Movie Interviews

Published on February 19th, 2015 | by gareth

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MICHAEL S. OJEDA Talks About The New Thriller: AVENGED

Uncork’d Entertainment will release the critically acclaimed Avenged in theatres and on VOD on March 6, 2015, and on DVD on April 21, 2015.

A lethal injection of scares, thrills, romance, and the supernatural, director Michael S. Ojeda’s confronting revenge film “delivers on all levels” (Bloody Disgusting) and “deserves to be viewed, discussed, and then viewed again” (The Horror Honeys).

We spoke to Ojeda about the film recently.

How long ago did this journey start for you?

From inception to reality about 4 years. I came up with the idea for Avenged while driving cross country to a friends wedding. I was toying with different genre elements, spirit possession, revenge and the story came to me. I spent 6 months writing the script. After that I set out to raise financing. I spun my wheels for a couple of years. I knew I had a good script, but nobody was biting. Then, it hit me. Nobody was reading it. I needed to give them a reason to read it. So, I approached Producer Jason Gurvitz and asked him if he wanted to help me shoot scenes from the film, something to get people excited about the project. So, we shot five scenes. In particular the bar scene, where Zoe disembowels Jed. We showed it around and immediately, Raven Banner – a movie sales agency jumped on board with the first $100k. They said, ”We can sell this in a heart beat.” We were in production in 7 months, post production took about a year. Mostly because I was doing the heavy lifting by myself: editing, vfx, foley, sfx, etc.

 

Where was the movie shot?

About an hour North of Los Angeles in the Palmdale area. Some locations were two hours away in a crazy living ghost town called Randsburg.

 

There’s some great new actors in the movie – were they all new discoveries to you?

They were new discoveries to me, but some actors like Rod Rowland, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Joe Running Fox and Marc Anthony Samuel had been working actors in tv and film for years. Real seasoned pros. Amanda Adrienne was a new comer, and she came out swinging. Literally. She was amazing. Tom Ardavany was riveting as a villain. The entire cast did a phenomenal job.

 

The film is fairly brutal! Do you think there’ll be any backlash – in a ‘Day of the Woman’ sense?

No. Yes, the film is brutal, but the rape scene is tame compared to those films. We set it up, then right when it begins we cut away. It wasn’t something I wanted the audience to endure. It’s the captivity afterwards that’s the focus here, the courage she musters and the physical pain she endures to escape her captivity. The most violent elements are how she strikes back at her attackers and what happens to her decomposing body during the course of the film. But it’s done in a comic book, dark anti-hero kind of way. Not meant to emulate reality. She is a zombie after all.

What are the theatrical plans – and will you be doing any Q+As?

Avenged is opening on a limited release in Los Angeles, at the Arena Theater beginning March 6th. There will be a Q&A on the 6th and 7th, with the main cast, producers, director. At the same time, it will be available on Demand all over the U.S.

If so, what are the questions you’re most expecting?

How we pulled it off on a small budget. It really is a big movie on so many levels.

The film will also be hitting VOD. Do you think VOD is the way of the future? Will we soon be watching films in the comfort of our lounge rooms at all times, ya think?

VOD is the future, but it’s a shame. I love the movie going experience, sitting with strangers in a room. Everyone riding the same rollercoaster. I love watching movies on the big screen.

Why the title change for the states (from “Savaged”)?

The distributor’s decision. They know what they are doing. But it will always be Savaged to me.

The film has a good social media presence. How important is the internet as a marketing tool for an indie horror release?

It’s very important. Independent films can live or die based on word of mouth, so the internet helps spread the word.

 

 


About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.



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