Hello again, my Little Monsters. Recently I had the pleasure of posing some questions to Zach Green, producer for Fatal Pictures, to gain insight on various…wait. What am I doing? I tell you what…how about we skip the preamble an you just take a gander at the interview? So without further ado…
T. Love – Zach, thanks so much, I truly appreciate this chance to pick your brain a bit. So why don’t we get right down to it? What was the one movie that inspired you to become a filmmaker? Or, if there is more than one, what are your top most influential and why?
Zach– There really isn’t one movie in particular that drew me into the industry and made me do what I do today. I love the satisfaction I get at certain times. I first got attracted to the industry through post production “editing”. And what the final product looked like, the look and feel you got from it, mostly because of the editing and/or cgi. As time went on Richard and I would make many films after graduating film school, I would of course take on the editor position, but would also produce our films organically. Naturally I wanted the best for our films in every department. So, when Richard is busy with the creative end, I would tackle the production end of things: Paper work, permits, legalities, cast, crew, locations etc. I love all aspects of the industry and everything that comes with it, it can be extremely gratifying at times. I couldn’t see myself in any other industry. There really isn’t any one film or filmmaker that inspired me to get into this crazy industry, but I’ll tell you one thing, its Richard’s brilliant scripts that keep me interested in pursuing filmmaking, and hopefully we will be able to bring those scripts to camera.
T. Love – As a producer, you have an extremely important role in the film-making process, but have you considered working from the director’s chair or perhaps even in front of the camera?
Zach – I absolutely love what I do as producer, and I also plan to get back into the editing chair more, since that was my first love and passion and what drew me in to the industry. But right now, in time I’m more focused on producing the shows and putting them together and overseeing the project from start to finish.
As far as directing and acting goes, I have pretty little interest in being in front of the camera in any capacity. Maybe more of a small cameo perhaps, if that. And as far as directing goes, I will of course one day take a run at directing. But right now, in time It just doesn’t seem to interest me that much.
T.Love – While technology has definitely made it easier for anyone to start making independent movies, I personally feel it has not only somewhat compromised the integrity and image of the indie community, but has also created a great deal of white noise to sort through to find quality indie films. What opinion, if any, do you have on this assertion?
Zach – It absolutely is easier for anyone to make a film in today’s world, especially with a camera on every cell phone. I feel there was always a lot of films to sort through to find the cream of the crop, now there are just a hell of a lot more to sort through to find the really good quality indie films. I’m a firm believer that the cream of the crop will always rise to the top and be recognized for what it is (if you push ) if you don’t promote your film you might as well not of made it. I personally don’t mind everyone shooting a film, I think it’s easier to spot a great film in a pile of not so great films if that’s the case. It’s just tedious and time consuming to search and find the good ones. But isn’t there a job for this type of thing?
T. Love – I’ve personally been loving the increase in minimalist horror films (e.g. It Follows, The Babadook). What’s your opinion of this style, and do you think it’s a style that can sustain itself in the face of fickle horror audiences?
Zach – I thought It Follows was one of the best films I’ve personally enjoyed in the last little while. The film is just to me very brilliant on many levels. The film is phenomenal. There were a few things I wasn’t super fond of, but hey, you’re not going to please everyone. It was a pretty minimalist horror film now that you mention it. I’m not sure the average horror fan loved the film, not to knock the horror demographic, but the film could have been a little too sharp at times for people to be able to fully understand or comprehend. Rather than random killings etc. there was a solid little story to unfold and reasons for what was taking place. Sometimes the horror audience just wants random blood and guts.
As for the Babadook, unfortunately I haven’t seen that film yet. (Little embarrassed about that) I’ve heard it was very well done.
T. Love – No need to be embarrassed, but definitely check it out when you have the chance.
Now, in your opinion, why do you think many filmmakers sacrifice story for visuals? Is it due to a basic lack of creativity?
Zach – I would only imagine because good stories are not the easiest things to come up with and have your audience really get invested or want to get invested into your story and/or characters. It’s not as easy as one might think. And nice visuals are easier to achieve then a good thought of story. So yes, I would basically say you’re correct for the most part, it’s a lack of creativity and vision. Anyone can shoot and have a proper DP light the shot etc. Not everyone can write a great script, shoot and produce a good film that people actually care about and talk about well after viewing. I can achieve a beautiful shot or even scene, but that doesn’t mean I can tell a full proper story like Richard Powell can.
T.Love – Reboots, remakes, rehashes or what have you, seem to be a very touchy subject for fans of the genre, and have been chalked up to cash grabs and lack of originality. As a filmmaker, what’s your personal opinion of this cinematic practice? What films could actually use the reboot or remake treatment? What film would you want to remake, yourself?
Zach – Most films get remade or rebooted, rehashed etc. Because the studio or producers know there is already a build in audience and/or demographic who will come out and buy tickets, merchandise etc. It’s a business to those people/executives. They could care a less about great cinema. They care about one thing, paying bills, living the good life. It’s not the filmmakers who are deciding to remake Spiderman 16 times. It’s the studios. All the great films today are all independent for the most part.
If I ran a studio and I could finance the next Batman movie or some first-time filmmakers film, even if I thought it was a great script. What do you think I’m doing? I’m making Batman and making plenty of money for the studio and other executives. Not only are we all going to make tons of money I look good as the studio head or whatever position I’m in. And I’ll probably keep my job longer. It’s a very tough business but like any form of entertainment it’s also a business at the end of the day and people want to eat. If I had to remake a film, I would want to remake a film Richard and I released on the festival circuit entitled Consumption. Our first short film. I couldn’t imagine how cinematic the film would be now if we were to take another run at the script.
T. Love – As opposed to other genres, how difficult do you feel it is to create a truly scary or disturbing horror film?
Zach – It’s definitely not the easiest thing to achieve. You really need a good story, talent a director that knows how to direct horror. Many things need to be on point for any film for that matter to workout. You need a dedicated crew who knows which genre they are working with and have preferably worked in this genre before in front or behind the camera. And try and have a good idea of how the film will come out and look in post. You should absolutely sit down with your music composer and have him watch similar themed films that hit notes you want hit etc.
T. Love – In your opinion, what are some of the biggest pitfalls that horror filmmakers, especially indie, tend to suffer?
Zach – The lack of a good script, talent, dp, location(s), money. Those are the top ones I can think of.
T. Love – This next question is actually more of a personal favor; since I have enjoyed the short films you have produced thus far, specifically the Box Cutter Trilogy. Would you please, please, PLEASE put together a feature length anthology feature? And of course, you have to feature Robert Nolan and Bill Oberst…just sayin’.
Zach – I do have plans on releasing The Box Cutter Trilogy, most likely the film will be available digitally via iTunes, Google Play etc. The film is comprised of three of Richard and myself previous award winning short films. Worm (2010), Familiar (2012) and Heir (2015). As for an anthology film from Fatal Pictures, we do have a very clever idea for an anthology film that we have been developing over the years. And it would be an absolute honor to have Robert or Bill in the film.
T. Love – Well , I think I’ve made it pretty obvious that I will be seeking out the Trilogy when it’s released, but I am now thoroughly intrigued about the anthology you say you’ve been developing..
Suffice to say, you’ve worked with some really talented individuals (Robert Nolan, Bill Oberst, Richard Powell, etc…) on the short films you’ve produced. Who are some other indie or mainstream talents you would like to collaborate with in the future?
Zach – This question to me might just be the hardest one to answer. There are so many talented individuals I’d love to work with. From producer Jason Blum to filmmaker Eli Roth. My list could go on and on. Those are just two people that I potentially look up to and aspire to be one day as skilled as them at what they do.
T. Love – I’ve checked IMDb, and haven’t seen any future projects listed thus far. If you are able, can you share any details about any current or future projects that are in the works? Inquiring minds (ESPECIALLY ME) want to know?
Zach – Absolutely, as Richard and I get ready for our feature film we are always thinking and coming up with new ideas and stories. I definitely encourage everyone to stay tuned and updated with Fatal Pictures to see what is in store next. We have a pretty solid slate of projects coming up.
T. Love – You can be sure I’ll be keeping a weather eye for anything new from you guys.
I know Heir was your last film, that you put out under Fatal Pictures. Can you tell us how it has been received?
Zach – Yes absolutely, for a film with such a taboo and dark theme, we really didn’t fully know how the film would be received. But I am very, very thankful to announce the film did extremely well thanks for asking. Winning multiple awards including “Best International Short Film” @ Morbido in Mexico and “Most Effectively Offensive” @ Boston Underground” just to name two.
T. Love – Thanks so much for your time and I SINCERELY CANNOT WAIT to see what you have in store for us all next. It was an absolute pleasure…again, thank you.
Zach – First off I would just like to thank you very much for letting me answer your very thoughtful questions I really appreciate that.
I would really like once again to encourage everyone to check out one of Fatal Pictures’ previous film entitled Familiar on iTunes here. My current film Heir just finished having its festival run in Calgary. Proud to say the film won a handful of terrific awards we couldn’t be anymore happy about. Again, please stay in touch and up to date via social media at the following links:
Well…what are you little Monsters waiting for? Head on over and check out Fatal Pictures on Twitter, Instagram OR their official page. And make sure to check out Familiar on iTunes and the rest of the Boxcutter Trilogy when it becomes available. Oh, that wasn’t a polite request…nope…it was more of a nonnegotiable demand. Trust me, you all need to see this trilogy and in the end you’ll be glad that you did. Check out the videos below, they will put to rest any lingering doubt.