Wednesday, September 22, 2010
We are currently creating special make-up effects for Hostel 3 for director Scott Spiegel and have just completed The Women with director Lucky McKee and we have crew members in India working on RA-One, a Bollywood Super hero film for which we built special costumes/suits for and we have our ongoing web series Robert Kurtzman’s Creature Corps shooting.
2. What has been your favorite film project to work on so far?
My favorite film experiences have been on the Evil Dead Films…Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness. Sam (Spiderman) Raimi directed both films and I had a blast working on them. Sam has a great visual style and is fun to work with. He keeps you on your toes while filming. On those films we had limited budgets and tons of special effects so we were busy doing 20 different things at the same time…the energy level was insane!
3. What initially attracted you to special make-up and creature effects?
I grew up watching horror and fantasy films. I was drawn to them at a very early age. I use to watch late night horror host shows like Ghoulardi, The Ghoul, and Big Chuck and Little John. I loved all the classic monster films as well as the drive- in films of the 70’s. I became fascinated with special effects and creatures and started drawing monsters and filmmaking and how these elements were utilized in film.
4. You have developed special effects for horror films, comedies, dramas and action films. Do you have a favorite genre to work in?
Not really…each film has a different challenge. It’s all about creating the best effects you can. I just love film, so genre doesn’t matter. Obviously we have more to do on horror and fantasy films for the most part as they usually have more fantastic elements in them.
5. What has been the most difficult effects project on a film that you did not direct?
I get asked the all the time….It would be creating things from our reality such as human anatomy bodies or animals because everyone knows what they look like so it’s harder to do than creating a fantasy creature. So films like Gross Anatomy which we had to create 20 human corpses that are dissected by medical students and have several different stages throughout the film as well as the buffalo’s in Dances with Wolves and films like that are a bit harder to pull off.
6. You have worked with an amazing array of directors. Who was your favorite and why?
Sam Raimi – Because of his energy and creativity. Sam was very influential in me becoming a director. Like myself he also grew up in the Midwest and when I worked with him on several films he would always call me “The Young Director in Training” as I had that directing bug and was always thinking about how to shoot things and stage shots to best display the effects and I think fast and can solve problems on the fly while shooting.
John Carpenter – for his classic and restrained style. I grew up on Johns films and it was a dream come true to be able to work with him. Several of my favorite films of all time are Carpenter films like Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween, The Thing, The Fog, Escape from N.Y.
7. Is it more rewarding to direct your own features?
Oh yes…There is nothing better than being on set directing. It’s such a rush. It can be very stressful but once you hit the set everyday your adrenaline is through the roof as you’re surrounded with very creative people and everything keeps changing by the minute. Filmmaking is very organic and keeping up with the changes becomes the biggest and most exciting challenge.
8. After years of living in Los Angeles, what brought you back to Crestline, Ohio?
My family…I didn’t want to raise my kids in L.A. and I was just burned out on Hollywood…..I really felt I needed to get out of the whole system out there and just create my art on my own terms. Hollywood can suck the life out of you. I decided to buck the system and do what I wanted to do which was live in the Midwest and make films, FX, and art. I wanted to work with people who had the same enthusiasm for it, not just doing FX but I wanted to do a little bit of everything involving the film process.
9. “The Rage” was filmed in Ohio. Any plans to shoot a future film in Ohio?
We shot the RAGE and The Dead Matter in Ohio. I’d love nothing more than to shoot another film here or anywhere in the Midwest for that matter. I would love to stay closer to home and not travel. At the moment we don’t have any productions being shot here that we are involved with. Right now we are doing films that are shooting in Michigan, L.A. , Massachusetts, and India. The last two films I directed were shot in N.M so it really depends on the studio or production entity we are working for as to where they decide to film.
10. What is your view of the film commissions in Ohio and the current state of the Ohio film industry?
I’m not really in the loop and I’m not really clear on what’s happening. I’m not even sure most of them know we are here. I know there is a small tax incentive that was passed last year and some productions have taken advantage of that but the fact of the matter is that other states have better incentives being offered. The first thing investors or studios want to know is what kind of incentives there are in Ohio and what the infrastructure here is. Until Ohio decides to really get competitive, and open up the incentives to include more than just filming, but also manufacturing and post services, production in the state is not going to take off. Since I set up the company back her in 2003 we’ve worked on over 30 films projects of which only two were shot in the state and those were our own in house independent films.
Posted by madrabbit at 9:05 AM