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The Amateur Monster Movie

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The Amateur Monster Movie

Jozef K. Richards
2011, 100m, comedy, horror, sci-fi

The greatly idiotic Walter Romero takes on an island of zombies and a bloodthirsty werewolf to avenge his boy scout buddy with the help of his doe-eyed crush, Ashley Valinski, and hapless stoner, Johnny Mason.

Produced by: Jozef K. Richards
Cast: Chris Ouchie, Jozef K. Richards, Steve Golla, Samantha Goetz, Charles Ramsey, Stephen Kimble, Bruce Spielbauer
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The 3-week run for The Amateur Monster Movie ended on Sep 8th, 2016. Thank you to all the fans that supported it!
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“Surprisingly high entertainment value for being "amateur"!”
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Jozef K. Richards

The Ten-Day Interview

10 questions with The Amateur Monster Movie director, Jozef K. Richards at the half-way mark.
Sunday, August 28th, 2016
  1. 1 What was the original inspiration for the film?
    As a kid, I was really into George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead for being creepy and hilarious and thought-provoking all at once, on a very low budget. Some of my favorite lines, such as "I found these fruit jars in the cellar" and "he asked me if we had any candy.... but we didn't" I have repeated by characters in my script. It was when I saw the movie Shaun of the Dead in high school that I really saw the potential of a true comedy-horror and set out to write my own.
  2. 2 Everyone seems pretty young. How old were you when you started the film? What was that experience like?
    I was 19 when we started production on The Amateur Monster Movie. Not to be outdone by Steven Spielberg, I was very determined to begin my first feature while I was still a teenager. For me, it was an incredible learning experience powering through that process for the first time and having such a large and supportive team around me was a big confidence boost for me early on as a film maker.
  3. 3 What are some of your favorite horror movies?
    Night of the Living Dead & its sequels, Shaun of the Dead, The Shining, Jurassic Park, Alien
  4. 4 How did growing up and filming in Wisconsin influence the film?
    I find a sensory beyond cerebral knowledge of a location and of your characters can help you write a more sincere and authentic script. I had both of those in my home state of Wisconsin.
  5. 5 There were a lot of constructed sets and interesting props/wardrobe items (sweet bass shirt!). Who was responsible for art design?
    A great deal of the art design came from little sketches I made -- be it a werewolf head, or police badges that read "I AM POLICE" -- and my mother, Judith Richards, bringing them to life as our primary costumer and prop-maker. Surprisingly, some of the more extreme moments of art design in the movie, such as the walls filled with drawings in the drug dealer's apartment, were actually found-locations. Those folks did not get their security deposit back as I recall. The sweet bass shirt was a Salvation Army pick-up, as was the rest of Walter's and Johnny's wardrobes.
  6. 6 How was working with Mark Borchardt? How much of his scene was scripted?
    Mark is an incredible guy, enigmatic and extremely kind. It was a great validation for me as a fellow Wisconsin film maker to have his involvement in the movie. The entire scene was scripted, as is nearly every scene in the movie, save for a few one-liners in a montage or two. I think the cast did a great job of giving it a spontaneous and improvised feel though. Much like with Mark, I was able to write about half of the characters in the movie with the specific actor in mind.
  7. 7 How did you go about casting the film? How was that experience?
    Casting was a mixed bag of people I knew and had some experience working with (such as the lead, Chris Ouchie, and the actors playing Digits, Database, Booker, and The Guru), non-actors I knew and was taking a shot with for the first time (Officer Duane, Mandy Hollywood, and "Butch" -- who has since gone on to star in many of my productions), established actors who responded to casting calls (Officer Larry, Mayor Kimball), and actors I sought out such as Mark Borchardt. The menagerie of different experience levels works well and I think it's hard to distinguish one category from another. They all worked together very well.
  8. 8 What was the process like scoring the film?
    I worked with a local musician in Milwaukee, Doug Dobert, who did a great job of adapting to my varied requests and tackled many genres with skill. I think this soundtrack is a great tribute to the sounds and instrumentation of classic b-horror cheese.
  9. 9 How long did it take to complete the film? What obstacles did you face?
    All together it was about 3 years, with 57 days of production between 2 summers. Along the way we lost key team members that had to be replaced, such as twice our lead actress, and finishing a film with no money for the first time was and is a tremendous task. I think the worst grind of all was doing the subtitles...
  10. 10 What have you worked on since the film? What's next?
    I am currently in production on my third feature film, a comedy documentary entitled Batman & Jesus, which investigates the historicity of Jesus in juxtaposition with Batman and its lore. I'm also releasing my second feature film, The Wayward Sun, this fall. I've produced several web-series as well, and am currently in production on a series called "Holy Shit" as well as "King's Tower Quarterly". Everything current can be found on my website, spadeheartclub.com
  11. About the Interviewer: Sean Williamson
    I'm a father. I've lived in Alaska, Colombia, Los Angeles and have directed twelve films (music videos, documentary, and feature). My directing/writing feature debut, Heavy Hands, was an official selection to the 2013 Raindance Film Festival (London). I started the blog World Wide Dirt in 2008, where I have written poetry, fiction, reviews, burgers stories, and many things in between.
    Sean Williamson
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