1) ALTAR is a scary movie. You seem to make scary movies which differ from the public’s perception of you?
Matt: I love making movies that tell compelling stories. The genre does not matter to me as much as the power of the narrative. If I am excited by the idea of the movie, I will want to make it, regardless of whether it is action, scifi, faith based, family, horror, comedy, etc. I have found lately that I am attracted to horror because the stakes are so high… Life and death. I also like battles between good and evil, light and dark, and horror movies are filled with those. It doesn’t hurt that horror is less expensive to make for an indie filmmaker.
2) About that weather, No garden hoses were seen dispensing the rain ?
Matt: when we arrived at Beasore we hiked in half a mile and had no cell service. According to the weather service we had three days to film the movie before a huge thunderstorm was supposed to hit us. Unbeknownst to us, the thunderstorm forecast had been moved up and when we started filming it hit us that day. In true indie fashion, we decided to use the production value given to us and filmed in the thunderstorm. It was wet, cold, and AWESOME!
3) BEST of ALTAR movie On/Off set ?
Matt: The actors were absolutely 100% organic perfection. Every single one brought everything they had to the shoot and it shows in the movie. We became a method acting, linear shooting, dirt covered family. I recommend them all to any director. Every one of them are pure magic.
My favorite story from set:
I was walking across the long, dark meadow toward the car with producers Tiny and Spirit. We were feeling a little tired. Our flashlight beams fell upon a baby deer at the edge of the forest by us. It was so little and it walked into the tree line, vanishing. We began to sing “Do, a deer” from Sound Of Music when our light beams moved to the right… Falling onto a Mountain Lion that was staring at us. It crept backwards, into the darkness. All the sudden we were VERY awake… We wondered what had been stalking us. It all made sense.
4) WORST of ALTAR movie On/Off set ?
Matt: After the crazy thunderstorm the thigh high grass was. Ow soaked, which meant we were soaked. We also found out some of our tents leaked. Needless to say we were waterlogged and cold for the remainder of the shoot. Uncomfortable… Yea… But such good fuel for method actors!
5) One Sentence Descriptions –
Michael Wainwright: The man is a machine. Strong, dedicated, reliable and talented. He always brings his “A” game and strives to be the best he can be.
Deep Rai: A man of many voices. Deep can play ANY character. In auditions, he read every character opposite the auditioners and could have been cast as them. He is pro, always comes memorized and is a team player.
Jesse Parr:Jesse has had many lead stage roles but this is his first feature film lead. Jesse may be brand new to movies but his talent is ridiculous. He always has good ideas for his characters and puts in the work to study and create his back stories. He is SO good and works SO hard. He never settles.
Master Dave Johnson: Soke Dave Johnson is not only one of the greatest actors around but is also one of the kindest most honest individuals I have ever encountered. If you have met him, you know exactly what I mean. If you have not met or worked with him, you are missing out.
Stefanie Estes: Stefanie Estes came into the audition reading for Maisy Marks and annihilated it. After she walked out of the room, the entire casting panel looked at each other in amazement. She was so extremely talented. On set she did not disappoint. Along with the other main 5 actors: Tim Parrish, Brittany Falardeau, Ancilla deValmont, Deep Rai, and Jesse Parr, she carried the immense weight of this filming adventure on her very capable shoulders. She and the other 5 will be really big any day now. I will say I knew them when.
6) Do you see any Found Footage Films as a watermark to aim for ?
Matt: I definitely targeted a style. My favorite found footage movies are the Blair Witch, Willow Creek, and Final Prayer. My style was inspired by these films. I wanted to create a movie that fit perfectly into the found footage genre as these films did. I believe my team and I succeeded.
7) Poster is great and film quality looks good,Why so much effort,When corners can be cut & rushed to release ?
Matt: Very Funny… Haha. Our motto is never settle. Somewhere in the world there are thousands of filmmakers making fast, low quality films for more money than we have access to. The thing that makes our work stand out is the fact we put in the research, preparation, time, and sweat to do things right. We produce films that appear to filmed for a LOT of money though we did not have even close to what it appears we did. Production value is extremely important.
Also, my producers James Schumacher, Tina Johnson, Nicole “Tiny” Spate, Nicole “Spirit” Osborne, and Gabriel Francisco put EVERYTHING ON THE LINE filming with me in the crazy weather, dangerous, animal stalking forest. We are family and I will do everything I can to make the best movie possible. If you know me, then you know my tried and tested process: “Dream, Plan, Start, Persevere, Finish, Learn, Repeat.”
8) World Premiere ? Film Festivals ?
Matt: We are currently weighing the next step. We want to find a home for Altar where it can flourish. If you are reading this, and are that home, let me know.
9) Percentage of cast was new to you and Valleywood ?
Matt: We cast from Hollywood and Valleywood. Jesse Parr, Gregory Tharpe, Kia Vassiliades, Master Dave Johnson, Patrick Nalty and the epic Cathy Wilcox, are all from Valleywood. Stefanie Estes, Brittany Falardeau, Ancilla deValmont, Deep Rai, and Tim Parrish hail from Hollywood.
10) What is after ALTAR ???
Matt: I have 10 projects in development from all genres.