Monday, 8 June 2020

Interview with filmmaker Cole Mitchek

                    Nosebleeders will screen at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films? 
Making movies has been the biggest dream of mine for pretty much my entire life. There’s even a photo of me as a baby looking through the viewfinder of my grandad’s VHS camcorder. I spent my youth forcing my friends and siblings to star in hundreds of my little strange productions. So this passion of mine eventually led to my first feature film, ‘Nosebleeders’ ! 

*What inspired you to make your movie? 
It all started with my favorite song growing up called “Pretty Purple Top Hat” by Matthew & The Arrogant Sea. In my college years I got the opportunity to meet & shoot several music videos with the band, and became good friends with the one and only Matthew Gray, the lead singer of the band. He recounted to me the otherworldly events leading up to the creation of the band’s critically acclaimed first album, “Family Family Family Meets the Magic Christian.” The story got wilder and wilder. It was truly stranger than fiction, and I felt that I was the only person on the planet who could tell this true story as truthfully and as tastefully as possible, while keeping my biases out of it, and allowing the viewers to decide which character’s they believe, because it’s a story told from multiple contradictory sides. My job was to navigate each side, and to find the truth hiding in between all of it. 

*How has your style evolved? 
I always feel the most inspired when I’m watching one of a kind movies from filmmakers like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, François Truffaut, Robert Bresson, Norman Mclaren, Robert Altman, David Lynch, Jean-Pierre Jeunet etc. so my style stems directly from these greats. It’s an amalgamation of what I love. For example, most everything I make has a warm color correction to it, reminiscent to Jeunet’s “Amélie.” And you’ll find a Chaplin reference in anything that I make. I’ve even got a big Charlie Chaplin tattoo on my left forearm. 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
‘Nosebleeders’ features scenes with ouija boards, seances, and abductions. We filmed many of these scenes in the actual locations that they supposedly happened more than ten years back in Denton, TX. So there was always an awareness that we might be repeating history on set. We burned sage, welcomed only positive energy, and said silent prayers to ourselves. We shot the entire movie in a week under the sweltering hot August Texas sun, on a tiny budget. The shoot itself is an entire story in itself, and I’m just so happy that I walked out of it with a movie that I feel very proud of, and with a team of incredibly talented people. 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
To me it represents the possibilities of what film can still be. There’s a huge gap with feature films in these modern times between indie and blockbuster. It’s so hard and rare to make something that’s entirely unique, that makes any money or has a wide audience. But there is luckily a lot of accessibility to making movies on your own terms, without the logistics and regulations that Hollywood deems necessary. I think the Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto are giving us a voice and a platform to get as weird as we’d like, and to not feel guilty about it. 

*What can we expect from your next film? 
I’ve got a few ideas brewing at the moment. You can expect something wild & weird & from the heart. But my main focus right now is to be there for my wife as we get ready to have our first child!