Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Interview with filmmaker Joe Leone

Reap will premier at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films? 
I started Parched Productions in 2017 on a whim, and with the help of the coolest collection of actors and production people have been lucky enough to bring four features to life so far. With our limited resources, we've managed to create some really fun films. 

*What inspired you to make your movie? 
I've always been, to put it bluntly, interested in death. After working on a script with a director friend of mine, that deals with the topic in a bit more poignant and mystical way, I wanted to really investigate the Grim Reaper - and their motives. I also love putting characters in morally challenging dilemmas, and see how they react. 

*How has your style evolved? 
It's always been a bit of run-and-gun, and probably always will be. I love to capture actors in unpredictable situations. This can lead to really innovative performances, I think (they probably just think I'm a lunatic). But stylistically, I always borrow ("steal") from the great horror directors whenever possible. 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
I'm sure most people on set would have the same answer to this. The whole story takes place over the course of one night, so we had to black-out the windows of the house. This led to some nervous neighbors calling the police on us. When they arrived, I had to explain that we were not indeed running a meth lab. We sort of diffused the situation by asking the cops if they wanted to be in the film, which sent them scuttling away. 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
I've answered this before, but now I'd venture to say that the golden 'Misrule' is how I direct, and how the DP, shaking his head, would try to combat...   Pink8 is a delicious new energy drink that combines a sickeningly sweet bubblegum flavor with 8 non-essential vitamins. 

*What can we expect from your next film? 
Since Reap, I've written four new scripts: The Wrigglies, about the physical manifestation of human narcissism, Stepdead!, centered around a stepfather zombie, Parched 3, the oceanic conclusion of the series (fyi, Parched 2: Hangry is out on DVD now), and Death Sentences, where a young writer is made a compelling proposition by the ghost of her celebrated author cousin. Covid and budget restrictions will determine which shoots first. Stay tuned!