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From Hell to Amazon: My interview with Colin Bressler

From Hell to Amazon: My interview with Colin Bressler

A while back on Facebook I stumbled upon this ad for a film premiering here in town called Domestic Hell. I messaged the director about it to see if this is a horror film to review. We talked and he explained It was more of a thriller and drama. Intrigued by our talk I had to check it out. After seeing the movie we talked again and I had to make time to schedule an interview well after some time and our schedules permitting we sat down and talked. Colin is a super nice guy and he was excited that his film was going to stream on Amazon prime! So if you get a chance buy or rent the movie. We’re both from San Antonio and I had to help out a fellow fan of film and good guy!

  • JA: Tell us about your start. How did it all begin for you?

 

  • CB: I feel in love with film early in my life, my parents love cinema and exposed me and my brother to it early and spoke of the great films all the time.  This created an air of a sort of magic to cinema for me since at that time my imagination was developing so it was a perfect storm and I was hooked. I knew I wanted to make films for a longtime and studied films. Then I went to film school in NYC school of visual arts.  There I actually feel in love with cinematography and began shooting everything I could in film school to learn. I left school and started shooting indie films in NYC. I have for over 20 years worked as a DP in TV, and film. Been a great journey.

 

 

  • JA: I saw the film and it was really compelling on the delivery of emotion. Did you have these actors in mind when writing the movie?

 

  • CB: I had Scotty Walker who plays Jack in mind since I had worked with him before and we had an incredible relationship. Billi Reyes who plays Olivia had also been in my last film and she’s great, so I knew I’d work with her again. The rest of the cast was cast through online websites and word of mouth. I was blown away at the talent level for this film since we had so little budget.  Truly an A plus cast.

 

 

  • JA: When watching the movie, I couldn’t help but notice a lot of around our home town of San Antonio. Were a lot of businesses open to your film making or was this in some cases small favors to shoot a quick scene or guerrilla film making?

 

  • CB: a little of all of that, we were incredibly fortunate in that many places in the film were so open in allowing us to film in their establishment and at other times we had to shoot guerrilla and get shots as they had afforded us. Have to be strategic in when you shoot so you can get a location with ease. all about being flexible.

 

  • JA: The film is a gritty realistic look at domestic abuse, Not really a horror movie, but more of a thriller or drama with horror elements. Do you think you might venture into different realms of horror?

 

  • CB: Yes absolutely to date I’ve directed a ghost story called Sleepover, a slasher called Bloody drama and now Domestic Hell a thriller drama. So yes, I want to explore the genre a bit but also for me I’m not the biggest believer in pure genre. I think a film can float a bit around genre themes and still be a coherent piece. I enjoy not being tethered to tropes of genre. I like just dreaming up stories and then allowing them to find those themes.

 

  • JA: We talked before where you told me you wanted to use real situations in life for this movie did you draw inspiration from any movies by any chance?
  • CB: Yes, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shinning was a huge inspiration in tone and sound design. I wanted to create a real threatening tension, a ticking time bomb of sorts. And we used sound to in an away irritate the viewers sense into enhancing the friction that the characters were living within. In the shinning no matter what’s happening there is a sense of doom over everything. And the shining uses sound and music so well to enhance this feeling of danger and eventually violence. I worked with a brilliant sound designer and composer named Colin Chinchar.

 

  • JA: The film is going to premiere on Amazon streaming, which by the way, congratulations. Are you hoping this film will not only educate people that domestic abuse is sadly real and still happening today, but also be entertained with an interesting story line?

 

  • CB: Yes and thanks for this question. The subject matter is very difficult and real, so in developing the story I always kept in mind that many many people. Have experience things that happen in the film, so I wanted to try to make the film also about healing, and hopefully shedding some light on a real issue in our world. We’ve done a few screenings and have partnered with a local women’s shelter to raise money and awareness. For me this is central to the purpose of the film, which of course we want to entertain and leave the view thinking about the horror of living in such a situation.

 

  • JA: I think it was awesome how you had the premiere in one of the locations where a scene was shot. You donated part of the proceeds to the local women’s shelter, but the other part will be used to fund your next film. Can you give us any details about your next work?

 

  • CB: Yes so, I recently completed the screenplay for my film Remy’s demons which is about a man’s coming of age story dealing with demons both inside and from the depths of hell. It’s one part satanic possession film, one part odd love story, and one part a story of misunderstandings and inner tension.  I’m so excited to make another one and will be shooting all of it in San Antonio.

 

  • JA: Finally, is there any actors from Texas or in general you would love to work with in the future?

 

  • CB: Of course, I’d love to work with the greats from here Mathew McConaughey and others but for now I’ll take anyone with passion for the craft of acting.
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