Alex Winter uploads his thoughts on ‘Downloaded’ (Interview)

Downloaded_4.470x264 AlexAlex Winter uploads his thoughts on ‘Downloaded

With his new documentary “Downloaded” having it’s Hot Docs debut tonight, Alex Winter has finally graduated from being Bill from “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” into a seriously talented documentarian with a sharp eye for story and humor. The film is a rousing crowd pleaser and one of the most sought after tickets from this year’s fest. I got to sit down with Mr. Winter for a brief Q&A about the film.

Movie Junkie TO (MJ) -Thanks for taking some timeout to speak with me today Alex. I got to see the film the other day and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the film. I was working in a music store when the Napster thing exploded so I had a very personal relationship to what I was seeing. What was your introduction to the story and how did you get involved in telling this story?

Alex Winter (AW) – Thanks, I guess we all have a way to relate with the Napster story. I was really interested in the early day s of the net, back in the early 90’s I was fascinated by the idea of the internet being this potential repository for global community.  I got online in the early 90s, checking out the internet BBS (Bulletin Board systems for the younger crowd) groups and newsgroups, and was really fascinated in where that was going potentially. Of course it was all very cumbersome to use the internet in those ways back in the early days but we did it anyway because it allowed us to communicate with people all over the world.  Then sure enough Napster appeared in 1999 and blew everyone away because  during the clunky and slow dial up era here was this really robust, speedy and very versatile global community that had showed up. Frankly that was my entry into it, well that and being a big Napster user myself.

(MJ) – I think everyone was at one point in time especially considering how revolutionary it was. So this is the first feature length documentary you’ve directed, what was the big difference between directing doc and fiction for you?

(AW) – I originally wrote the movie as a narrative, I was originally going to do it as a dramatic feature, then realised that after toying with it for a while it worked better as a documentary. I wasn’t overly concerned with changing it, I know docs very well as I have done a lot of documentary oriented advertising in the commercial work I’ve done.  And I think Napster lends itself very much to that style of storytelling cause there are many fascinating details and so many cool ways to come at the story that were fact based. It also has a very clear cut beginning middle and end; we know what happened to Napster (laughs). So I didn’t feel I was going to get lost at sea with the story.

(MJ) – The access you had to the Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning is pretty all encompassing, history in many cases has been pretty brutal to the pair, even outright vilifying them at times, but you manage to portray them more humanely than most. How were you able to achieve such access with the pair?

(AW) –Well I have known them for ten years, I had originally met them a decade ago to tell their story, so certainly the benefit of time helped.  They knew me well enough to know I was interested in telling a story that was a well-rounded examination of events, something that wouldn’t be one sided for or against them, and I was going to try and look at all sides and get as clear a picture as possible. That was really my agenda, they knew that going in, and that I knew the story really well. I guess there is certain level of trust there, though it probably wasn’t until the SXSW premiere that they realized exactly what I was doing. It was a big relief to show them the movie there and get that question out of the way.

downloaded_large(MJ) – Considering the film is very much about music and the evolution of it, can you talk about the music for the film and did you have music that gave you any trouble getting clearance rights for?

(AW) – Well all the music is cleared; the movie is done and coming out soon. Most of the music is score, an original score by DJ spooky, that makes 99% of the music in the movie ours anyways, so it’s a lot easier to clear your own music.

(MJ) – (laughs) Yes I imagine that would make the whole process a bit easier. So now that the film is finished what are the plans for the film going forward?

(AW) –  We’re going to do a small theatrical run, though most of our energy is focused on the digital release. In the summer we’re going to start a rollout over several months with theatrical, I Tunes and other digital streaming. We have some really interesting plans for the digital side of things because that’s really where this film lives. I can’t go into too much detail about that because they aren’t announced yet but it’s really cool there a lot of interesting ways to release movies now using new technology.

(MJ) – Absolutely, and I’m sure with all their history and their new internet endeavours that Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning might be able to provide some fun marketing ideas of their own.

(AW) – (laughs) I’ m Sure they would. They have stayed comfortably out of this whole process.  It’s been fun for them to watch from a distance and not have to suffer through any more Napster related grief ever again.

(MJ) – So what’s up next for you? What do you have in the works on either the directing or even the acting side?

(AW) – Well I stopped acting professionally 20 years ago and put all my energy in to writing and directing, that’s where my focus goes. I act very rarely but I did jump into a movie that a really great Spanish director was doing with Elijah Wood and John Cusack recently (research shows that film is “Grand Piano”) that’s coming out later this year. But normally most of my work these days is in the writing/directing space.  I’m currently writing 2 different televisions shows for cable and I’m prepping my next film. I’m going make another documentary, not technology or music related though; it’s definitely related to a very topical and somewhat provocative American story. So I am focusing on getting that going right now

(MJ) – I’m assuming that’s all we’re going to get out of you about that right now?

(AW) – (Laughs) For now, yeah.

(MJ) – Thanks again for your time today Alex.

(AW) – No, thank you.  I’m really glad you enjoyed the movie and happy you got a chance to check it out.

Screening times for Downloaded

Sat, Apr 27 9:00 PM
Isabel Bader Theatre
Rush Tickets
Sun, Apr 28 3:30 PM
Scotiabank 3
Buy Tickets
Fri, May 3 9:30 PM
Fox Theatre
Buy Tickets

 

Cockneys Rule and Zombies Drool: Director Matthias Hoene talks ‘Cockneys Vs Zombies’

matthias hoene

Opening in select Cineplex theaters across Canada for two shows only, as part of Cineplex’s ‘Great Digital Film Festival’ starting this Friday Feb 1, 2013, is the horror comedy that made a huge splash at last year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival: Cockneys vs Zombies. The Movie Junkie was able to sit down with director Matthias Hoene to talk about his film, his influences and whether the Cockneys will make a return to the big screen.

Movie Junkie (MJ) – Hello Matthias, I must say I really enjoyed your film. Can you tell us about some of your biggest influences in putting the film together?

Matthias Hoene (MH) – Well the journey started when a friend of mine slipped me a grubby, slightly dodgy copy, of Peter Jackson’s Braindead. I snuck it into the VHS player after my parents had gone to bed, and sat in the living room watching it on my own and it really blew my mind away. What I loved about it was it was so gory, the goriest film I’d ever seen, probably still one of the goriest out there, yet so funny at the same time. It was full of heartfelt character work and story at its core, it really had a big impact on me and it’s exactly my sense of humor. Dark, twisted, action-packed filmmaking but with a heart to it. Evil Dead 2 I loved as well as it had many similar themes. Some of the other influences come from Aliens, Terminator and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Delicatessen to name just a few.

Cockney vs Zombies 1

MJ – Wow, that’s a great story. I have to ask you where the idea of using a care home (elderly nursing home) in the film came from, as it’s a brilliant setting and Alan Ford almost steals the show!

MH – Well it came from the idea that we needed something for our young heroes to fight for and to not feel selfish, we wanted them to rob a bank for a reason and the care home seemed a fit great in that a) it symbolizes the old guard of the cockneys slowly being pushed out of east London and old cockney culture disappearing out of London and b) the idea of the zombies being slow and the pensioners being even slower. I loved that idea and felt it was a really good hook for a zombie film and I hoped it would give the film its own place and feel, unique in tone and voice.

Cockneys-vs-Zombies 3

MJ – It certainly does separate itself from the pack, especially with the elderly Cockneys as our protagonists. That said my favorite character may have been the demented and insane Mental Mickey played by Ashley Bashy Thomas. Where did this character come from and how did you come about casting Thomas?

MH – With the Mental Mickey part we could have cast the stereotypical east London thug, but we decided we couldn’t do that and tried something different. We found Ashley who is a really handsome straight up, doesn’t drink only eats chicken and no red meat, wholesome kind of guy. He’s a great actor, he’s already been in a couple of movies before, and when we watched him we noticed he really has a lot of charisma. After casting,  I spoke to him in the costume session and said ‘Ashley I want to take you to a really dark and twisted place, are you going to be cool with that?” He looked at me and said “You just made my day Matthias” and we created this character. We wanted something really iconic, he was supposed to be the unstoppable zombie, the zombie with a steel plate in his head that you can’t shoot, can’t kill. We put a scar on the side of his head and gave him unbranded clothes, like he just picked something out of the dumpster and put it on, this shifty character. He went quite crazy with his performance and I thought either people will hate or love this cause it’s crazy and off the hook. I also like that he’s so different in this film than anything else he’s been in.

MJ – Like I said before, I am a big fan of the performance. One of the standout parts of the film is the set pieces and what you would describe as the ‘kills’. The production looks slick and is certainly inventive, how were you able to pull off a look that looks anything but low budget?

MH – Thank you very much. First off we had six weeks of shooting, which is a lot for a low budget film, and all the credit and thanks must go to the producers for making that happen. Some set pieces we would spend half a day on, just to get a 4-second shot, like the zombie flying out the back of the van.  We rehearsed and made sure it was really well choreographed and safe as it’s always kind of scary when you do an action movie as injuries will happen. But even though it’s a scary process we were really keen to have those moments, and personally I would have loved to have even more because I’m greedy and as a director we always want more. I tried to make sure we had enough balance between the comedy, character moments and the action moments. Every day on set was a huge challenge with choreographing in terms of 6 to 10 lead actors and 40 background extras with prosthetic work on all of them. Along with staging some gun fighting and other action staging with half a day to do it, every day was intense and it felt like I was on a big movie set and had to be super decisive to make sure it got done. But that’s what film making is about, making choices and then going through with it. I had a great time though; I love the energy and adrenaline of a short shooting schedule.

Cockneys vs Zombies 4

MJ – It certainly sounds like you guys had a hectic yet fun set to work on. So tell me Matthias, will we be seeing the Cockneys in another big screen romp?

MH – We’ve had conversations about sequels but you know I love the idea of making this unique and making it a one off. While I support original ideas and new movies I can recognize the need for sequels and remakes in terms of marketing and awareness. I feel we should fight for original movies, and I personally think unless it’s an amazing idea why not keep it a one off. Cockney’s vs Vampires I could see, Werewolves I can see as well but that would have to have a bigger budget to really make it work visually. I think Vampires would be cheaper effects and makeup-wise but werewolves would be more expensive, and we are not going to do Aliens!

MJ – As much as I would love to see these characters back on screen again, I can completely concur and get behind the notion of the film being one of a kind. So what’s on tap next?

MH – Well I’m developing a science fiction story in Los Angeles called Capsule, it’s a high concept sci-fi thriller but that’s all I’m saying for now. I’m also developing a fantasy movie with the some of the producers of Harry Potter movies, Heyday films, and I’m developing an occult thriller set in Africa which I love as a setting for a horror movie. Africa hasn’t been really been shown that much on the cinema screen, in a horror/thriller context, and when I was in Africa a few years ago the texture and characters and the ritualistic magic that has been woven there got me thinking. All those things have great potential for a story and there’s something there that is unique and should be experienced on cinema screens.

For more information on Cineplex’s ‘Great Digital Film Festival’ and the theaters participating check out the event page here.

Till Next Time

Movie Junkie TO

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Abraham Lincoln Re-Animated – Nimit Malavia and Matt Whelan discuss their short film The Great Calamity

Abraham Lincoln Re-Animated – Nimit Malavia and Matt Whelan discuss their short film The Great Calamity

Hello All. Kirk, aka Movie Junkie TO, here again with another interview. This time with Nimit and Matt, two of the guys behind the new animated short/motion graphic novel The Great Calamity. The short film is from the Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter DVD/Blu-Ray out this week from 20th Century Fox. Nimit is the Key Concept Artist/Illustrator and Matthew is the Animation Director. At the time of the interview recording I had not been able to see the film, but I have been able to catch up with it now and can say the animation is fantastic. Enjoy!

Movie Junkie (MJ) – Hey guys, glad we could get to talk today. So how did you guys end up on this project?

Nimit Malavia (NM) – Back in September 2011 I was contacted by our director, Javier Soto, and asked if I would be interested in designing some concept designs and environments for this animated short. He had seen a piece of my work online and reached out to get in touch with me to ask if I had any interest. I was very interested by what I heard and that was how I got involved.

Matthew Whelan (MW) – I was contacted in January 2012 through House of Cool studios where I work, and got involved on the tech side. The script was already fully formed and Nimit had a direct style in terms of what we were trying to achieve.

MJ – So what is the concept/story behind your motion graphic novel?

NW – Well the film could be more accurately described as an animated short. Fox is going with a motion graphic term but animated short applies just as well.  It’s an elaboration on the novel and tells the story of younger Abe when he still a Congressman. He was building up to the main events of the film and still hunting lower level vamps. In our story we focus on his relationship with Edgar Allan Poe and a discussion they have on the origin of vampires in America.

MJ – Great, that’s aspect of the novel that the film doesn’t really address at all. It seems like it’s ripe with opportunity.

MW – Javier was really excited to expand that part of the story and Poe is such an interesting character that it seemed like an obvious fit.

MJ – Great! So what style of animation have you guys chosen to utilize? Is it hand drawn or more CG based?

MW – That was one of the big challenges from our end. Javier wanted everything to look 2D. But the thing about the 2D, and one of the reason’s I’m shy about calling it a motion graphic/animated graphic novel,  is that historically these are done with moving drawings. We pushed hard for everything to be in 3D so even when there are paintings in the film we mapped them on the geometry and all of the characters have Nimit’s drawings over top. We actually had Nimit fly down from Ottawa to work on this with us and had him drawing right on the computer to really push his 2D style even though it’s a 3D piece. I think you’ll see if you pick up the Blu-Ray on Oct 23rd that any individual frame in the short hopefully looks more like a drawing that a standard 3D animated character.

MJ– So then how long were you down there working with them, Nimit?

NM – I was down for about 4 or 5 days working in the studio and learning the technology. Matt was showing me exactly what they were doing and what things they needed my touch on. I also followed up with some work from my home studio and shared in the back and forth on any additional designs.

MJ – So was the script a collaborative effort?

NM – It was all written by Javier Soto. Javier wrote a great treatment and it came fully formed to me as it had gone to Matt. When we were developing the concepts and characters, Javier sent me the script and I read it over. It was really well written and the characters really came through so it made my job finding the look really easy.

MJ – Were you guys presented with any test footage from the film for reference?

MW – Javier actually went down and recorded with Benjamin and made sure to record all the takes needed for our piece. So we had that reference of seeing him actually performing parts from our script.

NM– And on my end, Javier provided me with a lot of production still and shots of all the different characters from the movie. The main thing was that he was emphasizing that he wanted us to make this our own so he provided all the reference and sort of gave an idea of the world the short would live in. It not exactly the same as the film’s and it’s not exactly close to the real Abraham looked like, but it exists somewhere in between the two.

MJ – That sounds fun. Thanks a lot for sitting down with me today guys, tell me what you guys have coming up next?

NM – I have a few projects coming up, mostly graphic novels, and I do a lot of gallery shows throughout the US. I have a  few lined up in San Francisco, and a few more I can’t talk about right now, but that and  some freelance illustration.

MW – For me what’s coming out next is Silent Hill: Revelations which I CG supervised on and moving forward I am working on more commercials.

MJ – Thanks again guys.

Till Next Time,

Movie Junkie TO

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Drool and Vomit: The Cast of A Little Bit Zombie Speak Out! (Kirk Haviland)

Hello All, Kirk here, aka Movie Junkie TO, with another interview. This time I got to sit down with the cast of the Canadian horror comedy A Little Bit Zombie. The following is my chat with cast members Kristopher Turner, Shawn Roberts and Crystal Lowe. I was also able to sit down with director Casey Walker which should show up on the site soon enough.

Enjoy!

Movie Junkie (MJ) – Thanks for sitting down with me today guys. I really enjoyed the film when I saw it earlier this year. I wanted to ask a few questions about how you made the film. First off, one of my favorite parts of the film is the use of practical effects over CGI in most situations, I can think of one particular scene involving vomit, Crystal. I wondered if you guys could talk about how it helped your performances and the decision to go with the practical effects to begin with.

Kristopher Turner (KT) – For me, having dealt with a lot of the fluids that come out of my mouth or splash on my face or whatever, it’s a movie that deals a lot with the sensory world.  We’re putting a human through the zombie experience, yet leaving him with the conscious brain to take it all in. So to be able to work in that sensory world of having gross things is way better having something that’s real and an actual effect.  It’s a movie that’s got a lot of heart and to have things that are real just speaks to that so much better.

Shawn Roberts (SR) …and budget constraints had something to do with why we had to go with real effects. I mean it’s a low budget independent film that we shot here in Canada and Casey’s got an eye for effects.  He knows what he can work with and what we need the computer for, and basically he wanted to use as much on the day real sort of props and liquids as we could.

Crystal Lowe (CL) – That vomit scene you mention was the second shot that I ever did for the movie so that really broke it in, once you get puked on in front of everyone they pretty much love you going forward because there’s nothing else I can do that’s worse. Casey thought it would be hilarious to keep the puke coming in the third take, so it did. I was like “c’mon Casey you’ve got the shot “and his response was repeatedly “just wait, hold on one more second” and from that moment I realized what kind of set it was going to be. It was the most fun I’ve had on a movie set ever.

MJ – Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun filming this, could you talk a bit about what appears to be a tight knit cast and crew.

CL – Close is an understatement, that’s the thing when you find a script that you love and when you find a crew that is invested because they read the script and they know what it can be. Nobody was bitching, nobody was complaining, we were there for 14 hours days and it didn’t matter because we were all happy to be there. We knew what the outcome was so it really made us tight as a cast and crew. And as a cast we were all in Sudbury with only each other, so we barbecued together every weekend and that became our life for a month, it was really cool.

MJ – Sounds like what any independent director would die for to have on set. I know for Casey this was long process to get to screen, up to 6 years. What stage of the process did you guys become involved?

SR – I think I was about 5 months out before we went to camera that I originally heard about the script and the countdown happened. I had a conversation with Casey on the phone after which I was like “alright you sound like an awesome dude, I wanna hang out with you let’s shoot a movie”.  So we’ve been now 2 ½ half years into it.

KT– Ahh one and a half.

SR – Whatever, seems like a long time.

CL – I had actually been given the script by my agent almost a year before production I think. My agent gave it to me to read and told me “this production wants to offer this to you, I think you should take a look at it” so I did. After I read it I told him “you gotta get me on this movie, this is such a great script”. I love the script and I loved Tina because she was so crazy. It took a while, about 8 months, then all of the sudden my agent called me back and told me my flight was booked and I was leaving for set, it was so long I had forgotten about the project! That said I was very excited that it came through.

MJ – I wanted to ask about this fantastic vehicle behind us here, the converted ambulance to zombie killing machine: Painkiller. How was it to have this fantastic prop on set?

KT – It’s great when you are making a movie with real props, it feels more like you’re in a movie, you’re not in a studio, you’re actually in it.  I mean we were getting eaten alive by real black flies and mosquitoes. We had a real giant zombie killing machine named Painkiller behind us in the shot, the real effects allow you to feel connected to the process that way.

SR –  And now being out  in the public I think having a giant zombie mobile brings over everybody cause they want the check out the truck “oh there’s a movie here too cool we’ll check that out”.  You know it’s good marketing.

CL – Exactly, it changes things, makes it real. You know it’s funny because I have been quoting this movie a lot lately, but Labyrinth is one of my favorite all time films and I went to see it again just recently. As I watched the puppeteering in that I thought if we had made that now it would have been all CGI, and I don’t know if it would have had the same magic as it held then. That’s why I love the mosquito in our film, because it’s a puppet. I prefer to work with that cause Jim Henson and those puppets look real, I mean they don’t look like CGI creations, they look like real little beings and I kinda wish that we would go back to that a little bit.

MJ – Now we must talk a bit about the man himself, Stephen McHattie. It must be a little intimidating to know this man is going to walk on and attempt to steal every scene right out from under you?

CL – Here’s the thing with Stephen McHattie, he doesn’t try to steal every scene, he just walks on set and steals it. It’s not an effort on his part, he just walks on and does what he does. That man is an old school cowboy, I’d never met an old school cowboy until I met him, he’s like the Marlboro Man. And he was really amazing and very generous with me, so I’d ask him questions about his process as an actor and about how he’s feeling in the movie. He was very open and very willing to answer any question I had, all while he had a smoke with his boots on. I mean this is as old school cowboy as it gets as on his spare time he digs dirt and plants, I mean this is what he does, and it’s cool.

KT – Well this was my first time working with him, I know Shawn had worked with him before. He’s a legend, you do these indie movies and you hope that you can learn something from people like that. You try to watch their acting process and see what they bring to the table and how they do it. You see the behind the scenes prep so it was great. And it’s almost like having a living prop because you have a real zombie hunter, essentially he embodies that, and he stares at you and looks like he wants to kill me literally all the time. So it makes it much easier as an actor to work off something like that

SR – And yeah working with someone of that calibre certainly brings everybody’s game up a little bit. And intimidating, nah I know the old bastard so I’m not that intimidated.

MJ – And I must add, everything you guys have said has backed up all of the fine things I have heard about the class act that is Stephen McHattie. Thanks again for sitting down with me today guys, but let me leave you with one last question. What’s with director Casey Walker’s obsession with Bacon?

KT – Bacon?

Kristopher and Shawn in unison – not just regular bacon, Tactical Bacon!

KT – A REAL product you couldn’t write that you couldn’t make that up, that has to exist somehow, I don’t know.

SR  – Yeah I don’t know, I think he found it online or something and was like wow this is real, we need this in the movie, then they sent up a box or something so he was like “alright Tactical Bacon it is”. What else do zombie hunters eat.

CL – I also don’t know where it comes from but I really appreciate his love of bacon in general because I like bacon in everything! Who doesn’t like bacon? I’m a Canadian so it kinda just makes sense.

MJ – LOL! I guess I’ll have to follow up with Casey on that one. Thanks again guys.

Till Next Time,

Movie Junkie TO

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Baring his Fangs, Zak Kilberg talks about Midnight Son

Midnight Son Zak Kilberg Interview

Hello everyone, Kirk aka Movie Junkie TO here again with a second interview from the guys involved with Midnight Son. My first interview can be read here. This time I get to sit down with one of the film’s leads, Zak Kilberg, for some one-on-one questioning. Enjoy!

Movie Junkie (MJ) – It’s great to talk to you again Zak, it’s been a while since Toronto After Dark last year. Congrats on the DVD release.

Zak Kilberg (ZK) – Hi Kirk, so happy you’re doing another piece on Midnight Son! Toronto After Dark has been a huge champion of our film and we all love that festival and everyone involved up there. I had a great experience coming up to Toronto for the premiere and meeting everyone!

MJ – Zak, let’s start with how you became aware of the film and eventually landed the role of Jacob.

ZK – An experienced San Francisco actor I know, David Fine, sent me the link to director Scott Leberecht’s website for the film – I was living in LA at the time. On the site Scott had a synopsis and incredible story boards from the film he had drawn. From exploring the site, I felt an immediate connection to Scott and his vision. I also happened to have an uncanny resemblance to the drawings of the main character, Jacob. I immediately emailed Scott a link to a short film I had just directed and starred in. He sent me the script right away and requested an audition tape which I sent. A month or two later I was in San Francisco for a film festival and came to Scott’s house for a call back. It was perfect timing and he offered me the role the next day.

MJ – It’s truly a great performance and as noted in my review I find your portrayal is the strongest in the quieter moments of the film. What were your influences in creating the character?

ZK – Thanks Kirk! My filmmaking influences are definitely more based in docu-drama and indie realism. I am a huge fan of Cassavetes – specifically the performances in A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE. Fleck’s HALF NELSON and Akin’s HEAD ON are two other films that inspire me deeply as a filmmaker and actor. My primary intention was to paint a picture of Jacob that felt real. I knew that realness was what separated this story from so many other vampire stories out there. If I could make the character real and relatable (and the million other filmmaking pieces came together as well) then the film would work.

MJ – Those are some strong influences for sure. You and Maya manage to present one of the more awkward romances on screen, how was it collaborating with her on this, especially since she was listed as an executive producer on the project?

ZK – Maya did an incredible job as Mary. She is an extremely professional and dedicated actress. She was cast as the actress first then became a producer on the film later so I never really saw her in that role – only as my co-star. We were able to rehearse several of our scenes before the filming began so we felt pretty comfortable together once the cameras started rolling. I think we were both just so thrilled to be working on the film that we would have done anything to make it great. We also both had a deep trust and love for Scott. It was an extremely supportive and positive working environment.

MJ – It certainly sounds like you and Maya had a great time together on this, in fact your entire cast and crew seem to be a tight knit bunch. Did you guys feel you had something special while you were making it?

ZK – We all knew from the beginning that we were making something special. Filmmaking is such a drawn out process you never really know what you’ll have by the end, but from the script, viewing Scott’s previous award winning short films and the amazing cast and crew we were able to assemble with a very micro budget, it felt clear to me we were onto something unique that would find an audience.

MJ – With a film like Midnight Son that is almost entirely set in the evening how did the evening shoots affect your sleep patterns?

ZK – I am definitely more of a night owl, so for me it was actually very enjoyable. It was exciting to wake up at 4pm and head to set, which usually consisted of running around downtown LA or Hollywood all night. It was always exciting and a truly wild experience.

MJ – That certainly must have helped! Since the film you have decided to make the leap to more of a behind the scenes role. Can you talk about that decision and is there any chance we see you back in front of the camera at some point in time?

ZK – Yes, that’s correct. Over the past few years I have taken a step back from auditions and been focused on building my production company SOCIAL CONSTRUCT FILMS. I am definitely still interested in acting and have taken some smaller roles in things I am producing, but my main focus now is in developing content and stories I love and building them from the ground up.

We just completed production on our 3rd feature film in 2 1/2 years. We also had a short film at Sundance this year called L TRAIN that was exec produced by Alexander Payne (THE DESCENDANTS) and has qualified for this year’s Academy Award consideration.

MJ– That’s great, I’m a big admirer of Payne’s work myself, sounds like you certainly have some exciting things lined up. Good luck getting a date with the “Golden Guy”, can you tell us a bit about what you have coming up next?

ZK – Two genre features I produced will be released next year in Canada, Jay Lee’s ALYCE w/ Tamara Feldman (HATCHET) and David Guy Levy’s WOULD YOU RATHER w/ Brittany Snow. We also just wrapped production last week on Ari Gold’s untitled new feature w/ Rory Culkin (SCREAM 4) and Robert Sheehan (MISFITS), and I am really excited about this one. It’s also happens to be the first non-genre film I’ve produced. You can read more about our productions at socialconstructfilms.com. Thank you, Kirk. It has been a pleasure discussing MIDNIGHT SON with you and all the rest!

MJ – As always the pleasure is mine Zak. MisFits is a personal favorite of mine, especially because of Sheehan’s work on the show, so I’m keen to see what you guys have come up with. Thanks again for this Zak, hopefully we can get you back up to Toronto soon!

Till Next Time,

Movie Junkie TO

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