Steve Goldmann is the talented director behind the hit Trailer Park Of Terror which recently premiered on Zone Horror. It's such an amazing movie we decided to chat to Steve about this and his career so far.
ZH: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a director?
SG: I started out wanting to be an actor – but I loved to tell stories and fell in love with the movies at an early age. My dad would bring home 16mm prints of famous old movies and new ones and we would watch them on one of those portable screens they used to have at schools. My first memory is of a James Bond film – but the movie that made me fall in love with the movies was THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN! Very quickly my dad started showing me all the old Universal monster movies – Dracula, The Wolfman, Frankenstein and a lot of the Hammer Horror library. I remember going through a catalogue and crossing titles out as I saw them. But it wasn’t until I was 16 or 17 – when I learned that you could study movies and make them in college that I knew for sure that my love for the movies would become a lifetime relationship.
ZH: How did you get your big break?
SG: I don’t know whether I can classify any one directing job as my big break – I kind of feel like I am waiting for it still. I look back on my career and I see a lot of chipping away – striving , trying to get better with every job, and one job well done, lead to another and then to another. So I guess the answer is the cliché – hard work and practice.
ZH: Was it hard moving from directing music promos to TV?
SG: I didn’t find it so. I felt it was like a training camp. I certainly learned a lot about telling stories with visuals. I also feel that is gave me the ability to edit in my head – a talent that has served me well when I don’t have a lot of time. Lastly – I think music videos can really help you with learning how to get a lot of visual bang for the buck.
ZH: Trailer Park Of Terror is based on the series from Imperium Comics, when did you first come across this title?
SG: I had never heard of the comic book until Producer Jonathan Bogner shared them with me and asked if I could come up with a pitch for a movie inspired by the characters and the tone of the comics.
ZH: I was in the audience at FrightFest 2007 when the movie played. The audience really got it. Did you expect such a positive reaction from UK horror fans?
SG: I really had no idea. I wasn’t ready for it. It was great. I have to admit I was never sure how the film would play outside the U.S. – FrightFest was just one of the best experiences in my life. I was happy there was an audience willing to get in touch with there inner 15 year old.
ZH: Nichole Hiltz who plays Norma (described as a Redneck Reaper!) really nails this bizarre character. How did she prepare to play such a creation?
SG: You know – that is a very good question. She kept a lot of her preparation very private. I know from some of conversations that she went to a tough place. Some days were hard for her. She really worked on have three distinct voices. One for the Norma we meet at the beginning, one for the teenage flashbacks and then for the reaper. She liked the idea that the Reaper Norma was always a little inebriated and kind of played it that way. But what I learned early about Nicole and why I think I was blessed to have her – is she has no fear, and no place she won’t challenge herself to go.
ZH: Was it a hard movie to cast?
SG: All the roles fell into place rather nicely – it was Norma that was tough. I think a lot of actresses were afraid of the role. She was the toughest. Lauren Bass – my casting director was just incredible.
ZH: Did you have a large budget?
SG: Nope – we shot for only 18 days. But I had some great friends help me pull it off. The folks at the make-up FX company Drac Studios, my D.O.P. Jeff Venditti,, Line Producer Ralph Singleton, my producer Jonathan Bogner and more unsung heroes, all brought more then their talent – they made stuff happen and helped make this movie look better then it had any right to for the money we had. Little miracles all over the place
ZH: The score seems to be a key ingredient to the unique atmosphere of the movie.
SG: My best friend and and a key player in the the story that is Trailer Park Of Terror is Alan Brewer. He wrote the music and produced almost all the songs in the movie. You can get it from Amazon and iTunes on the Lakeshore Records label.
ZH: The movie has built up quite a following, why do you think it connects with so many fans?
SG: Can I refrain from answering this question and just enjoy the idea and your words that the movie has built up quite a following? I would like to know more about said following. I like these people. But seriously – I think I will quote one my heroes – producer and partner to Sam Raimi - Rob Tapert who told me I had made an entertaining film for fans. I liked that.
ZH: Would you like to return to the Trailer Park?
SG: YES. We just need that following you were telling me about to become more vocal and convince the powers at be that there would be financial reward in doing so.
ZH: Are you a big horror movie fan? If so what do you think will be the next “big thing” for the genre?
SG: I would consider myself a horror fan – not a fanatic. I am a film fanatic period. As for the next big thing in horror I don’t know, but I would not be surprised if it reared it’s horrific head out of the minds of directors like Adam Green, and Joe Lynch to name just a couple. I think they – just may bring sexy back. OK maybe not sexy – but a love for the genre and its history. I like that they know where it has been and where they want to go. I don’t feel the nihilism in their work. I feel a joy in their dread. For a while it seemed like every horror film needed to feel like a music video by Prodigy mixed with look of Joel-Peter Witkin – great stuff but too much of any good thing (J-horror) can be numbing. I have missed the raw around the edges vibe – things have been looking so slick as if the could be a car commercial. That’s why movies like Wolf Creek
, or even Splinter
jump out at me and feel so special.
So maybe in fact, horror doesn’t need a next big thing – just great stories made by people who get their movies made no matter what the obstacles.
ZH: So what’s next for you?
SG: If the Horror Gods are looking down on me favourably, it will be a nifty voodoo film called HOODOO, penned and produced by J.S. Cardone. Cross your fingers for us.
ZH: Steve Goldmann, thank you very much.