1. You have recently seen the release of 'HazMat'. What might you be able to tell readers about the plot?
'HazMat' is about a prank TV show that sets up a guy on a practical joke where they will make him think that an abandoned chemical plant is really haunted. However, when the guy thinks that he is really being attacked by ghosts, things go horribly wrong.
2. Who stars?
Norbert Velez, Aniela McGuinness, Todd Bruno, Gema Calero, Giordan Diaz and Tom Stedham. They’re all amazing. Everyone will know their names very soon, because I think they will all have very successful careers.
3. Do you have a webpage for this film where people may order it?
We are in the process of negotiating with distributors. Best way to find out when it’s available for viewing is to follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/hazmatmovie) or sign up for our newsletter at our website (www.hazmatmovie.com).
4. In October this will have a premiere in Los Angeles?
Yes, we’re very honored to be an Official Selection of the 2013 Shriekfest Film Festival in Los Angeles. We’re screening on October 4th at 8:45 p.m. The screening will be at the Chaplin Theater inside Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. Tickets are only $10 and can be bought in advance at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/464287.
5. You served as writer, producer and director for this. Is the end result, i.e. completed project, meeting your expectations?
The final film exceeds my expectations. The production quality and acting are far better than most films I see that have similar budgets. I give all the credit to the cast and crew for that. They’re incredible professionals. Best thing I did in all my roles is to hire them.
6. Do you see this making the rounds at other horror film festivals?
We already won Best Horror Film at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival, which was a huge surprise. Then, after Shriekfest, we were also selected to screen at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival in Whitby, England on October 24th. After that, who knows? We’re still waiting to hear back from most of the film festival to which we applied.
7. Not wanting to make you sound egotistical, but what might you think differentiates this film form others out there as competition in the independent ranks tends to be fierce, especially at the festivals?
I think that the production value and acting are definitely the best assets of the film. After that, I would take credit for the story, which is something different than most “slashers” out there. It has a supernatural twist to it, and it’s more than just a bunch of teenagers getting killed after having sex. It’s a more mature film, if you can say that about a film where a bunch of people get hacked up with an axe.
8. What other works have you done?
My first film was 'The Awakened', which is a supernatural thriller. I’m very happy that it’s going to be available for purchase or rent starting October 1st at www.theawakenedfilm.com/watch.
9. Are there any interesting behind the scenes tales you have concerning 'HazMat'?
The biggest problem we had was that the city decided to pave the street in front of our shooting location the week that we started production. The noise caused constant delays. Finally, we gave up and added the construction to the story. Ironically, when we got to post, we had to add construction noise to the sound design, because it had not come out at all and yet the characters had mentioned the construction several times.
10. What has been the public reaction so far to 'HazMat'?
The reviews, and the reactions from everyone who has seen it, have been overwhelmingly positive. Some might not like one thing or the other, but they still recommend it for other aspects that they really liked.
11. Sequels are not as common on the Indy scene as in mainstream Hollywood, but do you think this might merit a 'HazMat II'?
They say that it is bad luck to talk about sequels, but our villain is definitely very cool and I would love to see him come back for some more kills. I know that Norbert Velez, who plays Hazmat, would love to do it again.
12. In retrospect is there anything you would have done differently about the production?
For myself, personally, I would not have taken on so many roles. It was just too much for one person. For the production, I would have raised a little bit more money so we could have had at least a couple more days of production. The pace that we had to keep up to finish on time was just grueling.
13. Future projects?
I am in development on another supernatural thriller currently titled Agoraphobia. It’s the story about a woman who suffers from agoraphobia and can’t leave her house, but then discovers that her new home is haunted. Now, she is trapped inside the house with the ghost and nobody believes her. I hope to shoot it next summer, and we will begin pre-production in November. For now, everyone can follow that film at www.facebook.com/agoraphobiafilm.
14. Closing comments?
I hope that everyone can make it out to our screening on October 4th. Or if they’re not in L.A., that they can find us at a film festival near them. More importantly, everyone should support independent filmmakers by going to crowd funding websites like indiegogo.com and Kickstarter.com. We need alternatives to what studios are putting out.