Q: What's your background as a filmmaker? What got you interested in horror movies?
I've been an actor and a writer, much longer than I've been a filmmaker. Film making for me came about quickly, when 2 fellow actors whom I met through theater and myself began tossing around the idea of film making. Adam Gilliam had a background in film from college and Tom Dolan and I both had an actors perspective from being on movie sets. I adapted a story I wrote in my early 20's called "The 3rd Floor" into a screenplay and that was the start. From there I created Big Biting Pig Productions, teamed up with PJ Woodside, who was the editor for The 3rd Floor and we have continued making movies regularly since then.
I've been a horror fan since I was a kid. A good horror movie, like any movie, has to have a good script and it seems like good horror movies are few and far between nowadays. So being a true fan, I like having the opportunity to introduce some fresh, original ideas to the genre, as opposed to the same old thing we've seen 1000 times before.
Q: You're originally from Chicago. What prompted you to move to Kentucky?
I was born and raised in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. By the time I reached my late 20's, I was just ready for a change in scenery. I knew the Western Kentucky area a little bit because my parents had retired out here. Interestingly enough, this region has a very active theater community.
Q: I liked that you didn't show too much of the monster in GOATSUCKER and that everything ties together very well by the end of the movie. Why choose The Chupacabra as the subject of a movie?
Two main reasons: 1.) I LOVE the English translation, which is of course, GoatSucker 2.) I liked that there was already an established legend of the Chupacabra, but at the same time the creature is a bit mysterious and comes with varying degrees of descriptions. That left a lot of room for us to get as creative as we wanted with the appearance of the creature.
Q: I thought MANIAC ON THE LOOSE was a well-constructed movie. It definitely kept my interest. What inspired the non-linear story line?
After I wrote the blind date scene, it just occurred to me that it might be more interesting if we showed that action first and then back tracked to see exactly how we came to that point in time. From there everything came quickly and the structure of that movie seemed natural and fit into place just right.
Q: I've only seen you in two of the movies so far. Do you fear you are typecasting yourself?
While I was in both Maniac on the Loose & GoatSucker, I am actually in Widow as well. In Widow, I played Charlie, the awkwardly charming love interest to the lead character. Charlie is definitely a far cry from say, the character I play in Maniac on the Loose who has no charming characteristics whatsoever. In my opinion anyhow.
Q: Do you find it difficult getting actors in your part of the country?
No it's really not. We're located between Nashville TN and Evansville IN. Louisville KY is only a couple of hours from here and there are several theaters in our region, so there is actually a rather large acting pool to draw from.
Q: What would you say are the advantages of making a micro-budget movie?
Freedom. As independent filmmakers we don't have Hollywood executives hanging over our shoulder, pressuring us to make a movie different than what we have envisioned. We embrace that freedom and run with it!
Q: What's the weirdest thing you ever have happen while shooting a movie?
During an alley fight scene in Maniac on the Loose, someone thought it was a real fight and called the police. They were also called to the set during a CPR scene in our upcoming movie "Hell is Full". Apparently a concerned citizen thought someone had really died! And we can't leave out the firemen. During a dream sequence in "The 3rd Floor" we used a fog machine, which promptly set off the fire alarm causing the building to have to be evacuated!
Q: What's your next project about?
Our latest movie is called HELL IS FULL. It's my take on a zombie film. It seems to me that over 90 percent of the zombie type films that are made today are comedies. I wanted to get back to the origin of zombie films which were meant to be taken seriously and scare people. At the same time, I wanted to stay far away from the standard zombie formula which has been done a million times and instead, give the zombie sub-genre a fresh new perspective. I think we have accomplished this and can confidently say that no one has seen a zombie movie quite like this before!