Q: I really enjoyed the movie, reminded me of a cross between the UNTOUCHABLES, John Carpenter's VAMPIRES and GHOSTBUSTERS. How did the idea for the movie come about?
I am a huge fan of the old pulp DICK TRACY comics and detective stories and thought it would be fun to create a group of heroes that represents that nifty style. In fact, my DP David Smith lit the scenes with a lot of strong colors to help create that comic look. On the monster end, the co-writer of the story Lincoln L. Lilley came up with our villain that is biblically based, which is something that always appealed to me. I am not a religious man myself, but within the bible there are some very interesting stories. The fact that Lucifer was thrown from heaven along with many other angels stuck with me. Instead of spending our time focusing on the devil, I thought learning about other fallen angels should be the way to go. They never detailed them so we could take many liberties in what another fallen angel was like. So we tried to make Malphaedor a little bit darker than Lucifer himself. Instead of persuading you to do evil, actually doing the evil himself was a lot scarier to me.
Q: Why did you decide to name it John Johnson's SHADOWHUNTERS as opposed to just Shadowhunters?
The one thing that I am pushing more than anything else is that fact that I am a filmmaker and not just a director. Although I had a fantastic crew, I worked on every aspect of the film, writing, editing, directing, music composing, etc. I had my meat hooks in all I could. So I mainly wanted people to know that this movie was made by a filmmaker and not a studio.
Q: You also portray one of the characters in the movie, probably the most jaded one. Did you write this in mind for yourself or did you feel you could do a better job in the part?
The character was created prior to my being cast. I try to find a role in every film for myself because it is more fun that way. It is all a part of that filmmaker speel I was just yapping about. The reason I chose Hudson is because physically I fit the bill, and I shot a western where I learned how to twirl a revolver. Plus it was fun to be the asshole of the team.
Q: Why the hats?
Q: What is your background as a filmmaker?
When I was at the old age of 8, I shot my first short called ZAP based on V, the television mini-series and haven't put down the camera since. At this point, I have shot 75 films including 10 Features and one 16hour television show. Shadowhunters is my first release however due to the fact that I was in High school when I made most of them. That is how I learned how to make movies. Every mistake I made I corrected on the next picture. I am also finishing a book for Sub Rosa Books entitled B$ AN INDIE FILM: SO IT GET'S MADE. It is all about how to make a movie with pocket change.
Q: How long did the movie take to complete, from script to final edit?
We spent 2 weeks in pre-production (including coming up with the story and writing the script), 3½ weeks in production, and 4 weeks in post-production (including music score and sound effects.) Basically, this was a shotgun movie. We knocked out the whole thing in about three months.
Q: What format was it shot on?
We shot the film in MiniDV. The Sony PD-100 with a widescreen attachable lens to be exact.
Q: The special effects do justice to what's going on in the story and I think the simplicity of them (matte-keying, negative effect) lent to their effectiveness. Who came up with these visual effects and who did the makeup effects?
That would be me again. They were done simply because I am not that advanced in the skill of effects, but for the scale of the film I thought they fit. As for the make-up F/X, myself and the producer, Rebecca Taylor handled almost all of them along with a few assistants. However, the design art, (tats and Malphaedor's zombie symbols), was done by our own Liam Smith, who played Ray of the Shadowhunters.
Q: How did you get all those girls to run around in their underwear?
I promised them that I would direct all of the scenes in my underwear as a trade. That and we gave them slabs of beef. No, I think it was the fact that most of the roles got to be more than one character enticed them to strip. One moment they are scared college girls, then they are possessed by a fallen angel, and then a zombie. They got to do a lot more than stand there and look pretty, which they do very well.
Q: The primary location of the movie is a hospital, how did you get access to shooting there?
We gave them a call, begged, and they let us come in and play. We couldn't have asked for a better location, an abandoned hospital, for a horror movie. Half the crew was creeped out and always looking behind them by the time the film was over.
Q: What was the craziest thing that happened when making the movie?
As it turns out, in every feature I make something terrible happens to me. From being shot by a blank to being crushed by horse 100 miles from a hospital, it is always my ass. This one however, we had something a little new. They had this contraption in the hospital called a Cyclo-Flush, which is what they used for removing waste from bedpans. I did not know this and thought the water had been turned off in the building. In any case these thing also come with a HUGE RED BOTTON. Yeah, I am that guy. So, in my investigation of this oddity, I pressed the button and was Cyclo-flushed. The crew ran, and I now see things out of the corner of my eyes that want to know my name.
Q: When will people be able to purchase/rent John Johnson's SHADOWHUNTERS?
It will be released in America via Brain Damage Films on August 9th of 2005. Although if you are in the neighborhoods of Thailand or Indonesia, you can check it out now.
Q: What is the next movie going to be about?
There are actually 5 more features I am working on this year…
In Post-Production… ALUACRD (which is a TRUE telling of Bram Stoker's Dracula) SKELETON KEY (a Horror Comedy starring Debbie Rochon and Brinke Stevens) DECEPTORS (a film about con-artists who chase away your monsters for quick cash, until they actually come across some real ones)
In Production… SKELETON KEY 2: 667 Neighbor of the Beast DARKEN (an action horror about a unicorn being protected by a man who can't die)
…Thanks, for having me on your site, and I hope all you peeps out there enjoy watching the flick as much as I did making it. Salut!