The two writer/directors talk about their directorial debut, Uwe Boll and future film projects
Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer have been in the screenwriting biz for some time now, writing and producing films alongside controversial German filmmaker Uwe Boll. Roesch and Sheerer are on their own now though, in their directorial debut, Brotherhood of Blood, which hits the DVD shelves on October 14. I recently had the chance to interview these filmmakers about the film they both wrote and directed, and here's what they had to say.
How did this idea first come to you guys and was this something you had written awhile ago, or fairly recently?
Michael Roesch: We wrote the script a while ago, and kept it for our first movie as directors. We sold every other script, but wanted to keep this one to direct it ourself.
Peter Scheerer:Brotherhood of Blood tells the story of a group of vampire hunters. The hunters slowly become the evil they wanted to fight. We found it interesting to show how the war between vampires and hunters changes the opponents on both sides, and how blind they become for a much greater danger.
You've done horror films before, but this seems to harken back to the old school horror days. What sorts of films or filmmakers influenced you on this picture?
Peter Scheerer: A little bit the old vampire movies with Christopher Lee.
Michael Roesch: And Spielberg, for sure! He is still the best.
You both make your feature directorial debuts here after a few writing credits under your belt. What was it about this film that you wanted to make your directorial debut with?
Michael Roesch: One the one hand because it is a story we wanted to tell ourself, and on the other hand because we knew that it would be perfect for our first film as directors, as we could realize it with a low budget, as it is more a horror thriller then for example an action movie, which would be much more expensive to shoot.
Peter Scheerer: We tried to tell not a usual vampire story. So it's not so much about getting bitten by vampires but the moral fight between good and evil.
You have quite a cast here with horror legend Ken Foree and Sid Haig, who's becoming sort of a modern horror legend these days. Had you written these parts with both of them in mind, and what was it like working with them?
Michael Roesch: It was very cool to working with Sid and Ken. We have been fans of both for many years, and we knew that they would be perfect for the roles. We had send them the script, and only hoped that they would like the script. And we were very happy that both of them liked the script much, and accepted the roles.
Peter Scheerer: Both Sid and Ken were very professional on the set, extremely well prepared. They never complained, even with our tough low budget shoot. For example, we needed to chain Ken to a very uncomfortable wooden torture table, for 5 days, 12 hours a day, and he has not complained once.
Since this is your directorial debut, what was the most challenging part of directing for you and what was the easiest?
Peter Scheerer: The greatest challenge was the budget. We had only a very small budget, a few hundred thousand Dollars, what is less then the catering budget on most bigger movies. With this budget we could only afford 12 shooting days, so the biggest challenges were budget and time.
Michael Roesch: There was no really easy part, but it was an amazing experience to work with this great cast. With the tight schedule there was not much time for rehearsals, so it was very helpful to have these great actors.
As far as the level of gore, how bloody does the film get and do you have any unique kills you can share with us?
Michael Roesch: We always said to our FX crew: More blood!
Peter Scheerer: We have some gore effects, and would have wished to have even more, but couldn´t afford more, as it was a very low budget.
So Halloween is coming up. Do you guys have any crazy plans or how extreme do you get on Halloween?
Peter Scheerer: I'm watching some movies with friends. So nothing extreme.
Michael Roesch: This year I will be on Halloween on board of a jet on my way back from Europe to LA. But I´m looking forward to catching up a few horror movies. One of the great things about Halloween are the many new horror movies released in the weeks before.
You've worked with Uwe Boll a number of times and he's been quite a controversial figure over the last few years. Can you give us any insight on Boll from working with him and do you think American's have the wrong impression of him?
Michael Roesch: We have worked with Uwe on several movies, and are friends with him since a long time. Many people are surprised when they meet him in person - he is very funny, very smart and a real nice person.
Peter Scheerer: And you can learn a lot of things from him. Things you should do and things you maybe should not do.
I see you have Alone in the Dark 2, Far Cry and Goy coming out soon. Is there anything you can tell us about those films, or any other projects you have lined up for development?
Peter Scheerer: In Alone in the Dark 2, Edward Carnby, the main character in the series, joins forces with a group of witch hunters, to track down the dangerous witch Elisabeth Dexter. We thought that it would be interesting to have a real dangerous witch as the opponent for our hero. The movie will be released through Vivendi Universal in early 2009.
Michael Roesch:Far Cry is based on the popular video game, it is an action movie, like Die Hard on an remote island. It will be released in the US in 2009. We can´t tell much about Goy; as we were not involved in the production. We just helped the director to get a deal with a production company in LA, and got a co-producer credit as a thank you.
Finally, Brotherhood of Blood comes out on October 14, right before Halloween. Do you think this would be a great movie to watch at or before a Halloween party?
Michael Roesch: Absolutely. What could be better than Halloween with Sid Haig and Ken Foree?
Brotherhood of Blood hits the DVD shelves on October 14.