Monday, August 12, 2019
8:30 PM 10:00 PM
Saturday, August 17, 2019
4:30 PM 6:10 PM
James, your short has vibes of early Cohen Brothers “Blood Simple” with your array of characters and genre. Can you tell us more about the inspiration for your film?
I love this question because at our first production meeting, I told the cast & crew we were going for a mix of the Cohen Brothers and John Carpenter. At least that’s how the story flowed for me. Some No Country for Old Men and Halloween. Two things that go together better than you might realize. And for the look & style, I told our cinematographer, Zach Campbell I wanted to bring Miami Vice to West Texas. Lots of color and light to influence the tone of the film.
You have a great production value in the film; can you tell us about the development of the project and how you brought your team together?
Carnage Radio was originally written as a full length feature film, but we knew we had to show what we wanted to do and prove ourselves to find the funding. So, I wrote a short film script based on the feature. And we made it a point to produce the short on the smallest budget possible. It’s a way of us showing what we did with basically nothing, so imagine what we could do with a budget. The cast and crew were comprised all of local people in the town of Big Spring where the film takes place in. People myself and producer/lead actor, Brandon J. Johnson knew had talents. Each crew member was picked for a reason. We believed they could pull it off. Most of them have never work on a film. But now they are part of this, and they are all looking forward to see where it might take us.
We see you have directed stage plays, can you tell us about how it influences your filmmaking, and vice versa?
Stage plays were a long time ago, but it did teach me what I think is the most important part of directing which is communication. I also learned trust, because once you release that actor out onto the stage, you are no longer in control. It’s up to them to go out there and pull it off. In film, even though we can do multiple takes, I always try to trust the actor and their take on the character. Communicate, then let them preform. It’s what they do best.
Who are your filmmaker influences?
John McTiernan and his camera work. The way he would move the camera to enhance the storytelling obsessed me as a kid. Die Hard, Predator and The Hunt for Red October. Those were films I studied more than just watched. And also James Cameron’s films in the 80’s and 90’s. Just the way he would figure things out in order to make it work on film. Amazing stuff!
The music in the film is great, did you write/compose it?
Yes, I did. I love music. And I love composing for film. It’s one of my favorite parts of post-production. Maybe that goes back to that Carpenter thing.