Interview: Filmmaker Jesper Ganslandt

Beast of Burden is a tension filled crime thriller starring Daniel Radcliffe. The film releases on Blu-ray and DVD on April 3, 2018. Prior to the release I had a chance to speak to the director of the film Jesper Ganslandt. Jesper discusses the making of the film and Radcliffe’s performance among other topics. Listen to the audio of the interview below:

REAL TALK:

I brought up Locke and Phone Booth as movies that seemed comparable to Beast of Burden. It was interesting to hear the comparison and analysis Jesper made about Locke and how he wanted to make his film more aggressive the way he shot it.

Jesper mentioned the incorporation of the European style of filmmaking that he comes from and incorporating it with the American one. My comment on how the film felt like two films split in half, with the first half being a lot more calm and subdued and the second half having a lot more action. American films tend to focus on the quick action and goes by the wayside of slower pace. The blend of styles really works for this film.

Jesper followed that up by commenting on the movie Buried, which he felt that looked over some of the details and didn’t slow down enough. I completely agree with that statement. Buried would have worked even better had it been more detailed and didn’t try to jump to the next twist.

Daniel Radcliffe is one of the most versatile actors out there. This is the second director now, first one being Greg McLean, who spoke glowingly of Daniel’s work. It’s safe to say that all the Harry Potter stuff is behind him at this point. Radcliffe went from a popular child actor to a really great all-around actor.

My favorite question to ask filmmakers and actors is what they do in their free time and the passions they enjoy. I really liked Jesper’s answer, so simple, yet so meaningful. It was his family. His children are his passion and that’s what he invests his time into outside of his work. That’s great.

Beast of Burden is a really slick and intriguing film and Radcliffe is indeed terrific in it.

BEAST OF BURDEN is out on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on April 3, 2018

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Interview: Filmmaker Susan Walter

Writer and director an all-around filmmaker Susan Walter has had a long career in the entertainment industry, but she finally has a chance to develop her film. She wrote and directed the upcoming film All I Wish, starring the illustrious Sharon Stone. I had the privilege to speak to Susan about the film and a lot more.

REAL TALK:

I really enjoyed speaking to Susan. She was very engaging and present. My favorite part about talking to someone about a project is actually getting to talk to them and bouncing theories and ideas, and that’s what Susan and I were able to do during out conversation.

It was great to hear her share the story of the woman who came up to her after a screening to tell her how much she related to the movie and how she felt she could date at an older age also. I felt comfortable speaking to Susan, she’s one of those uniquely open and relatable individuals.

I really took away some valuable insight and perspective from the movie. I talked to Susan about my personal dating life and how the movie gave me a perspective on it.

It’s great to hear that Susan’s long road in the business finally came to a stop she had been working to achieve. I sure hope she writes and directs many more films. If they are as good as this one, she’s gonna be a household name real fast.

(Apologies for the static noises, was unable to edit them out)

ALL I WISH releases in theaters, VOD and Digital HD on March 30, 2018

Interview: Filmmaker Michelle Walshe

Michelle Walshe’s documentary film Chasing Great is already the highest grossing documentary film in New Zealand history. It tells the story of rugby great Richie McCaw as he enters his final season of his professional career. I spoke to Michelle about the film and what it was like to document and follow a sports icon and the challenges and triumphs she faced along the way.

REAL TALK:

Michelle did a heck of a job with this documentary. She really does a great job depicting the essence of what it’s like to be a top level athlete staring right at the end of their professional life. As I stated, I wasn’t very familiar with the sport of rugby, but this film really gave me a good perspective on it. Richie McCaw is very comparable to a Tom Brady or Michael Jordan of rugby. He’s the best. What Michelle accomplishes with this film is give people a unique inside look into Richie’s final season as a pro and a behind-the-scenes look into his life outside the sport.

Some interesting takeaways from the conversation with her. I was really intrigued with the mental aspect that was depicted that Richie had to deal with. The ups and downs and pressures of the final season as an athlete chasing a championship. Michelle found that aspect compelling also and made sure to shine light on it in the film.

My favorite question to ask during interviews is when I can find out about interests outside of the industry. Interestingly Michelle likes to clear her mind by getting involved with finances. It’s the complete opposite of the entertainment industry. I’d imagine others like to relax and do something to ease their mind, but Michelle seems to like using it in another way. Very interesting how creative people think and the things they do for fun.

The film is definitely a worthwhile watch. Even if you know nothing about rugby, it’s a compelling look into the sport, but mainly into the life of one of its greatest stars. It’s well shot shot, well documented and it even has the drama to back up all the stakes it’s presented with.

CHASING GREAT is out now in select theaters in NYC

Interview: Director Ben Steele

Murder mystery stories are some of the most popular shows on TV, there is a reason Dateline keeps many at home on Friday nights, it’s just so damn compelling. Investigation Discovery specializes on these crazy real life murder mystery stories. A fascinating one that’s currently airing is called Love & Hate Crime. I spoke to the director of it, Ben Steele. Listen to what Ben had to say about the access he had to the people involved in the story and how he approached telling it.

REAL TALK: 

Lots of interesting take aways from what Ben said. His approach to telling the story and how he tried to keep it all up to the audience to interpret the facts presented and for them to decide how they feel about it. It’s such a liberty for a director to leave it to the audience for them to make their assumptions. There is no agenda, just great reporting and presentation of the findings.

I found it surprising that he mentioned the killer Josh being likable at times during his interactions with him. That’s hard to envision finding a killer likable, but when Ben presents the points about him being potentially a victim of his own surroundings.

This story has long lasting impact, not only on those involved or close to it, but to the LGBT community.

What struck me was that Ben is not even American and for him to be a British filmmaker and try to understand the cultural situations in small town America is telling of how detailed and skilled of a filmmaker he is.

ID’s ‘LOVE & HATE CRIME’ is currently airing on Investigation Discovery channel (check your local listings)

Video Interview: Filmmaker Laura Checkoway

Chicago based Kartemquin Films is represented well at the 80th Oscars. Steve James’ feature documentary Abacus: Small Enough to Jail and Laura Checkoway’s documentary short Edith+Eddie. I had an opportunity to sit down and chat with Laura about her film and what she took away from it.

 

REAL TALK:

Laura was so sweet and nice. She was shy and endearing. I really enjoyed talking to her. Such an accomplished person, yet so humble. She really seemed invested in the film and I could tell the passion she had for it as she spoke about it.

The film Edith+Eddie is an incredible story of an elderly couple who marry in their 90’s and sadly things don’t go well from there. It’s a sweet story of love, but it’s also heartbreaking. It’s really a must-see documentary. Such a powerful story told so well in just 30 minutes. Fingers crossed Laura comes away with a deserving Oscar.

Video Interview: Filmmaker Steve James

Steve James is one of the best documentary filmmakers around. He directed acclaimed docs such as Hoop Dreams and the Roger Ebert movie Life Itself among many other. His latest movie Abacus: Small Enough to Jail just was nominated for an Oscar. Recently I had a chance to sit down with Steve to talk about Abacus, his Oscar nomination and a lot more.

 

 

REAL TALK:

I’m grateful for a fantastic opportunity to talk to a filmmaking legend. Steve had a lot of interesting points that he made. It was great to pick his mind on what he looks for in a project and how it affects him. As you can tell Steve seems to be a humble guy who really has deep passion for his projects. He has affected many lives. I sure hope he ends up with the Oscar, but either way he’s a winner already.

Steve, hope you enjoyed that sandwich I was keeping you from eating.

Congrats to Chicago based Kartemquin Films for representing Abacus: Small Enough to Jail and the documentary short Edith + Eddie