Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Most of the time, fan and independent films struggle to provide at least semi-decent material on a low to nonexistent budget.  But every once in a while, one director comes along to prove that, with a little hard work and some passion for what you do, you can absolutely make a lot of high quality films and videos.

I recently spoke with “Hollywood’s Best Kept Secret”, director Chris R. Notarile (you may remember that he directed the Daredevil fan film I reviewed last year), to get a few more details on his process, his love of superheroes, and everything in between. You can find our full Q&A below.

  1. How did you get your start in filmmaking?

I always wanted to be a storyteller of some kind. As a kid I used to draw a lot and then as a teenager I began writing. I thought I was going to become an animator at one point, but by the end of high school, I knew I wanted to make movies. I did however go to college for animation, but it wasn’t until my junior year that I began actually making movies vs animated pieces. That sounds about right. Right?

  1. What type of equipment do you use?

I currently shoot on a Canon 5D Mark II camera and edit on Final Cut Pro. I’ve previously shot with a Sony FX1 and a Canon XL1.

  1. How did you meet some of your more frequent collaborators, like Roberto Lombardi?

Everyone of my valued actors has auditioned for me at one point or another. I met Roberto in 2007 when he auditioned for a bit part in my feature Methodic. But it wasn’t until nearly a year later when we began working together on a regular basis. Over the years our professional working relationship blossomed as our personal friendship grew. It was a true evolution. (I SOUND SO PRETENTIOUS!)

  1. What’s more creatively interesting for you: creating a fan film, or working with your own original material? Why?

Well as much as I love making a fan film, developing my own brand has always been my primary concern. I love my characters. They are gift to the world and I want nothing more than to share them with as many people as possible. So yes, working on my original material very much trumps making a fan film.

  1. What’s your process in creating one of your films?

Well that depends on the message I want to send. Do I want to tell a story? Do I want to explore a theme or a world? Is this going to be a one time thing or a possible franchise? What genre will this one be? Once I figure those things out, the creative process begins. For example, when I made TURNED, I knew specifically I wanted to make a vampire short. It was something I hadn’t done before and my goal was to give vampires their balls back. My message was that vampires are not to be romanticized, they are vile, filthy monsters who have no morals. And for that, they gotta burn. I also knew I wanted to tell a story about a man trying to kill the vampire that turned him before the clock ran out, the script pretty much wrote itself after that.

  1. If someone wanted to hire you to create a film, what would be the process behind that? How much control does that person have over the overall project?

Well it goes something like this- The more money you put into your project, the more control you are going to have. If you want to throw me the bare minimum, then there is no way I am going to be able to cater to your every whim. Costs will be cut at every corner because the last thing anyone wants is to devote time to someone else’s project and not turn a profit. But if money is not an issue, then you as the producer can be as hands on as you desire. It’s your film, I’m just the guy you hired to help you make it.

  1. How much do your films usually cost, budget-wise? How do you decide on and gather the necessary budget?

Well my films budgets are quite different vs a project I am hired to work on. I own all my equipment and do everything myself. And since I don’t have to pay myself, my budgets are usually just devoted to craft services, costumes & props and travel expenses. On a good day, a short film can cost as little as a $10.00 or as much as $200.00. I of course am not counting features. That’s a whole different ball game.

  1. You’ve worked on a number of superhero related films and shorts, like Darkman and the Retcon Chronicles. What attracts you to the idea of doing superhero films?

Isn’t it obvious? I love comics.

  1. How did you come up with some of your original superheroes, like Faye and the Avenger?

Phantom Faye, I sadly must admit started out as a palette swap for Raven of the Teen Titans. I was going to do a Titans short then decided against it, but still wanted to keep the script. So I changed the name and the look of Raven and Faye was born. But to make her stand out, I added in the Phantom aspect of my short film CHOICE and made Faye part of that world. Everything else, thankfully, fell into place and Faye came alive as more than just a replacement character for Raven, she became her own original thing. And I can happily say (apart from the basic power set) they are nothing alike now.

As for the Avenger, I created him back in 2006 as a legacy character. Sort of like the Phantom, his grandfather was the first Avenger, then it skipped a generation. Many of my heroes bare some sort of basic resemblance to another more famous hero, but that kinda goes without saying. You put a cape on a guy and slap an emblem on his chest and people immediately think he’s a Superman rip off. You have a masked vigilante brooding in the shadows and suddenly he’s a Batman wannabe. Well that’s only half true. All characters in literature follow archetypes, it’s what you do with those archetypes that makes them original.

  1. Is there anything you regret about your unfinished Deadpool series (not finishing it as originally planned, or maybe something you wish you could have done differently)?

I wish I had my Canon when I filmed it. The HD quality would’ve been waaaay more satisfying for it. And yeah, I’m sad I never got to finish the series. It was just a fun and off the wall experience.

  1. You revealed teaser images of a Moon Knight series and a Captain America series on your Facebook page some time ago. Have they been canceled, or have plans simply been changed?

Yes. They are dead. They were supposed to be additions to my Punisher series. Daredevil’83 was the first spin off. Cap’84 and Moon Knight’85 were the followups. But after the thing with Marvel it all just fell apart and died quietly, in a corner, with no one at it’s bedside. Truly sad and tragic now that I think about it….. I think I need a tissue.

  1. Are there any more plans for your original superhero creations, like the Retcon Chronicles or the Protector? What about for fan films on established superhero characters?

Well Phantom Faye has her solo series right now. We wrapped season one of it over the summer and released 5 episodes. Season two will begin next year and it is officially titled The Centurion as it will now focus Kayla the Centurion. The Specialist will also be getting a solo short. The Protector is currently being saved for something bigger than a webseries, but he is constantly referenced in Phantom Faye and the upcoming Centurion. We also touch more upon his mythos.

As for fan films. I do have a few things up my sleeve, but I will not say anything. I’m just gonna drop them whenever they are ready and catch everyone off guard. That way all of you lovely people reading this article have no choice but to subscribe to my channel and follow me on FB rather than just tuning in when you feel like it. MUAHAHAHA!!!!

  1. What’s next for your career?

WORLD DOMINATION.

Ready to help Chris with his world domination? Check out his Twitterlike his Facebook page, and check out his films on Youtube and Vimeo!

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