Home | Interviews | Interview: Director/Writer Ron Carlson (Dead Ant)

Interview: Director/Writer Ron Carlson (Dead Ant)

Ron- Hey Janel, How’s it going?

Hi Ron, I am good! Thanks! How are you doing Ron?

Ron- I am good. I am sitting here eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich ready to talk some “Dead Ant”

Peanut butter and jelly! That sounds good.

Ron- right, it’s not terrible. It’s a classic.

Okay so tell us about this kick ass movie, “Dead Ant” because I really dig the movie.

Ron- Great, you know I kind of wanted, I really like directing comedy and I really tried to figure out two parts…. One, nobody had done a giant ant movie in a long time although they are making a film which is totally different. I really love all the elements. The artwork and everything that goes with B-movies. I kind of collect B-movie posters and I genuinely love looking at those posters. I mean they are just the best, so much fun. I want to make a movie that kind of uses all the elements of a B-movie but ultimately not to try make a B-movie! I wanted to use it but its really a comedy that is built all the rules of a horror movie.

I followed the rules pretty much to your standard set-up. But the movie is really about this loser band. They are a one-hit wonder and more than anything they need a hit. I am also friends with the kind of people in the music world they are kind of like an older group of musicians that… they struggle so they go and they play these fairs and hair metal. It is always kind of picked on a lot but there is not a person in the United States that won’t just jump in and start singing along with some hair metal band song when it comes on the radio. I just felt like this was the perfect little formula to make a great comedy and have a lot of fun. And really that’s what the movie is. I made it so it is a really good time. I hope that that’s what I’ve achieved.

You always catch people when you might be in your car and a song comes on and they start singing! They know!

Ron- They know exactly who it is! It’s funny you know when the trailer released there is a line in the trailer, “we’re going to Coachella! No, no I couldn’t get us into that, we’re going to Nochella”. And Coachella actually called me, they had an attorney from Coachella call me and he’s like what are you doing making a movie about Coachella? I said I actually didn’t. Ultimately I kind of explained to him the movie and I go you guys are really cool at Coachella and my guys aren’t cool. You guys would not let my guys into Coachella. So every ounce of it has been fun. I ended up turning them. I think if you come into this this guy made something fun.

Fun and epic! Are you excited about “Dead Ant” premiering at ScreamFest?

Ron- Super excited. Rachel at ScreamFest has been a big champion of this. We are the opening night movie. I think “Leatherface” was up for the opening night movie as well and you know they chose “Dead Ant” and I am stoked about that. It is kind of like a little party and it is just fun!

What about all the awesome music in “Dead Ant”?

Ron- There is music in the movie, there is original music in the movie. I wrote a song for the movie. If you go and see this movie and you don’t have a good time you really probably wouldn’t be able to go with me to a bar, have a beer and have a good time. I would think you’re okay but we probably wouldn’t be friends. You know what I mean.

Right, exactly! It is a fun film. Okay so you wrote the film, you wrote a song, you directed the film. What type of challenges did you face?

Ron- The CG, there are over seven hundred CG shots in the movie and I produced a film called “Unnatural” where we didn’t use any CG, we used just a little animatronic bear and had that built and there were a ton of challenges with that. With the CG and this many shots and the budget that we had I mean I do peak and see what people say about the trailer.

I made my movie for 99 million dollars less than they any other “Harry Potter” and I don’t have access to the greatest CG that exist and ultimately the CG isn’t going to, if you are going to see this movie because you need to see the greatest CG ant that was ever made then Fuck off you’re not going to! You are going to have fun and if you’re caught up because of the way the ant looks. Our CG is way better than SyFy channel but it’s still not “Harry Potter” but that doesn’t make the joke less funny or more. That was a challenge. It took me a year to get all the CG done because I had all the CG done in Russia so that was a massive challenge and a language barrier. Me describing what I wanted and the time change and Skyping and trying to make these effects look good. That was a major challenge. When we shot the film, we shot it in December in the desert and we were in a major drought so you know a lot of money that would have normally gone towards the movie went to the fire department and water trucks. We couldn’t have so much as a camp fire in the scene. I had to finagle some stuff to get the look that I wanted. On top of that it was supposed to feel like its summer, outdoor kind of vibe but we had a very cold December.

What was it like for you working with the cast?

Ron- I’ll truthfully say and I believe this with all my heart that if any of movie of this type, we have the best and the highest quality of acting and truthfulness. It makes the director’s job very easy if you cast it accordingly and correctly. Tom Arnold in this movie and from any friends of mine to anyone that has worked on this movie they all think this is Tom’s best performance since “True Lies” and Tom himself sent me probably one of the greatest emails I’ve ever gotten from anybody that you know he loves it and he loves the way I made him look in it. As an ensemble they all brought something.  There is not anybody that could play these characters better.

What do you want to say to the audiences that will be watching “Dead Ant?”

Ron- Don’t be over critical of the CG. If that’s your going to see this movie for save your money for Disney etc. For this, go and just have fun! It is just to have fun. It really is a fun movie. Have you seen the movie yet?

I did see the movie and I loved it! It was fun! I think the ants look pretty cool. I’ve been a Horror & film fan since I am a kid so.

Ron- Okay so you know so when you see this movie in the theatre because that’s the greatest way to experience the movie. There is a lot of music in this movie. It kind of feels like a concert. Maybe I am so close to it but that was a difficult process and I do love the ants for within the budget of my movie. I guess as a director you always want more.

Will there be a sequel?

Ron- It’s funny you asked that because I really feel like the movie has a solid ending but then I randomly got this idea because there is going to be a music video for the song “Side Boob” from the movie so that will be something to be looking for. I now more than anything I came up with this sequel and I would love it! What will depict that is how successful this is? I would love to take these characters and continue one more journey with them.

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