Sunday, March 22, 2015


A few of the newer interviews are going to have intros written by the subject to start them off. The prompt is kinda generic as I like to give these guys and gals leeway to intro themselves any way they want. There is no really good way to transition to/explain it, so hey that's why these clumsy words are here to say what is going on with the article starting in italics.

Film saved my life – I’ll believe that till the day I die. I’m a 32 year old rock n’ roll filmmaker – I love my music heavy and dirty, just like I enjoy my films – heavy and dirty, but with substance. I believe characters can make any story work as long as you have strong enough characters to drive the story forward and keep it interesting. I’m tattooed -- not because it’s cool -- and you’ll find everything on my body has a deep rooted meaning to me, I’m  flawed in almost every sense of the word, and I have an affinity for the outrageous, but sometimes mundane. Did I lose you yet?

Not even remotely. Let's do this

Okay, so, I've talked to a bunch of cats who put out short films, and as someone who uses way too many words to communicate simple ideas, I gotta know other than the obvious dramatically shorter, in a perfect world, turnaround time, how the process varies from popping out a feature or even a TV show. Everything from script to screen. 

I have a big internal argument with myself when I’m writing a short film because literally every single idea I ever have when I sit down and start writing is much larger than a short film, which is probably why I have so many features written, 4,  or far in the process, 5. I find it incredibly difficult to have a traditional beginning-middle-resolution in short films because you really want to be able to capture people’s attention and keep it within just a few short minutes while also trying to show what you can do as a director, which is why I leave a lot to interpretation in my short films and hope that the content that’s there speaks for itself on my capabilities. I think for me, since I learned and continue to learn on my own without any kind of film school behind me, the difference between short films and knocking out a quality feature is the word quality. I could totally bang out a feature film with the gear I have, the crew I have, and use all local actors and nobody gets paid and we attempt to get some kind of distribution and it would probably be good, however the style of films that I want to do and I want Burn Baby Burn Films to be known for requires more money than a few thousand dollars, and I really want to be able to shoot on better gear than DSLRs that are not-so-great in low light. That said, I am diligently working on fine tuning a feature script that we can shoot for a lot less money than most would think, while sticking with the  theme that I want to do which is crime-drama and use some more relatively unknown actors, but have enough money to be able to hire someone to shoot on something better in low light. So I’m pretty excited for the next few months.

Using that very long-winded opener as a spring-board, I did recently watch your latest, Grind & Blow (official website here). I dug it a lot! What was the genesis of it? The characters felt really, eerily lived in, like maybe not including the end, these are some peeps you are intimately familiar with. 

It’s funny that you picked up on that, the project actually began as a joke between myself and the other two producers. We were sitting around sharing a few cocktails making jokes and I blurted out that we should just knock out a quick short film of just us -- myself, Antonio and Geoff -- sitting around the table BSing with each other. Well, when I sobered up and sat down by myself I started taking a look at what we had to work with on a minimal budget and something we could shoot in a day or two and this joke turned into something very real and I really just let the story flow out of me just to see where it ended up. And what I ended up with was 40 pages of dialogue – so I started trimming to get to what you saw. But it really is just a dramedy to me because I feel like I was able to take certain parts of each of our personalities and bring them out in each character, leveraging everyone’s strengths. I’m not sure I answered the question – but I’m also long-winded, so I think I may have.

Okay we are going to switch gears a little bit, just because we've got something in common. In addition to film making, you run Loud and Heavy (official website here,) where you interview metal bands. That was pretty much what I did when I was in college and abusing the fact you could use college radio credentials to bullshit your way into concerts and conducting interviews you were not even remotely qualified for! How'd you get involved with that? 

Loud & Heavy is my dysfunctional child. I used to be a music journalist for the now defunct magazines Fringe Mag, and Your Music Magazine out of the bay area interviewing some pretty large metal and hard rock bands, so that was where I learned how to work the system and really cut my teeth in the publication world. I’m a writer, so I have this weird strong connection with physical publications, but I also know that it’s pretty much a dead world. I've also been in and out of the Sacramento music scene for years now in multiple capacities, which really positioned me well with knowing a lot of club owners and being able to work the system and understand the nuances of the business. Loud & Heavy spawned originally from a production co. name that I was using to make music videos, but since I like to stay crazy busy and leave little time to sleep I decided I wanted to create a website where we interview on video and written interviews with unknown bands around the world as well as known signed bands around the world. Now it’s just ever evolving where I’m working with some smaller metal bands and trying to become a sponsor on some tours to help drive more people to the website, and also recruiting content creators…and with the help of my great web guy Geoff, trying to revamp the site a bit and logo a bit since we’re starting to gain some traction. I’m pretty open-minded with where the site goes, I’d like to get into the retail market someway as well doing some kind of merchandise designing, or sponsoring bands, etc.

Using your best judgement, and any NAME REDACTED tags you want, we've gotta compare war stories with regard to the previous question. What's your most absurd meeting a band story?  

Hmm, that’s a good question. I would say that a few years back I was backstage walking with Brian from Shadows Fall to his bus to knock out this interview (and by the way, Shadows Fall guys are super cool and always great to interview), and as we’re walking up a super famous singer comes riding up on a motor scooter, cigarette hanging out of his mouth, beer in one hand, noticeably hammered, and the scooter was a bit wobbly. I don’t really get star struck anymore, however I really wanted to meet him because, well…that’s what I do in that line of work, so as he stopped to just nod his head at Brian he stared at me kind of wobbling around himself on the scooter, I said “How’s it going? I’m Josh with Your Music Magazine, it’s great to meet you, any chance you have a few minutes?” He mumbled something with some F You’s scattered about in it and quickly took off on the scooter wobbling around. Other than that I've had some interviews go badly, especially with younger bands that got too popular too quickly because they think they’re better than you or too cool or whatever, but for the most part, most bands are really cool with me.

I actually met Brian when Shadows Fall was touring with Lamb of God and Killswitch Engage. I interviewed him, Randy from Lamb of God, and Howard from Killswitch all at once. Their show was fantastic because they clearly were all friends and would interrupt each other's sets. I think the worst/best interview I did was with George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher, wherein about half way in, it just turned into us arguing about who Thanos could take in a fight. I mean, I had fun, I just doubt the listeners really wanted to hear us talk about nerdy bullshit for about forty five minutes.

Alright, back on track with the movies. You've got a little crew that's followed you through all the Burn Baby Burn shorts. Do you almost get a feeling that your films are a family business? 

I’m one of those people that always wants to insulate himself with good people that work hard, collaborate well together and take direction well, which is where this crew has come from. However, Grind & Blow really was the last film I’ll be able to do with that crew because most of them have moved on to college or work or other things, so I’m working on building a new crew now. But yes, I feel like a few of them have definitely become like family to me…I know that when Burn Baby Burn Films shows up to a film festival, we’re always well represented.

I am a Cannon Films Junkie, so I have to ask everyone this: what makes the perfect action scene? 

I wish I knew, really….

I grew up an action fan loving Hard Boiled, Top Gun, The Rock, Bad Boys, Die Hard, and I find myself still watching those films and loving the action sequences, but if I had to pick one of my favorite scenes of all time it’s in Face/Off at the end when Nicolas Cage comes into the church on the beach in slow-motion and the infamous doves come flying out from behind him and then the shoot-out ensues. I feel like action movies nowadays lack the drama that the ones I mentioned have, now it’s all about fast fights and realistic shaky cinematography, which is cool, I guess, but yeah. Let me make an action film and I’ll proudly represent the early 90’s!

Alright, you get asked to go on a world tour with Iron Maiden or you get offered to direct your first feature and it's written by Tarantino: which do you pick? 

Easy-Tarantino…because if he asked anyone nowadays to direct something he wrote, it would be pretty damn special. Hell, look at True Romance!

You're writing your next film. What's on your playlist? And, okay, we're talking writing so let's not pretend this isn't true: what's your cocktail of choice? 

My playlist is scattered with all kinds of stuff, but I usually crank my iTunes playlist that mostly consists of In Flames, The Haunted, Soilwork, Dark Tranquility, Omnium Gatherum, Insomnium, Disarmonia Mundi, and some slower more “rock” stuff like Witchcraft, Ghost and don’t laugh…but Stone Sour…sometimes it’s good to bring you down from being on such a high with the other tunes.

As far as cocktails, believe it or not, lately I've been easing off the booze…it was getting me in some trouble since I don’t exactly have an “off-switch.” But I prefer a good Amber or Red micro brew to sip on while I’m writing, or it used to be Sailor Jerry and Diet Pepsi. If I’m out, it’s Tequila…which is where I get in trouble. I ruined whiskey long ago.

EDITORS NOTE: This note exists solely to give Josh shit for picking the inferior Slipknot side-group, Stone Sour, and not the superior Murderdolls. 

Speaking of next films, I know you have literally just finished Grind and Blow, but I gotta ask: what's in the pipelines? What'chu got up your sleeve? 

Well, I’m currently editing another short film I filmed last summer called “The End of Me”, which is one that is very near and dear to me and a little away from the norm of what I normally would write. I’m also developing a short film that I plan on attempting to act and co-direct in that is about an alcoholic/drug addicted doctor that lost his license and will now pretty much work for anyone that will hire him. Somewhat in the same vein as “Playing God”  but still much different in the approach. I’m also simultaneously developing my first feature film titled “Where Sleeping Dogs Lie,” which is a 100% complete return to form for me in a full neo-noir style crime-drama, in which we’re hoping to start filming by the summer. Other than that, I’m always looking to stay busy and knock out some music videos or commercials, et cetera.

And, finally: Is there anything you want to ask me?  

How and why did you get into interviewing filmmakers, especially ones that are more unknown? And what do you do in your daily life? Do you like long walks on the beach? 

It was always going to be the natural evolution for me. I've talked a little bit about the human aspect at the end of my interview with Heather Dorff, here, but, really it's just to make sure I am constantly discovering new things. I love finding the little films no one is talking about or paying enough attention to and showing it to other people. It really was gonna be the end game scenario where I just start bugging the cats making the stuff I love so's I can gush a bit. 

It's also a reflection of how I talk about movies, in general. I rarely ever talk about films I hate, and don't feel like having conversation number 343234959 about how totally baller Casablanaca is. I'd rather discuss the brilliance of Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go To College with the like, five other people who have seen it for the first time. 

I spend most of my daily life drinking heavily and being as irresponsible as humanly possible as some kind of childish backlash against my very corporate and grown up day job.  Basically, I want to be the thirty-year-old at spring break for the rest of my life.

You can follow Josh and what Burn Baby Burn Films are up to via their website and youtube channel.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


There was no way I was passing up a chance to have another blood soaked promo picture when the opportunity presented itself.

I am just going to save some space here so you can do a big fun self-aggrandizing intro for yourself:

Oh, I’m just a girl from East London, South Africa, trying to navigate her way through Tinseltown without getting into too much trouble! 

You are in pretty much everything. Like, I have joked about that with a few subjects, but you are the queen. How do you keep track of it all? I am legit asking for time/life management tips here!

(Seriously. Check out her imdb page.)

Before I moved to the USA in 2005, I practiced as a Bankruptcy Trustee and administered hundreds of cases at a time. This taught me how to manage my time and how to prioritize, and I use what I learned there to keep track of the tons of projects I’m involved in, both acting and producing, and to ensure that I get everything done by when it has to be done. I also enjoy working to deadlines, as that gives me a concrete way to structure my time and to know when to get something done by. When there are no deadlines to work to, I allocate time to everything I have to do so that nothing is forgotten. Yes, it might take me a long time to get to read a certain script or answer a certain email, but that’s because I’m literally inundated with messages and such every day and, not only do I have to wade through everything to figure out what is urgent and what isn't, I also have to answer the things that need my immediate attention. And then, of course, my carefully constructed schemes are always thrown out of the window whenever unexpected auditions or shoots arrive! 

You have played your fair share of zombies in your career. As a seasoned pro, what advice would you have for anyone trying to break into the zombie acting biz?

Zombies must:

A. Love their prosthetic: do not be afraid to sneeze into your prosthetic as the make-up artist will absolutely love you when they have to take your prosthetic off after 10 hours of shooting and there’s slimy, sticky sneeze-debris all over the inside;  had an inside-prosthetic sneezing attack while shooting Death Valley.

B.  Learn their lines: the zombies who didn't know the words to their theme song in Undying Love never lived it down. It went something like “we’re zoooombies, we’re zooooombies; we zom all day and we bie all night." I kid you not; find the film on Youtube and watch it!

EDITORS NOTE: Did that for you.

C. Allow others to handle their eyeballs.  I cannot count the number of times make-up and FX people have stuck their fingers in my eyes to fix my FX contact lenses. 

Let me see: One: Let Them --  before every take. Two: The Remains. Three: Curtain. Four: Agoraphobia. Five...you get the picture!

You tend to bounce around from big named pictures like Saving Mr. Banks or Neighbors, to one of my favorite indie horror movies in years Starry Eyes. Now, disregarding size of the role, do you have to alter your mindset on each shoot, or is it all just the same?

What my mindset is on a particular shoot depends very much on the type and size of the role I’m playing -- so, yup, size IS important! 


There is no way that my head will be in the same place for a few-hour no-line, just-standing-there, shoot like Neighbors, to an on-set-for-five-weeks, starring role, shoot like Reunion.  How I approach the bigger roles also depends on whether the characters I’m playing are human or not, as it’s very much easier – and takes very much less thought – to justify odd and often bloodthirsty behavior for creatures that aren't human.

I am just going to keep on trucking bouncing around your resume. You were in Percy Jackson, and I've always wondered what the feeling is on the set for big fantasy epics. I mean, it all seems silly on paper with elves and gods and what have you, just wonder how that translates to actually making the big costume epic.

Most of my scenes were all as normal as normal can be: they were in a classroom where I chatted to my students, on location at a Vancouver school, and in a museum where my students and I checked out an exhibition, in a studio just outside Vancouver. The interesting part came when I confronted Percy and suddenly found myself on top of – and then jumping off of – a 20ft high scaffolding! My Fury was all CGI, though, and I never actually got to fly around on set, or fly out of a window, covered in prosthetic with 20ft wings attached -- damn! I was going to be written into a scene in Hell with Hades, but that never panned out -- again, damn! THAT would have been interesting as there it would have been full-on “elves and gods,” so to speak!

You actually entered my radar because of the movie Die-ner (Get it?) because, if I see a title like that, there is no way I can resist it. I know you are the first one to die, but do you have any cool stories from the set? The whole thing was shot in about a week, right?

I think we shot it in just over a week, maybe 8 days. I was on set for only 5 of those days, if I remember correctly, and, although, yes, I bought it early, Zombie Rose lived to eat brains another day! My fave story from on set doesn't even concern me but, instead, has my now-producing partner, Edward Payson of An AntiHero Production, in a starring role: he was one of the random zombies that invade the diner at the end of the film and he was given an actual piece of pig’s intestine to chew on. Going “full zombie” he bit down into it...hard...and then spent the rest of the take with a mouthful of whatever the pig had eaten and tried to get rid of just before it had checked out... Can you say EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!???

You have a production company, MOnsterworks 66 (check out their facebook page here.). Tell me all about what cool stuff you're up to, what the mission statement is/what you have in the works. Basically, this is a clumsily worded forum for you to gush about what I think is the coolest thing you do.

I originally set up MO66 to be a company that connects people in order to get movies made. I have a HUGE number of industry connections, and if I hear of anyone wanting someone with a specific skill, I usually know just where to look for that skill, so I connect people, and they get stuff made. I also co-produce features, both narrative and documentary, and I usually lend my skills to areas like casting, marketing, promotions, administration and, occasionally, when on location, catering!

At the moment, here’s where we’re at with the different productions:

 Faraway, co-produced with Randal Kamradt’s Soliloquy Films, is on Amazon and showing in film festivals.

Live-in Fear, co-produced with Brandon Scullion’s Iodine Sky Produtions, is on the festival circuit and will shortly be released through Wild Eye Releasing. We recently won Best Grindhouse Feature and Best Actress, Arielle Brachfeld, at the 2014 RIP Horror Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Way Down in Chinatown, co-produced with Eric Michael Kochmer, is on Amazon Instant Video.

Something Sinister, co-produced with Christopher Dye’s DyeNamic Films, is out of post-production and we’re about to have a test screening.

Reunion, co-produced with Shawn Chou and Precious Hilton, should emerge from post during April and then will be shown to several distributors who have asked to see it.

Our Friend Jon – The Documentary and Sunday Night Slaughters, both co-produced with Edward’s An AntiHero Production, are both still shooting. 

 We’re currently looking for funding for Blood Angel (Carl Lindbergh/ANOC Productions), Happy Ending (Phil Condit/Sick Puppy Pictures), Cruel Summer and Pitbull (An AntiHero), Our Zombie Mother (Patrick Griffin/Griffin Studios), Slash and Grizzled! (Rycke Foreman/haRMFul Productions) and several more.

I am a huge Cannon Films Junkie, and ask everyone this: what makes the perfect action scene?

For me I think it’s the fluidity of an action scene that makes it great. I think my all-time favorite action sequences are the opening of Superman III, the 1983 one, and Indiana Jones’ ride in a railway car in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom.

I really, really liked 1313 Blood Lane (The facebook page for it, naturally, can be found here.)  
Are there any plans for new episodes? I may or may not've watched A Nightmare on Elm Street with your commentary this past week. 

Ha! I hope you enjoyed Nightmare with our yapping in the background! Unfortunately, at the moment, due to our ever-increasing workloads, Barry, Edward and I don’t have any plans to record any more episodes, but, I guess, ya never know! We have many more fan commentaries that you can enjoy, though.

I hear through the grapevine you have a pretty impressive comic collection. Any standout issues you are proud to have in your possession? 

Well, I don’t know if they’re considered standout issues by anyone but myself, but the ones I love most are my Wonder Woman and Teen Titan issues drawn by Dick Giordano and George Perez!

Pretty much all my most prized comics are beat up old issues of Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane, sentiment always trumps importance!

You can follow Maria on twitter, and  facebook. Also, as you can see from the imdb page I linked, you'd have to go out of your way to not see her in something!

Sunday, March 1, 2015


Alright, I guess introductions are in place, and why not get it straight from the horse's mouth?

Brett Kelly, prolific Canadian genre film director. Director of such movies as My Fair Zombie, Spyfall, Jurassic Shark and the forthcoming Skipper Smith and the Really Important Thing, an Indiana Jones parody that we are currently crowdfunding via Help Skipper Smith and the Really Important Thing reach its funding goal today! Our facebook for the movie is Skipper Smith and the Really Important Thing . 


I'm just gonna jump right in as there's a million half questions I'd want to ask and if I don't, I'll just start gushing. Every single movie you've ever released has a title I wish I'd come up with. They remind me of the movies Ben Katz would rent in Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist. How important are titles to your flicks? 

Titles are super important for me, they help me get inspired and they help an audience and distributors to grasp what i'm up to without much explanation. When you hear "Jurassic Shark" or "My Fair Zombie", you know what you are getting. I have some in mind that would blow your mind.

Will we ever see the Spacemen and Go-Go Girls learn more Holiday lessons? Perhaps they can teach us the true meaning of Kwanzaa? 

I think that Spaceship has sailed, but that is a fun flick with some good comedy gags.

Low budget film making tends to lead to being super creative, especially if you got the big ideas your films tend to. So, naturally, you gotta cheat to put it on the screen. Of all your films, which is your favorite? 

Tough question. I think Spyfall and My Fair Zombie are a lot of fun and people have laughed their heads off while watching them, which I love. Pop Cinema has them at www.alternativecinema.comand amazon of course has them too. I like them a lot.

You've worked with Joe Estevez! Do you have any good Joe Estevez stories?

Joe was a great guy to work with. People may or may not know that he is Martin Sheen's brother.  We filmed that movie, Iron Soldier, at an underground bunker. At one point, when Joe was getting his make-up on, he made the joke "I'm getting the "sheen" off my face". That got a big laugh. My sound guy followed up with "Good thing we are in a bomb shelter." Great time, he was a pleasure to work with.

Okay, you were in a Lifetime movie! Her Perfect Spouse! It was a bit part, I know, but I gotta know if there is a certain feeling or anything on the set when you're making something for the Lifetime machine. 

That was a LONG time ago when i was trying to make a buck. I think I played a uniform cop. It was a lot of waiting around doing nothing. Thanks for the cheque though. 

I see you're in Kissproof World, which is a movie I've been wanting to check out. It's based on Jane Wiedlin's album right? What was that experience like? 

I did a cameo as a favor to the director. He wooed me by saying I would be in a scene where I would get murdered by 100 girls. Sounded good to me. In the end it was three girls in the pouring rain. I got soaked and there was no coffee on set. 


The director has sadly passed away. He was a nice guy.

How does a gig usually come your way? 

Blood, sweat and tears. I'm always pitching ideas around and seeing what sticks. I have a million ideas and I work like a dog to try to make them.

I am a Cannon Films Junkie, so I ask everyone this: what do you think makes the perfect action scene? 

Some slow motion, an explosion and squibs. 

And now the question on everyone's mind: who do you think played thor better? You or Chris Hemsworth. Be honest. 

Oh my... That kid Hemsworth is going places. I played the disembodied head of Thor in "Thunderstorm: The Return of Thor" because the other guy didn't show up. [Laughs]

Finally, is there anything you want to ask me? 

Thanks for the interview. I'm pimping Skipper Smith at the moment so I hope your readers take a moment to support the project. Thanks again!