Thursday, 7 June 2018

Interview with filmmaker Joe Leone

Parched will be screening at Straight Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films?
My background is in writing, directing and performing sketch comedy (I'm funny, I swear). My interests eventually migrated to screenwriting, and after years of helping producers bring their visions to life (or a multitude of incarnations that approximated life), I decided to take control of my own projects and hop back into the director's seat. 

*What inspired you to make your movie?
I love the "college kids getting up to hijinks in the woods / then get murdered" genre, but I wanted to put a bit of a different spin on it. With the blatant decimation of the planet and its resources, I feel that humanity is playing a very dangerous game with our surroundings. So I thought 'Let's show how people of all economic-socio classes will be affected by climate change" (in this case, poisoned water). 

*How has your style evolved?
With Parched, I shot everything myself (as it is a found footage film). The current project we are working on is a bit more of a straight narrative, with the addition of a very strong cinematographer and crew. This (obviously) allows for much more freedom in directing the actors and setting the overall tone. For this one, I'm definitely stealing moments from all my favorite horror films from my childhood, too, in a horrific homage to classic 80's scary movies. 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film?
The entire experience was strange and funny, as we shot this film in almost real-time. We started in the sunny day...and kept going through the creepy night (with the real sounds of encroaching wildlife all around us in the woods). By the time we got to the dawn scenes, we were all feeling as loopy as if we had drunk the damn water for real. My favorite moment was when Angelica and I went to film her scene in the pond, which we had to nail in one take, and right before we started rolling, some wacky lady came out of the woodwork and started shouting at us. Luckily, we still got that shot, the quintessential one of the film.  - Oh, and when I was shooting B-roll deep in the woods really late and it dawned on me "Something out here could easily kill me," and I ran back to the house like a frightened mouse. 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind?
The MFM sounds like a cool underground cinematic style, that defies all the traditional ways of filmmaking - while Pink8 sounds like a sort of hyper-conjunctivitis of the future. 

*What can we expect from your next film?
We are super excited about our next project, titled Reap. We've assembled almost the whole Parched team, and added a slew of other extremely talented actors, for a story that is more supernatural in nature, dealing with the high stakes themes of mortality, eternal souls, and survival. It's truly a creepy ride. We are almost done with shooting (check out the teaser on here! ) and can't wait to show it to the world.