An Easter Special Interview with Melanie Robel by Dean Sills

mrint1An Easter Special Interview with Melanie Robel by Dean Sills

Here is another interview which I am very egg-cited about! Please welcome Melanie Robel to UKHS.

UKHS – Happy Easter, Melanie. Thank you for your time and welcome to UKHS. How did you get into acting and what is it about the horror genre that you enjoy so much?

MR – It was literally being in the right place at the right time. I was almost done training at Paul Mitchell the School to become a hairdressers. I emailed a director, J.L Blothello, to see if they needed a hair stylist on the set of his production. He said I needed to be in front of the camera, but I kept refusing him. I just wasn’t
interested. It took three times before he wore me down to it. He told me to do whatever projects I could get for experience and also to get into acting classes. So, I did a short film called, Grieve and here I am. I have been working with some great people. The cool thing is, that every time you go on a new set and work with new people, you always feel I am meant to be a actor. If you are paying attention that is. I feel I am meant to be a actor.

Grieve was considered horror and since I did well in that and I looked good with blood splatter on me. I took off in that genre. Actually, doing horror is a lot of fun and the fans are amazing and very loyal. I am doing other genres too, but I will always stick with my roots and continue doing horror.

mrint5UKHS – You play Gabrielle in ‘Disciples’. What can you tell us about this film, your role and did you do any scenes with Scream Queen icon Linnea Quigley?

MR – As Gabrielle, I was one of the servant girls for the people that lived in the castle, where Disciples takes place. I don’t want to give too much away, but it is about a demon that is going to come to earth. That God himself would fear his return. I didn’t have scenes with Linnea Quigley in this project. I am so thankful that she was able to get me involved in this project. I didn’t have any lines, but I really didn’t care. It was a honor to see these great actors work, Tony Todd, Tom Lodewyck, Angus Scrimm, Debra Lamb and of course Linnea Quigley. I also finally got to meet Elissa Dowling, which was great because we got along really well. It was a blast to do. Such a great group of actors and crew. Disciples has been released internationally as The Watcher.

The Imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2006719/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Disciplesfilm
Official Site: http://www.disciplesthefilm.com/

mrint3UKHS – I know you worked with Linnea Quigley in ‘Post Mortem, America 2021’ what can you tell us about your role as Rattle Snake Sally and as an actress what did you learn the most from working with someone like Linnea?

MR – Post Mortem, America 2021 was my first full length movie and it was a good lesson on being humble and flexible. To be ready for anything. At this point, I hadn’t auditioned for anything! I was booking jobs off my photos and with conversation online. That’s how Cameron Scott found me, he saw my photo’s on Myspace and took the chance to message me. Of course, I said Hell yes. So, I had a few acting lessons under my belt, but when I saw the script, I realized I couldn’t break it down or figure it out. So I looked for an acting coach and found Rus Blackwell. He helped me come up with my characters background and taught me how to break down the script so I could do my job.

Post Mortem America, 2021, is about a woman name Lucillie, Linnea Quigley, who wants to get revenge on Severin, Jim O’Rear. While its Armageddon and everyone has to pay a price at this time. My character Rattle Snake Sally has some secrets, but she is a trained killer who works for Severin. Sally is very religious and every time she kills someone, part of her soul dies. She wants to have some light, some good and do something different. The problem is she doesn’t know how to do anything else, so she is very conflicted. I loved being Sally and actually got to drive an antique hearse with the gear shift on the steering column. That was an adventure!!!

Working with Linnea was amazing. I look up to her and see her as family. She taught me what it was like to be so into a scene that you forget the camera’s there, you forget everyone is watching and you are so in tune with each other that it seems real for that moment. She has so many strengths and an amazing presence. To be able to work with someone like her was like being in a week long, hands on seminar. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better than her, for a first time screen partner.. She makes you want to step up your game.

mrint4UKHS – You play the role of Anna Nadasdy in ‘A Blood Story’. The film is directed by Joe Hollow, who also directed ‘Disciples’. What can you tell us about your role in ‘A Blood Story’ and do you feel more confident as an actress when you work with someone you have worked with before due to knowing each other’s strengths?

MR– That is a really good question and made me sit back and think. I felt like I was more of a wild card in this project. I wasn’t quite sure what Joe Hollow was expecting from me and I was sort of shocked he asked me to be part of Blood Story. Remember, I had no lines in Disciples, and I went to one of the female co-leads. I said yes, of course and then I read the script. I was going to refused it, to write Joe and say I can’t do this. All I could think was that, I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t good enough. That my coach had been telling me I wasn’t ready and that I needed a female coach to learn femininity. Boy, will he be surprised if he see’s this movie. Anyway Linnea and my Mom, said, “do it, it is one of your dream roles!” So I did it. I didn’t have an acting reel, so I sent Joe my short film, Stella Buio, which has played internationally at film fests, thank you Lori Bowen.

I did the character development on Anna by myself, which I am proud of that. She is the type of roles I like to play. I realized my strengths are, being physical, character development and I know how to use my words. Joe Hollow really brought the love of acting to me. Also,while on set Camden Toy coached me about Anna that really helped me portray her better. I also met and became friends with Robert Z’Dar who passed last week. He will be missed by us all.

mrint2Working with everyone on this set was blast. I got to have scenes with, Camden Toy, Robert Z’Dar, Mindy Robinson, Mark Hanson, Debra Lamb and my class mate from Rus Blackwell’s acting class Janie King. I wasn’t there the whole time and didn’t work with everyone, but the whole cast and crew were great. So helpful and we had a lot of fun. The day before we started shooting, I had gotten my braces off and was living on soft food breakfast drinks. It was a great experience and I am forever grateful for this opportunity. I have my manager Matt Chassin, in Cali, because of this role..

Anna Nadasdy helps Francis run a B&B in their home. She is Francis’s right hand lady and will do anything, and I mean anything, he tells her too. She is very manipulative, famine, with a very feline like way of thinking, but has a real dark side. I had trouble tapping into the manipulative side of her, because that goes against my nature, so I read The Lucifer Effect, on why good people turn evil. It really brought a lot of things into the light. It was actually a very scary book about human nature. So the story is about a group of people who come to Francis and Anna’s home wanting the secrets to being young forever, but what is the price of it all? I can’t wait to see the finish film.

UKHS – What would you consider to be the three main ingredients that you need to make a classic horror film?

MR – The three things that I think makes a good horror and classic film is very simple:
1. A good story, that means a beginning, a middle and an end. That has to have a hero, a bad guy and some sort of conflict that distracts the hero.
2. Good acting, look at demo reels, past projects, resumes.
3. Great writing, which is different than a good story, the best story with a bad script doesn’t do you any good.

UKHS – If you could be the Easter Bunny for the day which three famous people would you deliver chocolate eggs to and why?

MR – Oh gosh, that is a really different question. I hope I don’t come across as a stalker. My first delivery would have to be to Tim Curry. I was born deaf and after my first of many surgery’s at the age of three. Except for my dad, he was the first male voice I heard. Sometimes I will still watch Annie with no sound. Then Jessica Lange and hope she invites me in. I would love to ask her how she prepares for her roles and to listen to her talk about acting. Last, but not least, Morrissey. To see if he really is depressed all the time as he comes across. I saw his concert once and really like his music. His body guards had to drag a lady off stage, but he didn’t miss a beat.

mrint6UKHS – Other than acting what are you passionate about?

MR – I know some people don’t believe me, but I love quilting. It’s so much fun and relaxing. It’s a puzzle, you have to figure it out, with patterns, colours, fabrics and style. You can make anything you see into a pattern and then in a quilt. There are no mistakes. I love it.

I also take care of my special needs cats. They are all rescues with health issues. I love reading psychology, sociology and medical books. I feel they have helped me in my character breakdowns for acting. Otherwise, I am just a boring person on my down time. I watch movies, quilt, read and hug my cats. I am obsessed with Disney, so if you
follow my instagram and twitter, you will see what I mean.

UKHS – Finally, are you working on any current projects which you can tell UKHS about?

MR – I can say that I am part of, Scream Queen Campfire, Scavenger and Sasquatch vs.Yeti, by Jonathon Moody. A Sci-Fi series, Technopolis by Andre’ Dixon, Hosten, by Kim Sonderholm and Martin Sonntag, La Fleur de Mai by Durand St Hilare and Left Hand Lords, by Spencer Grey. I am also going to do a couple of photo shoots. One is kind of a pin up, elegant shoot. Long dresses, high heals, elegant makeup and hair. Ultra girly and feminine. I can’t wait to do it.

Thank you UKHS for letting me be a part of this. I enjoyed your questions and maybe someday I can also be part of a convention in the UK.

UKHS – You are very welcome. That would be really awesome if someday you can be part of a convention in the UK. Keep up the great work and good luck with all your new projects!

An Interview with Jessica Ann Bonner by Dean Sills

An Interview with Jessica Ann Bonner by Dean Sills

jab6UKHS – Jessica, thank you for your time and welcome to UK Horror Scene. You have hit the Indie scene hard and show no signs of slowing down or stopping. How did you get into acting and modelling and what is it about the horror genre that you enjoy so much?

Jessica – Why thank you! I was scouted as a model when I was 18 and studying at Drama school, I went on to do my first feature Devils Tower – Dom burns. I realised I wanted to work in horror as I absolutely loved being killed off, throwing myself around and getting covered in blood!

 

 

UKHS – You play Jordan in ‘Bad Moon Rising’. Can you tell us a little about this Horror film and the character you play in it?

Jessica – Bad Moon Rising is a werewolf film with a twist! It’s about three paranormal researchers that are researching the strange happenings of a small Bulgarian village… I play Jordan, one of the trio, she’s kick ass, not afraid of anything and completely sceptical!

 

 

jab1UKHS – You have recently worked on a number of movies including ‘Christmas Slay’, ‘Serial Kaller’ and ‘Valley of the Witch’ What can you tell us about these projects and the different types of characters you play?

Jessica – Wow, they are all completely different, Christmas Slay was a challenge for me as I was the lead – Emma, she’s this sweet vulnerable girl who’s a little downtrodden, and throughout the film you see her getting stronger and becomes real hardcore as she has a full on fight scene with Santa! Valley of the Witch was the complete opposite, I play Agnes Morehouse a witch who was burnt at the stake, she comes back to life with the other witches to take revenge!

Again Serial kaller is the complete opposite! I play Frankie, I loved playing her she brought the comic element in the film along with Suzi Lorraine’s character Lucy. I had a lot of fun playing the bitchy dumbass character. Oh and my death is awesome!

 

 

jab3UKHS – I am actually thrilled to be working on a Horror film called ‘Self Induced Nightmares Part 2’ because I know you are also in this. I play a character called Amos in one of the segments. What can you tell us about your character and segment and how did you get involved in the project?

Jessica – High five! Awesome! S.I.N. Part 2 is the brainchild of the fabulously talented Daniel Brownie! It is designed to give film makers a chance to get their work distributed. I play Emma, in the main wrap around story ‘Girls Night in’. Dan actually wrote the role for me, which is fantastic. We worked on Serial Kaller and the Undead together and he wanted to push me to do something I haven’t done before. So it’s very exciting and very twisted!

 

 

jab2UKHS – Thank you, Jessica. You have worked with Dani Thompson on a number of films. What do you enjoy most about working with Dani and do the two of you have any plans to do more films together in the near future?

Jessica – I have indeed! The best thing about Dani is that you can have fun with her! When you’ve been working really strenuous scenes like when we were in Bulgaria, I bought a Nerf gun and we would run around shooting the crew! Be warned she has AMAZING aim! We also broke into an abandoned school and scared ourselves silly. We do indeed, we have a film coming up that’s being filmed in the London tombs scare attraction, but I can’t say too much at the moment!

 

 

UKHS – What would you consider to be the three main ingredients that you need to make a classic horror flick?

Jessica – Ooooh! Well Scream is my favourite horror so you need; sex appeal, a stalker and lots of blood!

 

 

jab5UKHS – If you were stranded on a desert island, which three items would you want to have with you?

Jessica – I would have gone for a boat but I’m so scared of Jaws getting me I’ve had to change my mind! Fried chicken – so I won’t starve and I LOVE fried chicken, the pet rescue game so I don’t get bored and sun screen so I don’t burn!

 

 

UKHS – Finally, what’s the most shocking thing you have done as an actress and how do you prepare for scenes like this?

Jessica – When I was working on the Undead, director Dan Brownlie had me running and throwing myself through a forest, I was cut up and bruised and then had to have fingers shoved in my mouth to rip my face open! He worked me so hard that I ended up vomiting everywhere and he had to hold my hair back. Needless to say that’s how I ‘prepare’ for a role. I don’t, I just go for it. I give it my all!

 

 

UKHS – Thanks, Jessica. Keep up the great work and good luck with all your projects!

Jessica’s IMDB page – HERE 

An Interview with Thinking Speed director Lisa Menzel

An Interview with Thinking Speed director Lisa Menzel

lm1UKHS – Hi Lisa and thanks for taking the time to speak to us at UKHS

LM – I’m very excited for the opportunity. Thank you.

UKHS – Please can you introduce yourself and tell our readers a little about yourself?

LM – I’m an artist from Chicago. I began as a novelist and entertainment journalist. I entered the film arena when I realized what a tough time my friend was having making Thinking Speed – pulling scenes from the book and even just splitting it into shorts. I wanted to do it the way I envisioned it and I didn’t want the responsibility to fall on so many others, because it had so many elements. The original story was intended to be a mixture of 2D animation and live action like Who Framed Roger Rabbit before I knew anything about 3D, compositing and the digital world.

I’ve always been interested in photography and acting. I wanted to tell the story of my life in the underground music scene here and my relationships with a supernatural horror bent. It became more of a piece of cult catharsis but was an excellent way to learn with so much daily exposure. Pretty soon everyone kept asking questions once I posted stills and things just kind of snowballed from there. Via this project, I’ve met a lot of great contacts and supportive fellow artists. I just wanted to play a few festivals. I didn’t think it was going to be this popular – especially with an abstract concept.

thinkingspeed1UKHS – So how did Thinking Speed come about?

LM – I’ve told you a little bit about the setting, but people seem to be a little confused about the story. I’ve gone out of my way not to answer questions about the inspiration but I’ll talk a little bit about that here. In June of 2000 while hosting a show, I met someone with whom I thought I had chemistry. He had liberty spikes and the same military jacket you see on the poster. Some time had passed and I told him how I felt only he wasn’t sure how he felt about me. This went on for ten years and he tried very hard to have a friendship with me. One night we went to a show and had a two hour car ride back.

The story I wrote when I got home was nothing more than a maniacal woman trapping a man in a van which got hotter and hotter as she started asking him questions. Then it imbibed many memories from friends and the counterculture; all the insecurities in a coming of age story. I was very influenced by Donnie Darko as the piece expanded and I thought about a character with which my father used to terrorize me: The Clock Goblin. If you weren’t in bed at a certain time, you had to answer to him. He used to skulk around the windows and create shadows – whatever was convincing. My father is a method parent. Anyway, when I hired Sam Quinn to play the character, we started talking about what he looked like, because I swore when I was a child I would imagine him during the day under honeysuckle bushes and behind evergreens.

So we made him. And he follows everyone through the story, although the plot is stuck inside a single minute, he reminds everyone how little time they have. So in the spirit of David Lynch, we kind of destroy the beta absorption of a plot and take you completely to an alpha state where every action is suspenseful and disturbing. I wanted it to be a point of view experience and as traumatizing as real life. People seem to like a narrative since life is a series of random occurences, but I just wanted to recreate scenarios with supernatural circumstances and legends. It’s become a modern art tribute to the book.

lm2UKHS – Please can you tell us what Thinking Speed is about?

LM – Thinking Speed is the story of woman scorned who kills the object of her affection. Once put to death, the public forgets her name and refers to her as The Northeasy Killer. The media plays up she’s kept a journal of the events leading up to the murder. Once published, readers flock to a certain bookstore, unaware she is not only selling them the title but taking them hostage to repeat the evening. There are seven actors who play the Reader, one for each day of the week. Few readers make it out alive so their disappearances and reappearances represent where they skimmed and skipped around. However, this particular trip advances them past the murder – to what may have transpired should it not have taken place. As I believe for every time someone is dealt grief, they will find themselves being the dealer without consent, the Reader learns there are other individuals in this landscape who are more dangerous. The Northeasy Killer becomes a guide to the afterlife and in peril herself.

UKHS – I have heard the budget was less than $2,000 , is this true? And was the film self-funded?

LM – That is not a typo. It was between $1,700 and $1,900. I handled insurance, some location budgets if they were through the state film offices and the refurbed camera the delivery man tried to steal – and Luke Sejud handled fuel, mics and the building of rigs. It was the height of the recession and nothing was happening but I was determined to make it. So we posted for the film and many people thought what we were doing was totally crazy, but at the end something like 5,800 people had inquired.

We were on some of the last money we had and it was only on the last day of filming Luke was tipped off about some freelance work coming in since it was so spotty at that time. We were very tense throughout production. We just closed our eyes and jumped. At least it was a start and it would be off my mind. I felt really awkward Luke offering to do the story given the subject matter, but he tells me he felt it was important to complete it. The inspiration for Ethan James even donated his clothes he was wearing when we met to wardrobe. I guess it was some sort of apologetic blessing of support.

thinkingspeed2UKHS – Reading the IMDB page it seems you were involved in almost every facet of the making Thinking Speed. How was your experience and what has it taught you for future projects?

LM – Not to ever, ever do that again. We began with a 66 person crew, but crew was very hungry here. Many people could not work deferred or pro bono even if they were non-union. They had done too many other projects like that before. You come to a limit of what you can partake in for experience and then certain things have to be covered, because you find yourself short on cash and time as demand and work increases. I was approached for budget, but they wanted names. And I felt names would ruin it. I just wanted people who were passionate and a mixture of first-time actors and seasoned actors who weren’t totally inconvenienced by it.

We drove everyone around and tried to cook for them when we could, otherwise we would limit shoots to a few hours and have people come in shifts. That’s the nice part about having a large cast. You can tell the story with many people, so the days are not so long. We shot over 176 days – maybe 2-5 scenes a day. What this has taught me is to ask for a certain number that makes a distributor feel good, make something suited for them even if you are going to birdwalk and be more creative and know where you’re releasing ahead of time.

Because the hardest part about being a filmmaker right now is the suitability for a seller given the amount of titles in the market. And I kind of have that Kubrick thing where I may not stick to the same genre. I just want to tell a story I feel strongly about or I want to show images that haunt or disrupt the traditional way video art is consumed. I might make a lot of mistakes, but I might find some interesting formulas. But unless a distributor is experimental, I don’t want to take those kinds of risks with other people’s funding as the atmosphere is competitive enough. That’s why we did this ourselves with a lab mentality.

lm3UKHS – The cast list is immense , how on earth did you manage such a huge undertaking?

LM – Craigslist. I was looking for people who looked like the book characters and once the script was adapted from the novel, I started casting. It was one of those films where no one really knew what they were making. They understood their role, but not how it came together. I wanted to keep things that way so they would just focus on who they were. Some understood their place and function very well and only one truly disturbed man who understood me and why this was made. But it was six months of emailing, readings, meetings and dinners.

UKHS – What were the timescales for rehearsal, shooting and then editing Thinking Speed?

LM – I had no deadlines and many of the actors had issues with availability so we worked around them. There was a theater who gave us space to rehearse. We had about a hundred hours of reads, but when you break that up, the actors had about an hour. I knew pretty much who I wanted so only did a little auditioning when it was necessary or someone was double-booked. Shoots had to happen on the weekend, because this is the Midwest and that’s the availability. It would be much faster in LA or NY where they’re filming all the time and solely do that or have work that’s flexible. And the story takes place over the seasons, so we shot from September to the very beginning of January.

I green screened a lot and Luke and I were doing background well into 2011. I was always playing with color and figuring out effects and style. I had no place to be, no one to answer to and it was all mine. So I was my own worst enemy or best friend given the day. But everyone wanted to know when it would be finished. The combination of the camera we used and the software was very slow. Renders took days just to get a few minutes if there was heavily posted effects on the footage. Everything became virtual because not everyone could be where they needed to be on a given day together. Eventually, I had processes down and nothing has been as difficult since. There were a lot of growing pains and challenges I couldn’t foresee on another picture unless you’re doing something like Life of Pi. I would rather have sets now and limit my VFX to only a few scenes where I can really hone in and make something spectacular.

thinkingspeed3UKHS – Thinking Speed is released on June 21st through Reelhouse on VOD. What are your feelings on VOD compared to say DVD, and do you think this is the way forward especially for Indie Filmmakers?

LM – There’s two types of films. The films you ask to have made and the ones you make anyway. The ones you pitch or the ones you are asked to do will come from a distributor and they will put you in festivals and deal you out to all the various platforms with whom they have contracts. They like to acquire in bulk, but typically you will negotiate making a film that fits their catalogue. Here’s a statistic. Fifty-thousand films are made every year. A little over a quarter of a million titles exist in most major languages.

Of those titles, 50 find distribution. If I went to Telluride this year, I would compete with Tommy Lee Jones. On the Kickstarter campaign I was up against Ed Asner and Steve Buscemi, both of whom bring investment before the campaign is created. People need to know Kickstarter does not have built-in investors. You need relationships and investors ahead of time and most of them are just the people you know. If you spend five years in the dark editing, people may wonder where you are and the effort becomes disorganized by design. These crowd campaigns take six months to build up. I’ve been told it’s better to go the traditional route, but the medium is changing. There are 9,000 festivals who receive anywhere from 2,000-12,000 submissions.

Many of them do not have time to screen that kind of bushel. I know, because I run FilmFrique and since 2010, I’ve been through over 60K titles with 18K left to go in just one language and 14K titles dropped instantly this year. I’m just sharing the trailers. Afterdark posted $42K earnings this quarter spread out over all their titles. It’s estimated self-distribution will garner $37K for the year without marketing. But promotion is challenging. Luckily, there are new tools for filmmakers. Warner and Sundance use Reelhouse, the split is very good and it’s worldwide unlike a lot of carriers like Amazon. When you have a global audience, nothing kills interest faster than it not being available in someone’s region. Amazon is making a platform like Netflix. Universal will be making one and yes, I see us on the net with encrypted files, but for as many theaters that are going out of business, some people still want to see films on the big screen.

thinkingspeed4That’s why we will partner with Tugg upon regional fanbase request. Tugg allows filmmakers to talk with their audiences and do a few screenings at a time. Sixty people want to see a movie in a given area, they order their tickets and the movie shows. The promoter of the campaign gets a fee. This is only for the US and the UK, but they are expanding. It is a sales-over-time model, whichever way you go. Upfront cash offers are rare given what the numbers look like. It’s mainly a feat to break even. The majors are concentrating on TV since things are paid-for by commercials. But the release process has been scrambled. You can come out on VOD and play in a theater on the same day.

You can start on VOD, go to DVD and then to theaters on demand, which is what we are doing. This is great, because if we ever get habitually organized as netizens, the negotiations will be between the fans and the filmmakers directly. We’re also coming out on IndieReign July 4th. They offer a lot of funding opportunities when you want to make more titles. My advice to every filmmaker is just find your chemistry with whom you can trust and don’t do any deals exclusively. Strike out and find relationships that are mutually beneficial. It’s not worth doing bit things on projects you don’t like just to become some administrative figure to make more things with which you disagree. I still think it’s important to go where the work is, which is why we travel for it, but mind the work you do.

You just reach a base at a time and it’s new to someone. But I watch everything at home on a pedestal screen. We’ve built our own theater. That’s what I want FilmFrique to be: The most engaging films new and forgotten, because with RAW, hacks, pricing and ease of use, we’re all studios. There’s even audition programs for production houses now, because some people can just churn it out. I think, provided the internet doesn’t become commandeered and diced up for traffic, we will all be there. And if anyone breaks it, the deep web will open. You can’t stop human ingenuity. Nor should you.

UKHS – So looking back what are your feelings now towards Thinking Speed?

LM – First, I have learned the critical difference between a screenplay and filming a book. I filmed the book, so pacing is huge. I have a lot of disdain for the requirements this film had. But it gave me everything I needed. It made everything easy now. Mostly, I’m numb, but I remember sitting in a Milwaukee theater when the trailer rolled and the audience gasped and held each other all 40’s style, because they didn’t know what was happening to them. There was a long silence. Then there was applause. I just held my mouth and the tears welled up. But mainly I want to move through my stack of scripts and help out my friends who are doing great work. So just the fact that someone treats me like an astronaut who has returned after this whole thing is simultaneously amusing, humbling and awesome.

 

thinkingspeed5UKHS – Now onto you for a moment if that’s OK? What are you influences ? What has inspired you in your art/work?

LM – I love George Romero’s Creepshow. I love Pink Floyd’s The Wall. I love Deep End. I love The Shout. I like two-strip color. A lot of Hammer films. Alex Cox. Schlesinger. Fincher. Minnelli. Fosse. Love what Wes Anderson did recently with Grand Budapest Hotel. Hitchcock. But my chief inspirations these days are what’s coming out of France in the realm of horror, Norway and Turkey. And you don’t mess with Korea any more than you mess with Texas.

You can also count on a filmmaker in Indonesia to take your film and do it right. And I’d just like to say I love the UK and Canada as very tolerant and open-minded markets in addition to what is being produced in these regions. I’m working with some people in Ireland right now and I am exceedingly impressed with each following title. The Netherlands and Belgium make great films. Germany and Poland are making fantastic films. There are little-known filmmakers all over the world who become dejected because either they lack the knowledge or stomach to make it through the full distributor list and don’t know about VOD. I hope we find them all.

UKHS – What advice would you give to any aspiring filmmakers out there?

LM – Do not give up. And if you want to make changes, make them. Don’t try to tailor yourself for others or save something in which you do not believe unless there is an aspect that is profitable to you seeing it through. And don’t listen to vicious or doubtful talk. Successful people have no time for that and they will find you. And they’ve heard it all as well. Be as tough as you can. With the nature of titles coming and going, it’s not really about standing out as much as people will tell you. It’s about building a base of people who love your work and making better work each time for them to love. Don’t waste anyone’s time. Don’t waste your own. And if you don’t love film, you don’t have to, there are many ways to tell a story. If you have the urge to make art, just find your medium.

lm4UKHS – So what does the future hold for Lisa Menzel?

LM – I’m working on a horror period piece, an vintage action film, which I promised before, a detective pilot/show for a dear friend and a very classic horror remake. And you don’t have to worry, because I don’t think I would remake a horror movie from anything past the silent era. It would have to be really, really great. I don’t believe in messing with originals or Texas unless there is something new to see or say. I’m bouncing wherever the work takes me from Chicago to Ireland and Austin to LA, though I may settle in LA just for the network of friends, the ease of production and the weather. Most of my friends are in NY, but I’m not ready for that overhead yet. Someday.

UKHS – Finally we are (of course) a horror site, so please can you name your top 3 horror films of all time?

LM – I don’t know if you would consider it a horror movie, but I do. Number three: Bunny Lake Is Missing. Number two: May and Number one: The Shining. But three is a small number, so that’s a rotating lineup.

Many thanks for your time Lisa, and all the very best in the future and of course on the June 21st release of Thinking Speed!!

You can learn more about Thinking Speed over on their Facebook page HERE

Lisa Menzel at Reelhouse HERE

And follow Lisa Menzel (@filmfrique) HERE

Now watch the trailer below and check out Thinking Speed on VOD from June 21st at Reelhouse !!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/zumDdRN6yNE]