LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Interview With Adam Rifkin Director Of Director's Cut
By James W, Monday 29th August 2016
One of the best from this year's FrightFest is Adam Rifkin's meta-movie chiller Director's Cut. This smart, funny, dark and very satisfying movie was written and stars Penn Jillette proving that this guy knows what horror movie lovers enjoy and in the hands of Adam Rifkin it pure gold. Here Adam chats about this superb movie. (Adam RIfkin - Photo Credit Jim Newberry)
HC: How did the project for Director's Cut come together?
AR: Penn Jillette had actually started writing the script about 10 years ago but it wasn't until he saw a film I made called Look that he decided to put Director's Cut on the front burner. Look is a drama that is all shot from surveillance footage and Penn appreciated the fact that I never broke away from the promise I made to the audience, that every shot remain true to the concept. We had never met before but he contacted me on Facebook. We actually spoke that night and he emailed me the script and asked that I consider directing it. I read it immediately and by 3am we decided to work together on it. Because it's such a bizarro film we knew raising money would be difficult so it was Penn who first suggested we try crowdfunding.
HC: The movie has been labelled as meta-horror but I feel it goes beyond that, how would you categorise Director's Cut?
AR: Director's Cut is an actual crowdfunded movie about a fictitious crowdfunded movie in which one of the film's fictitious crowdfunders kidnaps the actual star of the movie-within-the- movie so that he can make his own amateur third movie out of stolen footage from the second movie along with additional amateur footage he shoots himself, which ultimately creates a forth movie which is the movie-within-the-movie-within-the-movie-within-the-movie that we call Director's Cut. And if you think that's confusing, try directing the damn thing. Thanks Penn! I guess you could say itís the cinematic equivalent of the Droste effect, which is the visual sensation of infinity one gets when standing between two mirrors. Or the image of a man holding a painting of a man holding a painting of a man holding a painting, ad infinitum. Even though the whole twisted mess seems like a puzzle within a riddle that leaped into an abyss, it actually makes prefect sense when watching it. I swear!
HC: Was this the first time you used this process?
AR: Yes, I had never crowdfunded a film before. I loved it. The hardest part of getting any movie made it finding the money. Appealing directly to the fans and basically selling the film to them in advance was a fun and exciting way to get a movie made.
HC: Does crowdfunding help give you more creative freedom?
AR: Without a doubt. Everyone who was involved in contributing money was completely on board with what we were doing. They signed on because they believed in Penn, in me and in this crazy project. It was very liberating creatively.
HC: Was it a tough shoot and is it difficult getting people to act as exaggerated versions of themselves?
AR: Every shoot is a tough shoot. That said, it was harder on Missi than anyone else. She had to play a character in a movie, an actress playing a character in a movie and an actress acting for her life in a completely separate movie within the movie. It was a real psychological puzzle for her but she did a fantastic job. I canít imagine another actress being able to pull it off.
HC: Do you like acting?
AR: I don't consider myself an actor, I'm a director wh'íll ham it up on camera occasionally. That said, it's true what they say... the actors have all the fun.
Q: Teller's commentary seems so natural did he improvise any of it at all?
AR: No, Teller's speech was written and he performed it verbatim, take after take, to perfection. I know most people have never heard him talk but he's a fantastic actor.
HC: Will there be a director's commentary on the DVD of Director's Cut?
AR: Absolutely! The whole movie is narrated by Penn's character's director's commentary so we thought having a real director's commentary over the fictitious commentary was just too good to pass up. The levels of descending ďmetaĒ continue!
HC: Do you still get nervous when you show your movies at festivals?
AR: Every time. Showing my work to an audience is a very nerve wracking and humbling experience. It always makes me feel very exposed. It's hard to make a movie and it always takes a really long time. I'm always hopeful that an audience will like it. And I don't care what any other filmmaker says, it hurts when they don't.
HC: So, what are you up to at the moment?
AR: The reason I'm not able to travel to FrightFest is because I'm currently working on a new film called Dog Years. It's heavy drama about an old man who used to be a very famous movie star but now has found himself on hard times. It stars Burt Reynolds in the performance of his career. We just finished shooting in Knoxville Tennessee and are knee deep in editing. It also stars Chevy Chase, Ariel Winter, Clark Duke, Ellar Coltrane and Nikki Blonski.
HC: Adam Rifkin, thank you very much.
MORE INTERVIEWS Interview with Hattie Smith, star of The Axiom
Posted on Sunday 24th June 2018
The Axiom is a tense and disturbing chiller from director Nicholas Woods. The film concerns a woman who travels into a National forest, in search for her missing sister. Once in the wilderness, they discover they have entered a multi-dimensional world full of monsters. The film is an adrenaline infused experience with some cool effects and a smart story. We chatted to lead actress Hattie Smith about The Axiom.
HC: How did you become involved with The Axiom?
HS: I went to school with Nicholas, the director. We both graduated from Chapman University, and I was a year or so behind him in the film school. At some point, I was recommended to him as an actress for the 48 Hr Film Festiv...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Jessica McLeod, star of The Hollow Child
Posted on Friday 8th June 2018
If you like your horror movies to have a strong paranormal theme to them you'll need to look out for The Hollow Child when it gets released later this year. It stars the incredibly talented Jessica McLeod so we decided to have a chat about this and her career to date.
HC: Was there a certain person you saw who inspired you to become an actor?
JM: I don't think I had seen a movie by the time I had wanted to be an actor. But Reese Witherspoon continues to inspire me, although my career has been entirely different from hers at my age.
HC: Can you recall what it was like to be on a movie set for the first time?
JM: I believe I got to wear a prin...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Steeve Leonard co-director of Radius
Posted on Monday 21st May 2018
In the chilling movie, Radius, a man wakes from a car crash with amnesia and what's more anyone who comes into contact with him instantly dies. This FrightFest favourite is receiving its UK TV premiere on Friday 25th of May so we chatted to its co-director and co-writer Steeve Leonard about this celebrated and cerebral movie.
HC: How long did Radius take to write?
SL: Radius took about 4 years to write, on and off. We had the radius of death idea first but we didn't know what to do with it, and so we shelved it for a while. Later we came up with the more interpersonal twist we have now and we weaved it together with the radius idea.
HC: Was it written with a cast in mind?
SL: No....SHARE: READ MORE Exclusive: Director Johannes Roberts talks 'The Strangers: Prey at Night'
Posted on Tuesday 1st May 2018
This weekend sees the release of a long-awaited sequel to one of 2008's most beloved slasher films. Yes, nine whole years after The Strangers premiered, UK cinema-goers will be met once again by Dollface, the Man in Mask and Pin-Up Girl in The Strangers: Prey at Night.
Starring Mad Men's Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson, and Lewis Pullman, son of the late Bill, the film sees a family of four being stalked and tormented shortly after arriving on what was supposed to be a quiet family trip to a remote mobile home. The family must decide whether to take on the dreaded strangers hell-bent on wreaking havoc, or to run for their lives.
We had a chat with the film's direct...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Andy Nyman, co-writer, co-director and star of Ghost Stories
Posted on Monday 9th April 2018
I've met Andy Nyman on many occasions over the last decade or so, and over that time I've watched his career constantly go from strength to strength. To call him multi-talented would be an understatement and along with Jeremy Dyson has created the must-see horror movie of 2018, Ghost Stories. Here he chats about the stage play, Ghost Stories as well as how it changed on its way to the big screen.
HC: When did you first meet co-writer and co-director Jeremy Dyson?
AN: Jeremy and I met at a Jewish Summer Camp in 1981, and you just get thrown together in dorms of four people and Jeremy is from Leeds and all my family are from Leeds so I used to spend most of my weekends up in Leeds so we instantly ha...SHARE: READ MORE John Krasinski talks directing and starring in 'A Quiet Place'
Posted on Friday 6th April 2018
In case you hadn't heard, A Quiet Place has opened in cinemas nationwide.
The film, starring real-life couple, John Krasinski (US adaptation of The Office and 13 Hours) and Emily Blunt (Sicario, Wind Chill and The Devil Wears Prada) takes place in a post-apocalyptic(-ish) environment, in which strange wild creatures that hunt by sound have destroyed a significant amount of the population.
Krasinski and Blunt's characters, husband and wife Lee and Evelyn try to lead a life with their family as quietly (and by that we mean literally) as possible, in able to ensure their survival.
We sat down with the director and one half of Krasinski-Blunt to talk about the film, what scares him the most, and which...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with David Howard Thornton, star of Terrifier
Posted on Monday 26th March 2018
If you're a fan of slasher movies then you'll have to check out the bood-splattered shocker Terrifier. The movie is a full-blown, hair-raising homage to grindhouse slashers that introduces a new murderous icon in the form of Art the Clown. Art id surely destined to become a true horror anti-hero and here David Howard Thornton, the guy who plays art, chats about this brilliantly brutal movie and what he's up to at the moment.
HC: What movie or person inspired you to want to work in the film industry?
DT: I would say that would be the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit film wise. I was obsessed with that film when it first came out, and still watch it at least once a year when I need some inspiration. It meshe...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Richard Elliot, Managing Director of 88 Films
Posted on Saturday 17th March 2018
Recently I've been lucky enough to review some rather tasty Blu-rays from 88 Films. This company has been behind amazing releases of titles such as A Cat in the Brain, Anthropophagous and Don't Go in the Woods...Alone. So I decided to chat to managing director Richard Elliot about 88 Films and how they survive in a cut-throat market.
HC: How did 88 Films start?
RE: 88 Films started after James and I met working for another label and it was the usual "we think we can do it better than the boss" scenario. So we slowly developed an idea of what we wanted to do after work down the pub and after lots of head scratching and pork scratchings and some setbacks BE Movies was born... which quickly became 88 Films...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Paul Urkijo, director of Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil
Posted on Thursday 1st March 2018
One thing that Horror Channel FrightFest prides itself in is by championing new talent. This year's Glasgow event is no different with a whole host of newbies bringing their first features. A real highlight is Paul Urkijo's Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil which is a sumptuous piece that Terry Gilliam would be proud of. Here he chats to us about this stunning movie.
HC: Where did the idea for Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil come from?
PU: I was inspired by the Basque story "Patxi Errementaria". He was registered by JM Barandiaran, an anthropologist priest who dedicated his life to recording stories and legends of the Basque Country. It is a legend about a blacksmith who was so ev...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Adam MacDonald, writer and director of Pyewacket.
Posted on Wednesday 28th February 2018
There have been a number of occult and demonic movies over the last few years but none have come close to the tension and terror of Adam MacDonald's Pyewacket. The superb piece of cinema is showing at Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow this week so I had a quick chat with Adam about this superior shocker.
HC: Have you always been a horror fan?
AM: It really started when I was about 7 years old when my older brother showed me Evil Dead. I couldn't believe what I was watching, it truly rocked me. The card scene in the film did not leave my mind for days. That film is stained on my brain. I was terrified. But then I had a realisation that I loved that feeling. It was primal. Then I watched The Shinin...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Kelly Greene, writer and director of Attack of the Bat Monsters
Posted on Tuesday 27th February 2018
Making movies can be a tough business but to have to wait almost two decades to release your work takes true dedication. At Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow this weekend Kelly Greene's Attack of the Bat Monsters is finally unleashed. Here he tells us the story behind this celebration of 1950s creature features.
HC: You were inspired to write Attack of the Bat Monsters when you were researching 50s movies, did it take long to write?
KG: It took quite a while because I was working 50 to 60 hours a week at a video production facility while raising a 2-year old and 8-year old, along with my wife, who was also working. I would write at night between 9 and 11pm, and maybe a little more ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Patrick Magee, writer and director of Primal Rage
Posted on Monday 26th February 2018
There's been a spate of "bigfoot-style, beast in the woods" types of movies recently but none have come anywhere near Primal Rage. This superior creature feature from Patrick Magee will be having its European Premiere at Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow this Friday so I decided to have a chat with this very talented and creative person.
HC: Did you know from a young age you wanted to work in the film industry?
PM: Since a very young age I was always into, even obsessed, with movies. Specifically horror movies, monster movies really. As a hobby, I got really into special make-up effects and drawing. It got to the point where I was so obsessed with it, I decided when I was a teen that I ha...SHARE: READ MORE Interviews Archive: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Wednesday 25th July
Saturday 28th July
Friday 27th July