Even though Basketball is my favorite sport and I’m pretty good at it, I’m a football player. Finishing up my football career early due to injuries, I went to New York Film Academy. I tore my knee ligaments and when I was recovering, I would have these weird dreams, so I started writing them down. They were like full movies, so that’s when I went to Film Academy, to learn how to write screen plays.
What challenges did you face directing “The Lake on Clinton Road?”
What challenges didn’t I face!!! I had to re-cast all the roles except one in 48hrs prior to shooting. The lead male I casted in 24 hrs he was reading the script driving to the location which was 5 hours away from his home. The cast had to learn everything on the fly, there wasn’t any rehearsal time, and they really had to just trust my direction and their talent. I had to get another location a week before shooting as well. Things just wasn’t working out in the beginning but we kept pushing. Everything else is history, for the film to come out the way it did baring all the things we had to endure, is a big accomplishment.
What was it like working with the cast?
The cast was great, being from different places they got along well. It seemed like they knew each other for years. To build chemistry, I didn’t allow them to stay in hotels, everyone stayed on site. The house we shot at was huge, it sat on 55 acres, so there was plenty of space. For the cast to learn the whole script and to have chemistry with each other was amazing. There were no fights or arguments, everyone just enjoyed each other. They were simply amazing to work with.
Do you feel it is a little more difficult directing a film based on true events?
Yes, definitely, because you have to stay in line. Based on a true story is different than based on true events. We took a lot of stories from people in that area and put them into the script. We than added some of our spins to it to create the film. I know people were expecting it to be more of a “Blair Witch” film but we wanted to stay away from that.
You wear many hats: writer, director and producer. Which one do you feel you have learned the most from and which has been the most challenging?
Being the producer was the most challenging. The reason is I had to do everything, like cook, clean, transport etc.. Usually the producer would hire people to do those things but with a small budget it didn’t permit me to do so. If I was just directing it would have been easier, but we only had a three man team for this project so we had to do everything. My team is awesome though, Spike and Mike did so much. We worked great together, making sure we were on time with the shoot. I learned a lot about being an indie producer, a lot of this filmmaking is passion. These projects pay nothing for the amount of work that needs to be put into it. I financed this project myself, so just making sure everyone was paid and happy to the best of my ability was the hardest thing I faced.
Did you experience anything creepy while making the film?
The house was so creepy. Again it sat on 55 acres, the road that lead to the actual house off the main road was a mile long, and the lake was 5 miles long. It was nothing but woods and forest around us. Total darkness when the sun went down. No one could hear us scream if something really attacked us. We had a rule that no one could go outside a night by themselves. There were so many animals from wolves to coyotes to bears and snakes. It was definitely a great setting for a horror film.
Who are some of your favorite Directors?
Eli Roth and Rob Zombie are a couple of my favorites. Of course Steven King, and the new directors like Jeff Blum are good as well. I will like to work with some of those guys one day.
What advice would you give to upcoming and current directors?
My advice to the upcoming Directors is stick to your guns. Find people that believe in you and build a team. When you have a team, they know how you work and you know how they work. Find people that are more passionate about filmmaking than you are, they will push you to be better.
I Know What You Did Last Summer collides with Evil Dead in director Deshon Hardy‘s THE LAKE ON CLINTON ROAD.
The first trailer and poster for the film, premiering on VOD and DVD July 17, have been released.
Based on true events, the film follows a group of school friends who discover their holiday house is haunted.
Starring Alan Bendich (TVs Cagney & Lacey), India Autry (TVs My New Roommate), Aram Bauman (The Lost Children), Tina Krause (Zombie Holocaust), Leah Jones (Urban Legends), Stephanie Marrone, and Richard Ryker. Written and directed by Deshon Hardy .
When 6 friends from Massachusetts finish up classes for the semester, they decide to take a road trip to the Jersey Shore. A birthday celebration at a shore house will be the highlight of their summer, or so they thought. When they get to the house, they realize it’s not the beach house they were expecting. It’s actually in the middle of the woods off a long spooky road, Clinton Road. Clinton Road has been haunted for the past 50 years, this is what Alex, Jillian, Amber, Jamie, Stacy and Mark will soon find out. The sadness of not having a beach near soon disappears as they all rush outside to see the lake . They prepare to have drunken festivities at the lake but thats when the horror begins. One by one they all disappear. Who will be the last? Who will be the first? Will anyone survive?
THE LAKE ON CLINTON ROAD on VOD and DVD July 17 from Osiris Entertainment.