You both took on several different duties during the production of “Cannibal Maniac.” Is this something you chose to do, or was it because help was limited?

Annette: A little bit of both. We didn’t have the money to pay anyone since it was all out of pocket. Secondly, we should learn about the different tasks that go into making a movie so that we can be well rounded. I think Lou and I were able to balance it out. Since then we’ve met a few more people who are now working with us on our upcoming feature.

Lou: Yes, help was limited and we just picked up everything that needed to be done ourselves. It’s good for us, though, because the more we do ourselves, the better we get. More importantly, it helps us understand more about what we’re asking people to do for us in a movie. Annette and I have a great time working together and work extremely well as a team, so that’s what works best for us anyway. For several scenes, Annette handled two cameras at the same time, sometimes even walking backwards down a tricky game trail in rattlesnake country. I think that fucking rocks!! I’m lucky to have a creative partner with that kind of hardcore dedication and guts. For my part as Doug, I did everything I was expecting to see from that character. I had pitched the role to a couple of other guys, but they weren’t interested, so it was obvious I had to do it or forget about “Cannibal Maniac.” Long story short, I got to thrash around in the dirt with bugs, run around in 100+ degree summer heat, get all sticky with blood, and get tossed around by Chris… camera, video editing, sound, special effects with Annette, etc.. So there! I got to toot my own horn at last! Hahah! Seriously though, it was a huge challenge that took us 11 months to complete. Annette and I are building up our experience and raising our standards higher every time. Chris Macedo also contributed quite a bit more than you’ll see onscreen and that’s why we included him in the credits as Creative Consultant, but even that doesn’t do him justice.

How did you come to work with Chris Macedo?

Annette: We’ve known him for a while and when we started making movies, he was our first choice. We knew that Chris had done stunt work and we felt confident in his abilities as a fight choreographer/actor and of course, he’s a handsome guy. To me, I think that Chris is an excellent person to work with. Lou and I consider him a partner in all of our movies. Chris also helps to balance out the cheezy ideas that Lou and I sometimes come up with!

Lou: Chris is a good friend of ours from San Fernando who’s been collaborating with us for a few years. He should be getting paid big bucks for what he can do and that’s no exagerration. What he did in “Cannibal Maniac” is honestly only some of the more basic fight choreography that he knows. He has a physical vocabulary that’s very extensive and he understands what’s required in a scene. We’re all too happy to have him be a part of our crew.

Did he threaten to kick anyone’s ass on the set?

Annette: No, but now that he’s more comfortable with us, I’m sure we’ll start getting an ass kickin’ or two from him. There was this one time, I asked him to do a pressure point on my arm and my hand went totally numb!!

Lou: Only mine! Chris is kind of an oddity, he’s a great fight choreographer and he knows some really cool martial art techniques, but he also has a great sense of humor. He has a very calm approach to things, his contributions are well thought out, he doesn’t waste any time with ego trips and he loves filmmaking. I think he enjoyed kicking me in the ribs more than he’ll admit!

What did you edit the film on? And can you describe the editing process?

Annette: We used After Effects. We make VHS dailies and after watching them, we select the best clips and capture them on our editing machine.

Lou: We broke the movie down into scenes and acts and started fleshing things out from there. Some special effects were shot during the last few weeks of production because we weren’t completly satisfied that the movie was good enough. I was trying to be practical and just wrap the whole thing up, but Annette really pushed for some props and miniature work that in the end really helped make everything much stronger. We storyboarded almost everything far in advance, but we kept the editing process collaborative and open to what worked best.

How did you get so many bands to contribute music to the film?

Annette: My bud Benny, from New Maximum Donkey, is the one that I knew for sure would be crazy enough to be in our movie. Lou was the one that did this massive search for the other bands. I think he did an awesome job, too! I love all the bands on the soundtrack.

Lou: I was honest about what kind of project it was and asked for their support. I think the bands on the soundtrack are awesome and they were selected out of about 700 bands, so there were even a few more selected that unfortunately didn’t make it to the final cut. I only asked the bands that I really thought were great and didn’t bullshit about anything.

Did their contributions help forge the music video feel of “Cannibal Maniac,” or was that always the intention?

Annette: We weren’t intending to make the short feel like a music video, but when we saw the direction that “Cannibal Maniac” was going, we decided not to fight it.

Lou: Both actually… The music video style was a part of my original vision, but we did also want for “Cannibal Maniac” to have a more narrative feel to it. It wasn’t going that direction as much as we had planned, so we decided not to resist. Having such powerful bands pushed us to do the best we could, so that in the end we could walk away knowing that we did their music justice. I think we held our own on the movie making end of it and I’m proud of every single song that’s in the movie. It’s got to be one of the best Punk Rock soundtracks of all time and it’s all thanks to those bands backing us up.

Any upcoming projects for you guys?

Annette: Right now we’re working on our first feature tentatively titled, “IMPOSTOR”. We started shooting in August and we’ve set a completion deadline for ourselves for April 2004. This one will have more characters, more action, more twisted comedy and of course, some T&A! All the sexy scenes are my ideas, so I’m curious to see the male response!

Lou:“Cannibal Maniac” is our calling card and people all around the world are seeing it. We have friends in several other countries who are helping to get it screened and publicized and that’s another ongoing project in itself. Anyone that watches “Cannibal Maniac” and enjoys it should be confident that they’ll enjoy our next movie.

Check out “Cannibal Maniac” at the Warped Reality Pictures website.

Posted on March 2, 2004 in Interviews by

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