Q: What is your background as a filmmaker? Why make a horror movie?
My life changed the day my older brother Mario bought a "hot" video camera from some homeless guy on the street in the Bronx. My brother quickly became bored with his new toy so he let me use it. I immediately fell in love with capturing reality, and I shot everything and anything that moved in front of my lens. Then I volunteered at a non-profit media organization here in NYC called DCTV. That's where I learned to properly shoot and edit videos. Soon enough I was shooting videos for other people. I shot weddings, special events, short movies, documentaries…etc. I realized that if I could shoot and edit an entire wedding movie in one weekend and make it play like a real movie, it couldn't be that hard to just do the same and make a real movie on a micro-budget. So I started buying every filmmaking book I could get my hands on to learn how to make my own movie. I decided to make a horror movie because I've always been such a fan of the genre, and I wanted to make the kind of movie that scares the hell out of me. The end result is Evil Things, a spooky psychological horror movie about a few college kids that become inextricably trapped in their worst nightmare.
Q: What would you say makes EVIL THINGS different than other camera POV/pseudo-documentary movies out there?
Evil Things is essentially about one or more very sick individuals who've seen one too many horror movies. These sick individuals decide to make their own "real-life" horror movie. Therefore, in Evil Things, you'll find elements of so many different horror movies. I invite horror fans to identify those elements and those different movies to which Evil Things pays homage. Also, in order to see how Evil Things specifically differs from any other POV movies or any other movie I've ever seen you have to actually watch the movie. I can't give that information away.
Q: I thought the cast was great. It really felt as if I was watching home movies. How did you go about getting your actors?
I had one rule. Can they make me cry? When I watch an actor in person, and then later on a television screen, I listen to my emotions. If I get a lump in my throat when they're acting, I hire them. Very few people can do that to me, so when it happens I know they are special. I just hope the audience feels the same way about the actors I choose.
Q: What was your favorite part of working on the movie?
Shooting the movie was the most terrifying and exhilarating experience. You never know what's going to happen, and there are so many things you can not control, like the weather for instance. Since we shot so much of our movie outside, we were constantly at the mercy of the weather. On our very first day of shooting the worst snowstorm of the season hit the entire northeastern United States. We just had to keep driving and shooting right through the storm. In the end, what we got was millions of dollars in extremely realistic special effects without paying a dime for it all. Thank you movie-making Gods up above.
Q: What were the hardest scenes to shoot?
The hardest scenes to shoot were the ones that required the most intense emotions. Near the final climax/crisis scenes of the movie when the sense of dread, isolation and impending doom invaded the entire set, things just became very tense and weird for everyone. It's like the terror became very real for all of us in real life as we were creating it for the movie. That's what you get when you have talented actors and you're in a real dark, scary location in the middle of nowhere.
Q: What's happening with the movie now?
Evil Things is headed for the European Film Market in Berlin on February 11th of 2010. The European Film Market is a kind of movie convention where motion picture distributors from all over the world go to buy movies to bring back to their country. Thankfully Evil Things now has a super-duper sales agent and an amazing producer's rep who will work together to coordinate all of that. I need my energy to make my next movie.