Saturday, August 20, 2011

Demonica Goes CRAZY Over Indie Director Brian Dorton


                                           Last evening , I saw for the very first time what you may refer to as a " roughie"
film. The Film was about a young girl who was whisked away from her quiet suburban family and taken to a house of very ill repute , forced into a life of drug addiction and naked lesbian spankings. One dark and gloomy night the girl manages to escape from the wicked lifestyle she has been enslaved in , only to end up at a Piggly Wiggly stocking canned meats and medicated ointments. I , Demonica Vansant , have learned my lesson. Always trust the values and morals taught to you in sleazy movies and always take money if no one is looking or if they are blind and can't run. 

Brian Dorton is one of the most ambitious and creative talents working in  underground cinema and specifically the genre of " trash " cinema and the art that surrounds it. Mr. Dorton has been working his tight little ass off on numerous projects and assuming many roles both in front of and behind the camera. I had the pleasure recently of sitting down with Brian and got the chance to ask him about some of his wonderful short films as well as his upcoming remake of a truly sleazy little classic. Below you can read all about Brian's thoughts and view on the art of trash film production and much , much more !! ENJOY!!!

Thanks Brian for taking the time to sit and talk to this simple country virgin ! Here We go !

 Welcome to the Trash Compactor Mr. Brian Dorton. I must start by asking how you developed a love for off the wall trash cinema?  Whats your first memory of exposure to this art form ?

I would definitely have to say John Waters stuff, and although I saw films like "Hairspray" and "Serial Mom" before I ever saw his early 70's works.. I certainly dig those older trashasterpieces more! In the early 90's "Serial Mom" was one of my first memory's of good trash cinema.

  You appear to have a genuine love for obscure films Kill Cecile for instance is like a molding of early John Waters and 70's road movies on a low budget. It's like in your face anarchist trash cinema. Where did the idea concept and look of the film originate ?

We shot "Kill Cecile" in May of this year, the idea was to do another Melissa and Katrina film. Whenever you write you always know that on the set you will add things and we did that a lot with this film. Although the story of the two characters began in late 2007, people continuously ask Douglas Conner and myself "When will there be another Katrina and Melissa film?".. We originally never planned to bring these characters back over and over in the beginning. Adding the subplot with the Beth character played by Rodney Horn came towards the end of May when I felt the short film need to be longer. I think it became something bigger than any of us expected. It was semi-popular on Youtube and was an official selection at the LGBT film festival here in Louisville, KY., which is the only fest we submitted it to so far. So I am pretty proud of this little gem.

 I love the way your short films have kind of a hand held grimy vibe to them. Did you attend film school or were you self taught ?

randomFILMS was created nearly 4 years ago by Douglas Conner and myself. With the nearly 40 short films that we have made since randomFILMS began.. it's taught us more than any film school could ever dream to teach.

 You must tell me HOW you came up with the concept ( in Kill Cecile) to feed the cat via regurgitation. I must say that is a classic scene in my opinion.

I have a million odd things like that pass though my head a month.. that particular one stuck and I put it in my next script. The idea of this strange character and her adopted cat and feeding it how birds feed there young is just something that you will either be disgusted by or completely fall out laughing over.. and I hope to achieve either of those reactions with my films.

Douglas Conner has appeared in everything you have done and co stars with you in Kill Cecile and Sex , Lies , and Melissa. How did this creative team develop over the years ?

In 2005, Douglas Conner and I met. We instantly recognized each others love for film. We made our first short film, which I dare not mention but at the time we thought it was great! We continued to make short films and they got better and better. We upped the ante in 2008 with a short called "Crazy Fat Melissa" a film we did back before we knew about copyrights on music ect., so we used all kinds of music without permission. Lesson learned, but we still enjoy that little spoof.

 What are some truly trashy and " sleazy " films that have inspired both the look and direction of the films you chose to make as a director ?

Some of these aren't really trashy (some are) but here goes: Heathers, Serial Mom, Female Trouble, Desperate Living, Beetlejuice, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Private Parts (not the Howard Stern film, although I do like that too), and yes.. Pink Flamingo's ..even though the shit eating scene is a bit much.

 Who are some of your all time favorite " sleaze"  directors that have inspired you to make films ?

Waters (of course) are there others? Just kidding. I do find inspiration in other filmmakers that may not be considered trashy or sleazy.. like Tim Burton's earlier stuff, I love Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan / Requiem for a Dream), .. I even enjoy Woody Allen's work, and one, if not my favorite filmmaker is Scorsese.


 What was the last " great" trash film you have seen. Released in the past 5 years ?

I'm going to go with "Girls Will Be Girls" because it was so funny and trashy at the same time!

I must say as far as a director you are in all honesty the closest I have seen to a modern take on the John Waters formula of trash art. Do you believe that bad taste is a true art form in our society ? Does it still appeal as much today as it did in the 70's and early 80's ?

I think it is extremely appealing today! Many of John Waters fans are in their 20's and 30's so that in itself says a lot. Younger people embrace these trash-art films. I take it as a big compliment to be mentioned in the same sentence as Mr. Water's, he has paved the way for me and other filmmakers like myself.

 Are you more comfortable behind the camera directing, producing, ect. or do you prefer working as an actor i.e Kill Cecile ?

I originally only appeared in my films because I didn't have other actors. We had to do it all ourselves. I am pretty comfortable doing anything involving the film industry. If I like the project, I devote myself to it.

 Can you tell me a little about how you became involved with Tales Of Poe and your role in that film ?

All I will say is that it was a great pleasure and quite an adventure for Douglas Conner, Rodney Horn and myself to be involved in Bart Mastronardi's and Alan Rowe Kelly's amazing project. Our parts were small here but it was a great experience all the same and I know the film is going to be great!

 Can you also tell me a little about Mothers Blood and your role in that film ? The synopsis sounds awesome very excited about that one.

I am excited to see Rodney Horn as the gypsy in the film, Rodney takes on the toughest role in the film and takes on many faces which required a lot of costume changes, hair and make-up. There is a fan page on facebook for the film where you can get more info. As far as my role in the film, I am one of the executive producers and I believe I have like two brief scenes.

 From a director and producer standpoint how difficult is it to get an independent film financed in these times of economic decline ?

My advice is find talented people, network and get a camera! You gotta just do it! No one is gonna do it for you.. If you get fun and talented people in the beginning that love to do this shit, they will do it for free to get out there! I have worked extremely hard to even get this far, which isn't very far at all but I am doing what I love. I don't care about popularity, I care about the work.. if you produce good work popularity will come automatically.

 It has become a trend ( which I like ) to remake obscure as well as well known horror films . What is your take on this trend ?

There have been good and bad remakes so I'm all for it. I mean people that say the remake ruined the original for them are idiots. I mean does the original now take a different form because there is a reboot? If you hate a certain remake I think you should love the original even more!

What are some films which you think could use a good ole fashioned kick in the ass reboot ?

Private Parts (1972)
Criminally Insane (1975)

..which brings me to an upcoming film of mine.     

What are some upcoming projects that you have going on first as a director and also as part of the creative production process ?

I recently got the rights to remake "Criminally Insane" aka "Crazy Fat Ethel" ..we will be using the "Crazy Fat Ethel" title.. I honestly like that title better. It has more of a grindhouse sound to it! We are in early pre-production now, casting and developing crew. Alan Rowe Kelly, Kim Sonderholm, Shawn C. Phillips are amongst the cast so far. I have approached some others and we are still looking for the right fit for Ethel. The facebook fan page has more details.

What are some acting roles that you have upcoming ?

Well, this allows me to talk about another upcoming film that is nearly 50% complete. It's called "Trashology", its stars myself, Rodney Horn, Douglas Conner and Angie Keeling who played Cecile in "Kill Cecile". Many of us play multiple roles in the film and it is a huge tribute to John Waters! I think people are going to enjoy it. We did a scene the other day where Angie was so funny that Douglas and I kept busting out laughing so hard we ended up doing like 6 takes. There is a fan page on facebook that is loaded with pictures and info.

Is there any advice you can give actors who strive to make it primarily in the obscure film industry as opposed to mainstream ?

Start making short films where ever you are and keep putting them out there. Submit to film festivals.. we live in different times, you don't have to be mainstream to show what you got.

1 Any advice you can give indie directors on promoting or gathering awareness about projects both completed and upcoming ?

If it's good people with notice.

 And of course since this IS The Trash Compactor , What is your favorite " trashy " scene in film history thus far in any genre ?

I'm going to just say what came to mind and that is the scene in "Female Trouble" when Divine births her own baby on a dirty old couch and bites the umbilical cord. Wow!

 Maybe not the actual scene. But it's the fucking theme song !!

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