Interview: Filmmaker Hunter Adams

I didn’t know of Hunter Adams prior to seeing his latest film Dig Two Graves, so when I got a chance to speak to him I wasn’t sure what he’d be like. Hunter was very chill and cool to talk to and I enjoyed his film. Check out my interview with Hunter and listen in to what he had to say about making of Dig Two Graves and what inspired him to be a filmmaker.

MY TAKE:

There was a lot of interesting info that Hunter shared in the interview. So he’s also a fellow Midwest guy as myself, actually from nearby Wisconsin. It’s fascinating that he grew up on the same street as famed filmmaker Howard Hawks. I can see how that be an inspiration and gave him hope in making it in the industry if a famed director comes from your hometown. I was interested to hear him speak on the selected location for the movie shoot. When you see the film you know that location is really unique and fitting with the movie plot. For some reason I thought it was somewhere in Virginia or Pennsylvania, but it actually was here in Illinois, in the town of Marion.

It’s always neat to see rising filmmakers put out interesting movies. I’m curious to see how his next project the TV show Blue Palms will turn out. He certainly has a flare for thrillers, but comedy will be an interesting thing to see him do. Dig Two Graves is a movie you should give a chance to. It has a talented cast and mysterious story. I didn’t know what to expect of the movie, but enjoyed what I got to see.

Dig Two Graves is available and out now On Demand, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, XBox and Playstation. 

Interview: Actor Michael Nardelli

Michael Nardelli might not be a household name to you, but this is an actor that’s certainly have a very promising future and is on the rise. You can currently see him in the indie thriller The Tribe. Michael has already co-starred with some of the industries biggest names, such as Zac Efron, Demi Moore, Ezra Miller, Kate Bosworth and Jason Biggs. I spoke to Michael about his start in the industry and about being an actor. Listen to the interview with Michael below:

MY TAKE:

I really enjoyed talking to Michael. He just seemed like a very down to earth guy. Very humble and outgoing guy that made it easy to interview him. We had a great conversation, where it doesn’t feel like an interview. I really respect how self-made he is. He didn’t get any handouts or have built-in connections in making it in the industry, it was all pure motivation and self-belief. It’s pretty inspiring actually, for anyone chasing their dreams. Here is a regular guy that chased his dreams and is living them currently.

I appreciated his honesty in regards to his struggles fitting in the industry when he arrived in LA. This is a tough industry to break into that many give up trying, but Michael stuck to it and is making it happen. I’ve been in that situation, so I could really relate to him. I commend him on the various charities that he works with that include the PATH Organization, Autism Speaks, The Boys and Girls Club of Boyle Heights and NCJW LA. I’m sure the bigger he gets in the industry the more charities he will get involved with. This man is a doer.

Keep an eye out for Mike’s digital series Dark/Web that’s slated for release in Summer 2017. 

The Tribe is out now on iTunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play, Vudu, Xbox Live, Sony Playstation and Vimeo on Demand

Interview: ‘The Dinner’ Director Oren Moverman

The Dinner is a intriguing mystery drama recently released. It’s about two couples getting together over dinner for a heated discussion about the impending decisions they have to make in regards to the future of their children, who committed a crime. Writer and director Oren Moverman does a great job of translating this story from book to movie. I spoke to Oren about this process and taking on this movie. Listen to the audio of the interview below:

MY TAKE:

One thing I noticed is that there is a bit of a difference when I interview foreign directors as opposed to American ones. It has nothing to do with the language barrier, as the foreign directors I’ve interviewed have been very well spoken and clear. The difference I’m noticing is that they seem to be a bit more serious sounding and matter-of-fact. Now this isn’t a bad thing at all, just a different way about them as individuals.

I wasn’t aware that Cate Blanchette was set to direct this film and Oren was supposed to help her write it. I do like how the film turned out at the end so, this was probably a good thing in the end, even though it would be interesting to see how much different it would be with her at the helm. Oren seemed to put a focus on balancing the book with the version he wrote for the movie, which is cool to see a director try to be faithful to the novel even though he had creative freedom to do otherwise.

I’m glad I had a chance to speak to him, as I’ve been a fan of his work on titles such as Rampart and Love & Mercy. This is another well written and crafted movie from him that you should check out, with very good performances.

The Dinner is out now in select theaters 

Interview: ‘Evanescence’ Amy Lee

Amy Lee had quite the impact on my teenage years. I grew up on her music and band Evanescence. Not to mention having a big crush on her! Imagine how giddy I was when I got a chance to interview her for Voice From The Stone. Amy is lending her incredible voice to the official song of the movie “Speak To Me”. I spoke to Amy about her connection with the movie, about being a new mother and definitely Evanescence. Check out the entire audio of the interview below:

MY TAKE:

It was such a personal joy for me to speak to Amy Lee. As I mentioned I’m a longtime fan of her work. One of the more underrated musical talents of the last two decades. This was one of the more interesting and insightful interviews I’ve done. She was so cool and personable. Very down to earth. I had a lot I wanted to ask her and luckily I got in most of my questions.

I really felt she was ideal for the soundtrack to Voice From The Stone. Of course it came out great. She really seemed passionate about the film and doing the song for it. It just felt this would be a movie that really meshed her brand, she agreed. She seems to be at a really good point of her life now with the birth of her son. It was interesting to hear her talk about how motherhood has changed her.

So I was quite surprised she isn’t the biggest fan of “My Immortal”. It just goes to show that even though someone is associated to a certain song or it has wide mainstream appeal, it doesn’t mean the artist feels the same connection to it personally. I also was a bit surprised when she said that her recent music is some of her favorite. She did a great job correcting me on the discussion of the early 2000’s being one of the hottest alternative rock eras. I agree, nothing beats the 90’s, but during the peak of Evanescence you had a ton of great bands such as Seether, POD, Drowning Pool, Limp Bizkit, etc. I loved that time.

I really appreciate how genuinely gracious and appreciative she was of me being a fan of her music. It’s one of these interviews that makes you mark out, so the fanboy in me showed up. It was also my second interview with a musician, first was Hailee Steinfeld. Just a very enjoyable interview that I was really pumped about that I feel turned out great. Also, check out Voice From The Stone, it’s really a solid and intriguing suspenseful gothic thriller.

Voice From The Stone is out now on VOD and Digital HD and releases on Blu-ray & DVD on June 6

“Speak To Me” is available now for download on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon and you can stream it on Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify and Apple Music. 

Interview: ‘Despite The Falling Snow’ Director Shamim Sarif

Despite The Falling Snow is available now on DVD and Digital, and I spoke to the director of the film Shamim Sarif. Shamim and I talked about her experience writing and directing the film, why Rebecca Ferguson was ideal for the leading role and the lack of female filmmakers. Listen to the entire audio of it below.

MY TAKE:

Shamim was very well spoken and just one of individuals you want to listen to because she has a lot to say and is knowledgeable. Not only did she write and direct this film, but she is actually the author of the Despite The Falling Snow novel. She is quite the all-around talent. I liked her perspective on female filmmakers and the insight she shared on her experiences. The single digit percentage of working female directors in Hollywood is staggering. I’ve had the fortune of interviewing a few female directors recently and have personally very much enjoyed their work. This is something that definitely needs to change.

I’m sure many of you noticed the background TV sounds in the interview, I’m still curious what sort of British television Shamim was watching? Ha. I really enjoyed the film and it had a nice mix of romance and mystery. The film has really nice and authentic looking sets and costumes that project the time period the story takes place in (60’s Cold War Russia).

It will be interesting to see what Shamim’s next book and movie will be. Clearly she has a good idea of how to mix romance and mystery. This is a film you should definitely give a shot. Good acting, interesting story and craftily executed, or you can always read the book first and then see the movie.

Despite The Falling Snow is out now for purchase and rental on DVD and Digital

Interview: ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Screenwriters W. Bruce Cameron & Cathryn Michon

The charming and adorable A Dog’s Purpose came out on Blu-ray & DVD on May 2. I had a chance to speak to the husband and wife and screenwriters of the film, W. Bruce Cameron and Cathryn Michon. I spoke to them about the inspiration for the film, their interaction with the dogs on set and they address the big TMZ controversy over the film. Listen to the audio and hear what they had to say:

MY TAKE:

First and foremost I absolutely loved this film. I’m the biggest animal lover and advocate, so this movie was personal to me. I missed the screening for it so I decided to see it on my own, on Valentine’s Day, without a date. Yup, I was that guy sitting in the back of the movie theater like a creep, while everyone else there was basically a couple out on a date. I didn’t even care because the movie was great! I will also preface things by saying that I didn’t read the book and I wasn’t aware that there was a sequel to it called a “Dog’s Journey”, so looks like I have some reading to do. Ok, onto the thoughts on the interview.

My first impression of W. Bruce and Cathryn was that they sounded like a really chill and fun couple. You think of married couples and you think of these people that are serious and matter of fact, but not this couple, they were very upbeat and joked a lot, you can feel the love between them. It was interesting how W. Bruce came up with the idea of the novel. I can’t believe he had such a elaborate story on his mind to tell her on a drive up the California coast. That’s an impressive creative mind there. Cathryn did most of the talking and took the reigns, but I didn’t mind, she was well informed. Funny thing is after the interview I realized that I interviewed Cathryn about two and half years ago at The Movie Blog and she was gracious enough to come on my podcast on there to speak about her movie Muffin Top.

Cathryn Michon

I had to ask them about the TMZ dog in the pool video that went viral. That was a big story. I personally felt that there was more to it then reported and was a bit skeptical that handlers would allow such a thing to happen. Film productions hire special animal handlers that literally track everything the animal does on set and they are independent of the production. These animals are well protected. Cathryn had strong feelings about the incident and I can’t blame her for it, of course she was going to protect her film, but she also made a point. Either way it was important to hear the thoughts from the people that were instrumental in making this movie. I enjoyed speaking to them, they are obviously huge dog lovers, so good people in my book.

A Dog’s Purpose is available now on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD (check out the special features on the Blu-ray)

ADogsPurpose_BD_OCard_3D

Interview: ‘Free Fire’ Director Ben Wheatley

Free Fire is out now in theaters and prior to the film release I had a chance to speak to director Ben Wheatley about the film when he came to Chicago on the promotional tour. I sat down with Ben at the swanky Waldorf Astoria in Chicago and we talked about the movie. Ben discussed the casting of the actors, the idea for how Free Fire came about and I also tell him about my displeasure with High-Rise. Listen to the entire audio below:

MY TAKE:

I wasn’t sure what kinda personality Ben has, but I was rather surprised how professional, yet forthcoming he was. He seems like the kinda guy that you wouldn’t expect to prank you and mess with you, but he might. So basically I felt a hidden dry sense of humor from him. I mean from the start I didn’t exactly endear myself to him by throwing out my disdain for High-Rise. I had no idea how he would react, but I’ll give him credit that he kept it cool, while giving me some shit for it, rightfully so. Obviously he would defend his project, but wasn’t dismissive of me either so I appreciated that.

As far as the film goes, I did enjoy Free Fire a hell of a lot more than High-Rise. This is a really fun film, with a lot of witty dry British humor. I asked him about his wife being is co-worker and writing his films with him. It was interesting to hear how he goes about that process. I also liked his honesty about wanting to do a bigger budget film, I’m sure there are some indie directors can’t swallow their pride and be candid about wanting to do something bigger budget and sacrificing their independent roots. On a side note, at the end of the interview when we posted for the pic (the featured image for this article) Ben asks the rep taking the picture if his fly was open! Haha. It wasn’t, but I got a kick out of that spontaneous joke. Overall, Ben Wheatley seemed like the kinda guy you’d wanna have beers with and shoot the shit with.

‘Free Fire’ is out now in theaters. Check your local listings.