The Horror Revolution: First off, what’s your favorite horror movie? What movie scared you the most?
Zach Green: My favorite horror movie has got to be Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. To this day, I find it to be one of the most authentically, genuinely terrifying horror films. I think the level of sheer terror stands up to anything today.
THR: For the folks at home that aren’t aware, what exactly does an indie producer do?
ZG: An indie producer can do a wide variety of things, from getting the project off the ground from being just an idea and/or just words on a paper ie. The script. Also, being involved with casting and/or crewing of the project, potentially being responsible for acquiring the finance or attaching other producers who can help further with the financing stages. When all of the pre-production is complete and you are finally ready to go to camera aka principal photography, as an indie producer, my assistant director hat will come out as we head to camera, and will assist with production on set and trouble shoot logistics as much as possible. (Budget permitting), that will really determine how many hats I will need to wear during the duration of the shoot. As any good indie producer, I want the best for the production overall from start to well after finish. I am essentially the one representing and is the face of the film in perpetuity.
Once the film is in post-production (editing), I will also be responsible for overseeingthe films post process. Making sure the film is being cut accordingly and keeping on schedule, making sure we are keeping our deadlines. Additionally, scheduling the actor’s ADR sessions if that’s needed. (Additional Dialog Recording). If any of the actors need to rerecord any of their lines etc. Again, just overseeing the entire post process.
Once the film is fully completed and cut and ready to make its way into the world. You can now plan and figure out where you would like the film to have its World Premiere. Personally, this is something I would have already or tried to have locked down, potentially before principal photography commences, or even as far back as pre-production. At this point, you are basically ready to submit it to the festival circuit. As well as try and get the film to reviewers and/or critics. Distribution should also come into play at some point, I would try and lock distro down when your film is playing on the circuit, while your film is still fresh in people’s minds and still playing
on the circuit. But it doesn’t always go down that way. As long as you can
accomplish these things with your film is what matters. Not necessarily the timeline of when you get it done in. Although, I’m sure some would argue that.
THR: I cannot for the life of me remember how I came across the short films that you produced, and I have a review for Familiar up on the site now. The others have apparently been lost to the sands of time, so I’ll have to rewatch them all and get reviews up soon. How did The Boxcutter Trilogy come to pass?
ZG: I will have to make sure to get you Worm, Heir and Hang Up! I genuinely appreciate the interest. The Box Cutter Trilogy came about, mainly because Richard and I wanted a compilation of some of Fatal Pictures’ work on 1 disc, or available in one place essentially. Coincidently enough, Worm, Familiar and; Heir, all three of the films have a box cutter used to some degree. So, that’s how the title came about. It actually couldn’t have been more appropriate of a title. You can check out The Box Cutter Trilogy exclusively @ fatalpictures.bigcartel.com
THR: It certainly looks like your role as a producer of these shorts has taken you through just about every area of film production except for acting and directing. Do you have a role that you like best?
ZG: I have without a doubt learned a lot about the filmmaking process and
what goes into it. And have a strong understanding of all the departments.
Which of course, will only make me a better and stronger producer overall.
But I genuinely and thoroughly love my job as a producer. Nor do I have
any passion or interest in directing or acting at this time. I get enough of
the director feel and understanding of what a director does on set as when
I’m assistant directing and just being so close with the directors. Again, I
love all roles of the filmmaking process and they are all so very important
to the final product. My passions lye in production and overseeing the film
and attaching the best crew and talent I can to the project. And then
watching what the film accomplishes after conception. The awards,
reviews, distribution, and any and all accolades following.
THR: I was shocked a while back when I was watching Fear Thy Neighbor and happened to see Robert Nolan as one of the cast members. I think he’s an incredible actor who has somehow flown under the radar despite his considerable talent. What was it like working with Robert?
ZG: Without question, Mr. Robert Nolan is by far one of the greatest indie
talents I’ve personally had the absolute pleasure of working with. I
remember like it was yesterday, when Robert auditioned for Worm back in
2009. And after watching his tape over and over, I knew Robert was
definitely more than capable of transforming into Geoffrey Dodd. Working
with Mr. Nolan was such a smooth refreshing experience, not to mention
he is very talented, humble and just an all-around great guy to be around
and work with. And if you think I’m just being diplomatic, I encourage you
to find Worm, Familiar, Heir and Hang Up! and watch his performances.
There’s very good reason Mr. Nolan was cast in those films as well. I can
only hope to have the pleasure of working with such a talented and all
around humble actor as Robert is. You can go watch Hang Up! for free
right now! @ Reveel.net, one of the many brilliant performances from Mr.
THR: Walk me through the process: how does a film go through the stages of development to get to what we can see on-screen?
ZG: In few words, without boring your readers too much: Idea(s) / Script and Budget / Other Breakdowns, Cast/Crew, Rehearsals, Cameras, Post Market.
I mean as I’m writing this I’m remembering little nuances here and there (finding locations for eg.). But for the most part, that’s it. Oh, and I can’t stress enough the importance of money.
THR: Fatal Pictures is fantastic, and it’s so rare that I’ll come across an indie short that has the quality that’s present in your films. Is it one of those things where you have a standard that you want your films to live up to, or is Richard Powell just that good of a director?
ZG: I want to first thank you very much for your kind words, that definitely
means a lot to Richard and myself. Of course, holding our films to the
highest standards we can, and producing the best material on and off
screen as possible is absolutely one of the objectives Richard and I have
when we set out to produce anything we do. Richard is also that good of a
writer, his characters and stories are always phenomenally written and
fleshed out. Which is why, I personally, and I think Richard would agree,
he is the best fit to direct the scripts he writes, naturally. The fact Richard
has created the surroundings and life’s these characters live and breathe
in, I believe he understands them the best. That is also why the pre-pro
stage is so very crucial to bringing these stories to life on camera as
Richard sees. Making the end product as good as I possibly can, budget
permitting. From attaching the proper cast/crew that we feel will ultimately
be able to bring Richard’s script to life and transform into these characters
in the way Richard sees fit. And of course, the fact Richard has created
these characters and worlds they live in, naturally he is a great conveyer
and director of what he envisions for them and their world they live.
THR: How involved are you in the actual creative process of determining what goes in the script and what you can see on-screen?
ZG: When Richard is in the writing and/or in the creative stages, we will of
course converse back and forth and I’ll ask questions about the script
and/or characters etc. Almost playing devils advocate to some degree and
almost intentionally not understanding certain things so they can be
conveyed to me as if I haven’t read a script before. Richard is a very bright
and intelligent writer, this is without question. So, I’m not going to lie,
sometimes words on a paper do go over my head and I’ll need more
clarification from Richard on the meaning or intention of something. If your
readers are familiar at all with these films, they will definitely understand
what I mean, they are all very deeply psychological and without a doubt,
leave you thinking and your mind racing for potential answers. Some story
points or moments happen visually without dialog, so if you aren’t fully
paying attention, you can easily miss something.
THR: It’s always fascinating to me to find out how people were drawn into the world of film production, and there seems to be few people who grow up wanting to be a film producer as opposed to other areas of the cast and crew. What draws you towards the producer side of things?
ZG: Initially, what drew me into the industry was editing (post production). I
used to work in post-production as an editor. Watching movies on TV or in
the theatre growing up, I was drawn in from the editing and cool effects
done on the screen, which ultimately happens in post. I also wanted to be
the one who pieces the film together like a puzzle, telling you the story.
Like I said earlier, Richard and I build our strong relationship in the editing
room. That would be where I started to learn and think like a producer, it
was naturally a very organic transition.
So, what draws me to the producer side of things, I would unquestionably
say, it started certainly wanting the best for our films from start to finish. I
naturally would oversee everything production wise and start putting the
film together as Richard would be working on more of the creative aspects
of everything. Script, locations potentially, who he envisioned as the lead
talent. It basically came down to, if Richard and I wanted to make our
film(s), it was just us two. So, we didn’t have much choice, we took care of
most areas of production ourselves. And of course, all the accolades the
film(s) acquire is very rewarding! From the phenomenal reviews to the
amazing awards these little pieces of art attain. Some of our fondest
memories, are when Richard and I are in a theater watching one of our
films play and watching how people feel and react to them.
THR: How did Fatal Pictures come to be? Did you guys know each other beforehand?
ZG: Richard and I met in film school here in Toronto in 2003/2004. Funny
enough, Richard and myself only met our final year at school, where I applied to be an editor for his short films that got picked to be produced.
We basically build our rapport in the editing room as I was cutting one of
his films that he wrote and directed. After a few years of working together
on what we like to call our training wheel films. 2007 came around, and we
wanted to properly produce and market our next film under a production
company. FATAL PICTURES was born in 2007. First short film produced
under the company was entitled Consumption. A true story based on a
cannibal living in Germany.
THR: I can’t wait to see Hang Up!, and I’m so excited to see that Heir is being included in World of Death, by Bloody Disgusting no less! Tell me about how that process has been for you, and what do we have to look forward to in the new anthology? (I also hadn’t heard of World of Death, so I’m super excited to check it out now lol)
ZG: I also, can’t wait for you to see Hang Up! (Thanks for the interest)
It was definitely an exciting moment and honor that we were asked to feature Heir on the latest Vol of Bloody Disgusting’s : Bloody Bits Blu-Ray compilations. Heir is definitely in some great company with other award winning shorts. So, I am absolutely pleased about that. I think everyone who enjoys dark psychological thrillers and/or horror will be very happy and pleased with Vol 6.! It’s also great to know more people will now be able to see the award winning Heir, thanks to Bloody Disgusting and the other awesome people at BD for making that possible! Richard and I make these film(s) for the world, so it’s very rewarding and fulfilling to see them do well!
THR: What’s coming up for you? Do you or Fatal Pictures have new stuff coming anytime soon?
ZG: Fatal Pictures has a few things in early stages of development that I will say. And just promoting current films that I am fortunate enough to still be plugging. The beautiful thing about great film(s), is that they live forever and if executed properly, they will have a very, very long lasting impression on you. You can get The Box Cutter Trilogy, comprised of the award winning short films, Worm, Familiar and Heir from FATAL PICTURES on Blu-ray, exclusively through FP @ fatalpictures.bigcartel.com Hang Up! can be streamed in its entirety @ Reveel.net I want to encourage everyone to sign up for free and check out the award winning short.
THR: Finally, anything else you would like to mention?
ZG: Finally, I want to thank you very much for taking the time to ask me these questions and giving me an outlet where people can read it. I greatly appreciate that. And I hope I didn’t bore your readers too much. I hope the world gets to see more of me and Richards films from FATAL PICTURES. If you have more interest in what’s coming up for us, please feel free to follow us on social media for the latest.