Exclusive Horrornews Interview : James Cullen Bressack ( writer / director )
Film: MY PURE JOY
Do you think being a young director is an asset or a liability?
I think it is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a curse because I can’t grab a drink with everyone at a wrap party or gamble in vegas. And don’t even get me started about all the times we were gambeling in vegas while grabbing drinks and filming horrible kill scenes… Oh wait, that didn’t happen. But it’s interesting being young. You have a ton of people look at you and think. “what does this kid know?” And it’s something I’ve learned to live with and hopefully alter that perception after people work with me. Let me ask you, would you take direction from someone who has only had 4 birthdays? (I was born on leap year). If you would take my direction I promise not to watch Barney and Friends anymore…
How did the concept of MY PURE JOY come about?
I wanted to craft a film about myself if I were a serial killer. It’s a catharsis really. I wrote this so I didn’t have to go out and kill people. That’s the beauty of it. Everyone is safe now. Your welcome.
How difficult is it to make a horror movie on an micro-budget?
Making a horror film is no easy task in the first place, but on a micro-budget it is surely a struggle. I found myself thanking my lucky stars to have the crew that I did helping me along the way. Overall with a micro-budget although some things must be compromised, you end up with a film with alot of heart. Everyone involved poured their hearts and souls into this film and it really shows.
Is there anything that you would have done differently if you had a bigger budget?
I found myself asking this over and over again while I was editing, and although I would have done some things differently I have the film that I wanted. Sometimes having a huge budget can limit you more then having a smaller budget, with a smaller budget everything is so much more precise because we couldn’t afford to do something a second time. I ended up with a film that I love, and I hope everyone else does as well. I think people will be pleasantly surprised with what they see.
What was the highlight of the movie for you?
My favorite part of the film is probably the shower kill scene. It was so much fun playing homage to PSYCHO and SIN CITY at the same time. Not to mention Laura Meadows was a real trooper and a dream to work with. She was naked in cold bloody water for a few hours without complaining. That’s an A in my book. Last time I was naked in cold bloody water I couldn’t stop complaining.
The X rated kill scene, what information can you divulge about this particular scene?
I don’t want to ruin any of it for anyone, but I do guarantee people are going to say “WTF, did I really just see that?” And I will let you know now, you did just see that, in extreme closeup as well. :)
What was your favorite “behind the camera” moment during the making of MY PURE JOY?
TThis was actually kind of sad, but yet after the fact I found a bit amusing. We were filming the kill scene of Tommy, the 4 year old, and we were covering him in gallons of blood as well as putting spfx makeup on his face for the cuts. The kid was DRENCHED in gallons of fake blood and he looks up and goes, “Am I really dead? Is this real life?” One of the Crew members assured him he was going to be fine and that it was all part of the movie. Nathan, who played Tommy, then looked up at the camera and started crying and screamed “WHY WOULD HE WRITE IT LIKE THIS”So I guess I’m a little to demented for my own good. Nathan is fine by the way. He was happy right after the shot.
What festivals will be showing MY PURE JOY?
We will be submitting to ALL of the horror festivals. We wrap post in a few weeks and then it’s off to submitting to everything.
What “exploitation movies” have influenced you style of filmmaking?
I love exploitation films and all of the 80’s ultragore flicks but I was heavily influenced by THEY CALL HER ONE EYE as well as most of the 80’s films that seemed to get away with way to much violence.
What is next on the agenda of James Cullen Bressack?
Well currently I am producing Clay DuMaw’s GET OUT ALIVE. I am also co-writing and Directing BAD DENNIS, which is being produced by Mickey Richardson, Liz Gilbert, and David Ball. And I am working on a project I gotta keep hush hush but I will let you know more information as soon as I can. I just want to keep busy and continue working in the genre I love.
Thanks a million for taking the time to speak with me. If you want to find out more please feel free to follow me on twitter @Jamescullenb Happy entrails everyone!