Q: You independently produced NIGHTMARE MAN. Because of this, how do you think it differs from your previous movies?
ROLFE: Well, NIGHTMARE MAN was the first time that I and my parents produced a movie together since my first flick, THERE'S NOTHING OUT THERE. The nice thing about producing it yourself is that you have total control and are not at the mercy of other producers who may or may not have the same vision that you do. Or course, it also means that you have to personally take care of every problem that emerges. Esther Goodstein also produced the film with my parents and she oversaw much of the organization and coordination for the cast and crew. She was invaluable and I doubt we would have pulled it off if it wasn't for Esther. But overall, I have been fairly lucky with the majority of my films. CORPSES notwithstanding, I have been able to get my vision into almost all of my finished films. Sometimes it took a lot more fighting to get there but the final result has been my cuts.
Q: How did you find actress Blythe Metz?
ROLFE: When Gabriella Hall and I decided to make JACQUELINE HYDE, we did the casting ourselves by taking an ad on nowcasting.com. Blythe Metz responded to the ad and she was the first actress who auditioned for JACQUELINE HYDE. She nailed it. We called her back. We discussed the nudity. She watched a few of my previous films and that was it. She was great in JACQUELINE HYDE and when NIGHTMARE MAN came along next, she was an obvious choice. I knew she could do it.
Q: Her character in NIGHTMARE MAN is completely opposite than the one she portrayed in JACQUELINE HYDE? Was the part in NM written specifically for her?
ROLFE: NIGHTMARE MAN was not written for Blythe or for Tiffany Shepis. But I knew they could pull it off. We never auditioned anyone for those roles. When they both read the script, they said yes so casting was quite simple. After working with both previously, I was very excited to team them up. Since both are very strong independent women and great actresses, I knew there would be an interesting dynamic if they were on screen together. They would clash in a good way and keep the tension up. Blythe's role is very different from JACQUELINE HYDE and very difficult since she had to be attacked and on the verge of a breakdown for almost the entire film. She also had a lot more physical acting but Blythe loves that so she was completely into it. Keeping that level of craziness up kept her on her toes. Blythe is also very "method" and clashed with much of the rest of the cast which was perfect for the situation. I wanted Blythe to be the outsider and she did stay away from the other cast members. But the end result is exactly what I was going for.
Q: You independently produced NIGHTMARE MAN. Because of this, how do you think it differs from your previous movies? What was the most difficult aspect of the production?
ROLFE: The location was great but it was also very difficult. We shot the film at "Big Bear" a great woodsy location about two hours out of L.A. But we shot during the summer when there are only 7-8 hours of nighttime. Since almost the entire film takes place at night, we were always rushing to get our shots before sunrise. Our last night up there we pulled off a miracle. In a 16 hour day, we accomplished 78 set-ups! The other big issue was the house. I did not realize it when we were scouting locations that the main living room had large glass doors on two of the four walls. Well, glass is reflective and they were basically two large mirrors showing us everything we didn't want to see. It was very hard to move around without seeing camera, crew, and lighting rigs wherever we looked. And when the lights are off in the house (which is more than half of the film), all the lighting came from outside the windows creating shadows that we did not want to see (again, crew, camera, and lighting rigs). So, it was very hard shooting the film with the camera movement that I usually do. Also, all the running through the woods at night was extremely difficult. We couldn't get the generators close enough to where I wanted to shoot the action so lighting was very limited and at night in the woods it was cold. Both Blythe and especially Tiffany at the end of the film suffered at the mercy of the elements but neither complained once. The whole cast was awesome!
Q: How can people see this movie?
ROLFE: Hopefully, they'll be able to see it on a screen with their eyes. (Kidding.) Right now, we're working on distribution. There are a lot of companies interested but trying to get a good deal (i.e.- one that we actually see money from) is very tricky. Finding a good, honest distributor in this business is getting harder and harder. At the moment, we are working on opening the film in a L.A. theater ourselves, possibly in August. We've submitted to a few film festivals that run in October. I'm sure it will be released on video/DVD in the near future but it's too early to say through who and exactly when.
ROLFE: At the moment, I'm in post-production on POCKET GIRL: PRETTY COOL TOO!!, a semi-sequel to a teen comedy I made in 2000 called PRETTY COOL. Also, thesexy comedy short, MOOD BOOBS, that Tiffany Shepis and I made last year is now available for sale at www.moodboobs.com.
And yes, Tiffany and I are working on a new horror project together. I just finished the screenplay. It's called TWISTED and my pitch is "If Hitchcock made a film inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft, it would be TWISTED." Tiffany and I have worked together six times now and people seem to like our collaborations. We like working together so I wrote the ultimate vehicle for Tiffany. She just read it and loved it. She may produce this one with me. Without giving too much away, I'll just ask the question, "What's better than one Tiffany Shepis?" Answer: "Two Tiffany Shepis'!"