There are lots of reasons, but I think the most important one was really being inspired by Anna Muckcracker’s gorgeous artwork. Brian Giberson (my partner at Halo-8) and I had been experimenting with the illustrated film format for a while, but we might still have gone with traditional animation for Godkiller since it’s really risky to experiment with a crazy story and a new filmmaking format at the same time. But once I saw Anna’s art I knew that no traditional form of animation could do justice to the grimy, textured, surreal aesthetic she created. It was really an artistic choice, because from a business point of view it’s just so risky.
What inspired you to write Godkiller?
I wrote Godkiller because I wanted to create a hero’s journey for f*ckups. All the characters in Godkiller have really been kicked in the teeth by life, even the “bad guys.” I always had a hard time relating to most heroes because even though they have vulnerabilities and problems, they never had the kinds of problems my friends and I had… Godkiller is a fairy tale for people who’ve been beat up by cops or lost their virginity before they were old enough to see an R-rated movie or woke up in a pool of their own blood… but who still haven’t let themselves become hardened pricks just because life is hard.
How long did it take you to write Godkiller?
My writing process is really odd, and especially with Godkiller because the Godkiller world is pretty elaborate. The current illustrated film “Walk Among Us” is only one part of Tommy & Halfpipe’s journey… even when the complete film comes out next year, that’s only the first part of a trilogy about Tommy & Halfpipe. Then there’s the “Silent War” novel series, which takes place before Tommy was even born. The greater mythology has been something I’ve been putting together for probably ten years… not full time, of course, but it’s always in the back of my mind. The story for “Walk Among Us” probably rattled around in my head for a year or so before I sat down to write it… and the physical writing of it took a couple of months.
Did you set any limitation for yourself on how graphic you wanted to get with the illustrated film or did you just decide to do it balls to the wall?
It’s pretty balls to the wall. The only limitation was to avoid being gratuitous… but gratuitous to me is different than what other people might consider gratuitous. The world of the story is just so f*cked up that pretty much anything goes, as you’ll see…
My favorite characters are the organ stealing prostitutes. Do you have a favorite character or scene?
I love them all for different reasons, but yeah I adore the organ stealing prostitutes Halfpipe and Angelf*ck. I’d tried several times before to write a script for those characters, but I couldn’t get it right until I placed them in the Godkiller world. My inspiration with them was that I always wanted to do a really tough crime/gangster story, but I didn’t want to do just another drug dealer story since I’m not into romanticizing drug dealing. It occurred to me that it would be cool to do one of those crime stories around organ thievery rather than drug dealing, since I have no problem whatsoever romanticizing organ theft. I just love how Halfpipe is this hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold archetype but she has this darker side of physically penetrating people’s bodies in this messy, brutal, illicit way. She’s my kind of woman for sure.
There is an impressive collection of actors providing the voices for Godkiller. How did such a collection of talent come about?
I wish I knew. It really just happened organically. We were planning on recording all the voices in my office with our friends, but one afternoon Brian and I were geeking out about who the perfect voices would be. We both agreed Lance Henriksen would be the awesome-est Mulciber imaginable. So for the f*ck of it we contacted his agent and much to our shock he thought it was cool and agreed to do it. It was really that simple. We were completely stunned. So we made a wish list of who we thought would be perfect for each role, and we pretty much got everyone we wanted. I still don’t get how it happened.
How long did the voiceovers take?
We recorded each actor separately over the course of about eight months.
Where can Horrornews.net readers purchase Godkiller?
The first episodic DVD is available in a surprising number of places. All the cool record shops have it (Amoeba, Rasputin, Waterloo, and tons more), chains like Best Buy and Borders have it, shockingly Hot Topic has it with an exclusive cover of Halfpipe and Angelf*ck illustrated by Tim Seeley, and it’s online of course at Amazon and at our website www.halo8.tv. I actually saw Deep Discount DVD has it for like $6.77, so that’s quite the deal although I don’t know why they tacked on that last eleven cents.
Where does Godkiller go from here?
Well I don’t want to give too much away. After Episode 1, things get even tougher for Tommy if you can believe that. The Walk Among Us story covers Tommy’s journey into the wasteland of Outer City and the friends and enemies he makes along the way. Also on the DVD is the serialized prequel novel Silent War, which tells the story of how Tommy’s world became apocalyptic in the first place… and that ties in everything from Wall Street conspiracies and populist militias to fallen gods and alien bloodlines.
What else can we expect to see from Halo-8 and Matt Pizzolo in the future?
Right now we’re really excited about experimental animation like Godkiller, so we have a whole slate of new animated/illustrated films coming up. In addition to the next Godkiller series, we’re also doing James Farr’s “Xombie: Reanimated” and Tim Seeley’s “Loaded Bible.” I’m a huge fan of both James and Tim, so it’s pretty amazing to me that we’re getting this opportunity. We also have a couple of other productions that aren’t officially announced yet, but as soon as they’re all ironed out we’ll let you know. Our goal is to be innovative and experimental in our storytelling and create movies in ways unlike anyone else… so we’ll keep coming up with cool new ways of building our own cinematic style and hopefully people will enjoy the stories and the worlds we create.
Matt Pizzolo (GodKiller)