Hello Ghouls and Boils,
I know… it has been a while. This year has been a trying one for me and I have been dealing with some “real life” stuff… scarier than anything I post here. I apologize for our absence. But it was brief this time. Now that “real life” is levelling out, we are back and ready to bring you all the latest in news, reviews, interviews, reports, and other madness! We have a few new Minions on staff — introductions will be made as their reviews come in. The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival is next weekend, and of course we will be there to report! I am currently finishing up a new Tartarus Press book and that review should be live this weekend. Plus, 13 Days of Halloween is swiftly approaching!!! So lots of goodies coming your way, wicked ones.
As some of you remember, this summer I did a series on Flesh of my Flesh! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. If you click on the Flesh of my Flesh tag you can read the review and listen to/read all of the previous interviews. After FomF week, Minion A.P. Weir and I conducted a follow-up interview with director Edward Martin III on fimmaking and more…. so without further ado, here it is! Check out Flesh of my Flesh and get your copy today – just in time for your Halloween Horror Movie Marathon! Enjoy, my fiends!
Sarah L. Gerhardt
SNS: Welcome back. It was a whirlwind week here at SNS for Flesh of my Flesh this summer. We did some fabulous interviews, an article, and A.P. Weir wrote a phantastic review (along with a couple of these follow-up questions). As 2nd AD it makes me so proud. How do you feel about all the positive attention surrounding FomF?
Edward: The phrase that comes to mind is simply that it lightens my heart. So many people have watched this and saw what I saw in it, and that’s kind of the bottom line, that’s what I was trying to do from the very beginning – to come up with a strange and dangerous world. And they see that.
SNS: What was your first foray into filmmaking?
Edward: The first movie – the first nontrivial one, anyway – was a short project called “The Testament of Tom Jacoby,” which was my attempt to tell a story with as little resources as possible. The original version was almost entirely dark, but I thought that might have been a bit too long a stretch.
SNS: You have a great philosophy about filmmaking. You believe anyone can do it if they have the passion and drive. Talk to us about your filmmaking workshop.
Edward: Since 2000, we’ve been hosting a filmmaking workshop all across the country, typically at different conferences as part of their regular programming. Basically, we walk the workshop through all the main points of making a movie by actually making a movie with them, using them as part of the development, production, and post process. The underlying theme of the workshop is “Look at what we can do with pretty much no planning over a weekend – if you WANT to make a movie, then you CAN.” In fact, that whole process, along with close to a thousand cross-referenced tips and tricks, is being compiled into a pretty impressive-as-hell book.
SNS: If you could do the movie again with a million dollar budget what would he do differently OTHER than CGI effects
Edward: Hahaha, this is what I would do with that million-dollar budget: I’d make ten hundred-thousand dollar movies, probably a series of stories all connected. And I’m kinda already doing that – there are connections throughout many of my movies.
SNS: If you were a studio head, what changes would you make to the way films are made and what kind of projects would you want to be your legacy?
Edward: If I were a studio head, then basically, I’d be what I am now, though with a lot more reach. I think I would rather see a hundred personal heart-journey movies out there than five tentpoles, so I would encourage that. As for legacy, well, if I keep making movies that tweak my brain and seem fun and adventurous, then I’m happy. That might be fantasy, horror, mockumentary, drama, whatever tugs on my compass needle.
SNS: You write and direct, but what other set positions have you held?
Edward: Hm, well, I’ve sometimes been the-guy-who-plugs-stuff-into-the-right-circuit, and sometimes the-guy-who-gets-the-crazy-people-off-set and sometimes the-guy-who-keeps-the-coffee-flowing and quite a few times the-guy-who-figured-out-how-to-make-that-prop.
SNS: If you could give advice to a young aspiring filmmaker, what would it be?
Edward: make a bunch of movies – even if they are short, goofy, whatever. Just learn as much as you can each time. And take notes. And be nice to everyone.
SNS: You used to take part in a lot of “guerrilla filmmaking”. For those who don’t quite get the concept, why don’t you tell us a bit about that.
Edward: I think that’s basically making a movie with what you can find on hand. If all you have is a cabin, a paddle, and three people named “Tom,” you figure out how to make a movie using that. Maybe you occasionally destroy the governmental body of a small or medium-sized government, too. Because that can always help, destabilizing a region like that.
SNS: When you write a script, do you generally have a clear vision of what you want to see? How did FomF compare to that vision?
Edward: It might seem on the surface that it varied here and there, but first, that’s only if you read the original script, but also if you think of the script as the blueprint and the movie as the result. I don’t think like that. The story, the universe, kinda exists, and the script is only one manifestation of that. The movie is another manifestation of that. If I wrote a novelization of this same thing, it would also change and shift. And yet still all of these are the same thing in my head, just viewed through different eyeballs. And those eyeballs are all hanging in a room. And I’m like Mombi in Oz and when I want to see a certain way, I just grab the eyeballs I want to use. Although Mombi used heads instead, but dang, heads are pretty heavy and harder to suspend. So I use eyeballs. You should try eyeballs, too. Another way of thinking about it is that there’s this kind of “pure” story and it’s the inside of a warehouse, and whenever I create a shot of it – be it a screenplay or a novel, or a film, or a puppet-show – I’m punching a hole in the wall of that warehouse and looking in. I can only see part of the truth in there. And often someone yelling at me about the holes. But there’s no way to get the whole picture in any one hole.
SNS: Did you study film in school or the school of life?
Edward: I mostly studied story and communications in college, as well as mathematics and computer science, so when I put shit together, I think about how all the parts fit. What I’ve learned, I’ve mostly learned by keeping my eyes open on sets, reading everything I can grab, and thinking a lot about how I want filmmaking to be like.
SNS: What is your average budget for a film?
Edward: Whatever I have handy in cash.
SNS: Have you worked on any “major” productions?
Edward: if those quotation marks are ironic, then, no, not that I know of. I kinda fly under the radar of most folks. So far, anyway. Maybe someday I will be studied by film students as an example of “And who let HIM out?!”
SNS: Final thoughts/Sarcastic Comments?
Edward: If I don’t actually give you “final thoughts,” then I should live forever, I think, so I think that covers both questions.