Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Posted by Anonymous |
Your '90s hardcore documentary ORANGE COUNTY HARDCORE SCENESTER (OCHS) recently had it's world premiere screening on 4/16/11 in Örebro, Sweden. Have you gotten any feedback of any kind on that screening?

Yes! I heard that it went well. It played with two bands. Basically, I heard that some people were just there for the bands, some people were really into the movie and some people sat through the movie waiting for the bands. Documentary films have long lives. They come out and are usually discovered after they have been out for a bit. It is only in recent years that documentary films have been given so much support but even those supported films still have to fight tooth and nail for their audience. I watched ANOTHER STATE OF MIND in 1986, I believe. It came out in 1984, so you see what I mean. That movie, the DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION series, AMERICAN HARDCORE, LET THEM KNOW... they have really set the standard. I am just happy to have people see OCHS and hopefully, they like it.

Discuss the other upcoming OCHS screenings (locations, dates, times, etc.).

The documentary is playing at Conne Island in Germany and Estonia on May 11. And then, over the summer, I believe it is playing a festival in Philadelphia, Hungary, Fluff Fest, Seattle and hopefully more places after that. I haven't even begun to submit it to distributors yet. That will be a long process. I haven't started submitting it to film festivals either. Again, that process will be long. I do know that I will be submitting it to Sundance and Slamdance, among others. It will have a tough time getting into those, mainly because those festivals are very political in terms of what gets in. I am just hoping that OCHS is unique enough that people like it and maybe that will help it's chances.

However, if you live in California, particularly Orange County, the screening to go to is the free one that I have set up at The Yost Theater in Santa Ana on May 12. It is FREE and it will play at 7:30 PM. I have been posting about it on Facebook. I flyered record stores. Now, I need to keep the momentum going. Basically, I wanted to make the screening easy for people so that anybody in the area could come. It is free, it is local, it is on a Thursday and you will be home early!

Discuss the upcoming OCHS DVD. In particular, what kinds of extras will be included on it and what's the tentative release date?

I can't really discuss the DVD because it is too far off. This is something that I have been trying to explain. It isn't that I made the film and didn't want people to see it or review it. Basically, I go through this process with every film that I make. I make it and I show it around hoping to land a bigger distribution company. If that doesn't happen, I release it myself. This takes time because filmmaking is a very aggressive hobby for me. I don't make a living off of these films. I work another job and I supplement my income doing freelance writing/digital editing work. Basically, in about a year to 18 months, this movie will have been seen by a lot of people in one way or another. Then, it will be re-edited with notes that I've made and gotten from others. Then, the DVD will either come out through me or another company.

Discuss the upcoming OCHS merch. Will there be an accompanying soundtrack and/or book of some sort?

Right now, all I have planned are shirts that are rips of popular shirts from hardcore bands of the '90s. I'd love to do a book and a soundtrack. LET THEM KNOW, the BYO documentary, was released that way and it's fantastic! Again, this all depends on if little ol' me releases it via Anhedenia Films or if it comes out from a bigger company that can make a package like that happen.

You used the music of Iceburn/The Iceburn Collective as the entire soundtrack for your 1999 mockumentary SCHUSTERMAN LEVINE: A BOXING FABLE. Why did you decide on that particular band for the soundtrack to that film?

I needed music! Also, I needed good music and I didn't want anything where people were singing. I have known Gentry, Cache and those guys since 1994. I was always impressed with the fact that Iceburn really did do their own thing. Who else was writing 20 minute songs in the hardcore scene and playing hardcore shows in the '90s??? And it wasn't just writing lengthy songs to write lengthy songs. Iceburn were musicians. They are the kinds of people that could play with anyone. You have to appreciate a band that can play orchestral type music and then merge that with Black Sabbath. Their music ended up suiting the film perfectly and giving it a dreamy quality which I think really lent something to the whole fairy tale/Chaplinesque feeling that I was going for when I made the film.

On a non-hardcore related note, a movie entitled KNOCKOUT that you wrote the screenplay for and which stars "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was just released today on DVD and Blu-ray. Briefly discuss that.

I love this movie! Anne Wheeler, Stone Cold, Daniel Magder and the Nasser Production Company did a great job on this movie. I am not just saying that to sell more copies because I don't have any piece of the backend. I am telling people to see this movie because I think that the message is great. It's a kids' film but there's something there for adults as well. When I wrote it, I imagined it as an Afterschool Special from the '80s and that is what it is. In the film, a young kid (Magder), who loves boxing, is getting picked on. He convinces the school janitor (Austin) to train him and together, they show everyone what they're made of. It is a very simple story but it doesn't end how you think it will. Also, being as how I'm a huge boxing fan, it is filled with references that new and old fans will really appreciate. I am really proud of this film. And this movie is hardcore related. Maybe not in a music sense but I think the idea of a kid not taking "no" for an answer is something that is very much in keeping with hardcore.

Feel free to discuss any of your upcoming endeavors here.

At present, I am writing a bunch more spec screenplays. I just completed one titled THAT GUY about a guy who would rather fantasize about life than actually have a life. I am working on another young adult fiction book called JD about an "at risk" youth whose life gets upended when his Grandpa comes to live with him and his mom. Once that is done, I am doing another animated movie called INSECT. It is about two brothers who discover that there is a giant insect living in their dead mother's bedroom. It is a mix between PHANTASM and THE GATE. Lastly, I am working with Nasser Productions on a bunch of scripts. It looks like another one is getting made this summer. There is a director and a star in place. Once I know more, you will too!