Paul- Hey Janel, How are you?
I am good. Thank you.
First off, I must tell you that “Bullet Head” was absolutely incredible. How did the idea manifest for you?
Paul- Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it. The idea has been with me for a long time. I actually started working on “Bullet Head” about nine years ago. It was shortly after the first movie I made “Grace.” It originated because I am a huge dog lover. I am really, seriously border lined co-dependently obsessed with dogs and you know I’ve always sort of wanted to make a movie that was sort of a love letter to animals and you know the other element is sort of the crime element. Some of that stuff comes from you know my own experience with some of the folks I grew up with and grew up around. So crime stories were pretty easy for me and those two things kind of came together organically.
I have a Black Lab named Bella Luna Roma and she is usually with me when I am watching screeners, doing work etc. Do you have a dog currently?
Paul- I don’t have any dogs currently. The movie is dedicated to my dog Molly Millions who passed away years ago and she was really my best friend and kind of teacher in a lot of ways for a long time. She was with me since I was a young man and I think everyone has a dog that was just so special you know and they talk about for the rest of their lives. Molly was that dog.
I understand. It is like losing a family member.
I wanted to ask you about directing this cast! The cast is amazing. John Malkovich, Adrien Brody, Rory Culkin, Antonio Banderas and more. What was it like directing and working with everyone?
Paul- You know what it’s funny. It really is as great as you hope it would be. Every one of those men is as interesting and as generous and brilliant as you would hope. They are all very different in their approaches to the way they work. They are guys who I have been studying and admiring their work since I’m a little kid. So to get a chance to work with any one of them would be unbelievable but to get to actually work with them together and watch the way they work together and learn from each other was really amazing.
Adrien and John have always respected each other a lot. To see them working with each other was like watching master musicians. It really is something special. If you see me in behind the scenes footage, I have a grin on my face. It really was an incredible thing to be able to do. It should be said that I am glad you mentioned Rory Culkin. Rory Culkin, imagine him being twenty-eight and coming to work with these men who I can just only imagine what’s going on in his head when he gets this job. I’m a really big fan of Rory’s and I really pushed to get him on this movie. He really did Zen with these guys.
They got it and they recognized how terrific he was. Adrien at one point said he reminded me so much of myself when I was younger just to see how hard he is working. The thing that was maybe most striking to me and for which I am most grateful is how hard these guys work. I mean they really were committed. John was attached to this movie for two years and Adrien really does work as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen in the business, Antonio the same thing. They really cared about the script.
They believed in and they trusted me and allowed me to be a partner to them. It is stuff you learn to worry about as a young filmmaker and a lot of that stuff you just don’t worry about when you are working with guys of that caliber.
Rory is so talented and he has done some great performances. His performance in “Bullet Head” was incredible.
Paul- I think you know my experience making this movie was that I had more support and more talent in craft involved in making it happen than I’ve ever had before. In so many ways it was just unbelievably great. The same kind of limitations are at play. It’s about time, time to work and time to prep and time to cut. I asked for what I needed and had a lot of support. The challenges were related to things like scheduling and when you have actors that are this successful, you know they work a lot and to make those schedules match sometimes there will be limitations in prep time or in shooting time but everybody was so generous. These guys worked so hard on this movie and everybody worked hard.
I feel this is a film that makes you think and the story is so good. I feel maybe there is a little psychology involved which makes it more interesting.
Paul- I think there is always psychology involved in any movie that I am interested in making and interested in watching. I like the idea of elevating genre movies. I think genre movies become more effective when you care about the character so I don’t actually know how to make movies without caring about the characters. It starts with a script and actors of this caliber are not going to get involved with a film unless there is a script that they believe in and believe that they can work through.
For their new film BULLET HEAD, starring Adrien Brody, with Antonio Banderas and John Malkovich, Rory Culkin and Alexandra Dinu, Millennium Media, Saban Films and writer-director-producer Paul Solet have partnered with NEW YORK BULLY CREW PITBULL DOG AND PUPPY RESCUE, the Long Island based animal rescue organization focused on saving abused and abandoned bully breed dogs and placing them in safe and loving permanen t homes, and PAWSITIVE CHANGE, the California based rehabilitation program that matches dogs awaiting death at kill shelters with inmates inside California State Prisons, teaching the inmates to train the dogs for Canine Good Citizen Certification while working toward vocational accreditation as trainers themselves.
Paul Solet said of the partnership, “BULLET HEAD is a lot of things – a crime drama, an action thriller, a character piece, a horror film, and one hell of a ride – but above all, it is a love letter to all of the animals and people battling against histories they didn’t write, and a search for the lessons that can set them free. NEW YORK BULLY CREW and PAWSITIVE CHANGE are organizations that embody the message at the very core of this film, and we are honored to serve as partners in their missions to rescue and rehabilitate both man and dog, and to help educate the public that no matter how far down the scale anyone may have gone, it is never too late for change.”
New York Bully Crew Pitbull Dog and Puppy Rescue
For direct donation button: www.nybullycrew.org/how-you-can-help/donate/
Pawsitive Change Prison Program
For direct donation button: www.classy.org/campaign/pawsitive-change-prison-program/c126460