Hi Griff, First off “Cold Moon” was excellent! I loved it. It has a great story, excellent cast and beautifully filmed.
Griff- Thank you! I am getting some really positive reviews and I am really happy with that!
You wrote and directed “Cold Moon” – how did the idea come about for you?
Griff- It came about because I was watching “Beetlejuice” and it came on TV and I hadn’t seen it in some years. I have always loved it and I loved it growing up and I as I do now with the internet I started researching some of the people involved and the writers. I came across Michael McDowell who wrote the screenplay for “Beetlejuice” and I found out that he was a very popular eighties horror-fiction novelist so I pretty much ordered everything that he had ever published and loved so much of it. I had a hard time debating which movie I wanted to make, I got in touch with the rights holder and they were very into me adapting some of the novels for a feature so I settled on “Cold Moon” as the first one and I have other ones that are ready to go as well so that is really how it came about! Just watching “Beetlejuice” on the couch and then researching the author and just fell in love with some of his novels that had never been produced surprisingly.
I know it may be too soon to ask but any chance of a sequel?
Griff- Oh I hope so! I hope so! We don’t have any current plans but as you know the ending isn’t ambiguous and could lend itself to a sequel. But there was only one novel in the series so if we did do a sequel it would have to be from scratch which of course isn’t a problem because I love the cast and the characters that they created so we just have to see if there is demand for it.
Griff- Well everyone is a little different of course. Chris, I’ve been a huge fan of Chris since forever. My father worked with Chris in the eighties and I met him then but I was just a kid. When I read the novel I actually his character James Redfield with Chris in mind, it just seemed like such a great match for him and so we went straight to Chris and Chris was into it. So he came down, he was the first person we went to because I thought he was perfect for the part and he came down and he was just such a pleasurable guy and he was very into the material. He always had his highlighter and his chair. He never went back to his trailer and he always seemed to be working on the next scene that we had coming up and he was ready to rock every time we got to him, just such a pro and such a delight. He gives you something different every time. We had ten takes of some scenes. Not because we needed to go again but Chris would do something pretty different which was great as a director and it’s great to have those options. Frank Whaley and Josh Stewart are both pros. They only had a few scenes together but those are some of my favorites to direct because they are just really talented and great collaborators as well. That made for some interesting scene work.
Did you always know you wanted to be in the business?
Griff- I did, as long as I can remember. My father had the little thing that you create when you are in kindergarten you know what you do and don’t like and what you want to be. When I grow up I want to be an actor. That is what I filled out. I was like four years old when I made that. I had other passions growing up that I toiled with but I got right into when I graduated high school. I didn’t work when I was a child although I had opportunities but I was enjoying sports and everything else that you do when you are a kid. Right after high school I started getting work as an actor and just kept going from there. So it was definitely something I’ve always wanted do. I mean when your father grows up in the business and that’s what you know and what you love it’s a pretty natural career choice because I was always with him. I would go to work with him everywhere from “St Elsewhere” to “Babylon 5.” I was probably on-set with him more than I was in school. The short answer is yes.
What projects are you working on next?
Griff- So I have several different movies that are coming out shortly. There’s some made for TV movies. One is called “Bad Stepmother” which funny enough was also written by Michael McDowell who wrote this piece but it’s much different. It is much more a drama and that will be on Lifetime early next year. We don’t have the exact release date yet. I really like that piece. I didn’t direct that, I just produced that. So we have that one and I am in “Manhunt: Unabomber” (TV series) which is on TV now because I still continue to act its actually what I do most of the time and then there’s a few other passion projects that we have in the works that I will be directing as well that are a little too early to mention. Lots of irons in the fire but it really depends on a lot of what happens with “Cold Moon” and if horror is the genre to continue working in which is my favorite genre so I hope it is. I’ve always loved horror and I would only do horror if it was up to me.
Do you have a favorite horror movie growing up that you never get tired of watching?
Griff- “Jaws” for sure. “Jaws” is just incredible I’ve probably seen that movie one hundred times without a doubt but I watched them all. It was like the video store era so I would consume every single title that they had on the shelves and now I will be working with people who made some semi obscure horror movie in the eighties or nineties and I know all about it because I’ve watched them dozens of times. I love them all. Really anything that was good and scary was good for me.
What do you want to say to the fans that will watching “Cold Moon?”
Griff- Well, I just want them to watch it and I am thrilled that horror is doing so well because it was a little low after the “SAW” movies and horror seemed to cool down a little bit. It didn’t seem to be as popular, it didn’t seem to be performed as well, the quality of the horror coming out wasn’t as strong for a few years there but with “IT” performing as it has this weekend which I loved. I love good horror. Stephen King and Michael were friends, kindred spirits if you will. They really appreciated each other’s work. I hope they enjoy the hell out of it so we can make a sequel.