|Hey Mike, you started Silver Bullet Pictures in
1993 at the age of 18. What was it that caused
you to make that entrepeneural decision?
most Filmakers I started shooting backyard epics
and showing them to friends at home. In 93 I
wanted to start making better and longer films so
I saved every penny I could, and bought my first
hi-8 video camera and some analog editing
equipment and started producing movies movies
under the name Silver Bullet Pictures. I was
still using friends as actors and crew that had
worked on the short films I had made back in
grade school. We would finish a movie and charge
$5 a ticket to watch the movie on a large tv that
we would set up anyplace that would rent us a
room and then use the profits to shoot another no
did the company have a mission statement right
off the bat -- like to make the most twisted and
goreiffic Great Lakes features or to be a
cinematic celebration of blood or something?
guess at first, all I wanted to do was make a
better movie each time. Back then and today, each
production is a learning experience. I would read
every book on filmmaking that I could get my
hands on and I would would rent every horror
video that came out and study them, we would try
to recreate everything we saw from Savini , KNB
and others to make the most gory and shocking fx
possible as well as tell an interesting story .
It took a while to get everything right and to
produce a professional looking film that people
would want to see.
started doing all this so young...who were your
big influences as a filmmaker?
from Michigan and always being a horror fan my
biggest influence was Sam Raimi. The Evil Dead
was made a huge impact on me.
you recall the first movie you saw that scared
the shit out of you?
can remember being 7 or 8 years old and spending
the night at my cozen's house and we were up late
watching TV, The Shining was on and we saw the
shower scene! Now this was probably the first
time I had ever seen a naked woman and the first
time I had ever seen a scene in a movie as
frightening as this, now the funny part is, as we
were watching this my aunt walked in the room,
she made us turn it off and told us that if we
told anyone that we had seen the movie that the
old rotting woman in that scene would get us!
What kind if thing is that to say to an 8 year
old! No wonder I'm so demented!
is pretty twisted! Tell me about your two biggest
pictures 'Beaver Lake Zombies'
and the gorelicious sequel 'Detroit Blood
City'. How did the original concept come
about and why was the sequel something you wanted
Lake Zombies was shot in 2003 on a very low
budget. I had been dieing to make a zombie movie
since I was 12 years old and first saw the George
Romero classic DAWN OF THE DEAD. Romero's Trilogy
along with Return of the Living Dead were big
influences. my thought process in making BLZ was
to write and produce a film that I felt was good
enough to screen in a theatre and at that time
the old Roseville theatre was reopening and this
would be the next step in getting one of my
movies out to a larger audience. We premiered
Beaver Lake Zombies at the Roseville on Aug. 17th
2006 and had 3 sold out shows! we sold a total of
450 tickets in one day and every video that we
had made of the movie! Part of the success of Blz
was due to the fact that I got my first lesson in
advertising from the theatre owner John Kurczak.
I had never sent out a press release before and
he guided me through the process. We had stories
in all the papers, we put up posters and flyers
in all the business and bars in the area and had
a great turn out! We made the sequel
"Detroit Blood City" because people
liked Beaver Lake Zombies so much and because I
wanted to emulate one of my Idols George A.
Romero. we were able to raise a considerable
amount of money to do DBC and this was my first
movie to use an all professional cast and crew.
we held auditions at the Roseville Theatre for
both actors and crew and were able to get large
crew, all with commercial experience and, most
importantly with there own equipment! This helped
make the production 100 times more professional
than other movies that I have made. We had a cast
and crew of over 100 people and were able to
shoot the movie over 12 consecutive saturdays in
the summer of 2005 with a few extra days for some
of the fx shots. The movie was very successful
and continues to sell very well on our website
and I just signed a distribution deal with
Eyeless Entertainment in Germany where they will
be dubbing into German.
me about your newest writing/directing/producing
horror feature 'The Creep'.
Creep' is a collection of short films produced by
myself , Frank Levanduski (motor d films) and
Dave Watson (Heavy Creatures FX) I will host each
segment as "the creep" a character
based on the many late night TV horror movie
hosts of the past) its a very fun project.
also want to hear about the next feature you're
planning 'Zombie Cop'. What can
moviegoers expect from that?
Cop" will no longer be the title for our
next feature. I thought I had a great title for a
movie, but then I realized it was not my idea!
J.R. Bookwalter ('The Dead Next Door') released a
movie with that title about 15 years ago! so for
now we are just calling it "sequel to
'Detroit Blood City'" until we come up with
a new title. I don't want to give anything away
but I can tell you that we are in the process of
signing some big names on to the project and it
will be even more disgusting than Detroit Blood
I really admire about your company too is the way
you have developed a marketing niche for getting
your pictures seen and appreciated by showing
them in bars. Tell me about how you came to be
known as the king of the 'Brew and View'?
and View' came out of necessity, by the time we
had finished 'Detroit Blood City', the Roseville
Theatre had gone out of business so we were kind
of stuck with no place to screen our movie. so we
decided to start asking bars with projection
screens if we could take over the bar for a night
and show our movies, we started doing this and
filled the bars on nights where they would have
been dead. The bar owners and waitress made a
fortune and we were able to show our films to an
audience. this has helped us raise money for our
you have a dream or goal as an independent
filmmaker -- like something that would make you
feel that Silver Bullet had lived up to its
goal is to be able to make films that people will
recognize as being Silver Bullet Pictures movies.
I have no big ideas of going to Hollywood and
making crap for big money. Do I want big money?
Hell Yes! But I would be happy to make indie
films as a full time job.
typically how crazy do things get with you guys
when you are filming?
do get pretty crazy on the set, but I try to keep
everything as proffesionall as I can, this
reassures the actors and crew that the long hard
hours of work that they are putting in for free
are worth it.
is the best way to get ahold of Silver Bullet
other Silver Bullet news you would like to let
the Racks and Razors readers know about?
will be Hosting a one Day Indie Horror film-Fest
and convention here in Detroit on Oct. 28th
(GORE-FEST 06!) we have compiled a bunch of the
best indie horror films sent into us from
Filmmakers around the world and will be screening
them at Gore-Fest we also have Toby Radloff
(Killer Nerd) and Monique Dupree (Spider Man 3)
as our celebrity guests this will be a great
event and we hope to expand it next year into a 3
day event. we will also be appearing as guests at
DARK X-MAS in Ohio Nov. 3, 4 and 5th ("http://www.darkx-mas.com")
we're pulling the car into the Mike Hartman
Drive-In. What are the three movies that are on
the triple bill and what munchies are they going
to be serving up at the concession stand?
the 3 films sitting on my desk in front of me
right now. (1) Dawn Of The Dead(78) (2) The Toxic
Avenger (3) Snapshot (Motor D Films)
stand is loaded with Hooters chicken wings,
Doritos, peanut butter cups and Mountain Dew.
(sounds like a stoners banquet!)
scares you in real life?
hands, smell like cabbage.
makes you go psycho in real life?
cotton they put in pill bottles. when you pull it
out and it squeaks in your hands its like nails
on a chalk board to me.
for your time Mike and all the best to you and
all the great folks at Silver Bullet.