Welcome to my very first interview post. These I'm shuffling under the name The Gore Gore Reporter. I've been talking about this forever and finally just got around to it, and now I have a million interviews in the works. Now this first interview is a really special one, and not because it's the first one I'm posting, but because it's with the absolutely amazing Joe Lynch! He is a Jack of all trades, except his name is not Jack...it's Joe, and he's crazier then the average Jack. Now if you don't know who Joe Lynch is I will probably scream "WHYYY", and slap your face with a latex glove, yes latex. Then continue on in a ridiculously nut-baggish rage explaining how wonderful he is. You'll probably mainly recognize him as the badass maniac director of "Wrong turn 2:Dead end". He has directed music video's for such bands as Devil driver, Godhead, Bleed the sky, The black dahlia murder, 311, and Strapping young lad. You can spot him in Terror firmer(1999), The Tiffany problem-a short movie by Adam Green(2008), Thirsty(2008), The goofy yet horrific web series by him and Adam Green called "The road to Fright Fest", and G4's web series by the name of "Attack of the show"! In a little section called "Body count", where he tells you about all of the most magnificent horror movies that you can cram into your pretty little heads! Now on a serious level this interview is filled to the brim with insight, especially if you are a huge movie buff or aspiring film maker. As Joe says "I've been making something out of nothing for 25 years", and(not to sound cheesy)but if your really motivated enough you can too. Now follow these easy steps provided by the one and only Joe Lynch! He is really one of the nicest and sweetest people you will ever talk to. Joe is a walking inspiration and I would like to thank him again for taking the time out of his busy film making days to do this interview for me. THANK YOU JOE! Anyways I hope everyone enjoys and learns a little something from this interview.
My Awestacular Interview Answers! by Joe Lynch
1.)Let's start off with the big question. What made you decide you wanted to be a film maker?
Funny, what made me want to be part of the movies was seeing STAR WARS in the theater and thinking that the actors, droids, wookies etc all were BEHIND the screen, like a theatrical production. So when it was over and the credits rolled, I immediately hopped off my Mom's lap, ran down to the exits under the screen and screamed "CHEWY!" only to be greeted by a brick wall and the door to the outside world. I wondered "How DID THEY do that cool stuff!" and from then on, I was fascinated by moving pictures. I must have been 2? 3? Wow.
From there I wanted to be an actor and a Makeup Artist, like Tom Savini ever since my mom brought home SCREAM GREATS Vol. 1 from the library (hey, it was free!). Figuring out all the FX was like working on a puzzle, and I loved it. But I also started noticing, in all the movie-watching I did at such a young age (thank you Home Box Office!) that movies with the same names of these people called "Directors" in the beginning and/or end credits had similar looks, cast, shots, etc and wondered "who made those choices and WHY?" I think it was with RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK I began to "follow" directors, namely the guys who did TWILIGHT ZONE THE MOVIE, another film I was obsessed with when I was 7; John Landis, Joe Dante, George Miller and that Spielberg guy (who I knew from E.T., POLTERGEIST & CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, of course). EVERY film they did, I would start to figure out how they left their mark, even down to title fonts and camera moves. What pre-schooler thinks about that stuff?!?
But like I've mentioned in the past, it was a summertime matinee of Chuck Russell's remake of THE BLOB ('88) that made me go "I wanna be a director" because I noticed how all the choices he & Darabont made in the script and how, in the filmic execution of those ideas, the filmmakers affected that packed audience, and loved seeing how a 2-D screen filled with images and sounds manipulated a crowd like this. I think that's when I started hooking up 2 VCR's together and making home movies, that very summer of '88. But every movie I saw even before then, it felt a little like School; I wasn't just enjoying it...I was analyzing, explicating, breaking down moments and how they worked the crowd. But wait, "school" could be fun too?? It was infectious. From that summer on I called myself a filmmaker. Pretty pompous, I know, but it all starts somewhere, right?
2.)I know you've acted in some Troma movies. How was your experience working with Troma entertainment, and what all have you done with them?
I never expected to act in anything but my own stuff in fear of ruining someone else's product, but being part of the Troma Team, you wear MANY hats, or in my case...masks! Troma was an eye-opening experience, no doubt, but like other Alumnus (James Gunn, Gadi Harel, Trent Haaga, etc) we all learned how to make a lot out of a little and knowing every dept. on a film set is absolutely integral for a director. It's knowing every tool in the shed to make your story-house, you know? From script to acting to cinematography to production design...all the way down the line to making cheese sandwiches at Craft Services and running cable; Film making is a complete collaborative process and Troma prides itself on that "all for one" attitude. It's where I got my actual start! I was actually a grip on TERROR FIRMER for the first week, but because I was so fucking eager and happy to be there, loving every minute of the 18 hour days, Lloyd took a shine to me I guess because, much to the chagrin of our douche-bag DP, he started putting me in the background as ClothesPin Boy, which quickly became a regular character throughout the course of the film. Look closely next time you watch that flick; I'm practically in EVERY SHOT. By the 3rd week I was given the job to direct the background actors, letting me fulfill the dream of directing a human-sized Dolphin and a Transvestite in the same scene. Checked THAT off the bucket list! By the time we wrapped I had 5 jobs on the set, including writing scenes on the fly, and being a childhood fan of TOXIE AVENGER and other TROMA classics, it was an honor and a great start to my career, if you wanna call it that. Right after we wrapped TERROR FIRMER, Lloyd asked me and my College friend Yaniv (who I had introduced Troma to in school and he in turn recommended me for the grip gig) to stay on as in-house writers, and the rest is Tromatic history. I love Lloyd; he's a true pioneer and a dear friend & I owe him a lot for my career. I also hate him (in a loving way) for making me "handle" Toxie at events. Sometimes, it doesn't pay to be the tallest and most fit member of the Troma Team at the time. I still have nightmares of that festering, foul-smelling mask.
3.)Could you give us a quick synopsis of your new movie "Knights of badassdom"?
Sure! The movie is about 3 friends (and one semi-douche) who embark on a fun-filled weekend at a LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) event, where one of them, who unknowingly bought a REAL book of magic on ebay (of course), opens said book and starts casting spells, only to release a dark, evil (and HUNGRY) force into the forrest. Of course, chaos ensures. So its fake swords, real monsters. I call it a "Heavy Metal Horror Adventure" and honestly, its the kind of story I wanted to tell after WT2 because it further blended all the genres I love into one story but not settling on one type of film genre, so it keeps the audience on their toes, but a story where the characters are real, grounded, relatable. Its gonna be a blast to make and an even bigger gas to watch with an audience. Can't Wait!
4.)When can we expect Knights of badassdom to be released?
Jeez, I gotta shoot the thing first! Hopefully by the end of this year we'll be finished and can talk release, but this year is devoted to crafting the story visually and make one hell of a flick first. I can't wait to be out there with a bull horn in one hand and a foam sword in the other. I've already gotten my sword picked out too, now I just gotta name her for good luck. Is "Mildred" too risque?
5.)Now we know Wrong turn 2 was filled to the brim with violence and gore, can we expect the same with Knights?
Well with WT2 I deliberately set out to make a Splatter movie, the kind you don't see much anymore, so it had a particular tone to it that invited over-the-top, almost unrealistic gore. I mean, it might be a little tough to split a chick in half, even if she is a shallow reality show contestant! But with KNIGHTS, I'm focusing on real people who are in a fantastic situation, one they are willing at first to go along with because the film is about wish-fulfillment, but when the stakes are raised and the threats are real, they deal with it in real ways, so the violence should reflect that. So the tone of the film will be one of more realism...but don't worry....there will be a LOT of the red stuff flying.
6.)I have to ask, was it you that came up with the title "knights of badassdom", and why did you choose that name? (Because i think it is awesome)!
No I didn't come up with the name, I wish I could claim that honor! The name and original script were written by Matt Wall and Kevin Dreyfuss, two great writer/producers at IndieVest, who have another film coming out this month (ST. JOHN OF LAS VEGAS). Let's just say...they had me at "BADASSDOM". We've been working on the script together since 08 and its in such a great place now that I'm confident we're going out there with a powder-keg of Awesome and those guys are really amazing to work with since they love all the things I do, including great metal, which plays a big part in the story actually. Yeah, that title is fucking awesome and we will fight tooth and nail to make sure the film stays BADASS; funny how everyone asks if the title is real and will it stick. Hell yes it will! That's why I read it to begin with! In terms of why that title, it refers to something in the film but you'd be better off asking Matt & Kevin the genesis of the moniker...I just thought "If the story lives up to the title, I'm fucking IN". And it REALLY is.
7.)Do you have any other upcoming projects you can share with us?
Nothing I can talk about at the moment cause I don't want to jinx it, but between the short films I'm gonna try to squeeze in this year hopefully (including another Douche Brothers venture with my dear friend/partner-in-slime, Adam Green), possibly another music video for a band I love, my job as Creative Director at G4tv.com, a new script and a secret project I can't wait to embark on, its gonna be a VERY busy year. Stay tuned!
8.)What's your favorite horror movie of all time?
OOOOOH, tough one. It changes every day but the TOP 4 TITANS in my head would be THE EXORCIST, TEXAS CHAINSAW, HALLOWEEN & DAWN OF THE DEAD. The original ones, mind you, although I did love both the TCM & DOTD remakes a great deal (lets not discuss the new HALLOWEEN). But those films still get me, even if they are a touch dated now; there's still a great deal of effective scenes and moments in each one and they all have wonderful subtext embedded in the fine lines of the frame. Oddly enough, I think one of the greatest horror films of all time (and actually my personal favorite film) is SCHINDLER'S LIST. Why? Because the horrors and atrocities therein are 100% real (sorry, conspiracy theorists) and the emotions that come charing forth every time I watch it are so strong. Most horror films WISH to garner the kind of raw emotional response that LIST can elicit....and its the powerful, raw and many time horrible images in that film that will always stay with me and prove again and again the true power of film.
9.)What was it like directing your first full length movie, Wrong turn 2:Dead end? Are you a fan of the 1st and 3rd Wrong turn movies?
First off, I really enjoyed the first WRONG TURN, Rob did a great job setting the stage and the style; I think I was one of the few people who saw it in the theater when it came out in 03 (that's what happens when you get released alongside a Pixar movie! Damn you NEMO!) so when I was given the honor to do the sequel, I wanted to both respect the first film by making it a true sequel (the original script for WT2 had no ties to it) but also make WT2 its own tonal beast, similar to the approach for ALIENS. But it was also my chance to tip the brim to the splatter movies I loved as a kid, like FRIDAY THE 13TH 4, EVIL DEAD 2, PHANTASM 2, RE-ANIMATOR, DAY OF THE DEAD....the films that had fun shocking and scaring you and pushed the limits of FX to get the gasps. Making WT2 up in Vancouver was the best summer Ive ever had (so far), it was like Splatter Camp!
10.)Throughout your career who has been your biggest inspiration?
This sounds like a cliche, but my Dad. He created a small but very successful business (AUTOMOTIVE TRIK)from his own ideas, his own bare hands and not only supported our family, but made a name for himself in his industry with his very creative ideas and I hope that I can follow in his footsteps in another medium. He also believed in me, not forcing me to take on a "normal" job (or take over the family business) and supported me in so many ways before he died last year. That he got to see my first film on the big screen before he died will always be something I will cherish, even though I wasn't there to enjoy it with him. But his drive, passion and creativity will always keep me going, fuel my fire. I think about him every day and that's what throws a log on the flames, truth be told.
If you're asking for filmmakers who inspired me, I could list a TON, but the usual suspects are Spielberg, Mann, Romero, Carpenter, Raimi, Jackson, Friedkin, Cronenberg, Hooper, Landis, The Coens, Cameron, Besson, Dante, Miller, Miike...guys who have a true thru-line with their vision that permeates through all their work. You can TELL it was one of these guys who made (insert awesome flick here). God, I know I'm leaving some out, but being someone who lives and breaths movies, every film and filmmaker inspires me; its such an arduous process to make a cohesive story out of the chaos that is a film production that ANYONE who can do it gets my respect. That I could do it too and be happy with the end result confirmed I will make movies the rest of my life. Sorry haters!
11.)If you could choose anyone in the entire world(dead or alive) to make a movie with, who would you choose and why?
Well if I had the chance to work with any of my heroes listed above, consider me having a Cineboner for the rest of my life. In a more realistic sense, working with a true friend like Green on the Douche Bros. shorts (and another "hush hush" project we're concocting now) has been some of the most fulfilling collaborations I've ever been a part of. He's not only a true, great friend, but one hell of a storyteller too, and we push each other to greatness on stuff we do together and even our own separate projects. if I can get the chance to keep doing that, I'd be a happy camper. But also, I'm a DP snob, I LOVE the collective works of Cinematographers and see movies sometimes JUST for the DP (Director of Photography), so to work with someone like Dante Spinotti, Robert Richardson, Peter Deming, Sam McCurdy, Benoit Debie, Roger Deakins and the like...is very exciting. Shit, I know I'm leaving other awesome DP's out here, sorry!
12.)Do you have any last words of encouragement to aspiring film makers out there?
Screw school. If you want to make your parents proud that they have a college graduate (Like I did for mine), that is commendable and very nice, but if you just want to go to school and spend yours or someone else's hard-earned money "learning film" then you're kinda wasting your time. Luckily I went to a school that had a great system: "Here's some equipment; go out, make your short, come back and we'll tear it a new asshole and you learn from your mistakes". Many schools don't do that and you end up not making ANY shorts but know how to be a great key grip; I walked away from SU with 4 shorts I was proud of, two of which played at a few film festivals. So it's up to you but if you wanna just jump into the film fire, here's 4 tips I can pass on from past experience:
1. Get a netflix account: There you have a wide library of cinema, both with the mail-based service and the Instant option on Xbox or Blu-Ray players to watch plenty of films new and old, good, bad and/or ugly, and learn from them. Commentary tracks and behind the scenes docs on the special features are also VERY helpful and cut out the clutter of final exams and dickweed, self-righteous professors who think their opinion is God where the medium of film is completely subjective; there are no right or wrong answers in appreciating film. Watch movies, take notes. There you go, film theory class in your inbox.
2. Buy/Rent/Borrow a film/video camera: As PARANORMAL ACTIVITY & BLAIR WITCH before it showed us, you don't need IMAX cameras to make compelling films that hit the big screen. Then again, the "verite" medium they used fit the storylines, but cameras now are so cheap and with the right lighting and eye for shots, you can get a cost-effective camera, even in HD, and be able to make a film (short or long) with very little and also look GOOD. 24p FTW!
3. Buy/Borrow a Mac/Final Cut pro system: Good footage needs to be shaped into compelling, effective stories, and with a decent laptop and FCP, you can edit and output really great, professional content just like the big boys with their fancy AVIDs. Even programs like After Effects, Motion and the like can give you impressive effects for little scratch, so its more about your imagination than budgets to create killer stuff.
4. Set up a YouTube account: You want distribution? It's already out there! Until you get more seasoned and noticed by studios, investors and producers who can trust you with a bigger budget to produce viable product, you can make your own movies with the first 3 steps (and no studio notes other than your mom or friends) and then encode it on YouTube or any other video hosting site and there...the whole world can click on it and with a decent connection, watch it in the fidelity you intended. If you have a vision for your story and the passion to do it, nothing can stop you. Take it from me; I've been making something out of nothing for almost 25 years now and all the little tips and tricks I learned from making shorts and videos with 59 cents, some fake blood and a roll of duct tape has helped immensely when it came time to work on bigger films. Every little step will allow you to take a bigger one later. So instead of using up thousands of dollars that would normally go to "Higher Learning", why not convince your parents to instead fund your first film? Write a script, that only costs 120 sheets of paper and your imagination. Then show them how much you want to do it and with some clever convincing (and hell, show them the movies that inspired YOU!), you might just be on your way to making your ideas come to life, which is one of the greatest feelings in the world...next to good sex and eating a big, yummy bowl of Mac & Cheese, of course. Now stop reading this and go kick some ass!
13.)Would it be to much to ask you for a small bio of yourself as well?
Joe Lynch is obsessed with making images move, loves his wife Bri and cherishes his new son, Remy and their dog, Banzai. He is 403 years old, loves funky socks and can grow a full beard in 8 hours.
For more information on Joe Lynch you can check out these websites:
If you would like me to review your movie, book, video game, magazine, etc. I review all types of genres. Or if you are interested in placing an advertisement (Movie or horror related) on my page. please send me a message at Ispeaktodestroyx@aol.com and Put MOVIE SCREENER as the subject please!I'll get all my contact information to you a.s.a.p.
Also please keep in mind I'm brutally honest in my reviews. Also beware of *SPOILERS* in my reviews!
"It was a matter of life after death. Now that he's dead, I have a life"-Mrs. White (Clue 1985)
"How does it feel to be the weak one,the victim..Flesh for the beast"!