyís Law is nowhere more apparent and present than on
a filmset, and when you have prepped and when you know what plan alpha
through plan zulu is and what the standard operating procedure is for when
things go wrong, itís much easier to sidestep and adjust fire on set
instead of constantly trying to chase our tail to catch up or make a
better time to make your day. I treat every department and every person as
if they are doing me the world's biggest favor, because in my heart I truly
believe they are.
talk about Relationship
Killers' cast, and why exactly these people?
cast is an arrangement of the world's most beautiful, brilliant badasses
I have ever met. Filmmaking is the world's most difficult, intense, and
collaborative team sport so I hired a cast and crew that would take up all
of my deficiencies as a human. So together we could do justice to and for
these beautifully flawed characters I love so much. Anything and
everything that could go wrong went wrong on this production and it was
never in a way that would be easy to roll with the punches. However, my
entire cast and crew did exactly that and we got it done and I am
incredibly proud of every aspect of this truncated motion picture.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
have an addiction to making sure that everyone around me is safe, secure,
and having a good time. I work incredibly hard to make sure that we put in
the prep so the environment on set is one of familial collaboration and a
constant celebration that we are getting paid to tell stories. I need my
cast to trust me beyond belief and I need them to feel comfortable and
safe to make big bold choices that weíve already prepared for in advance
in extensive rehearsal and character building exercises. With my crew we
do extensive drills and talk through every possible scenario that might
happen on set when the fecal matter does hit the air oscillating device
everyone knows what they need to do. But most importantly not only are we
there to work hard with our passion and dedication, but on my sets we are
also there to have a good time so we are going to abide by my standard
operating procedure which is every time we change a magazine of film or if
weíre shooting digitally every time we change out a memory card everyone
stops we turn on some music, we drink water, and we dance like thereís
$64-question of course, where can Relationship
Killers be seen?
are getting accepted into more and more festivals almost every day so be
on the lookout for updates of it coming to your city as I will also be
doing a new stand-up comedy tour along with the film festival screenings!
Anything you can tell us about
audience and critical reception of Relationship
immensely selected few have seen the film. I am incredibly neurotic when
it comes to keeping plot and story secret and safe until people have had
the opportunity to view it in the proper format. A lot of my story telling
deals with mysterious twists and turns, and while I don't want that to be
a crutch. It's immensely important to me that you donít have the plot
spoiled for you before youíre able to view it in the proper fashion. So
far I have been blown away by the positive reviews from both critics and
audience members who have had the opportunity to see the film. We also
just had our world premiere in Hollywood to a packed Chinese Theater. The
response was overwhelmingly positive from both audience members and fellow
In your film's credits, you tease the Lethal
Ladies cinematic universe - so do talk about that, and what's there
for us to expect next?
Ladies is a cinematic multiverse that Iíve been working on for quite a
while, since I was a kid. Iím finally putting things into action to
solidify it as a viable and sought after world of IP that exists in every
form of media including the Metaverse and crypto/blockchain. There are a
variety of characters that all exist in the same multi-verse and they pop
in and out of each other's stories, and we are planning on executing the
alpha slate which is the first nine feature films in the universe. They
are also accompanied by a variety of other multimedia installments in
between each feature (including but not limited to sizzle reel, short
films, graphic novels, motion novels, non fungible tokens, artwork,
novels, podcast, episodic storytelling, and much more).
(Other) future projects you'd
like to share?
have recently started #MIA, which is a combination nonprofit foundation as
well as a documentary series all about mental illness advocacy. Part of it
is a new hour of stand-up comedy I am building around mental illness and
tearing down the stigma around needing help, asking for help, and getting
What got you into filmmaking in the first
place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
donít know if formal training is what I would call anything. I started
filmmaking because I was in love with storytelling as a kid, and I thought
as a kid that I would never be able to get into film school or probably
even make anything of myself in the world of filmmaking. I realized that
as a kid if I was telling stories and I was using personal memories or
personal experiences, it was higher quality storytelling because the
characters were more thorough and the stakes meant more because they were
more developed and rooted in my memories and experiences which were very
very vivid to me. Therefore I can make it very vivid to others. Without
sounding too egoistic, as a kid I sat out to live a life that would give
me as many intense experiences and memories as possible to gather together
like painting on a memory pallet to paint my stories with.
with combat and stand-up comedy, storytelling is one of the greatest
cathartic and therapeutic things I can do for my mental illness issues.
For me filmmaking is not only a passion but also a sincere form of mental
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Relationship
I started as an annoying production assistant who would sneak
onto sets and volunteer and eventually I just worked my way up to line
producer, but I have always had a heart for screenwriting and film
direction. Unfortunately, I got extremely good at line producing and now
thatís what most people know me as besides a stand-up comedian.
Besides making movies, you're also a
stand-up comedian, playwright, musician, novelist and whatnot - so what
can you tell us about all these creative endeavours of yours, and how do
they inform you as a filmmaker?
Character-driven storytelling for me is everything regardless of the medium I am
using - I always come back to character-driven storytelling and as such
every choice I make whether it be creative or logistical I always come
back to how this serves the charactersí needs. Sometimes
I do it on stage in front of an audience where I am the character,
sometimes I do it in a literary medium, and sometimes I do it just by
talking about the character with my cast.
How would you describe
yourself as a director?
trustworthy collaborator in character work with my actors, a prepared and
never feared leader, and most importantly a protector of my family (cast
and crew)ís sanity and safety.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
of them! This question makes me so anxious because there are so many. But
just to name a few: Emily Skye, Read Morano, Rachel Morrison, Quentin Tarantino,
Patty Jenkins, Sergio Leone, Robert Rodriguez, Jon Favreau, Sofia Coppola,
Celine Sciamma, Evette Vargas, Guillermo Del Toro, Akira Kurosawa, Jane Campion,
Steven Bernstein, Jeremy Saulnier, Martin Scorsese, Lulu Wang, Regina King,
David Fincher, Kathryn Bigelow, Catherine Hardwick, Julia Ducournau, Greta Gerwig,
Debra Granik, and many moreÖ
so incredibly difficult. Iím a huge Disney
nerd. I love all the Disney
movies. Like my own films, I love films with characters who are struggling
deeply with cognitive dissonance. I love all the fandoms. I'm a major
Harry Potter head, I love Star
Wars, Indiana Jones, and the
Twilight franchise. The film that inspired me to honestly want to be a filmmaker
was Martin Scorseseís Taxi
Driver. I love westerns and film noirs. I
love films that focus on subcultures using sub genres at something I try
and do myself a great deal.
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
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donít know that I necessarily deplore any film. I think all films are a
creative endeavor that should be respected, but I am not a fan of the
taller film ratio films. I think the most narrow you should ever go where
the film is 2.39-1. I also donít like films when they are preachy or
clearly trying to be about a specific social issue or a specific
subculture instead of being a great film that just happens to have those
elements in it. Last but not least, everyone who has heard me speak about
storytelling, specifically feature films, knows that I utterly deplore,
despise, and loathe high concept storytelling. It is without a doubt the
most formulaic and disgusting form of storytelling, and itís so
unfortunate how lucrative it is especially in the studio system. It is
still taught to this day in most screenwriting education and it makes me
sick to my stomach.
Thanks for the