Hello Steve, welcome to Focus! It is nice to have you here.
Would you like to share what made you come up with the story?
I came up with the story over college. I have been in film school at the time, I was listening to bands like Antrax, Rancid, D.I. along with cheesy 80s pop during my study sessions. Images in my head kept popping into my head of a punk rock like Bonnie and Clyde. I got obsessed and played the playlist I made over and over and took notes. The characters and plot slowly came together.
You have both written and directed the film. How different is the writing process than directing?
The writing process for me is the probably the most difficult. I do admittedly get writers block often. Directing the story is complete and it’s a lot easier in this regard. Once the script is done I already have the movie in my head. Directing can be exhausting for obvious reasons but very rewarding!
If there is anything you could change in the film, what would it be?
I would want indie filmmakers to have an easier time getting their movies out there. It is extremely difficult to get distribution and most streaming services won’t even look at your movie if you aren’t under a reputable distribution company. This makes it very difficult to get your movie out there. Luckily I found Roku apps that are individually owned to take “,Seth and Tia”
We need a platform for these types of filmmakers to easily get seen. I want us to not be stone walled so much.
As an individual in society, how do you look at mental health issues?
I have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disoder. ADHD and clinical depression. So this is an issue that is very close to me. I feel that the mentally ill need better access to treatment. I also want to lower the stigmatism on the mentally ill.
When writing ” Seth and Tia” I wanted to show mentally ill people are still people. But I also wanted to empower us. I wanted to state that it’s not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about. (While also trying to make an entertaining B-Movie type) I hope I conveyed it well.
I also want to see inpatient care improve. I honestly was making satire out of this in the hospital scenes. While it’s very embellished, I do not feel it was far off. Some clinics are wonderful. However, the ones with smaller funding, are horrible. I could go on forever on this. I’ll just state they need to be improved.
As a first time filmmaker, what emotions did you go through while filmmaking?
Thanks to a wonderful cast , the filming process was the best experience of my life. We all cracked jokes, hung out as friends outside production. We became a family. I wish that everyone who starts their first movie, to have the same experience as me.
All who helped loved the script and were as passionate as I was seeing it through the end and getting it released. It took a long time due to scheduling and us having day jobs but we did get it done. I will always be grateful to all of them.
What are the pros and cons of direction?
Pros are, you’re in charge of how the movie comes out. Thus your vision coming to life. The cons are that it is A LOT of responsibility. Making sure everyone shows, scheduling, making sure everyone is safe. It can be intimidating and also mentally exhausting.
The movie revolves around a theme of escapism. What is your idea of escape? Can we truly escape from our positions?
I feel escaping in a way is making a life change. Whether getting out of a job that makes you unhappy, moving out of a place, etc.
I do not believe we can escape our pasts but we can learn from it. We can escape some positions, like the previous examples.
If you are asked to describe the movie in just 3 individual words, what words would you pick?
I thknk : Dark Crime Comedy
The film has a fair share of comic elements. As a writer/ director, what genre do you prefer working more?
Honestly, my favorite is horror. I worked on a short horror/comedy called “Snuff” and had a blast. Coming up with crazy death scenes and making our own gore effects is loads of fun!
I currently work on a tiktok show called “Cursed Onjects” which is a stop motion animated horror show. It’s so much fun work on. Horror is by far the most fun.
In Seth and Tia, who is your favourite? Why?
Probably Gnarly Daren. Jason Hiaeshutter really brought that character to life, he just..doesn’t care what anyone thinks and I admire that. I don’t, however admire his actions but he was the villain for a reason.
As a director, what kind of stories do you wish to tell on screen? I am working on a horror anthology and a dark fantasy script now. Really, it depends. I make movies that I’d want to go see essentially.
Seth and Tia was a refreshing take. Are you planning your next film? What is it about?
I can tell you my horror Anthology coming up called “Share This” which is involves deaths as a consequence to toxic social media behavior. It was originally called “The Antisocial Network Collection ” but I wasn’t feeling that title so I changed it. It’s still in the filming stages and we hope to have it out by next year. .
Steve, thank you for being here! All the best for your future ventures!