Chris Seaver; he’s the real item. He’s got something to say. He’s got a point of view. There are so many people making digital films and they have nothing to say. This has actually got a message. He’s got a point of view. He’s the real item; I think he’s going to go places. – Lloyd Kaufman, Troma Pictures
Tell me about your experiences at Troma. How has Troma influenced you, your filmmaking style, and your perception of independent film?
Well, Troma has been nothing but great to me and my films. I got hooked up with them actually through the help of Jason McHugh (Producer of Cannibal the Musical and “Orgazmo”) I had sent him and the Crap gang a bunch of my earlier films as well as the script for “Anal Paprika”. A month passed and out of the blue he and Matt Stone called me and we talked for like 40 minutes about film and what I should do (This was in early 99, 8 years of making flicks at that time). Anyway, Troma came up a lot and I was like “Well fuck yeah, Why didn’t I think of this before?” So I sent a bunch of shit to Troma..Then once again, out of the blue, I got a phone call from Troma saying that Lloyd wanted to talk to me. It started from there. I grew up on Troma. I got into the films around 1989. Our mom and pop video store carried Troma AND Peter Jackson’s first film “Bad Taste”. So I was hooked on the wacky ass crazy styles (which I was all about. Making comedy/horror-themed crappy flicks myself). I love indie cinema. There are some good points to it and some bad. I think when you take Film and cinema/video or whatever for what it is then you’re on the right path. I think its pure and simple entertainment, nothing more. If you can entertain with what you have done than you have done your job. Too many peeps out there making flicks take themselves and their films WAY to fuckin. serious. For what? I just don’t know. Bah, I could go on forever on this subject.
How old were you in 1991 when you founded Low Budget Pictures? 4?
I was 14 when I started Low Budget Pictures but I had been making backyard Freddy And Jason movies and silly things since 1984 when I first got into horror and making movies. My mother took me to see “Nightmare on Elm Street” and I was hooked. I got my first video camera that year for Xmas.
Tell me about some of your older films, like “Commando Kids” and “Four Guys Named Mister”. Looking back on them, what do you feel sucked/rocked about them? What did you film them with and with how much money? How can someone watch your older films?
Well, I don’t really show many peeps my older films. Only the loyal and elite can see those flicks. They were crappy back then for sure. But my style was truly developing then. I was also very big into Savini and gore fx so I think I worried more about how the fx would look than how the camera angles or lighting would look. I think now I care more about dialogue and character than I do technical bullshit.
Do you feel you make mainly comedy films? Horror? How would you categorize your body of work?
Well, I think I make comedy flicks with horror themes. I LOVE horror and I LOVE off beat comedy. So there you go. I had to mix them. That’s my personality. I grew up around a very crazy bunch of people. My Mother and Uncles are very much like me. Or rather I’m like them. They got me into Monty Python, Horror, Ska, Devo, Oingo Boingo, offbeat comedy shit…so I sort of mix it all, my influences, ya dig?
The thing that sets him apart from the rest of the crowd is his stuff is actually funny. Lots of people try to be funny and they ultimately fail because they try to do what everyone else has done. – Eamon Hardimann, Razor Sharp Productions
“Anal Paprika” and “Bloody Nipples” are the first films that you truly got recognized for. How did you get your films out there and really get noticed?
Well around 1996 when I made the “From Dusk Till Dawn” parody I started selling at horror conventions. I had been going to cons since 1993 and I decided my parody was good enough to sell. So that’s when I really started getting my stuff out. But yeah “Anal Paprika” took off for some strange reason, doing more and more cons, having that Troma connection helped a LOT.
I initially worked with Chris Seaver because of Troma and specifically because of Doug Sakmann. Doug had called me up and told me about Chris and so I agreed to talk to him. I decided to bring along Trent Haaga, my Troma alumni, to the shoot and of course Seaver was happy with that! It was a lot of fun and we had a good time shooting our scenes for “Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker”! We have stayed in contact ever since and I’ve done a numerous characters for Seaver at this point! He’s a really good ‘kid’. I say that in the nicest way possible. I always have a great time shooting with him because it means I can kick back, not have to do any really heavy, serious acting and just have fun. It’s a lot of work don’t get me wrong, but it’s fun. It really is like making a Troma movie but instead of having 3-4 hundred thousand budgets, we have 3-4 thousand dollar budgets! – Debbie Rochon
“Mulva,Zombie Ass Kicker” seems to be the world’s favorite Seaver film. Can you tell me a little in-depth about the idea for this film, how it got made, the budget, and for God’s sake, how you got Debbie Rochon to be in it?
Oh man…ok. Well I created “Mulva” due to being bored at Missy Donatuti’s crib in Long Island and it was the day before I was leaving back to my hometown (We were there to hang out with her as she was a huge fan of LBP and invited us down to hang out). So I thought it would be funny to do this geeky character called Mulva who talked with a lisp and LOVED candy. She had to fight these guys Chest and Takateru (who I created then as well) “Matrix” style. It was called “Mulva’s Dynomite Explosion”! It was really crappy and fast and just for fun. So I went home and kept talking to Missy about moving down to LI to merge LBP with her comic company and the first movie we would make would be mine, then hers, then mine…etc. So I thought about taking the “Mulva” characters and making a full-length movie out of it. Making it a zombie flick and have it shot around Halloween. And it was born. It was a little tough to get through, but it came out pretty good. It went through like 4 different edits and I’m still not happy with it, but it seemed to take off big time. I asked Lloyd and Doug Sakmann at Troma to help me put the film together as well and to cast a bit of it with Troma stars. They gave me Debbie’s E-mail and I talked to her about being in the film and then SHE got Trent Haaga involved to play the Jimmy character. She and Trent were AMAZING and a friendship was created. The reason it got so big was due to Troma promoting it and Debbie supporting it and taking it to JR Bookwalter who loved it…. the rest is history.
“Quest for the Egg Salad” is said to be your one failing. Where did this film go wrong? Were you loathe to blaspheme the mighty Tolkien? How much do you hate Tolkien geeks?
Well, I LOVE Lord of the rings. I LOVE Fantasy films and have ALWAYS wanted to make one, but with my humor. With “The Lord of the Rings” coming out it seemed like the time to do it. It was going to be Epic and it fell apart big time. The scheduling was a mess! I got duped to pay WAY too much for the fx and what not and I think it was just not well executed due to many things. I blame myself for most of it. Way too big for my Pantaloons if you will. I don’t HATE geeks at all. I do think some of them take this shit to heart, which is silly. I mean I’m a geek, but not like some of them out there. Bah! “Quest” was a cluster fuck of poop and sticks!
FILTHY was a breath of fresh air. It had the outrageous gross humor of a Troma film, the self-aware dialogue of a Kevin Smith movie, and the feel of a cheaply produced after-school special. I was proud of him and I didn’t even know who he was. – Andrew Shearer, Gonzoriffic Film reviews
You have three films coming out later this year: “Mulva 2”, “Filthy McNastiest”, and Heather and Puggly Drop a Deuce. Are these films more thorough examples of what people can expect from you in the future? Are these the pinnacle of your filmmaking style thus far? When are they coming out?
Yeah, “Mulva 2: Kill Teenape”(just finished) and “Filthy Mcnasty 3” will both be coming from Tempe Entertainment and “Heather and Puggly Drop A Deuce” will be coming from Troma. I think with these 3 movies my skills as a filmmaker are getting better, more so as a writer. I have always said that I am a WAY better writer than I am a director. I have trouble getting my vision across to people while making an LBP film. I see it so clear in my head I expect other people to know what I’m talking about or how shit should go down. I’m working on that though. With each film I grow and I TRY to enhance. I think I can only go up from here. Each year brings something new and exciting for my company and me and I hope I can keep up the entertaining factor. All 3 flicks will hit world wide on DVD in early to middle 2005. I’m pretty fuckin jazzed by the way!
You have a very clever way of directing photography and editing your films to skirt around the low budget that you are seemingly plagued by. This may be your strongest talent. How important is editing to your films? Do you think it makes or breaks them?
Oh man, the editing is everything! I do my best with it. I know what I want. I know how it should be cut. I also have comic timing down and I know what will work and what won’t. I think I have a handle on what I want vision wise and comedy wise. I know what will pop and what won’t. I HATE my films when I see raw footage. Always have. It’s when I start to edit that I slowly crack smiles and laugh my ass off. The movie is growing and I love that process. I mean the acting and all that is VERY important as well. I have been blessed with some pretty great “actors”.
Lauren Pushkin, the star of many a Chris Seaver film, including the upcoming “Heather and Puggly Drop a Deuce”, has been seduced by the mad flavah that is Chris Seaver. They’re going to get marred, er, married, this year after working together for years on Low Budget Pictures Productions.
Well, I have known Lauren for about 7 years and I started putting her in films in 2002 with “Filthy Mcnasty 2”. She is AMAZING. And we are getting married on June 17th, 2005. She has this talent that is just mind blowing to me. She can take my words and characters and REALLY fuckin bring them to life…. like BIG time. She is also the organized side of LBP. She and I work a lot on trying, TRYING to keep the ship a float. Schedule wise and Production wise. I think the saying behind every great man there is an even greater woman is VERY true in this case. She’s fuckin SWEEEEEET!
Do you submit your films to film festivals often, and what do you think of the film festival circuit as a promotional tool for your films?
You know, I have and they just don’t look upon SOV flicks as “movies”. It sucks, it’s lame so I don’t even bother anymore. I DO however think I have better chances with the indie fests and have been nominated for a few B-Movie awards when “Filthy Mcnasty” came out. There are way too many snobs and bullshitters out there that just don’t see my flicks as “flicks”, ya know? Which is a fuckin’ lame ass bullshit attitude, but hey let them enjoy what they do I guess. To each his own. I think it could help, but when none of these fests give anyone a chance then what the fuck’s the point? Its gotten to where independent films aren’t even indie anymore. There’s always something bigger behind them or the motives have changed. I don’t know. But yeah back on track….BAH!
The interview continues in part three of CHRIS SEAVER’S TRASH IS BETTER THAN YOURS>>>
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