Thursday, 14 June 2012
PISTOLS AT DAWN - AN INTERVIEW WITH LEE VERVOORT
Hacked in the Head got to spend some time talking with Lee Vervoort, a guy who gave us the gun toting west splattered with visceral horror in his 2009 film Gun Town. (Review here). Read on for Lee's answers and please check out his film!
Hacked in the Head: Hi Lee! Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I have just had the chance to watch and review your feature length horror film Gun Town which is also your directorial debut. Firstly can you tell us a bit about the film and why you decided to venture into the genre.
Lee: Thank you! Yes, the film tells the story of five high school graduates who venture toward no particular destination and wind up at an old tourist attraction. Unfortunately for them, the family who once ran the business is back with a whole new outlook on how to entertain their guests.
HitH: I love the whole hybrid genre approach of Western/Horror. Were there any particular influences which made you want to explore this for your film?
Lee: Yes, Tourist Trap and Westworld are among my two favorite films. they played a strong influence on how I created my story.
HitH: Two fantastic films! I rewatched Tourist Trap recently and I found it as effective and creepy as I did as a kid! Are you also able to talk about the budget for the film and any particular challenges you may have faced while making it?
Lee: The budget was microsopic. We had 8000.00 to make it with, and if you break it down, it was actually 6000.00 because 2000.00 went to making the DVD copies. As far as any "challenges", the whole production was a challenge! When you work with such small amounts of money, it is difficult to keep things going. You have to "rough it" to get the job done, but that's how I roll if I have too.
HitH: How about the casting process. and how did you go about this? Any memorable performances you want to share?
Lee: I held my own castings. I like to do this so I can see first hand who everyone is and what kind of person they are. I commend everyone for their performances. I am not an easy person to work for. I particularly enjoyed Andy Graces performance because I had never met him before we filmed the movie. He is a natural actor who did exceptionally well with his part. But overall I pleased with everyone. Especially for sticking with me through the entire ordeal. Actors do tend to get very upset and walk off.
HitH: I believe the film is available to purchase through Amazon via self distribution. Are there any plans for a further and wider release of the film? I would love to see it on UK shelves!
Lee: Yes, the DVD with 6 extra features are available through Amazon.com I would love to be able to supply it all over the world on shelves, but distribution is very hard to obtain sometimes. I am just as happy to accept the challenge myself and ship it to anyone in the world.
HitH: Maybe one day but in the meantime I hope readers go and grab a copy from Amazon - there are lots of sellers who wont ship outside the US, so thats great news. Are you a horror fan in general Lee? What are some of your all time favourites and why?
Lee: Yes I am. My favorites include The ever so popular 80's films we all know and love along with the lesser known films such as Tourist Trap, Silent Rage, Westworld, Fortress, etc.
HitH: I also wanted to discuss with you, your plans to make a sequel to Gun Town which sounded great. Could you talk a bit about the fund raiser set up for this project and why, sadly, things did not go to plan? Also is there any way you may resurrect this idea in the future?
Lee: Well, people wanted a sequel. I wrote an incredible script and tried to raise a large budget for this one. Unfortunately the general public doesn't seem to take the same interest. If I can find the money elsewhere, I'll certainly proceed with it. It's just very frustrating to try and make a good movie when it all lies on the money needed. I almost gave up completely, but I think just taking some time to sit back and re-group is what I need.
HitH: I hope you are able to get the movie going, it would be great to see where you might go next with the story and I will certainly be keeping my eyes open for any new developments! I can also see you have done quite a lot of acting as well and played a key role in Gun Town. What made you want to 'make the leap' to writing and directing!
Lee: I love to entertain people. Writing and directing my own film gave me that chance. Hopefully I can continue to do so.
HitH: Finally Lee - is there anything else you would like to tell readers?
Lee: Sure. Please do support independent film! We work very hard to bring you the best entertainment we can as the independents. Creating your vision on small budgets is no easy task. We appreciate everyone who takes the time to watch our movies. Personally, I encourage honest reviews from the viewers. I never have been a fan of asking for good reviews, it isn't real. Too me, creating a film should be for the fans. I have no interest in trying to see how many awards I can win or competing with other filmmakers, I just want to make the best film I can to entertain the viewer. That's who it's for!
Thank you for the interview and thank you to all of you for reading. Please feel free to visit my personal website at www.leevervoort.com and be sure to grab a copy of Gun Town on Amazon.com I'll ship anywhere in the world!
HitH: Lee, thank you so much again for taking the time to to talk to us and I look forward to seeing what you have up your sleeves next, very soon.