Stuff.co.nz Sits Down With ‘The Holy Roller’ Director Patrick Gillies

Film director Patrick Gillies tells the story behind a homespun feelgood movie that came together with a jolt or two.  “Our film opens nationwide on September 15,” my partner-in-crime, Angus Benfield, informs me. Rugby World Cup month. “Isn’t that like the ‘Month of Death’ for movies in this country?” Angus urges me to have some faith. We’ll be offering a cinematic antidote for all those sick of the rugby: a feelgood comedy-drama with no swearing or nudity. I remain unconvinced. Welcome to the harsh reality of micro-budget film-making in New Zealand. Our story begins 10 years earlier, when Angus, an Australian actor-writer-producer, is working as a youth pastor at a Sydney mega-church. Disillusioned by what he regards as an over-emphasis on materialism, he begins writing a film satirising the commercialisation of religion and the neglect of society’s outcasts. Fast forward several years, and Angus has settled in Christchurch with his Kiwi wife, Ruth. Our paths cross, and he flicks me a copy of his screenplay, The Holy Roller, the story of a struggling preacher who transforms a seedy nightclub into a thriving church, attracting unwanted attention from the local crime-lords. Angus doesn’t give a hoot that I am a dirty heathen. His mission is to make a mainstream movie that will appeal to anyone, regardless of their theosophical beliefs. In mid-2008, a phone call: we’re in the money. A mainly Christchurch-based business consortium has fronted up with $160,000 – a pot of gold to someone like me who has never made a film for over $45,000. Filmed mostly in Christchurch’s CBD over the course of 15 days in late...

Blogger Kloipy Interviews ‘Underbelly Blues’ Director Phil Messerer

Kloipy: First off Phil, I wanted to say thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. I’m a fan of Thicker Than Water. Which was a tale of family coping with a daughter suffering from a severe case of vampirism. Although Thicker than Water had many humorous moments, it was also a very touching family drama. What was it about taking a new look at the now saturated market of vampires that made you want to put a very distinct twist on the genre? Phil: Just that. It seemed like every vampire flick was the same. Over the top, overly dramatic, and over produced. And none of them really gave the genre a realistic treatment. I mean what would it really be like to have a vampire living in your basement. One that required human blood and consequently human sacrifices for nourishment. I wanted to make a warts and all depiction of the vampire predicament. Chances are there’d be very little room for romance. Unless you consider blood and guts romantic. It’s something I never really understood. What the hell is so romantic about mass murdering creatures of the night? You’re supposed to run from them not spread your legs. But Hollywood has different ideas. There’s also a healthy dose of satire in TTW, something that I think raises it above pure popcorn fodder. The nice Christian family must grapple with morality. Family values win out at the expense of strangers’ corpses. Hence the title, Thicker Than Water. It’s a fun, challenging little flick. Author and vampire connoisseur, Gabrielle Faust, said that I tread a fine line between reverence...

Lovehorror.co.uk Sits Down With Producer and Editor of ‘Fallow Field’ Colin Arnold

The Fallow Field is a low budget chiller written and directed by Leigh Dovey. It yet again proves that we are in the midst of a resurgence in British horror and we were lucky enough to talk to the producer and editor of the movie, Colin Arnold, to find out more about taking the film from page to screen and more. Love Horror: How did you get involved in filmmaking? Colin Arnold: I studied a BSc in Film Production Technology at Staffordshire University and trained at Reuters News Agency in London as producer, sound & camera operator interviewing the likes of Steven Spielberg, Tony Blair and Bernie Ecclestone. Following Reuters I joined design agency Flaming Pear producing over a hundred promos and commercials. After directing and editing my first music feature documentary in 2007 GUILFEST: GRASS ROOTS. Leigh Dovey handed me the script of The Fallow Field at the British Film Institute, I immediately attached as producer and editor. Love Horror: How did you meet Leigh? And how did The Fallow Field come to be created? Colin Arnold: Leigh and I were introduced to each other through a mutual friend, writer and director Stephen Ellis at the Cannes Film Festival back in 2005. We immediately clicked and shared similar tastes in good films and red wine. Following the festival we went our separate ways for a few years– I went off to direct a feature length music documentary, Leigh continued writing and 3 years after that we had a meeting at the BFI Southbank bar. Leigh handed me the script for The Fallow Field. He was going to direct it and...

News-journal.com Sits Down With Stanley Debrock Director And Star Derek Johnson

When Michael Jackson died in 2009, like many others around the world Derek Wayne Johnson, 27, watched the coverage of the pop star’s death on TV. It’s what happened next that sets the Carthage native apart from most viewers. “It was all over the news, and I was watching. And Stone Phillips was reporting, and I remember thinking that is such a cool name,” Johnson said. He said he had also watched a documentary on Stanley Kubrick the day before. “I just go Stone … Stanley; Stanley … Stone — hmmm,” Johnson said. With a movie scene he’d written three years prior and a monologue he’d written a year before, Johnson sat down that night and wrote the first 32 pages of “Stanley DeBrock.” “It doesn’t make any sense, but that’s what triggered it all. The hardest thing to do is to set out to write a script, to create a character — it’s hard. It literally just has to come to you,” Johnson said. It took Johnson three weeks to write the first draft. Richmond Arquette, who plays “Peebo” in the movie, joined Johnson to co-write the script. Arquette appeared in the movies “Se7en” and “Fight Club” and is a member of the famous Arquette family. Johnson is the director, and he stars as identical twins “Stone” and “Stanley DeBrock.” “Stanley DeBrock” is what Johnson describes as “a coming home story” centered around the brothers. “Stone,” an out-of-work actor, comes from Hollywood to East Texas where a troubled past meets new problems. A love interest who is married and uncles who are drug dealers are among the mix....

SF 360 Talks With ‘Mother Country’ Director Marie Breaux

It’s mid-morning on Memorial Day, and Maria Breaux is calling from El Paso. Deep in the heart of production on Mother Country, she’s got half an hour to chat while her crew packs up the caravan– two cars and a van – for the trip to Albuquerque. “We drove from San Francisco to Austin in three days,” including a stop in Los Angeles to pick up a Canon SLR HD camera and other equipment, “and the plan is to head back on smaller roads and shoot the movie along the way. We have all of our interiors worked out, and we have pre-arranged locations, and most of the exteriors as well.” Mother Country is an existential road movie (according to its lead, Thomas Galasso) but it’s not a loosey-goosey, make-it-up-as-you-go affair. “We started shooting on May 23 and haven’t had a day off yet,” Breaux relates. “We scheduled them, but they haven’t happened yet. The stressful thing is, since we know we have to leave on certain days, getting all the shots we need. [So] we’ve had a lot of late nights.” Breaux’s screenplay centers on a young African American who commits a crime in East Austin and, shaken by its unintended consequences, sets off on foot for L.A. to see a white former teacher (Cindy Pickett) who lives with her sister (Thea Gill of Queer As Folk). “There are many movies where a lot of bad things happen to black people and at the end they get out of the situation,” Breaux explains. “In this case, what if he got out of it in the first act? How would we see his life changing,...