INTERVIEW: Nathan Rumler Discusses His Directorial Debut – Fangboner

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Nathan RumlerEarlier this week a new trailer hit the scene for Nathan Rumler’s directorial debut, Fangboner. and I'm telling you, this film looks like a lot of fun! After seeing the trailer, I totally had to take advantage of the fact that I know Nathan personally, and naturally I had to ask him for an interview! Luckily for us here at The House of Tortured Souls, and YOU, our viewers, he willingly agreed.

Nathan has been into the Indie filmmaking scene for quite some time, helping other directors their films or lending a hand where needed, and now it's his turn to garner some spotlight action of his own. We, at House of Tortured Souls, are very pleased to give him a hand with that. So without further adieu, I give you Nathan Rumler...

House of Tortured Souls: I know you used to do a lot of videos for a lot of the local metal bands in Michigan. Is that how you got started in filmmaking or was that something you always knew was in the cards for you?

Nathan Rumler: The music videos were when I started to take things a little more seriously and I launched my YouTube channel that way. Like I think most anyone interested in movies growing up, I made lots of stupid short films with my friends throughout high school. Bought a camera when I was 18, started with the music videos, then ended up making my first serious attempt at a short film shortly after.

I started working behind-the-scenes on "real" movies (you know, beyond YouTube stuff) just by simply talking to local filmmakers at horror cons and then making further connections while on set. So if anyone is trying to start out in Indie horror, that's my biggest piece of advice. Go to conventions and talk to the local companies there. Almost everyone is looking for an extra set of hands. I worked on about a dozen films before trying to take on my first feature and that basically served as my "Film 101".

HoTS: With a title like Fangboner, you know people are wondering. Where the hell did the inspiration for the film come from?

NR: Well, the original title while I was in the writing process was "Crotch-Sucker!" (laughs). The idea for calling it Fangboner came from a road in Ohio that is literally called Fangboner Road. We would always see it on an overpass on our way to our favorite con (Cinema Wasteland) and it became a joke. I thought Fangboner would be a catchier name for it, although it both does and doesn't really have anything to do with the movie itself. But it fits.


HoTS: Now that the trailer has been unveiled, how long do we have to wait until it gets released? And speaking of which, will there be any sort of premiere?

NR: We are looking at a late August/early September premiere. DVDs will be first available there, then launched online shortly after. We are still currently looking for a theatre though. It was also submitted to this October's Cinema Wasteland, so fingers crossed that it screens there as well.


HoTS: I know that you did an open call for extras for a bar scene the night the film wrapped. How was the turn out for that? I was supposed to be there and I am incredibly bummed that I had to miss out on it!

Fangboner artwork
NR: I think the final count was around 35 people who showed up that night. It was a lot of fun, but also pretty challenging trying to corral a bunch of your drunk friends. Haha. I think the biggest surprise for me that night was my friend Mike Keltner who drove all the way up from Indianapolis to be there. I might be trailing off a little here, but when I drove all the way down to Indianapolis to be an extra in Brian Williams' Time to Kill, he called me on my drive down like "Dude, I can't believe you're driving all this way just to be an extra in my movie. This is so crazy." I really didn't understand it at the time. In my mind I'm like, "Why the hell wouldn't I?" Then Mike showed up on my set and I'm like "DUDE I CANT BELIEVE YOU DROVE ALL THIS WAY TO BE IN MY STUPID BONER MOVIE-oh my god I get it now."


HoTS: So what (if any) were some of the challenges you faced on your directorial debut? Were you ever at one point ready to call it quits?

NR: Oh yeah, on more than one occasion I was ready to give up. From the time I started writing until the time the film was completely wrapped took about three years. The longest and most challenging part of the process was trying to cast the thing and actually get it off the ground. Just the time in between finishing the script initially until the time the first scene was shot was about a year and a half in itself. I would think I had found someone to play a part, things would fall apart. I would think I was all set to shoot the first scene, things would fall apart. It can become very frustrating. So that's the second piece of advice I have for anyone trying to start out. Just don't give up. Take a break, pick yourself back up and try again. The filming itself, once I was finally able to find my cast, actually ran very smooth. We shot the bulk of the film from March until June whenever we could get everyone together on the same date. I ran into some stressful situations during post, but I would still say the most difficult part was getting it off the ground initially.


HoTS: Did you get hands on with the effects? And how creative did you have to get to stay under budget?

NR: I didn't really have a set budget for the film. I just paid for it out of pocket as we went. Originally thinking it was gonna cost me a couple thousand, I made Fangboner for an estimated $750. I was going to try my hand at effects in the beginning but decided I had no idea what the hell I was doing, so I contacted people who did. My friend Corella is close with Marcus Koch, who is an amazing make-up effects/gore artist, so I asked him to use all of his wonderful talents to make me some fake penises. Long story short, I met up with him at Horrorhound and he handed me a bag of dicks. Everything else in the film was handled by James Bell, who is another very talented effects artist and director (and who is also local). I got the idea to ask James after seeing his film Manuer and being completely blown away by the effects in it. He already had tons of props available for us to use, so that helped us cut costs for sure. He even let us use a set he built in his garage for his film Tantrum in a pinch. One of my actresses in the film came up from Indiana and we only had three days with her, so he very kindly let us use his set, so we didn't have to run around with our heads cut off trying to find or build something ourselves. He was a great help.


Fangboner behind the scenes still
HoTS: You had quite a memorable part in Chubbies, are you also in Fangboner? Any plans to continue with the acting?

NR: I am not in Fangboner at all, which is why the overall quality of acting is much higher in it. Haha. I have fun acting but I know I'm horrible at it. I don't think I'll ever be in any of my own films, but my friends always seem to ask me to be in their stuff which is very cool. Funny little side story here, I wasn't even supposed to be in Chubbies. I was down in Indianapolis still covered in blood after just being slaughtered by Ellie Church and her sexy machete, when I got a call from the lead actor/writer of Chubbies, Brian Papandrea (who actually plays about 37 characters in the film). He also happens to play the lead in Fangboner. Anyway, I was planning to drive back to Michigan that night to help out on set of the first night of Chubbies. Brian informed me that the other lead dropped just hours before they were about to shoot, so the person originally playing Wendel got bumped up, but then they had no one else to play Wendel. That's how I got the part in Chubbies. I was just like "Cool, well, I haven't read the script in two months so this should be interesting." I cleaned up, sped back into state, they slapped me in a gorilla suit, handed me a boombox and I started to contemplate what I was doing with my life.

HoTS: Most of the film I have known you to be involved with have been a riot. Any hopes for a more serious film someday or do you prefer to stick with the comedic route?

NR: I love horror but I also love making people laugh. On extremely low budget films like the ones I work on, I feel it's hard to make an actual scary film. It can be done, but I think it's definitely more of a challenge. I do have an idea in mind for a film that's definitely more serious in tone, but it still carries elements of dark humor in it. Maybe one day.


Nathan Rumler

HoTS: Any future projects in the works? What’s next?

NR: Right now I'm just focusing on getting Fangboner out there to conventions and what not. Maybe submitting it to a bunch of prestigious film fests just so I can frame the rejection letters. Haha. But yeah, I definitely want to keep writing and directing even though it can almost drive you insane at times. I have a script I wrote when I was about eighteen or nineteen that never got made that I've been thinking about. While Fangboner is like a sex-comedy with horror and gore elements thrown in, this one is straight comedy. And as I said previously, I have another project in mind that's way more horror than anything, but it would maintain some darkly comedic moments. I was actually explaining a death scene I have in mind for that one and my friend made me stop because it was making him sick thinking about it. Haha. But yeah, anyway, I do plan to keep getting other projects going. Thanks for having me, Amy! Hopefully I didn't blab on or get off topic too much.


HoTS: Not at all Nathan! House of Tortured Souls is happy to have had this opportunity to help spread the Fangboner word! Thank you and be sure to keep us informed of theatrical and DVD releases and keep us in the loop with any future projects you may have!


And there you have it Demons! I, for one, can't wait for this movie to be released it looks like a lot of laughs! Hell, I may even go to the premiere and you can guarantee a review will follow soon after!

To stay on top of what's happening with Fangboner, check out the Facebook page.

Posted by Alan Smithee

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