Monday, October 24, 2016


Hello folks, how is everybody? I really hope very fine. Welcome to this blog, a new and normal films blog, we are going to talk about everything related with films: Interviews, Reviews not very technical only as an ordinary viewer, facts, videos and even more.

Today I bring to you guys, the first interview. I have to say thanks to Mr Ace Jordan to accept my invitation and give me time to make him this great interview, so I hope you like it.

I had the opportunity to speak with Ace Jordan, director, writer, producer and editor of Silent Retreat movie. Released this year (2016) a thriller and horror movie like I said before with Ace Jordan as the mastermind. Here he is going to talk to us about all the adventure implicated to create a full-length movie for first time, his upcoming projects and more.

EFF: Why did you want to be a filmmaker? When did start that passion to make movies?

AJ: I've just always had a passion for storytelling as long as I can remember and film seemed like the best medium to tell stories. I saw Michael Jackson's THRILLER when I was 5 and that's what got me interested in horror. I watched A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET soon after and it really terrified me as I was probably way too young to watch such a scary movie. I began writing screenplays when I was 13, I had a middle school teacher who had a passion for movies and one of our assignments was to write a short screenplay. I wrote my first feature not long after.

EFF: This was your first feature film, how did start the creation of the story, the script?

AJ: SILENT RETREAT began as a short unproduced screenplay written by Taryn Stenberg & Heather Smith. I just so happened to be looking for a cabin in the woods style script for my first feature around the same time we met. Taryn and I worked to expand the story line from 30 pages to 100.  From there, it went through many drafts.

EFF: At the end you got the script. What was the next step, look for financing, do you already had it?, how was the beginning of the real shooting process of silent retreat?

AJ: After the script was finished, I began looking for a seasoned producer to help me bring the film to life. I met Michael Muscal and he created the budget and shooting schedule for the film. We tried to pitch it to a few production companies and investors but this was around the time of the 2008-2009 economic collapse in the US. So, the project got shelved for a few years. I started a post-production company and prospered. I used money I made through my post company to finance the film. The beginning of shooting went pretty smoothly but we found it difficult to meet our shooting schedule. The 2nd week we had some problems but by the 3rd week things were rolling again and we added a pick up day to make up for what we missed.

EFF: You didn’t know any member of the cast, just met them one day before shooting that is right? Why do you prefer that way?

AJ: The reason I didn't meet with any of the cast was because I was in London on business while casting was going on in Los Angeles. We use the ECOCAST system and videos of each audition were uploaded to the internet so that I could watch them all from my hotel room in London. I returned to the US with a few days of casting left but I was busy with other matters, producing and trying to get the film ready for production. I have a projector in my home and used air stream technology to send the audition videos to my projector so I could see what each actor looked like on the big screen. This is how the audience would see them so I wanted to watch them the same way. I'm not sure if I prefer doing casting this way but I will most likely use the same system on my next film. However, I do plan to be present during call backs so I will meet with a select group of the actors before making a final decision.

EFF: What was the most difficult moment or situation in the shooting process?

AJ: The lobotomy scene was exceptionally difficult because there was a last minute lighting change and we had to reverse everything. So, the practical ice pick in the eye gag had to be reversed to the opposite eye even though it was designed to go over the actresses' right eye. The actor who played Dr. Rexif also had to do the scene left handed. We were also running out of time and the studio was pressuring us to leave. We shot the scene very quickly and it almost didn't make the film but we were able to save it in editing.

EFF: What was the best personal moment for you, making silent retreat? That moment you probably said “wow that’s why i am doing this”.

AJ: One of my best moments on set was when child actor Aidan Flynn was wrapping he drew a little cartoon picture of me and wrote me a thank you card. It was really sweet and it made me appreciate the whole experience more. Up until that point, I had been completely wrapped up in the stress of production. The 2nd week was very difficult, things were not going well but we managed to turn it around with a lot of hard work from the cast and crew.

EFF: I particularly saw the movie, i liked it, it told a story on its own rhythm, it gave twists and something really interesting, the killer was the good one? I mean, here, there is not a Final girl beating the killer, was the apparently killer finishing his revenge. How was that?

AJ: I guess I don't see the world in black or white. SILENT RETREAT is a rare film where the villain actually wins but you also realize that there other worse villains who made him this way and he was really just getting revenge for the wrongs that had been done to him years ago. I wanted the audience to root for the bad guy, this is not uncommon in horror films. In a unique twist, the hero actually saves the villain's life and never even fully realizes what she has done. 

EFF: What type of genre do you put your movie? Is it a thriller, horror, suspense i don’t know or does it a mixture?

AJ: I would put SILENT RETREAT in the ACE JORDAN genre. I try to make films that defy genre stereotypes. SILENT RETREAT is many things rolled into one. It's important to remember that genres and sub-genres are not created by filmmakers, they are categories created by marketing executives in attempt to sell the film to specific demographics. I just tell stories and let the marketing people handle the rest. Our distributor has labelled it a HORROR - Suspense/Thriller. That seems pretty accurate. However, everyone seems to have a different opinion as to where it belongs.

EFF: you have said the directors inspires you are: Spielberg and Kubrick, right? There is another who maybe you like his craft?

AJ: Yes, there are lots of filmmakers that inspire me. I like Martin Scorsese. I like Edgar Wright. I like Frank Darabont. There are many.

EFF: which movies we can see in silent retreat, i mean, any reference to specifics movies?

AJ: I think there are some subtle references to The Changeling, one of my all-time favorite horror films. Taryn and Heather mentioned they were inspired by Session 9 so there may be some references to that film.

EFF: Do you see the horror / terror genre movies as your types of films want to make, I mean do you always wanna do this kind of movies or have in mind a different kind?

AJ: I've made 3 short films and one feature. The first 2 shorts were more like elaborate student films as I had no professional experience at the time. One is a faux sports documentary and the other is a martial arts comedy. I strive to create a different experience every time. My first two projects were comedies and I think you can see a little comedy in Silent Retreat. I will most likely continue with the horror genre though.

EFF: This question you can or can't answer. What was the budget? i digged on internet and i couldn’t find it, and what was the area most expensive?

AJ: I don't have the exact figures but the budget was around $200,000 USD. I believe most of the money went to paying the crew members. We had a very talented team, many of which took major pay cuts to work on this project.

EFF: I did read in different interviews, perhaps may be a sequel or a prequel. Which one? Also i did read you have in your hands a slasher teen movie, is that right? Tell us a little bit about it?

AJ: SILENT RETREAT 2: BEDLAM is in development, we are very close to locking down financing and hope to be in production next year. The film is primarily a prequel but there are also flash forwards so the audience can see what happens after the events in Silent Retreat. In 2015 & 2016, I was in development on 2 teen slasher films. One is called DON'T FEAR THE REAPER and is set in Colorado. The other is called DEATH BLOW and is set in Texas, it is kind of a cross between Scream and Varsity Blues.

EFF: I know is hard when someone ask you about one prefer thing ever, for that reason i'm going to ask you about 2 ancient movies you liked the most and 2 recent movies, and could tell me if you want, the reason of at least one of the ancient and recent ones?

AJ: Two old movies I really enjoy are THE CHANGELING and SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. Two modern films I enjoy are THE MIST and IT FOLLOWS. I just found them really well made and scary.

EFF: I saw four locations for you movie on my research, which of those were the hardest to get it. Big Bear Lake, Angelus Oaks, Anaheym and Trabuco canyon and why?

AJ: I suppose Trabuco Canyon would be the most difficult location as we shot there a single day without permits. Big Bear was the most expensive location and Anaheim was the easiest because we shot on a sound stage.

EFF: Kill devil hill was your first time as a director? Why not making as a feature film? 

AJ: KILL DEVIL HILL was my first horror short as a director, even though I did shoot a parody of the movie SCREAM in high school that I never finished. I considered turning KDH into a feature but now think it would work better as an episodic TV show or limited miniseries.

EFF: What type of director you are? How do you like to manage the crew, the actors, you let them improvise or prefer to stick to the script?

AJ: I let some of the actors improvise as some are good at it and others are not. I'm trying to be more open to improvisation but it is important that key details in the script get covered. 

EFF: What are you doing right now?

AJ:  I'm waiting to hear back from the financiers about Silent Retreat 2. I'm also writing a proof of concept short about a popular urban legend.

Thanks you again Mr Ace Jordan for your time and hope you succes in everything you will make from now. 

Well my friends, i hope let me any kind of comments below, i will be adding more content and more interviews.



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