Oh Brother

A Conversation with Filmmaker Bruce Wemple

August 23, 2023 Dan and Mike Smith
A Conversation with Filmmaker Bruce Wemple
Oh Brother
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Oh Brother
A Conversation with Filmmaker Bruce Wemple
Aug 23, 2023
Dan and Mike Smith

Get ready for a captivating discourse with talented filmmaker Bruce Wemple in our latest episode. Known for his distinctive blend of passion, creativity, and determination, Bruce's journey, from his childhood adventures of recreating his favorite movies to creating feature films like 'Altered Hours' and 'Tomorrow Job', is nothing short of inspiring. He generously shares insights into his experiences in film school and the importance of learning from each project.

Dive into the depths of Bruce's unique filmmaking process, his passion for action, horror, and sci-fi genres, and how they fuse to create his iconic films. Hear firsthand about the creation of his film 'Island Escape', an intriguing blend of these genres. Bruce reveals his inspiration drawn from classics like 'Predator', and 'Star Trek'. He also opens up about the upcoming blu-ray release of 'Island Escape', and his experiences in delivering a film on time without compromising on essential elements.

We delve into Bruce's influences that range from 'Back to the Future 2' to John Carpenter's 'Halloween' and Will Forte's 'MacGruber', and how they have impacted his work. Get a sneak peek into his upcoming horror feature film, the importance of having familiar faces from previous movies, and his future plans. This episode is a treasure trove of information for all who are aspiring to make their own films. Tune in to learn more about the world of filmmaking, Bruce's journey, and his priceless advice for budding filmmakers.

Dan & Mike want to hear from you!

Actress Karissa Lee Staples

Support the Show.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Get ready for a captivating discourse with talented filmmaker Bruce Wemple in our latest episode. Known for his distinctive blend of passion, creativity, and determination, Bruce's journey, from his childhood adventures of recreating his favorite movies to creating feature films like 'Altered Hours' and 'Tomorrow Job', is nothing short of inspiring. He generously shares insights into his experiences in film school and the importance of learning from each project.

Dive into the depths of Bruce's unique filmmaking process, his passion for action, horror, and sci-fi genres, and how they fuse to create his iconic films. Hear firsthand about the creation of his film 'Island Escape', an intriguing blend of these genres. Bruce reveals his inspiration drawn from classics like 'Predator', and 'Star Trek'. He also opens up about the upcoming blu-ray release of 'Island Escape', and his experiences in delivering a film on time without compromising on essential elements.

We delve into Bruce's influences that range from 'Back to the Future 2' to John Carpenter's 'Halloween' and Will Forte's 'MacGruber', and how they have impacted his work. Get a sneak peek into his upcoming horror feature film, the importance of having familiar faces from previous movies, and his future plans. This episode is a treasure trove of information for all who are aspiring to make their own films. Tune in to learn more about the world of filmmaking, Bruce's journey, and his priceless advice for budding filmmakers.

Dan & Mike want to hear from you!

Actress Karissa Lee Staples

Support the Show.

Oh Brother Podcast:

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Obrother podcast, with hosts Dan and Mike Smith, brothers from the same mother with different opinions, movies, tv, video games or more, plus celebrity interviews. Get ready, it's set, it's time for the Obrother podcast and then, without further ado, we're gonna bring in Bruce Wimple to the Obrother podcast. Bruce, there is.

Speaker 2:

Sorry about that. No, something's going on with my desktop phone work so that's all right.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the show. How's it going?

Speaker 2:

Good how you doing. Good Thanks for having me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's, it's a pleasure to have you on. We got to, we We've got a ton to get into because we actually, uh, we've done a pretty deep dive. Oh, really, yeah, on the on the Wimple universe. We're gonna call it the.

Speaker 3:

Wimple universe yeah, I did a Wimple thong.

Speaker 1:

Mike went down a huge Wimple rabbit hole, so he's probably gonna throw some some knowledge at you. Oh man but, uh, you know, first thing we were talking about was, um, this sort of you're. We want to know about the escape from new york. We were talking about that film a lot recently. We want your escape from new york out to la. You're in la now, right? No?

Speaker 2:

I am in upstate new york.

Speaker 1:

I oh, you're in upstate new york.

Speaker 2:

I was in brooklyn for a while. Then I got super lucky. My lease ran out in like march of 2020 and, coincidentally, who my now wife, but at the time uh girlfriend had bought a house upstate and so that was my escape from new york upstate. You know I'm up near albany now.

Speaker 3:

Oh, okay, yeah, yeah, we thought you were on the west coast and I was like he's a new york guy.

Speaker 2:

No, yeah, no, new york, you know anywhere and I'm just a couple short periods outside of new york state, but for the most part either in the city or, uh, or upstate.

Speaker 1:

Okay, yeah, we grew up in new england, so we grew up in boston, so Is this like a sports rivalry?

Speaker 2:

You'd be like being yankees and all of that is that uh, my wife's a huge yankees fan, yeah, so by proxy we got. We got the flag and all the the decorations outside and everything so yeah, that's a hardcore area up there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so we want to first kind of get into the, the sort of origin story we always like to, to have listeners kind of you know here. How did you get into the filmmaking, what was your sort of journey into this whole, this whole world?

Speaker 2:

um, I Like, literally as long as I can remember the uh, I was, you know, by the time, digital camera, like you know, camcorders route, you know, I was probably, you know, seven years old, eight years old, and then we were just making movies at that point and it was a lot of just like recreating our favorite movies and it was a lot of like.

Speaker 2:

You know We'll like call it our own movie, but we are like ripping off into the anaheim scene or back to the future or terminator or something like that. We are just ripping off of that and that was pretty much through childhood. You know, every weekend I mean my buddies were just doing that, um, and that was just for fun. You know we were like it would be cool but like making like an actual movie where something was not, you know, that was never kind of in the cards rest of the time.

Speaker 2:

In high school, um, funny story like I kind of fell behind in my grades a little bit and I had this scheme where I would like convince teachers, near the end of the quarter semester or whatever, to let me do a movie about whatever. You know what it was, a history thing or whatever. Let me do a movie for some extra credit at the end to kind of salvage the class and salvage my grades. At the end my parents caught wind that I was doing this and I ended up having to call and have a conference with the teachers being Can't keep letting him do this, he's not learning anything so Well, once you, once you made the decision to go with that, were your parents very supportive.

Speaker 2:

They have always been supportive of it.

Speaker 2:

They just you know they, they were supportive, but also you know, realistic that you know I had to, uh, had had to, you know, have a well-rounded Knowledge base if you will. But no, and once I made the decision, then I went to like I'll say it's like a film school, ish sort of thing was like a production, um, program and uh, and then Like that, that was great. That was my opinion, for that, like the film school thing in general, it's as much as you put into it. It's like you get access to all these people, you have time, you have all this equipment, you have everything. I think there's a version of film school where you don't have to work that hard and you can still get through it.

Speaker 2:

But if you really want to, it's like you can just spend that whole Four years or whatever, however long you're going for just making things and making really terrible things, but learning from each time you make that and and that's what I'll just tell people it's like that's if you can do that without film school, just keep doing that. You know, whatever it takes, just to keep making stuff. If you have access to equipment, if you have People actors, other crew people that you can make stuff with, you, just keep doing that. And then, even today, you know every project. You know there's a thousand things learned from that project on. There's a few things that I'm really happy we did with. You know that and that was the same thing in college or before.

Speaker 2:

There's like, oh, that works, that doesn't work, but that part I really like let's use that in the future and your tool set grows and everything, um, and then after college I uh end up getting an internship at this production studio and then after that spent a couple years directing like training videos and industrials and stuff like that, and then eventually made the move.

Speaker 2:

First we made a couple, like just like absolutely micro budget sort of Features that you know kind of they were very, very proud of them, but they weren't any career changing anything, it was just we gave them. You know, we put everything we had doing was just kind of our own money and we kind of saved up or like let's make this thing, um, and then it wasn't until we made a movie called monstrously, and again, I don't know how deep dive of a movie, you know. Yeah, I don't know if Marathon did, but uh, yeah, that was again we. We probably made that movie next to nothing, like literally like a few grand we had saved up.

Speaker 2:

I remember I was living in Brooklyn, I was on my rooftop painting the first suit and it was hanging up like over, like a Clothing line, those line on it, and people were up there like what the hell are you doing? And I was like it's a big foot suit and I can tell you what it is if you want to know. But yeah, then we went out we're next to no crew, just whoever we had. And then we made that movie and that was the first time. After we finished it, because it was a big foot movie, because it was a horror movie we got connected to a distributor and it was the first time someone was like, oh, this is actually worth something. You know like money like that, we can. We can sell this. This is a sellable thing. Do you want a little bit of money to make some more movies? Um, and that was like for us the drink, I'm sure again, it was enough money to feed ourselves on set and maybe buy a few extra days.

Speaker 2:

It wasn't like we're any of us were making money off of these things like in a real way, but that was the dream of like if someone just gave us a little bit of money and we were on set and we weren't, you know, we were just making stuff, and then that's what we did for the next two or three movies, until we kind of got into a rhythm of like, okay, we can actually do this, we can be, let's see how you know if we can get a little more money and try other things and and kind of start expanding and and you know, maybe not do another big foot movie, if you will, and and yeah and then that kind of led to All the way just kind of doing that thing, building a network of people, and then end up with, uh yeah, island escape was the last movie.

Speaker 1:

So how do you get hooked up with epic pictures? How does that relationship get formed?

Speaker 2:

So that was again just it. We Are we didn't three movies with one distribution company and then we ended up um meeting this guy, uh, through our, our sales agent, who had kind of been selling it for us at that point, um, and he was this guy in vermont. He just wanted to kind of invest in films. He was um just excited about it, uh, mason d'Winell, and he kind of came on an executive producer for a different movie, um, and then we made that movie and then we made another one after that and that was the tomorrow job, and so that was just a self or sort of self funded. He funded it. We made that movie. Very proud of it, I'm super excited. And then epic, our agent, sent it to epic, and then epic wanted the movie. They acquired the movie.

Speaker 3:

Um, and who's three, seven, seven is that? That's us as a production?

Speaker 2:

That's what I thought, yeah that's our, so basically that that's our whole unit. Um, they uh, yeah, the same people have been working on all these movies. That's three, seven, seven films. Um, and then, yeah, so we did Tomorrow job. Epic ended up with tomorrow job and that ended up going very well for everyone, I think. And then again it was still pretty recent and after that it was like you wanted something again and that's what led to uh, island escape.

Speaker 1:

What was the chronology? Because I mean, I was gonna start off saying you're probably one of the hardest working People in the business this year you know, especially consider and search bruce wemple on prime yeah.

Speaker 2:

It's been a big year, but it's also it's a little deceiving some of it, because not everything was made.

Speaker 1:

That's why we were wondering yeah, with some of it pushed, like with COVID and things like that, or uh, we COVID in the beginning.

Speaker 2:

Like we, we had a movie in mind For COVID and then COVID hit and we everything got delayed, but didn't get super delayed because we're pretty tight unit. We were able to, once protocols were kind of figured out, we're pretty early on able to do it. Just because you know, I think the first we have to COVID we did was called dawn of the beast, and that one again, it all takes place at one cabin so we were able to Make sure everyone was tested, were there every, and that was actually great because that was the most of our first time like being out of the house for more than like a day was that movie and Then that came out pretty soon after that and then there was a little bit of a gap there until we made tomorrow job, which was in like summer of 2021. It didn't because you know the post and it also Stop, most of these movies were partially financed by the distributor ahead of time. You know they're that one was completely independent and then epic came in later. So because of that, there was a bit of a longer spell between Making it and then the actual release. So that wouldn't come out till you know January 2023.

Speaker 2:

In between, tomorrow job, not escape, I mean made a movie called first contact. That was made Before COVID COVID hit, that kind of got sidelined a little bit, which is nice because I was able to revisit the script before we actually, once it came back to surface and revisit the script and kind of Tighten things up and, I think, make it better. And then, after first contact, at that point, tomorrow job was on its way out and everything and we it was fall of 2022 that that we had the script, we had everything ready to go for. At that point it was called escape from Grand man and and Epic thunder under the dread label. Our got a hold of it and they wanted to work together again.

Speaker 2:

And that's where that got going and started moving very quickly because we're shooting in upstate New York, so the snow was coming, and Not only that. I think it was early September where epic was finally like, okay, let's do this. So we knew the money was coming and we realized like we can't wait that much longer for the boat sequence and the movie. There's a final like boat chase, that and and because we were planning on shooting which we did shoot most of the movie in late October of November. We're like we have to get a little because so we're gonna freeze to death. So that boat sequence was the first thing. We shot the entire movie. We got that in the can and then everything else was was after that now Altered hours.

Speaker 3:

Was that shot before tomorrow job, I mean yes, directly linked.

Speaker 2:

Yes, altered hours. Shot in 2015. That was the first thing and then that was. That was actually like a Guy I worked with Mike Ladoo at that production studio was talking about we just did industrials.

Speaker 2:

We hadn't made anything, we've made a couple short films, but we were working together and it was a weird situation. We were both, you know, pretty young and we're ended up being, because of you know, it was like a we work startup sort of company. We're just shared an office, so it was just the two of us, unsupervised for a lot of the time. So in between, we're gonna be editing and all that, whatever the industrials we're making. We started riffing on this movie altered hours about a you know a drug that you travel in time, and we had, of course, our you know our cork board with all our story beats and it kind of started moving around. We worked on that for a while and then, yeah, in summer of 2015, we shot it, yeah, and then that was our. That was my first feature and his obviously first feature and a lot of people on that, our first thing we did. And then there was a bit of a gap After that, because we're like, okay, we've just spent every possible thing credit cards, every everything to make that movie happen.

Speaker 2:

We got to figure that out now, and then we found a distributor for that movie, but it was a long road into that. Yeah, that was. And then it wasn't until 2021 where I always wanted to revisit the concept. I Like the concept. I the one thing I with the movie. I really like the movie. I just felt like is there a version that doesn't take itself as seriously? Because I feel like there's that kind of Memento type movie or primer, like there's a lot of those sorts of things they always had are very, very heavy, you know, they're dense, and then they get very ready and I was like maybe there's like a heist movie or something that treats itself a little more Light on its feet and it's a little more bouncy and stuff, but it still kind of has the same headiest though. When we revisited it in 2021, that was kind of the idea. It's like just take studied the same universe but it's different people, and then let's make it kind of like a kind of Throwback heist movie, but we using this, this, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I think you did a good job at capturing. I literally wrote down Memento is getting like some Memento vibes, but you're right, it's with a lighter flavor to it, you know.

Speaker 3:

And altered hours is darker, that you know, because then they're injecting the drug versus taking the Z pill.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, he's an ex addict to and he's dealing with a lot. There's a lot heavier issues.

Speaker 1:

Yes, and yeah.

Speaker 2:

So it was definitely that those were definitely our inspirations though. Going into altered hours, going into tomorrow job, we're like, okay, let's pull what worked for altered hours. But then we're like you know Oceans 11 and those kinds of movies, and we're like let's see how we can kind of, you know, merge those two into and just make this a little more fun.

Speaker 1:

You know, mike and I would both like to thank you upfront for making 90 minute films. It's nice to see an artist that can still do that and island escape.

Speaker 3:

You know, I I'm always saying now this movie was 20 minutes too long or whatever. And People said, well, it takes what it takes to tell a story. And I said not necessarily, and I think your films prove that point. You have really like, island escapes are pretty, there's a lot going on and you came in at 90 minutes with that film and I don't think you left anything out as far as, geez, I got to figure this out or I got to figure that out. So I think you're a good example of what we like in a movie. And I say, tight, you know story that's told. Do you look back and think, because you probably have deleted footage and you're probably like I wish I put that in, or you know.

Speaker 2:

Sometimes I agree with you, though. I mean, I think you know there's always the scene you love, but you're just like you love it for reasons you know. Maybe you really love the performance in there, you really, and you, just you have to make those hard decisions of is there a chance this might bore the audience? And then is it bringing enough to the story that it needs to be in there?

Speaker 2:

Because, yeah, it's tough because I think you can, especially for our movies. You know there's no celebrities in it, there's no anything like that holding the audience on, so they have no reason to stick around for the movie. So you kind of constantly have to be convincing them to keep watching, especially right now, because you know streaming. It's not like back in the day you rented the movie from the movie store and that's all you had to watch.

Speaker 2:

They'll click away in a second. If you're not, you know entertaining them, so that's kind of when we're in the edit we're like all right, we need to make sure this story works. That's the first priority. And then is there any spot in there that we could potentially lose someone? And you know, I think for me as a fan, if I'm diving into a horror movie, that again I've never heard of anyone in it, I've never heard of the director.

Speaker 2:

There's no other reason, other than the premise and maybe the trailer, that I'm watching it. I want that movie to be, you know, 86 minutes if possible, maybe 90 minutes, but yeah, that's what I'm looking for.

Speaker 3:

Although you know you work with, I would say, almost every actor you've worked with has been in at least two of your films. Yeah, yeah, so people tune in. Because right in Escape there was Addison played by Ariela right, Did I get their name right and I liked her performance a lot. And then so when I saw her pop up into Mara Job, I was like, oh, you know, I know somebody in this movie, so you know what I mean. I was more invested in it.

Speaker 2:

Now we're in our own ecosystem. That's right, it's the Wemple universe.

Speaker 1:

Like I said are any of those, any of the cast of these folks that you connected with through school in New York?

Speaker 2:

Are they East?

Speaker 1:

Coasters, or it's a mix.

Speaker 2:

Some of them are West Coasters now, but I think almost all of them I met on some project or another. Some of the crew members are from school. The composers worked on every movie. I'd known him since our freshman year. Is that Nate, nate.

Speaker 1:

Benduzin yeah.

Speaker 2:

And so we've known each other forever. But most of the actors we met on some project and it's one of those things it's, you know. They're great actors, they're also great people and you know these kind of films that especially, are tough. You know. There's all those moments you feel like everything's going against you or you're running behind or the weather or whatever. Especially, line of Escape was a very tough shoot, just because it wasn't tough emotionally, but like we were climbing up to the mountain tops and we were on boats and everything. So you want someone in the trenches.

Speaker 2:

Who's you know you can know, you can count on you know they're gonna stick with you and they're gonna be there, and you know just from a personality perspective that they're just, they're gonna bring their A game, no matter what the circumstances are.

Speaker 2:

So you know when you're again working with this. You know smaller budgets and everything what's fun about them is we make a movie, we watch it. We all have ideas of how, whatever we can do the next one, we can make it that much better, how we can challenge ourselves, regardless of what the next budget is it could be more, it could be less we're gonna walk into that movie and be like how do we make this movie the best one we've ever made? So that's what you get by, like having these people come back. It's just this, almost like a sports team, if you will, that wants to like, when we come back, just go and try to outdo ourselves each time. So I think that's a lot of it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and we've talked about with other creators. We've had on the show this kind of shorthand that you developed. That makes it that much easier on the production. You know what now you're, I think, similar to tomorrow job. You're credited, you wrote and directed both. Is that right? Yep, yeah, and what was the origin of the idea behind Island Escape Cause? Honestly, I don't think I've seen another film in the genre with that concept.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean I recently was turned onto the term squad or which is super accurate, but it's. You know, there's like Resident Evil type movies or even like where team and mercenaries go somewhere and they start getting picked off one by one by whatever it is. So that's a genre in itself, but that's I love those movies to begin with, and so, and you know, obviously we like playing with time and space and manipulating and the perception of time and that kind of stuff. So the idea was basically like let's make a movie that leans into all those action horror tropes. The first maybe 20 minutes of the movie get the audience super comfortable, like I know what I'm watching.

Speaker 2:

This is a movie I've kind of seen before. It's usually a good time. You know we'll see who starts getting picked off first in this movie, and that's the idea is get them really comfortable. And then about the 20, 30 minutes in kind of flip the whole thing on its head and reveal like things are much more heady than we've kind of led on based on. And in doing that, try to, like I said sort of with Tomorrow Job, but definitely with this one keep it fun, keep it like an action movie. You know, always treat it like an action movie and not like a heady side-fi, because it's. I mean, I'm a huge TNG fan, like next generation, but it play like I think there's a different version of the movie that plays more like a Star Trek next generation episode.

Speaker 2:

But we were like all right, let's take that. But like, between the music, how we shoot it, the performances, all the characters and tropes, let's treat this like it's like one of those badass action movies.

Speaker 3:

So we were talking about it and we almost got into an argument. We kind of did. I was like no sci-fi. And he's like, yeah, he's got to you got to settle the debate, bruce.

Speaker 1:

Here Is it. Would you consider Island Escape, sci-fi horror, equal parts of both? Where does it fall for you In?

Speaker 2:

premise and plot and everything. It's sci-fi In execution. It's an action and horror movie, yeah, but everything about how we filmed it, how Nate's electric guitar, heavy kind of music, the set pieces you got James with his tank top doing the predator thing, like we really try to like make sure we're treating this as if it's predator or something like that, right With some sci-fi, that's sci-fi.

Speaker 1:

It got time to bleed, exactly.

Speaker 3:

Like the three day.

Speaker 1:

Island you know the reset. Yeah, very cool concept. Yeah, that soundtrack was creepy as AF.

Speaker 1:

You know it was really creepy and I was getting all kinds of vibes from the film. I don't know if any of this makes sense to you. I wrote down a bunch of films as I was watching it, thinking like some of these are out there. But Vanilla Sky, matrix Vibes you know, a quiet place, memento, we talked about. There's a lot kind of. You know what were some of the influences, or what are some of your influences in terms of films. What do you go to?

Speaker 3:

I mean it's filmed by film basis.

Speaker 2:

I mean this one definitely we're leaning heavily on. Like I said, predator is a big one, alien a little bit Aliens especially.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, more action.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly, and that kind of mercenary vibe or they're kind of getting picked off one by one. Yeah, and then you know, we were kind of we also referenced Star Trek. Good amount on set for as much. As I just said, we were trying not to be Star Trek. We were definitely referencing that a little bit while we were there. But yeah, like, I think what's funny is like we, we all talk about you know these the, you know primer or something like that, these, these Small indie movies that we really like to talk about. But then when we start filming you can see it's just baked in our DNA. The like Terminator, alien and all these movies are just like, no matter how much we try to get more sophisticated in our tastes, our just since childhood has just been so Embedded in us that when we do start shootings that those are the references we end up leaning on the most.

Speaker 1:

So right, yeah, everything's in homage.

Speaker 3:

Hey, it feels like it, yeah, but I'm you know I was dean once of a school that had a film program and I used to teach too and I would teach, you know, film appreciation and I would try to get the students to to rent DVDs or watch DVDs that had. You know, some of these like the cry. I have a huge criterion collection and they're like a a film class in and of themselves if you just listen to commentaries from other directors and you know, do you have any Physical media that's going to be showing up?

Speaker 2:

or yeah, I think the 12th or the 14th we have a blu-ray coming out For island escape and that has a commentary, a little behind the scenes thing. Nice, yeah, I have some deleted scenes in there too. Um yeah, I it's sometime this week though that's coming out.

Speaker 1:

I get that on pre-order.

Speaker 3:

Yeah he's.

Speaker 1:

He's making a note. I could see you can tell what do you got like 8,000 or something now.

Speaker 3:

I have like 5,000. It's ridiculous.

Speaker 1:

That's too, much.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, all DVD or blu-ray or both they're they're well.

Speaker 3:

Now it's all 4k, so there's no dvds, it's all blu-ray and above. Although I once had 2,000 dvds, I just got rid of them all. Once I did, and you know I said once I upgrade, I said I'm never doing that again and then never again.

Speaker 1:

I'm like oh.

Speaker 3:

Jesus, the rack behind me is all Loaded with 4k. But yeah, I mean, I always liked back when vhs finally got Affordable. Remember when they first came out, in order to let rental places make some money, you'd have to pay 80 bucks to get a vhs of you know, say. Back to the future, once they became Kind of point of sale transactions, I thought wouldn't it be nice to have enough movies To just walk in and say, oh, I feel like that tonight. But I I think I went way overboard.

Speaker 2:

Opposite. I really um, I just I just had a baby. Um, or my wife and I just had a baby and I'm like thank you um, um, and I really bummed that we're not going to get that video store experience of Going there, spending forever looking for a movie yes, finally finding one. You bring it home and and for me it's like being stuck with that movie was the best, no matter how bad it turned out to be.

Speaker 3:

That's what you're watching.

Speaker 2:

He had nothing else. He had nothing else, and then you also didn't have ron tomatoes to tell you whether it was Generally considered good or bad.

Speaker 1:

So she'll maybe, yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

Now there's movies. I'm like as, like when I was younger, I'm like that was a good movie and then I'm, ron tomatoes tells me it was a piece of crap, and you know the but the uh, yeah, that's. I'm trying to develop a physical media for him, for my, my son, that that Is a limited library, because I think that's important, that like right now we're a little this spoiled or something's wrong with like that there's just unlimited library available of content for you and the. I'm trying to figure out like a physical library for him that he can pick one, but when it's over, it's done, he puts it back and then he goes. You know, whatever, he can keep watching movies as much as he wants, but he has to know that you know it's there's there's a beginning and an end to them, you know.

Speaker 1:

What do you make of this? The popularity of horror, I mean, it's always been obviously an audience for this, but it just seems like it continues to get more and more. Like Mike and I were talking about, uh, this success of insidious where it beat Indiana Jones like in the opening weekend, you know it's like what, what, what do you make of that? And and what's the attraction to it? You know, from a filmmaking standpoint, if there is one, uh, definitely is.

Speaker 2:

I. I don't know if it's bigger or just has the most like it survived the best theatrically. Um, it just it's, it's. I just don't think it's Going anywhere.

Speaker 2:

I think people, it's one thing, people love going to the movies to experience with other people, which is cool. Um, I think you know, growing up, if, if there was a horror movie out and I remember we saw our fair number of bad ones and theaters, um, it was just that shared experience. If there were a few jump scares in there, that kind of got everyone going together. Everyone loves that and the same thing at home. You know, you, just, there's an expectation even if the movie is not great, you're getting that shared scared experience or horror fans on the other end are kind of. These fans also will enjoy pretty bad movies, for, whether you want to call ironic reasons or whatever, but they'll, just they'll, they'll still watch it. Um, so, whether it's on demand or you know, I think theatrically it's that shared experience and I think that's what kind of drives that and always has. It's just those bigger blockbusters are coming out and it's you know, it's it maybe people aren't as into.

Speaker 1:

I don't know what.

Speaker 2:

What's going on with those? But I think sort of horror, just, you know it's just not going anywhere. And then especially on demand because it's. You know, back in the day when you had to find some like duct taped vhs of whatever movie that you had heard about and then you would be able to watch that. Now it's literally everything between shutter and everything else. You know you can just watch all these horror movies and there's a lot of Gems in there. And I think the last thing is I don't think it's reliant on celebrities or big budgets at all. I think that's the big thing is, is a movie like indiana jones or superhero movie, or even a movie that just needs a big cast. You know they're spending 50, 100, 200 million dollars, right, a horror movie they spend, say, five million on it doesn't have to bring a huge audience to make that money back. If it does, even better. But it's just an economically more responsible way to keep making movies. Um, then you know one movie that either is going to make or break an entire season.

Speaker 3:

Now your preference. It seems like you're going more in the sci-fi.

Speaker 2:

I'm literally on set now. I'm actually at home between two blocks, but we're shooting a new movie right now and it's a pure horror one, just. But the. I Think sci-fi is where, like, I fell in love with movies. And then, I think, on a technical level, horror kind of got me hooked and in terms of filmmaking and because I think more provides a Sci-fi writing is more fun for me. Anyway, I think there's there's so many different places you can go, but once you're on set and you know trying to figure out how a scare is gonna work or a really good blood gag is gonna be, that kind of stuff, that that's fun. I mean that there's. It's just fun to be on set and just trying to figure out just the Craziest, how we're gonna, you know, string someone up and hang them or something like that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, it's just it.

Speaker 2:

There's these, all these challenges that you don't really get any other genre.

Speaker 1:

There's really good makeup on island escape. You know, like Lejahn Woods, I mean good lord, I mean that his his alter ego, and that is he called it the wrong while we're on set.

Speaker 2:

But no, jesse had to do the makeup for that and, yeah, she did a great job. We the main thing with the makeup. We always want that texture. So if you look like there's constantly, I think in every shot of monsters, something dripping off the monster whether it's blood or goo, whatever and that was the idea is just like just add this kind of chaos to them, that that's all is present now Did when you film that, obviously because a lot of actors play themselves, so Did you shoot all you know, the straight Scenes with them, normal, and then all the other scenes?

Speaker 3:

It was, it was complicated, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think we didn't realize how complicated it was gonna be Until we were kind of mapping out because it took a lot of planning, especially certain scenes that that mountaintop scene we all had to hike up there.

Speaker 2:

It was, like, you know, a three mile steep hike that we had to get to With the crew, with all the gear, everything set it up. We wanted to shoot it at at golden hours there was a low Sun, that you know, and and then we're hiking out in the dark, so but but beyond that, we also had to make sure that we could Switch to the makeup and we could kind of switch between everything. So we there's some shots in there that are, you know, comp shots where we're, you know, split in the front frame in half, or something like that. There's other shots it's a double that you know looks enough like it that we can shoot either over their shoulder or even something you know. And then other times, you know, it's just eye lines that are matching up and someone's looking at themselves staring back, and so we tried to shake it up a little bit how we were capturing the doubles, just so we didn't fall or we weren't relying on just one technique and then that might get stale or the audience might get uh.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, at first, is somebody watching it? At first I was like is that, is that him? You know? Is that? You know? That was my first. And then all of a sudden, you know it kicks in. You realize what's going on. I also thought you put the camera placement different For the different versions of like they all seem to grow a foot when they became Somebody. I don't want to give away too much of the world People haven't seen, but it seems like you made a conscious effort to drop the camera and shoot Was, was that, or am I just kind of reading too much into it?

Speaker 2:

No, no, that was definitely uh, in there. The we wanted to make it seem like the longer these monsters were there, the bigger they got. So we once you know there were there's I think we called them big boys at one point but like, yeah, those monsters, we kind of Either we're putting them up on I think there was a couple still shots, but mostly it was putting them up on like apple boxes, so they seemed taller, or we were dropping down the actor below, so once they were kind of interacting, that yeah, like they felt a foot shorter than the other one. And then there were also, you know, we had old school muscle suits on a lot of them. That, uh, just to make them bulk them up a little bit, just to make them look bigger.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I was getting some uh Luforigno vibes.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, some of that what?

Speaker 1:

uh, some really nice establishing shots in this and the tomorrow job actually too, is that, is it drones we're using now to get a lot of that stuff?

Speaker 2:

Yeah they're not helicopters there, Uh yeah. Yeah we had a drone pilot on both of them. Um, Harry going out, who just you know we? I tell him the shot and he nails it perfectly. And it's just so easy. It's almost feels like it's cheating.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, really nice. Yeah, yeah, nice now the one you mentioned that you've got coming up. Is that me in the vase that you you're talking about?

Speaker 2:

No, me in the Okay short film that we did in 2017. That was Like between altered hours and lake artifact. No, uh, this one is through epic and dread again. Um, I don't know how much I can actually say about it, but, um, I don't know, because the title could change, I don't know, but it's a horror movie. We're super, super excited about it. Um, yeah, the uh it's.

Speaker 1:

it's got some familiar faces from previous movies too, so I gotta say, uh, grant Chewmacher, really good job, and and island escape as ross, and then, and tomorrow job too, tomorrow job he brought. I swear he's the doppelganger for um, jeff Daniel Phillips. If you know Jeff Daniel Phillips, I could see it. We always like to ask you what, what's, what's your top five films? If you had to create the list, not to put you on the spot too hard, but oh Jesus, let me sorry.

Speaker 2:

I just want to check one. I don't want my phone. Okay, we're good.

Speaker 1:

I don't want my phone to die. Oh, I'll lose in charge, yeah.

Speaker 2:

No, I think we're good. I think we're good. I, just I wanted to attack that issue before we uh, before um uh. But top five films oh man, um, that's I.

Speaker 3:

Doesn't have to be set in stone Just right.

Speaker 1:

Hold you to it, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I'll, yeah, like I think there's. There's certain movies that I think you know have stood for me the test of time, but then there's just classic, amazing Movies that I don't know.

Speaker 2:

That's a tough one, though I need to go by genre, I think, um the uh, but I think I think, you know, since I was the first time I watched, back to the future too, I remember watching Marty walking through the first movie, like when he's in the dance, and he's walking through the events of the first movie, and I remember my head just being like they can do that, and it just blew my mind to a point where I think that just fundamentally changed how I thought about how movies could work. Um, so that's gotta be on the list somewhere. Um, I think.

Speaker 3:

It's funny too, because Back to the Future 2 is almost a template for sci-fi people. Yeah, like the new Flash movie, they talk about Back to the Future for like five to ten minutes.

Speaker 2:

It's just the time travel movie, I guess yeah right.

Speaker 3:

And you have your own rules, yeah, and your time. You know, like there's an hour, I never really understood why that hour, that grant carved out, it was an hour. You couldn't do it, it was just he.

Speaker 2:

Basically you take the pill, you travel forward for one hour and then your tomorrow self trades places with you.

Speaker 2:

So your tomorrow self is in the past for that hour, I think in the movie. Every time I went they kind of locked themselves in the moving truck for that hour. Yes, yeah, and that was basically to prevent their future selves from going back and altering the timeline that they're actually trying to change. Because there was paradoxical consequences if you change the timeline too much and you'll lose track of what's real and what actually happened and what didn't happen and that kind of stuff.

Speaker 3:

I mean, you had me reading Erwin Schrodinger's work, you know, so that was a pretty good one.

Speaker 1:

But going back to your movies, yeah, or directors Right, and you had any influences on you?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm just trying to think, yeah, because, like you said, set in stone, because I think, like the original Halloween was big for me, john Carpenter, yeah, john Carpenter, when that came out.

Speaker 1:

Well, even not it came out before I was born, but like I was all.

Speaker 2:

I always wanted to watch it and my parents obviously would not let me watch it, you know for good reason. But I remember just like I was obsessed with the poster, I would the trailer, I heard the music and I was just so jazzling all of it. I remember finally asking my dad it was like so what, what is it about? What's in the movies? Like. Without thinking he's like oh, you know, it's a killer who hides in closets and hallways and stuff, and that was. I think I would have been so much better off watching the movie than just knowing that little tidbit and being able to imagine what happened in the movie was was there.

Speaker 2:

So I think, yeah, the original Halloween definitely would be on there. Alien probably was a big one, terminator. And then you know a movie I've probably seen I'm going to do it throughout a weird one, because but movie I've probably seen more than any other movie is probably MacRubber with Will Forte.

Speaker 1:

Oh wow.

Speaker 3:

Have you seen the series? Oh yeah, the series too.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, I think I don't know when that came out and we had it on DVD and everything and I that that was like just a go to that. We just pop in and just quote the entire movie.

Speaker 3:

You know, since you brought up Halloween. I actually had this question in my head before you brought that up, because they just did Halloween ends and we know it's not going to end because it's not Now. If they came to you, the Akkad family or who's? Who's in charge now, Dan, you know?

Speaker 1:

Yeah it's, I think it's Malik.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I mean Mustafa, because he's so they're at a.

Speaker 3:

They're at a point now where they have to reinvent, because the way they did away with Michael in the last film. Okay, you got to be creative and they've always toyed with supernatural. What was it? Halloween?

Speaker 2:

Is it three, four, when it's just the? It's not even Mike Myers Three.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's the way. Yes, so like, if they came to you, would you have like a plan or a thought for that movie? Who knows, I don't know.

Speaker 2:

I really like the Rob Zombie reboot.

Speaker 1:

So, thank you Bruce, thank you Bruce, thank you.

Speaker 2:

I don't know if I'm the best guy to do it, because apparently everyone hates that one.

Speaker 1:

So no, I, I'm always talking up the zombie versions yeah, and I like the second one more and more when I see it over and over again of a year. A little iffy on the second, but yeah, the whole, the whole white horse kind of that storyline but, and Jeff Daniel Phillips of course was in that, but that's a whole nother side thing.

Speaker 2:

Maybe you get Grant and you do some sort of spin off with that character, I just think the Rob Zombie version was just the grossest, scariest like it, kind of because I'd seen the first one so many times that like watching that one it was like, oh, this is a crazier version of it and I love it. And so I, and if that wasn't received, well, I don't know what I would do.

Speaker 1:

Well, in Tyler, maine, he's the size of him. It just makes the, the, the violence and the brutality so much more intense and believable, quite frankly.

Speaker 2:

It was awesome in the way he you know, the way he was just unstoppable, the way he escaped. Everything about it was just it was a. It felt more like a monster, like a true beat him up monster. He didn't have to totally hide him in the shadows they kind of did, but even without just seeing him he's still terrifying. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

And, and you know, he kind of becomes a buddy with the guard, famous actor, and it's just to say oh, danny, uh, yeah. Danny Trao and he forms a relationship with him, but he's so brutal he takes him down without even a second thought. Yeah, so yeah, and ROMS for ROMS zombie. That was kind of a tame If you watch his other films Halloween was kind of tame.

Speaker 3:

That's one of the rare ones where I like the theatrical cuts better than the director's cut, which is odd. But part two I had a lot of issues with.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I remember going, but I don't think I've ever seen the director's cut. I saw it in the theater, I think opening night, when the Rob Zombie version came out, and I loved it. I walked out loving it. The more I talked to people they told me they didn't, but I loved it and then I watched it on him. I don't think I ever saw the director's cut, though.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, To each his own, I guess. Um well, we, we don't want to keep you all afternoon Especially now that we don't want your phone to die. Let me see, let me see Now that we know you're on East Coast time too. But, you know, appreciate you coming on and dishing all this and obviously Thank you for the deep dive, by the way.

Speaker 2:

That is a first for me that, uh, that, that anyone's? You know especially in like an interview or anything has has done a full, deep dive on the movies, because there's a long list out there. Hey, listen, I had fun with the the Oberlin podcast.

Speaker 1:

That's how we roll here, you know, but but congrats on the Island escape. And I know, mike, you're thrilled to hear that physical media, so you're going to get that and you can rent it. You can, you can get it on prime video now, right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Pretty much. All those VOD rental spots have it, and then when's it dropping on? Uh? Sorry not August up September 12th Okay, Okay, september 12th.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and it's great to hear I mean that's fantastic, you do a commentary and deleted scenes. I mean that's, that's what we look for who's on the commentary with you?

Speaker 2:

I think the whole main cast.

Speaker 3:

That's awesome.

Speaker 2:

It's a little chaotic, we did it via zoom and and a lot of big personalities on that, uh in that cast and and especially uh, michael Parker who plays cult. Oh you got a lot to say for a guy that doesn't you know any guy in a cowboy hat and one of these movies. You know he's not going to make it, but yeah, Well, it's when you when you earlier said.

Speaker 1:

you know, that's kind of that trope where you rolled a dice and like, okay, this guy with the cowboy hats definitely getting early, he's getting early.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but for a guy who dies fairly early on. He has a lot to say in the commentary, so get ready, so he's not so far removed from cult.

Speaker 1:

Is what you're saying? Not too much, but I think everyone else is on it.

Speaker 2:

Grant son a Grinchy, michael, james, Liddell, chris and Berman.

Speaker 1:

Eric, yohan and Shrani they're all on the commentary. That's awesome. Um so any idea when we might expect this, this next feature, from you, Uh?

Speaker 2:

hopefully we finish shooting in about two weeks and then we'll be in post, but I I hope by early 2024,. If I had to guess I have no saying it, but I find it, yes, that would.

Speaker 3:

that would be it, um well, until then there's you know, all you have to do is put in Bruce, wemble and prime or you know, do a Google search, go to IMDB. It lists all your films and there's plenty out there right now for people to watch and some really good stuff.

Speaker 1:

You had some. You had some Wemble family members in uh in the film, didn't you?

Speaker 2:

Island Escape has my dad gets headbutt in in uh in the bar scene.

Speaker 1:

Oh, it's your dad, yeah, and then and then there's, was it Anna?

Speaker 2:

Anna, oh, uh, yeah.

Speaker 1:

It's credited.

Speaker 2:

He's also an extra in the bar. She's in the background.

Speaker 1:

Okay, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, I had my uh at the bar scene. My parents showed up and uh, that was a last minute thing, asking if my dad wanted to be headbutt, and also, the guys playing pool are all his uh, his buddies. So that's uh every, all those quick hits and everything. That's all the buddies and just quickly go right out there and grab thing with it.

Speaker 1:

You had a guy in that scene that probably could stand toe to toe with Tyler Mayn.

Speaker 2:

I don't know who that was, but You'd uh, you'd be surprised at the camera tricks to get there. He's probably like five, 10, five.

Speaker 1:

Oh, no kidding, he looks like he's six five. I know that's awesome. Well, listen, uh, it was great to talk to you, Bruce. Congratulations on on the film and, uh, we'll look forward to this release, Hopefully early 2020.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'll let you know and I'm sure after I try to ever let you because, yeah, great to chat with you about it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we'd love to right now.

Speaker 3:

Currently um island escape is is you can get it on Amazon or any of the you know on demand places.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, check that. Definitely recommend it. Yeah, yeah, thank you so much for having me, it's just fun. Yeah, thanks so much, bruce. Take care. All right, take care, go talk to us. Sounds good, thanks, all right, all right, take care, take care, talk to us. Thanks, bruce. Thanks Bruce. Thanks for that. Thanks, thanks, bruce you.

The Journey of a Filmmaker
Filmmaking Process and Movie Concepts
Popularity of Action Horror Films
Film Influences and Potential Movie Plans
Discussion on Film Release and Recommendations

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