JT Film Review

Director Interview – South of Heaven (2008)

Director Interview

I sat down recently with Lyle Goodwin, a friend of mine who directed, produced, and starred in his production South of Heaven. It is an extremely small budget movie, made for approximately $4,000. I had a brief interview with him, discussing the film, the difficulty making it, etc. Read below.

At the bottom are links to the IMDB page, and to the Facebook fan group (where you can find pictures and video from the film.)



What is your favorite genre of film, and do you enjoy making films in this genre specifically?

I tend to prefer action and horror movies; and yes, I feel more confident and strong working in those genres.

Your favorite films specifically?

My top favorite films would be Avenging Force (1986), Halloween 2 (1981), and American Ninja (1985).

Favorite stars?

My favorite stars would be Michael Dudikoff, Sylvester Stallone, and Chuck Norris.

What were your favorite childhood movies?

They would be King of the Kickboxers (1990) and again, Avenging Force (1985).

How difficult was it to produce this with such an extremely small budget, in a small town? What was the hardest aspect of shooting?

With out money it becomes extremely difficult . The right cast must be selected not only because they are the right ones for the film, but because they are the ones who are willing to work for next to nothing.

In the city your locations become much more surreal. Your story alone can radically change because of all the locations you have available to you. However in a small town you become limited; and you have to be careful with where you’re shooting because your locations can start to look the same.

The hardest aspect? I will have to say trying to keep the film looking larger than it actually was. Because the budget was only $4000.00 and one tries to make it look like at least $500,000.00. You don’t have any extra money to throw at a problem you have to think differently, be creative.

How do you feel the film turned out? Is there anything you would change?

I think the film turned out reasonable well. Any filmmaker will tell you that there is always something you want to change, but this is necessary. This gives the filmmaker the urge to make the film better.

There are only a couple of scenes that I would change; not because they are bad, just because the scope looks a bit small for the overall film. I pretty much accomplished what I was trying to accomplish, anything I might want to change would just be small things in action sequences, so no whole entire scenes.

Was it difficult to get people to help you with this? How did they do?

The help I received for this film was unbelievable. They went far beyond what I wanted from them or would dare ask of them. I would not hesitate to hire them on again for it.

     Marc Durkee- 
                  Not only wrote and performed the haunting musical score but showcases his acting ability as well. His performance of Joe “The Civilian Liasion” was fantastic.  He never missed a beat.
     Paul Surette-
                   Was absolutely phenomenal as Max.  His character was written surrounded in mystery and Paul dove in there capturing the very essence that was needed to portray his character vividly.
     Kerry Winship-
                   Not only gave a stellar performance as Rachael she is also the co-executive Producer as well.  The innocence needed was captured to perfection and gives “Brandon” not only his grounding force but his guiding light throughout the ever engrossing and changing plot.
     Christian Gillieo-
                    Christian brings a very unique presence to the film.  Not only is he the son of Rachael but  he guides “Brandon” through another emotional moment  and his performance was fantastic.
     James Turpin-
                     James was brought in at the very last minute.  Giving him a very small character but could there be something more with him?  We will have to wait.  James came on board and provided numerous moments of stunt work and performed in the extremely fast paced and violent ending battle between “Brandon” and “Frost”. 
Everyone of the actors involved in this production was amazing to work with.
Thanks guys!

sohWhat is your best memory from shooting the movie?

My best memory? The actual filming itself, the exchange of ideas, the comradeship, and watching the rushes after the scenes were shot.

How long have you been interested in movies as a medium? Any completed projects before “South of Heaven”?

I began making short films at fourteen. Most of them are extremely unwatchable but were cool learning experiences. The camera we used was plugged into a VCR and had to be dragged everywhere. Over the years we beat the thing apart to the point that the only way it stayed together was with duct tape, elastics, bubble gum and faith.

There have been over 300 short films, skits, and various projects which remained uncompleted for various reasons over the years, but no completed feature films. South of Heaven is the first.
What would you say have been your biggest influences?
I would have to say the films I watched, the actors who starred in them, everything. When you have the opportunity to learn, you learn. I learned a lot watching films, ripping them apart and watching them over and over again in slow motion. So I would have to say the films I watched, the actors who starred in them, everything.
What is your favorite part of the film making process?
My favorite part? Aside from writing I would have to say acting, definitely.
What is your favorite decade for film? Are movies getting better or worse do you think?
Favorite decade? I am an eighties child. I grew up watching in that time frame. For years you couldn’t get me to watch anything but that era. Anything black and white, I would fall asleep now I watch just about everything, as far back as the sixties. Any opportunity to learn one must do.
Movies go through numerous cycles; horror is up than it’s down, martial arts films are popular, then they are not. I wouldn’t say movies are getting worse; maybe a little bit more realistic, and that is fine for some things but for others it can be a bit much.
South of Heaven on Facebook – The Facebook fan site for South of Heaven.
South of Heaven on IMDB – The IMDB page for South of Heaven.



October 2, 2009 - Posted by | Interview |

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