Interview with Samuel Vainisi director of Violet

  • SG: Tell us how you came about? What got you into film?
  • VS: I have always loved film. My brother used to take me every weekend to see whatever was playing, and that was our bonding time. However, after a while of just watching tons of mainstream flicks – I wanted something…different. I used to watch Eigh8, The Chosen One and Mr. Parka a lot on YouTube, and they would review all of these underground indie flicks that I had no idea what they were. So, I blind bought a lot of them that looked interesting to me, and one of those flicks was a film by the name of “found.” – And that movie changed me. When the credits started rolling, I sat there in my seat, just shocked. Jaw dropped… I had to rewind and watch the last scene again because I didn’t expect them to go there. And that’s why I love independent films… they aren’t afraid of taking chances or pushing the envelope at all. SO, this answer has gotten a bit long, ha-ha, anyways… before getting into the indie scene and supporting tons of artists, etc., I used to be a writer. I wrote short stories, a few novels, some screenplays… but no one cared. Only maybe a handful of people read them, and most of the feedback was only “oh, it was good.” And that was it. And what annoyed me was that I spent close to four years writing this novel, and the only feedback was that… nothing talking about the plot, or the characters, or the journey, and it just made me scratch my head and I questioned why am I spending all of this time when no one is even reading it in the first place. When I started writing my screenplays, I knew in my head that this could eventually be a movie… its not just a random story, like this could be possibly made. I even thought of just sending a few of my stories to indie filmmakers that I loved because I just wanted something of mine put on screen because at the time, I had no idea how even to begin making a film. I had no experience whatsoever… but that’s when I was fortunate enough to be on set for ‘The Bad Man.’ I ended up being an Executive Producer on the project, and I helped wherever was needed on set for the mansion shoot. After that week of filming, I found something in myself…like “oh, this isn’t that bad… I could do this too.” – And then it all spiraled. A few weeks later, I was starting to shoot my first short film “Senses” with friends and family; also, that story was my first ever screenplay. There’s a lot of ways to answer this question but in a short version… Scott Schirmer. Scott got me into the film by being inspired by one of his movies, and at the time I had no idea who he was I was just an outsider blind buying films, and then again Scott pushed me even further into the scene by allowing me to help him on his set. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for him.
  • SG: What was the inspiration for your previous short films?
  • VS: Honestly, my short films and future features aren’t inspired by anything. I’ve always been a writer, but lately, a lot of personal stuff has been blending into the non-fiction. Violet is hands down my most personal story to date… a lot of my shorts deal with depression and anxiety. Because most of my life, I used to struggle with them, my depression was the worst back in 2017… but once I started making films and expressing myself through art, it pretty much went away. I started being productive and doing something that I truly loved, and I was making something that will last forever, and when I die – my films pretty much represent my life. This year was also the worst for my anxiety… I went to the ER twice because I thought I had a heart attack. I realized what was giving me stress, with my full-time job, school, the film, just it was so much. I cut things out of my schedule to provide me with some time for myself, and that really helped, and now I don’t have that chest pain… so that’s a huge plus.
  • SG: You matured with your films where they’re dark dramas. Do you think a comedy will be in your future?
  • VS: I am writing a comedy but its not your typical comedy… it’s more of a dramedy. The idea with that script is that I want to focus on the rise and fall of relationships. I’m also writing in a person in a panda suit, a guy who walks around with fruit snacks in a fanny pack, and police officers who ride-on toy cars… it’s just banana’s.
  • SG: Was their times you or the cast of your films had to take five only from the intensity
  • VS: In my short films, there was never a moment that we had to relax or calm down from what we were doing… however, on my feature ‘Violet,’ there was a scene… which only lasts for 18 seconds in the entire film. This scene scared me, and Alyss pretty good. The film is a rape revenge film, but I didn’t want to show any graphic rape or focus on it too much… but we do see a flashback of it, but it’s tastefully done in my opinon. It’s just close ups on faces, the reactions. Even that was just too much. I remember saying, let’s do the first take for like a minute or two to get the audio from this… and 20 seconds in, I yelled cut. I couldn’t handle it… it was too visceral for me. And then we started filming… that was super rough. After we finished, which the entire thing maybe took 15 minutes or less to film? Give or take… I was fucked up a bit, and Alyss, because she went method with it and felt like she was actually in the moment, she needed some time alone… and I understood that by just seeing the look on her face.
  • SG: Can you tell us about Violet without spoilers?
  • VS: Recently I let a friend/producer watch the picture, and he has the best description of the movie… “The film is beautiful, ballsy and at times brutal. The acting from Alyss Winkler is raw and real. She shows vulnerability and ferocity in equal measure. This is easily one of her best performances. Violet is a rape-revenge story, a tragic love story between a girl and a boy, and the story of a mother trying to connect to her daughter.” – Charlie Michael Cargile. I love his review/description of the film.
  • SG: Are there any future actors or anyone in the industry you want to have in your movies?
  • VS: I already cast my next film, and there are people I am dying to work with… two of which are Brittany Blanton and Kaylee Williams
  • SG:  What’s next for Samuel Vainisi?
  • VS: Scarlett is my next picture… that film is going to another psychological movie, but I feel that it’s darker than Violet. Imagine if you were drugged up, and you couldn’t move and had to watch a creep do things to your body… almost like you were a doll. That’s all I can say at this point about that script. I wrote Scarlett before Violet was a thing… and It was the first story I felt beautiful writing. After that, I’ll be able to get to my dramedy… and after that… well, I have plans for the future. I’m not stopping anytime soon.

Posted by Sarah Gregory

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