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Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Martial Arts Kid (2015) Movie Review (Retail DVD) (C) 2016 Dan's Movie Report

Above Picture: Poster for 'The Martial Arts kid'

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, today we take a swerve into the family film genre. Kickstarted to the tune of over $175,000 'The Martial Arts Kid' deals with a myriad of real world scenarios. Robbie (Jansen Panetteire) deals with his mom's death, and eventually moves to Florida with his Aunt and Uncle (Cynthia Rothrock and Don 'The Dragon Wilson). Once in Florida life is marred by bulling.

With the rash of R rated and strong PG-13 rated films that basically are escapist entertainment, 'The Martial Arts Kid' is full of reality, a bully Bo, (Mathew Zift), all knowing small town folk and  general regular people.

The rest of the film plays out a bit like the original 'Karate Kid' but updated to more of a real world, true life happening. There is a very good backstory tale in 'The Martial Arts Kid', by the time the audience gets to the meat of the story, the characters are well established, and the 103 minute film is the perfect length.

The large cast including Tj Storm, who plays a coach at 'Dojo Extreme' brings a sense of family, home life and honor to a subject that is often swept under the rug. Don 'The Dragon' Wilson waxes poetically describing the martial arts edict, distinctively describing the differences between that and street fighting.  Molding young minds is the message and in 'The Martial Arts Kid' it hits home.

The airy setting of Cocoa Beach, FL and the easy going music allow the viewer to be transported to a vacation like atmosphere, without being preachy. There is a copious amount of dialogue, dealing with relationships, family, and of course martial arts.  TJ Storm's character offers the lead character a choice to learn the more extreme way, 'winners and losers'. TJ brings his forceful, and honorable style to 'The Martial Arts Kid'.

The action is filmed very clearly, yeah! the audience can see the movements and hits. Obviously the main cast have decades in experience in martial arts, and I expected this family oriented film to show detailed form and movement.Of course there is humor, with Cynthia and Don, not everything is stuffy and serious.

After 'The Martial Arts Kid' had its long film festival run, it is nice to finally see a finished product. The retail packaging includes, a theatrical trailer, commentaries from film makers and actors, deleted scenes, and additional material.

I can definitely recommend 'The Martial Arts Kid' to anyone with kids, or a teacher, schools as required viewing. Even the casual viewer will find the message uplifting and inspiring. Overall, 'The Martial Arts Kid' rates a 8.5 out of 10, it is really cool.

The film can be ordered directly from their store, support indie film making! @ http://www.martialartskidmovie.com/shop
Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/MAKMovie2014

Friday, April 29, 2016

Director Daniel Zirilli Interview A Dan's Movie Report Exclusive! 'Time Rush' ' The Asian Connection'

Greetings Dan's Movie Report readers, time to take a trip behind the lens to the director's chair with the independent action man Daniel Zirilli. Mr Zirilli has several films under his belt, he takes time out of his hectic schedule to chat about the Archstone release 'Time Rush' and the upcoming film 'Asian Connection'. Daniel is quite a prolific film director, with many projects currently available. Grab some coffee, learn the inner workings of the indie film world, as the two Dan's speak! 3-2-1- Go!

How did Dean and yourself connect to do 'Time Rush'? What attracted you to the concept? Can you tell us more about it?

Dean and I have been trying to find a film to help break him out as an action actor and producer, and he came up with a great hook (originally titled “Reflex”) that he wanted to use for a short film… But I thought it would make a great full length film, so we shot as much as we could as an experiment, with a small budget, as I knew I could show distributors a teaser, and get a deal to finish it. Time Rush is basically about a guy who wakes up everyday in a military hospital, has to fight his way out with armed men (lead by Ron Smoorenberg) chasing him through various scenarios each ending in his death. It's like an action “Groundhog Day” - each loop Deans character learns a bit more about his life and situation, meeting Selina Lo’s character along the way (his ex-girlfriend) who helps put the pieces back together, along with Byron Gibson, the resistance leader helping him escape. On the last loop, hopefully he has learned enough to live…  (you’ll have to watch the movie to find out if he does :-)…   the good news is, we did make the distribution deal and money to complete the film we needed and more (through distrobution company -Archstone- who retitled it "Time Rush") so it was a happy ending creatively and business-wise. So the experiment worked, thanks to everyone that helped on the film.

Above Photo: Car flip stunt in 'Time Rush'
Delving deeper into 'Time Rush', chat about directing skilled fighters like the Jaika Team. Ron, Dean, and Selina. must have been a bit easier, but at times probably harder to slow the action down enough for the audience to grasp.

On 'Time Rush', it really was a team effort, we are all friends, and all love action. So aside from the script of course we had many meetings with stunt actors with unique skills, and then incorporated them into the film, from Dean's parkour in front of a train, to Ron's amazing high kicks, to lighting a guy on fire and having him fight (safely- more on that later) to live action - real car flips and more…. for example - the fantail boat sequence was an idea I had mid-shoot, and we did that with a handful of crew on our “day off”…. I wanted a boat chase - shoot out, so we just went to the docks and rented the boats on the day, and shot the shit out of it.. that sequence cost something like $500 bucks, because everyone was game to do it.
Above photo, bad ass flame kick in 'Time Rush'

It is quite amazing what can be done by passionate people. On the ending credits it states that Dean did the editing, did you guys collaborate at all in post, in concept and ideas?

Dean did the offline edit of the film, and yes i gave many notes, and once it was sent to the post house in Los Angeles, I worked through the color correction, sound FX, sound mix, and had my composer Nick Rivera score the film… but yes- Dean did the heavy lifting, he is a very talented dude and a great guy to work with.

Chat about some of the challenges in shooting in an open location. Looks like the Train Market scene was shot gorilla style. How long was the total principal photography in Time Rush?

We did some gorilla type shooting like the boat sequence above, but everything was done with safety being paramount, and with the train, we had permission in advance and monitors / train guards on set the whole time. so as crazy as it may seem having a guy running in front of a train, bear in mind that track is actually on an active market where they clear within seconds of the train about 8 times a day. its hard to image until you have seen it, but they have it down to a science- hundreds of people and vendors move out of the train's way right before it passes. also- its moving slower than it appears, and we shot on long lenses to compress the shot and make dean seem closer than he was. 

We shot with a full crew for maybe 12 days, then second unit would go off many days to get pieces of the fight. Sometime it was literally just Dean and Ron and a camera and they would to pick up shots on fights and lock off shots with the camera on sticks. there was one abandoned building we used, maybe 20 stories high, no elevator, hot as hell, literally with bats in the staircases we’d walk up and shoot over and over. some of the coolest sequences were creative over cash.

Great insight on how to use location. Very happy that the lovely and talented singer and actress Zom Ammara worked on the film,( pats self on back haha!) Looks like you had many locals in walk on roles, chat about the importance of that in a film like 'Time Rush', does it give it more scope?

Yes, thanks for hooking us up with Zom, she provides some comedy as well as the Taxi Driver…. almost everyone was from Thailand, and as mentioned above, we’d access their skill set and try to utilize it on the film, I wish I could tell you all the budget, you would be surprised what we made this movie for, and again, could not have been done without the team and everyone's amazing attitude. There were NO assholes in this crew or cast at all. which is rare. Everyone wanted to do the best for the project, and I appreciate them all.

Above photo: Cover art for 'The Asian Connection'

Daniel, this is very informative, I sincerely hope other directors read your insight you could teach a master class on directing. On to 'The Asian Connection'. Seagal and Michael Jai White chat about working with the two MA legends. Did the three of you meet private to discuss the film?

I met with Seagal and MJW separately. Seagal and I were connected through my producers, and hit it off creatively over the phone. We made some revisions to the script Seagal asked for, then he signed on and we met in person in Thailand… did some casting and I into’d him to a couple of my stunt/actor buddies including Ron Smoorenberg (from Time Rush) and Nick Khan. After doing a few martial arts moves, Ron actually said Seagal has the fastest hands he has ever seen. Later, when we were shooting, Seagal told me he worked longer hours for me than any other movie in 20 years or something like that. Seagal has certain things he wants to do his way, and I respect that, because he is obviously very experienced in action, and why not use his feedback? But, at the end of the day I also made sure I shot what I needed to make each scene work. It was a good collaboration. Seagal also told me he put his heart into this film, so I appreciate that.

MJW I’ve know for a number of years through my Los Angles Stunt Coordinators - the legendary James Lew and Arnold Chon… we were close to doing a film together in the past, but this one came about in a fun way. MJW was prepping his film Never Back Down 3, (which he directed and starred in) in Thailand at the same time I was prepping Asian Connection… he sent me a message through Facebook and asked me for casting suggestions, which i gave him and I also asked him if he wanted to play a roll in my film. So I pitched the character, he was open to it, and after reading the script, he made himself avail right after he wrapped. so it worked out perfect for us, and he was a total pro and a great actor. It was very satisfying for me to direct Seagal and MJW, and I hope to work with them again.

How is it this time around filming in Thailand filming 'The Asian Connection' as compared to Time Rush?

'Time Rush' was a much smaller film, fewer characters and a small but dedicated cast and crew… there was actually a bit more freedom in that, but then again on 'The Asian Connection' it was great to have large lighting packages and cranes and such, so they both worked out well for different reasons. I've always have had a wonderful experience shooting in Thailand, it is my favorite place to shoot right now, crew that really work hard, exotic locations, and high production values.

Above Photo: Daniel Zirilli in the Bahamas swimming with LIVE SHARKS for 'Isolation'

What is next for Daniel, upcoming projects for 2016 and 2017

Since I have 3 films I directed coming out in the first half of 2016, I'm being very careful what i direct next, i just signed onto develop and possibly direct a film (for producer/writer Paul Collett) called 'Extraction' (though the title will change) and I have couple other scripts I'm looking at, but the key to me is finding the right actor for whatever the next film i direct will be,…. the quality of acting is just as important as the quality of action so i’m looking for the Liam Neeson type of actor who can do the action, but also pull off the Drama. (I’m not saying I’ll be able to cast Neeson, but always looking for guys like that who can really Act!)... in the meantime I’m producing a film or two…

Daniel, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to conduct this interview.

Thank you Danny for your site and your support, it is not easy being an indie film maker.

For more information on Daniel go to his IMDB Page @ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0957169/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

Pop Art Film Factory Page  @ http://www.popartfilmfactory.com/

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Actress Priscilla-Anne Forder Interview A Dan's Movie Report Exclusive! "The Pineville Heist" Chat

Headshot Credit: Mark Flower http://www.markflower.com




Greetings Dan's Movie Report readers, another worldwide exclusive interview    for your reading pleasure. Hailing from Australia, Priscilla-Anne Forder had a breakout performance as Amanda in the new thriller 'The Pineville Heist'. Her character is thrown into the middle of a small town maelstrom of crime and murder. Today the actress is thrown into the textual madness that is the Dan's Movie Report interview. Fasten your seatbelt, time to get inside the mind of Priscilla-Anne and her unique words of wisdom.


Chat a bit about your childhood and what made you want to become an actress? 

My Mom and Dad were both international models, so I was kind of born into the entertainment industry. My mother was also a professional Ballerina, and then went onto teaching acting and ballet, so I was in my first show playing a little dancing chicken at the age of two. I grew up in the theatre and then studied Drama in high school, after leaving I tried to give up acting after listening to people say that I could never make a career out of acting. I studied Human Biology at University, with the intent of becoming a doctor but woke up every morning dreaming of acting. After 6 months I changed my degree to Film and Television and Performing Arts in the hope of working behind the scenes as a director. While directing my actors, all I wanted to do was act, so I finally decided to bite the bullet and chase that dream that was placed in my heart! I have never looked back since. I am a massive advocate for following the dreams that are placed in your heart, no matter how big! 


I agree, following your dreams is the way to go. Speaking of acting, chat a bit about your character Amanda, who is she and how did you formulate ideas to portray her? ‘

Amanda Becker’ is the Drama teacher at Pineville High. She grew up in Pineville and hopes to one day leave Pineville to become an international actress. So far, these dreams have yet to come into fruition, but Amanda will never give up hope. She refuses to let the bitterness and hopelessness of the town she lives in damage her dreams. Three words to describe Amanda Becker? Determined, protective and relentless.

Delving deeper Into the Amanda character, she has to go through a myriad of emotions including fear and rage at times in the same scene, how did you channel your energies to convey the feelings on camera?

Some of the scenes were quite heavy and required me to really let my emotions go, so I needed alone time in between takes to take control of my thoughts and truly understand the weight of what was happening in each scene. Most of the time Amanda is fighting for her own survival, so it was incredibly draining and emotional, but exciting at the same time!.The old abandoned school was actually really scary and dark so some of it was actually genuine fear!

There is a scene where you character seems not afraid and actually fights back with weapon, without spoiling it, how did you manage to turn to the raging angry side in such a quick manner? Can you share a behind the scenes story from the film?

    There was a scene where my character smashes a beaker over another characters head, which I was really excited about doing. I would do all of my own stunt work if I could! It was sugar glass and we only had a couple of takes, so I had to get it right. The first take, it didn’t smash, so the next time I was instructed to swing with more force. I was totally up for that! Unfortunately, I swung a little too hard and it cut the other actors face a little bit! I felt SO bad, but the take apparently looked fantastic, so everybody was happy in the end.

    In actuality, the events in 'The Pineville Heist' seem entirely plausible, as it is a small town with very little judicial oversight. What would Priscilla-Anne do different from Amanda in a similar situation?

    I would like to think that I would act the same way Amanda did, if I was taken hostage in Pineville! She did everything in her power to stay alive and tried her best to take the control of the situation. I admire her fire and courage… perhaps, If I am honest, I may have shed a few more tears…

    I see from your bio you are quite an active person, what are some of the hobbies and exercise regimen you like to do throughout the week?

    I love exercise and I am always on the lookout for fun and new activities! My staple routine is running, I run around 6k’ms 5 times a week, and then add in boxing and Personal Training sessions whenever I have the time. Beach runs would have to be my fave though, with a cheeky dip in the ocean at the end for a treat!

    Is it exciting to be in the US promoting 'The Pineville Heist'? What are some of the things you want to do and see here?

    I love America! It is my third time here and it really does feel like home. If I could plan the best day ever, it would include a swim and sunbathe at Santa Monica Beach, watching a Disney movie at El Capitan’s, eating a big slice of cake from The Cheesecake shop, and then running it off in the Hollywood Hills!

    What is next for your projects, new films, tv, etc...


    I am working with a few directors and writers on developing Features and Shorts in Australia, as well as working on a couple of TV mini-series, alongside various modelling jobs. A few opportunities have opened up as a result of staring in the Pineville Heist, so time will tell! I love every aspect of film making, so I try to keep busy both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Sometimes when there is no work, you just have to start creating it yourself!

Thank you for the great insight to you career and 'The Pineville Heist'. Any final statements from Priscilla-Anne, words of advice, wisdom for the Dan's Movie Report audience? 

You have the power to turn your dreams into a reality. If you are passionate about something, go for it because nobody else is going to do it for you. Use your gifts and you will fly! 


 IMDB page @ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4404887/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/prissy_anne 

Monday, April 25, 2016

No Touching (2016) Movie Review (Short Film) A Dan's Movie Report Worldwide Exclusive!

Above Pic: Logo for 'No Touching'

Greetings Dan's Movie Report readers, it is time to take a trip into horror, with the brand new short film 'No Touching', and what an action trip it is! Kickstarted and passion filled, 'No Touching' is a 13 minute wild ride from start to finish, and trust me there is a bunch of touching, kicking, and jabbing! Heidi Moneymaker as Michelle,  as Jackie, and Jake Busey as Carp walk up to a unique haunted house. In this place, the performers are ALLOWED to touch the guests walking through, but the patrons are not allowed to touch back.

'No Touching' successfully combines the horror/comedy genre with snide remarks from Jake Busey and a small jab from Ms Bell aimed at the size of Ms Moneymaker. Things get creepy when the pair of ladies enter the hauntd house, as only couples are allowed to go in at once. The house is very dark, covered in sheets and really creepy. Have no fear though, unlike most horror films, where women just rush headlong into their impending doom, Ms Moneymaker and Ms Bell, are hardly the delicate flowers ready to fall victim to, dumb guys in silly masks, or even smart and action guys without masks, haha!

Of course there is copious action in 'No Touching',  Moneymaker and Bell are two of the best stunt ladies on earth and they have a distinct brand of balls to the wall action coupled with truculent humor. Upon watching 'No Touching' a few times, I realize that in the event I am in an: A) Dangerous situation B) Around men who like to grab C) In need of sarcasm or quick wit or D) Need mine, or someone elses ass kicked, I will make sure that they are on my emergency call list!

The film takes a supernatural turn, which I will not spoil, and hopefully the Directors/Writers , take the concept further, with a series, and or feature film. Everything about 'No Touching is technically sound, the film exudes the proper elements of horror, cool masks, creepy music, action scenes that are quite physical, foreboding music, and a killer ending tune. 

Overall 'No Touching' is great, finally women are not the victims in this type of horror film. Heidi and Ms Bell have upped their acting game to match their action prowess, hope to see more films with their witty dialogue. Trapped in a dark house with a bunch of crazies, 'No Touching' rates a 9.5 out of 10. Please check out the Dan's Movie Report exclusive interview with Heidi Moneymaker @ http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2015/09/exclusive-heidi-moneymaker-interview-c.html

Watch for future exclusives on Dan's Movie Report later in 2016, including exclusive interviews with the film's creators and Ms Z Bell! Stay away from the same old shared news, get exclusive on Dan's Movie Report! 

Check out the 'No Touching' FB and twitter feeds @  https://www.facebook.com/notouchingshortfilm/?fref=ts
Twitter @ https://twitter.com/NoTouchingFilm

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Director Justin Trefgarne Interview (C) 2016 Dan's Movie Report Exclusive! 'Narcopolis' Chat!

Above Photo: Justin From his Facebook Page

Greetings my esteemed Dan's Movie Report readers who enjoy sci-fi with a dark and foreboding future slant. As promised, Justin Trefgarne. writer/director of 'Narcopolis' shares his perspicacious insight into the process behind the film and his goals for the future. Step behind the camera, learn about the process. From script to screen and beyond, Justin is perhaps one of the most intense film makers on the planet, enough of my inane ramblings, time to take a textual mind trip to the world of 'Narcopolis'! Play Safe! 3-2-1- GO! Yeah I know I went white on the background, it is intended, a white scary future!
DMR: Chat about the script writing process for Narcopolis, did you have to get into a "Dark Mood?" Curious what films were inspiration, the feel of the film was "Strange Days" type near future shock darkness comes to my mind.
JT: Narcopolis sprang from my two loves: detective fiction and Hard Sci-Fi, especially the works of Philip K Dick. In Dick’s work you have the paranoid, the obsessed and the mentally fractured protagonist and you also have drugs. My favorite of his books, 'A Scanner Darkly', combines these elements to brilliant effect. I also love Richard Linklater's movie adaptation by the way. What PKD also supplies is a sense of the city not far removed from our own – in other words it’s our world, distorted, rather than an alien civilization or whatever. These things really appeal to me and the idea of putting a broken, messed-up cop into the heart of a city where the legalization of narcotics is now fully integrated into society was very interesting to me. But what was most interesting was not depicting drug use for 90 minutes but the idea that once we open the doors to legalization, whether you think it’s a good or bad idea is irrelevant. What’s going to happen, if it happens, is you’re going to legalize a global market that is potentially extremely profitable. So that means large corporations will want a piece of the action. But as we've seen, when large companies get involved, the profit-motive usually overwhelms ethical responsibility, and… well, you know the rest. That was interesting to me as a background to this story. Time Travel, which I guess is the left turn the film makes around the half way mark, was the third element which came in to play early on. I love time travel movies and I had never seen one where a physical ‘time machine’ wasn’t used. I thought the idea of the by-product of developing designer drug was the accidental invention of time travel was weird and cool at the same time, and something no one would have seen coming. It also made the story feel less predictable, which was very important to me.

DMR: With regards to the script process, did you have specific actors in mind to play each character or was it organic? Written as a base, to expound upon.
JT: Having made a handful of super-low budget shorts, I learned that one of the most important things in the whole process was actors who are willing to jump in and work with you in that down-and- dirty fashion. Over the years a few actors have become my close friends through working together repeatedly in this way. They are hard-working, loyal, they are wonderful people. Having spent a lot of time working in theater when I was younger, I was very comfortable with the idea of a company of actors. When I was growing up one of my heroes was Kenneth Branagh, and I always admired the way he worked with a core group of actors again and again. So I saw no reason not to transplant that logic to my film: I wanted my first feature had to be as crammed with as many of these people as possible. So although I didn’t consciously sit down and go “right, here’s my phone book, let’s create a movie with a role for each one” - the story had to come first - what did happen was as I conceived the plot and characters familiar faces popped into my head. So the characters started to mould themselves around specific people, and I could move forward confident that I had a handful of actors who could fill out these supporting roles. Adam Sims, who plays Eddie and Molly Gaisford, who plays Angie, had been in a nearly all my shorts and I knew they would completely nail the roles I was writing and also be there as creative support for me. I also needed a child actor and I had seen my son, Louis, play some stuff at school. He had a raw quality that really suited the part. It felt really like a good idea to give him a go on a project like this. The only other role I wrote with an actor in mind was Yuri Sidorov, played by Jonathan Pryce. Although I didn't know him personally, Jon was the only actor I wanted for that role. I have long been an admirer of his work, ever since “Brazil”. It was an amazing, magical thing that he actually agreed to do the role.
DMR: How involved were you in the actor selection process, as writer director, was it hands on? If so perhaps share a unusual audition story.
JT: I was intensely involved with the casting process from the start, aided by our brilliant casting director Manuel Puro. We had a few strange and awkward moments including one guy walking out after I told him the movie was English (as opposed to US-English accents), but it was fairly painless. The only real disaster – which turned to our advantage in the end – was we had in fact cast a different actor as the lead, but he fell off his motorbike and broke his collarbone two weeks before we were due to shoot. That was intense. I knew that if we put the production on hold we would lose too many elements so I trawled through the casting video and of course Elliot Cowan’s audition leapt out at me. Very different to the other guy, but it turned out to be a stroke of good fortune. Not only is Elliot great in the film, he became a close friend.

DMR: Justin, that is one wild and crazy ride of casting, chat about the post writing process of 'Narcopolis'. With a completed script did you try to sell the project to make it bigger budget, or was this an passion indie all the way?
JT: This film as always conceived as something to be done on a smaller budget. I wanted to direct it and my track record would not have brought in big bucks so the only way was to be as independent and inventive as possible. We had a tiny budget, really, really small. But I didn’t want to make a ‘low budget movie’ – from the work I'd done on my shorts I had this ridiculous idea that we could make something that felt, and looked, like it was way bigger in scale. So whatever resources we had needed to stretch across a very big canvas.

DMR: Discuss the Kickstarter funding concept, did you have a plan B just in case the additional funds were not raised?
JT: Kickstarter came late in the process. The funds were used to support our post-production and initial marketing costs. So in a way they were plan B!

Above photo: London Premiere of Narcopolis.


DMR: Ah yes, more of a finishing process, thank you for refreshing my memory, let us shift gears a bit, to the casting realm. As you now know since the 'Narcopolis' was filmed Elodie Yung has been cast in several films and now is Elektra, must make you thrilled as a director to have her on board, perhaps share an Elodie on set moment, I know she is intense, curious how collaborating with her onset was. How she was approached with script?

JT: Elodie was amazing – she brought a completely unique feel to the casting session we had and I knew there and then she was the one for that role. I also knew she was a bad-ass – I’d seen her kick the crap out of people on camera but I wasn’t sure what her process would be like as a dramatic actress. She is intense on set – not for any strange reason other than the fact that she was determined to do the best possible job, and with English as her second language, she was fearful that she was going to stumble over the dialogue. She’d never done anything like 'Narcopolis' before in the English language so the only real issues were shaping the dialogue so it sounded like something she would say, rather than words on a page written by me. But she’s very cool and we were very lucky to work with her before she became a bona fide star as we’d never get near her now!

Above Pic: Jonathan Pryce and Elliot Cowan in 'Narcopolis' a Dan's Movie Report exclusive.

DMR: Do not sell yourself short, Elodie is about the creative process, she just worked on a short film called 'Believe'. Same Question with Jonathan Pryce, another amazing actor, how was he approached with the script and share set stories.

JT: Like I said Jon was top of my list and it was a very simple question of sending him the script, meeting him, and then him agreeing to play the role. It really helped having Elliot on board as Jon was a fan of his work, so I think there was a sense of an older actor wanting to support some new talent. But he was a dream to work with and he taught me a hell of a lot about screen acting. Not literally – he didn’t take me to one side and lecture me – he just knew, instinctively, when and how to move on camera, when to give me a reaction, a look… it was beautiful to watch. He’s also a funny guy and in fact, once we were into reshoots, he put forward both his son and daughter to help out on set and play small roles. I remember he sent me an email saying that if we employed his wife too we’d get a family discount. He’s a great man and in fact I am developing a TV idea for him at the moment.

DMR: Narcopolis was released in the U.S. on Blu-ray in March of this year, plans for US sci-fi convention? I think that would be radical.

JT: Sadly, no Sci-fi conventions planned just yet.

DMR: IFC Midnight, very cool get, how is the promotion going on that, I see also a Netflix release now?

JT: IFC and Scream Factory have been great. It’s incredible to see the film on Netflix. If you’d told me that would be the outcome four years ago I wouldn’t have believed you.

DMR: Have you thought about a sequel to Narcopolis?

JT: Not a sequel but I am developing a prequel. That’s all I can say right now!

DMR: Wow, a prequel, time to take a road back down the mean streets, once again! Please discuss some of the downsides of 'Narcopolis' filming, and indie film in general, besides just the small budget.

JT: Well, the obvious one is money. When you’re working with limited resources you have to make every dollar stretch about a hundred times longer than it usually would. So that means calling in favors and asking for help every step of the way. Because I was producing the film as well (although I did have help!), it meant that I was never able to switch off the producer part of me, as problems never stopped coming my way. But for all that, the independent film making experience gives you just that, independence. And that is an incredibly valuable thing on your first film. I got to see every single aspect of this film through, way past the point most directors sign off. For example, I was doorstepping sales companies, negotiating with locations people, driving vans, designing logos… so much stuff besides pure 'directing'. And it was probably the most exhausting and exhilarating time of my life. It never stopped so I never stopped. I made new friends, I lost myself, I found myself again… it was relentless! But the thing that I loved most about the whole thing was the collaboration with like-minded souls. There are some immensely talented people out there, I got to work and play with some of the best of them. I am not exaggerating when I say we became a family. It was life-changing.

DMR: Very insightful. Advice for new film makers with Kickstarter, anything you would have done different, even though successful?

JT: We raised more than our target, which was amazing, and thanks in many ways to the support of people like you out there helping promote this kind of movie. It was a full-time job while the campaign was running so you have to be mindful of that going in – you can’t just sit back and watch the donations come – every one has to be earned. I think the other thing we learned is that people really invest in the story of you, the team, so you have to put a lot of energy into creating that story and making it feel personal, intimate, and not try and pretend to be something you are not.

DMR: Discuss upcoming projects post 'Narcopolis'.
JT: I am currently casting a movie called Solomon’s Children which is a thriller, set in the present day. It’s a little smaller in scale in some ways to 'Narcopolis', but the characters are incredibly rich and complex. It’s a hugely exciting, atmospheric movie which has a similar tone to Denis Villeneuve’s 'Prisoners' – dark and brooding and full of really big twists and turns. But the thing that’s most exciting is all the major character are female. So we’ve started to send the script out to some amazing people… 

Above Picture: Issue #1 of the four issue mini series comic on Heavy Metal Press.
DMR: That sounds thrilling, cannot wait to have some exclusive Dan's Movie Report coverage of 'Solomon's Children'. Back to the 'Narcopolis' realm. Discuss the 4 issue comic series tie in.
JT: Scott Duvall who’s a brilliant comic writer approached me with a suggestion of making a spin-off comic series. His take, which was brilliant, was instead of just adapting the movie, which would be boring, his idea was to re-tell the story from the POV of Ben, the lead character’s son. So the comic picks up from the day Frank disappears and runs with it. It’s incredible – there are moments where he weaves the narrative into the film’s narrative and it’s really, really clever. I am absolutely delighted with how it’s come about. And Heavy Metal jumped onboard which is also very cool as they are exactly the right people to publish something like this.
DMR: Final thoughts, on the film business, and goals for the future.

JT: I don’t have any wise words to share I’m afraid. The business is changing all the time, and what Narcopolis showed me is that now more than ever you have to shape your story and your process around who you want to see the film. The more control we had, the more we could go out and out the film in front of the right people, and get the results we needed. The flip side of that is once you start working with other partners, especially distributors, is you have to retain that investment. What I’m saying is no one cares about your film as much as you do, so you have to stay on it and make a nuisance of yourself because if you don’t, decisions get made that will inevitably be generalized ones that don’t always suit your product, and then you’re wasting time trying to correct these mistakes and play catch up. As for goals… I have a bunch of really exciting projects in development. I’m working with a couple of awesome producers and we’re looking to continue to attempt these ambitious, character-driven genre stories. For me the goal has always been the same, namely to tell complex and challenging stories through the medium of genre. First and foremost movies are entertainment, but if you can get people engaged with ideas and emotions that they didn’t see coming, that’s really, really exciting. And I'm really excited to be working with some US-based companies too, which takes me a step closer to my ultimate goal, to live and work in Los Angeles.

Thank you so much Justin, for an interview as earth shattering and mind bending as 'Narcopolis'. Deflecting the past, and rushing headlong into the future is Dan's Movie Report! If any of my audience has yet to see 'Narcopolis', Netflix has it now! It is on DVD and Blu-ray in the U.S., U.K., Japan, and the comic is available through Heavy Metal Press, and on Amazon!