Bootler"s Yearly Random (But Interesting) Fact

7-Up was origanally named Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Golden Bortons 2008 -- Interview #1: Matthew McGinnis

To kick off this year's Golden Bortons -- The Tim Burton Collective's annual Halloween film festival -- Fuzzy Duck (Kevin Schreck) presents an interview with Matt McGinnis, a.k.a. mongoose_mania. Matt discusses his entry into this year's festivities, Zombie High, which he produced and co-wrote.

Click Zombie High to watch the movie!

Kevin Schreck: What was the origin of the idea of this project?

Matt McGinnis: The love of zombies, really. My church has this annual movie festival where we get to make short films and enter them, and my friend Jon and I wanted to make a zombie movie for it that would be appropriate and was able to be shown. We decided we can't show any gore or blood obviously, which was fine because we wanted to make something fun. But what could we do with zombies that would be fun? Well, those old instructional videos from the 1950s came into question and that's when we finally started fleshing everything out.

KS: What were some of your earliest efforts in filmmaking?

MM: My earliest efforts, actually, were only three years ago, I remember perfectly. For the same film contest, a group of my friends and I got together and made some really poorly made cereal commercials for the most horrible cereals imaginable. We didn't even have an editing program at the time so everything had to be done in one take on an old video-cassette camera. We thought they were the funniest things back when we first made them, but we look at them now and kinda shake our heads. It's funny, when you're younger you think whatever it is you're doing is the coolest thing ever but then as time goes on you notice things that you wished you could do better at or wished you wouldn't have said or something. It's weird.

KS: What made you want to make movies?

MM: I'm one of those kids that was raised on movies. Every day I'd watch a movie and was always so fascinated with them. But what really got me into the art of film was Tim Burton. Like so many people on the Collective, his films were almost therapeutic to me and he made films with characters I could relate to. As I started growing up I wanted to be a writer, but I've always had a hard time putting things into words and have always been a pretty visual person. So I thought to myself, "Well, Tim Burton can tell stories visually, I could try that!" It was almost like a Nightmare Before Christmas sort of thing, where Jack realizes he could try his hand at Christmas. But from that point on, I've really been devoted to working in film and hope to have a career in it.

KS: What are some of your influences (film and otherwise) for "Zombie High"? And for your work in general?

MM: The main influence for "Zombie High" was, as stated before, those old instructional videos from the '50s. They'd usually be about personal hygiene or something, and I love the idea of twisting that to fit around zombies.
Influences for film in general, well, it's mostly just old films from the '30s onward. Those are the some of the best movies, right there. My biggest influences (other than Burton) would have to be Alfred Hitchcock and Christopher Nolan. Two guys who really knew what they're doing when they make a movie, and make everything real and believable, which is something I like to do sometimes.

KS: Was the Glammy award part of the church movie festival?

MM: Yeah, my church has the Glammies every Christmas season. They've been doing it for a couple years now and I've been involved with three so far. This year will be my last year, so I'm hoping to make it a memorable one.

KS: How did you make the effect when the water shot of out his neck?

MM: Ha, this took forever. We had a long tube attached to a plastic pouch full of water, so whenever you'd squeeze the pouch, the water would squirt up. What we did was put the tube in the actors shirt and have someone under him squeeze the tube, and Jon (the director) would fix the angle so that you couldn't see the straw. Old fashioned, I guess, but it looks pretty good to me!

KS: Had you worked with any of the actors in "Zombie High" before?

MM: Yeah, I've worked with the majority of them before. Two of the zombies and I used to be in the same drama class and we'd also do the after school productions as well. I've also worked with Jon before, and he's great to work with, because he always has ideas. All of the people involved with this movie were our friends (except for that army man, I don't have any idea who he is), and it's great working with them because you know what they can do and you can feel comfortable with them.

KS: Do you have any future projects in mind?

MM: I have a few things in mind. They include typewriters, science, ghosts, ginger root, stairs, isolation, children, pens, lab coats, and the 1800s.

KS: What sort of advice would you give to fellow aspiring filmmakers?

MM: I'm horrible with advice, but the only I can give is the obvious: Be yourself. Everyone has influences, everyone has some sort of inspiration, but you don't want to steal from that source or rip it off. The best thing to do is to develop your own style; go outside with a camera and make something short with your friends, just so you can get the hang of it. Never forget that what you're working on came from your mind, and you want to show that on camera. That's the best advice I can give.

KS: I think that's excellent advice. Thank you very much, Matt!

MM: You're quite welcome!


More interviews to come throughout this week celebrating the Golden Bortons 2008! Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Leah said...

Interesting perspective for an interesting film.