A man named Elias is behind several independent movie projects (like LovecraCked! The Movie). Now he's back with highly interesting looking Gut - check out trailer below, but read the interview first!
Can you introduce yourself?
Do I really have to go first? Okay, alright. Hello, everyone. My name's Elias and I'm a... I'm a... well, I... I make movies... Wow, really feels good to get that off my chest. Mind if I take a doughnut? Is the coffee good? Get my reference yet? Hopefully you do because otherwise I’d have to say this intro has pretty much been a complete disaster.
I know (or at least, think) that GUT tells about friends sharing some horrific video, that changes their life. What else can you tell the readers about your debut feature film?
Well, on the surface yes that’s true. I won't go into the exact content of the videos other than to say that it really disturbs them - the main character Tom (Jason Vail) in particular. Ultimately, however, the movie’s really not about what they see, but how they react to it. The videos are a catalyst that bring out the best and worst in them. People are capable of great and terrible things and what separates them is often a very tentative balance. What sends one person over the edge might be the same thing that motivates another to better himself. This is one of the themes of the film. It’s also about a glass half empty perspective of life from the main character. He has by some standards a lot going for him, but it’s somehow not enough and the frustration inside him grows, looking for an outlet, anything to make him feel alive again. The film is in many ways a hybrid of genres, part psychological thriller, part drama, part horror. It attacks on a lot of different levels.
What is the main inspiration for this story?
I always try to write about things that are personal. I took a lot of inspiration from the last 30 odd years of my life, from relationships to circumstances to change and growing older. It's easy for life to feel stagnant. Routines and the comforts that come with them often help to cement this feeling I think. “Gut” is very much about this struggle against the status quo and routine, about the undeniable desire for something new and different even when it’s dangerous and subversive. With good comes bad, with bad comes good, and there’s always a tradeoff, at least in the film. I wanted the two main characters to be relatable to by a lot of people, to be down to earth and naturally flawed. This way we look through their eyes more with our own, and the experience of watching the film becomes less removed and more vicarious and voyeuristic.
Can you tell something about the budget, and/or which part of filmmaking costs most?
I'll tell you that it's independently financed, and under a million. Our biggest immediate expenses during this production were location fees, special effects and making sure our cast/crew were well fed. You were involved withLovecraCked! The Moviea few years ago. What has happened after that in your life, and what were your experiences about that kind of film, including filmmakers all over the world.
Yes, guilty as charged. I am the guy that put "LovecraCked! The Movie" together. I also wrote and directed the original mockumentary short that acts as the wraparound for the movie and one of the segments in the most recent VOD version of the film.
Putting “LovecraCked!” together was a lot of work, but also a lot fun and I met some great people and many talented filmmakers throughout the process. “LovecraCked!” was something of an experiment in that it was not originally planned or written to be a feature length film. All of us had our own stories and scripts, and meshing them together in a semi-cohesive way was definitely a challenge. The most recent 84 minute version of the film is the best in my opinion. This cut is planned for release on DVD in the not too distant future and is currently available on Amazon Instant Video.
Since “LovecraCked!” I've been working on several projects. Most recently there’s obviously “Gut”, which I’ve been working on non-stop for the past two years. Picture is now locked, we're in the final stages of audio post now and looking to hit festivals soon. I also wrote a feature pilot named "Dead Sucks" for a proposed TV series about a suicidal vampire named "Burt". We shot the first 7 pages of the script as an introductory short in 2009 - you can watch this for free at deadsucks.com or on the IMDb. Over the last few years I’ve produced, edited and/or acted in a variety of other film projects: the noir thriller “Frankie”, the feature horror thriller “Alone”, and the dark comedy “With Anchovies...Without Mamma”.
How do you feel about releasing films in internet (stream, video-on-demand etc.). Do you plan to release GUT or other Biff Juggernaut Productions films in internet someday?
I have no problem with releasing films online as part of a wider overall net of distribution. That said, the business models for VOD and streaming are apparently still evolving and hopefully it will be possible for filmmakers to see respectable returns this way in the not too distant future. Right now I think it's a mixed bag with what's out there. Subscription-style services (namely Netflix) seem to offer the most streaming exposure for an indie filmmaker, but the lowest returns. Pay per play options like Amazon Instant Video are probably going to offer better revenues, but are less popular as long as Netflix's service remains available in its current form. I think studios and filmmakers alike are going to really challenge this subscription based system to get better royalties, and when this comes to fruition I think you're going to see a more level playing field in VOD streaming services. It's definitely a catch 22 because as a consumer I love Netflix Instant View, but as a filmmaker I know it's not really a fair business model. Your hopes for the future, as a filmmaker?
To keep making movies and showing them to as many people as possible, and have good conversations.
A chance to market your film: tell one or two good reasons, why all EMVG readers should see GUT?
I don't believe there's anything else out there quite like "Gut", and I don't think you'll soon forget it. It’s the culmination of my 35 years on this planet and the hard work of many great people. You’ll get your money’s worth!