Interview with Jack Thomas Smith

Infliction - Publicity Photo #1

Interview conducted by Christopher Maynard

From the Infliction press release

Jack Thomas Smith made his feature film-directing debut with the psychological thriller “Disorder.” He was also the writer and producer of that film. “Disorder” was released on DVD by Universal/Vivendi and New Light Entertainment. It was released on Pay-Per-View and Video-On-Demand by Warner Brothers. Overseas, it screened at the Cannes Film Festival and the Raindance Film Festival in London. Curb Entertainment represented “Disorder” for foreign sales and secured distribution deals around the world.

Jack Thomas Smith’s most recent project, Infliction, is found footage horror film centered on two North Carolina brothers who go on a murder spree.

Infliction Poster No Credits

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Sparta, New Jersey. It’s a middle-class suburban town about 45 minutes outside of NYC. A great place to live. All roads seem to lead back to Sparta. Most of the investors on Infliction are friends I know in Sparta, or friends I grew up with.

What did your parents do? 

My dad has always worked in the corporate field in sales. He worked for years at BASF before starting his own corporation called S&S Industries. He’s very successful and has always been driven.

My mom has worked in the corporate field as well. She’s primarily done accounts/receivable work. My mom’s about as aggressive as they come. [Laughs]

My parents went the traditional route of finding corporate jobs and they provided a great life for my younger brother and I. But they also really loved movies. They had a passion for movies that rubbed off on me. When I was a teenager, my father and I would watch movies together and we’d break them down. We’d talk about what the films meant, what the director was trying to say, the imagery and symbolism in certain scenes. I’ve never been able to mindlessly watch movies, which is a good thing, because I feel this has helped me in my career.

Where did you go to school?

To be honest, I never went to college. I started writing when I was really young…it was just something I loved to do. And then when I was in my late-teens I went to the library and took out a book, “How to Write Screenplays”.  [Laughs] And I followed the instructions. I learned how to structure a screenplay…the plot points, etc. I also learned the mechanics of formatting a screenplay. Once I had that down, I was able to apply the actual story to the proper screenplay layout. And it also helped that I had spent years before that studying films in my living room with my dad and breaking them down as I mentioned earlier… I wouldn’t recommend this route to everyone. But this is what worked for me.

When did you get your first camera and what kind was it?

It was a Super 8mm movie camera and I got it when I was 13. It was awesome. I shot a bunch of horror shorts and comedy shorts with my brother and friends in the neighborhood. It was a great learning experience. I learned the process of getting coverage…and shooting one actor’s lines at a time and cutting it together. In other words, I didn’t shoot an entire scene in one take with the camera swinging back and forth from one actor to the next. I isolated each actor’s performance and cut it together…at least I tried to as best as I could. [Laughs] It was a lot of fun and we still have those old films. Every here and there we watch them for a laugh.

As a writer director you are a storyteller. What made you chose to tell your stories on film?

I’ve always loved movies. It goes back to the first time I saw Star Wars. I was 8 years old when it came out and I was absolutely blown away. I wanted to know how they did everything…from the casting to shooting to the special effects. I wasn’t just a fan of that movie…I wanted to learn how they did everything so I could do it. So I read every magazine or book I could get my hands on about the making of Star Wars (that was long before the internet [Laughs]). Shortly after that, I read “The Shining” by Stephen King and that changed my life as well. I started writing horror stories obsessively. So, essentially, I married my love for writing with my love for films. I knew at a very young age that I wanted to write and make films. I’ve done this ever since…whenever I write a screenplay, I plan to shoot it myself. I never go in thinking that I’ll sell it or that someone else will direct it…I want to have complete control over my vision. So if you watch the two films that I wrote and directed – Disorder and Infliction – that’s my vision 100%.


Is there a specific film that made you think you could do what you saw on screen?

Definitely Star Wars. That was the first film that hit me as a kid. After that, there were a number of other films that influenced me: Dawn of the Dead (the original); Night of the Living Dead; Rocky; The Shining; The Crow; Goodfellas; Carrie; Scarface; Taxi Driver; Jaws; Halloween; The Fog; The Thing; Apocalypse Now, etc. As you can see, I’m a huge fan of Brian De Palma, Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, John Carpenter, and George Romero…I love films that make you think.

Your latest film, Infliction, was released on July 1st.  How would you describe it?

Infliction is a disturbing assembled footage film that documents a murder spree committed by two brothers in North Carolina, and the horrific truth behind their actions. It’s brutal and gritty. Very dark. But as you watch Infliction, you’ll find yourself asking who are the true victims here and who are the true criminals.


Why did you choose to tell your story using the found footage format over conventional narrative?

I shot Infliction as found footage because the story dictated that. In other words, I didn’t set out to shoot a “found footage” film. In the film, the brothers are filming their actions for a reason. The cameras play an important part as to why they’re doing what they’re doing. There are some other “found footage” films where you’ll see people running from a monster and you’re yelling at the screen for them to put down the damn camera and run. I didn’t want to do that with Infliction.  I wanted it to make sense why they’re shooting everything.  And as the film plays out, you’ll see why the cameras are so important to them.

As a writer/director are you protective of your work as a writer?

Absolutely! You have to be. Anytime I write a screenplay, I get a copyright before I send it anywhere. Unfortunately, there’s bad people out there that want to steal other peoples’ ideas and/or screenplays and claim it as their own. I couldn’t imagine doing that. Every screenplay that I write means something to me. That’s why I’m doing it. It’s my passion and it’s what I love to do. But there are people out there that want quick success and they want to take shortcuts instead of putting in the hard work that it takes to get there. Yeah, I’m very protective of my work.

What attracts you to the horror genre?

I’ve always been a fan of the genre. Dawn of the Dead is my all-time favorite horror film. I’ve always loved that rush when watching a horror film…you’re on the edge of your seat…you don’t know what’s around the corner…your heart’s racing because you don’t know what to expect next. It’s a lot of fun. No different than going on a rollercoaster. From a filmmaking standpoint, horror movies are a blast to make. It’s cool watching the effects on set…creating the mood with the lighting and locations.  Plus, you don’t need A-list actors when making a horror film. If you look at some of the greatest horror films ever made – Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre – they were low-budget films without known actors. Horror is the one genre where you can make a quality, marketable film on a small budget.

Your first feature, Disorder, was released in 2006. Is it harder to get your film noticed now than it was 8 years ago?

It is. Back when I did Disorder, most movies were shot on film. So you had to have a certain amount of money to make a movie. There weren’t as many indies being made. Disorder was shot on Super 16mm, which gave it the gritty look I was going for. But today with digital cameras, anyone can make a movie. And the market is flooded with indies. With so many indies out there now, it’s getting harder and harder to get your movie noticed. I was fortunate that [I was able to go back to] my sales rep, Jeff Cooper of Cut Entertainment Group, who handled Disorder and negotiated the deal with Universal/Vivendi, and he was able to secure distribution for Infliction with Virgil Films & Entertainment.


Infliction will be available on Netflix,, iTunes, Amazon, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, CD Universe, Google Play, Vudu, Cinema Now, Vimeo OnDemand, and other online retailers.

Interview with Phil Mossman

Interview conducted by Christopher Maynard

Phil Mossman is a composer who has worked with artists like U2 and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and he worked on Stephen Soderbergh’s Out Of Sight and Oceans 11. He was also a member of LCD Soundsystem and took part in the band’s legendary final performance that was captured for the film Shut Up and Play the Hits.  Mr. Mossman is a very busy man and was kind enough to take part in this interview. I contacted him to discuss his work on the film We Are What Are.

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. How are you today?

I am building a new studio in Dumbo, Brooklyn and have been waiting for the telephone guy.  I hope it starts ringing once he plugs it in.

Where are you from?

London, England.  

When did you discover music?

Before I was born my Mum was a mod and she got a job with Motown when they did a UK review.  One of her jobs was to lead Stevie Wonder onstage.  When I was 4 or 5 she got me one of those suitcase record players and gave me all her 45s.  Later I got a reel-to-reel and started recording stuff.  I think it all grew out of that.  

When did you start creating your own music and what style was it?

I wasn’t until the UK post acid house scene came along when I thought wow, music is in the hands of the people again.  I was too young when punk exploded and the 80s were all about big studios and record labels which seemed impossible to aspire to.  When Primal Scream’s Screamadelica came out my head exploded.  It had elements of everything that I loved about music; psychedelic, punk, soul, dub, and rock.  My mate Jagz Kooner and I started making tracks in his parent’s garage and later we joined The Sabres of Paradise, which was Andrew Weatherall’s band.  Andrew was responsible for much of Screamadelica so I’ve always been quite in awe of him.  He still makes amazing records.

What film composers, if any, would you consider to be an influence on your work?

I’m going to go with the artist who has had the most direct influence on my life and development as a musician, who is David Holmes.  We worked together for about five years and did our first film together, Out of Sight, directed by Stephen Soderbergh.  David is a force of nature and I miss him a lot.  I would work with him again in a heartbeat; he can whip a session into frenzy like no other.  I also admire Cliff Martinez; his scores have a lot of depth, soul and imagination.

How were you brought on to do the score for We Are What We Are?

The producer of the film, Nick Shumaker, brought me on very late in the game and there was a Sundance deadline so there was a lot of late nights.

The score is a collaboration between yourself and Darren Morris with Jeff Grace. What was it like to work with two other composers on this project?

It worked out great.  As I mentioned, it was an insane deadline so I was happy to share the load with some great talent.  Some of Jeff’s cues had been on the cut for some time, I believe that some scenes were actually filmed with his music playing on set.  I never met Jeff but his work is outstanding.  Darren is an old friend and possibly the most gifted musician I have ever met.  I knew there was going to be a big role for piano so it was a no brainer for me to get him involved.  I frequently cry when he sits at the piano.

The music you wrote for the film, much like the film itself, is both beautiful and unnerving. The opening theme perfectly sets up the tone of the film. The solo piano, while quite pretty, hints that something is deeply wrong with what we are about to see. Did you have a specific emotional reaction you were looking for with that piece?

I love that cue.  Case in point, that’s Darren working his magic at the piano.  The temp music was actually quite ominous.  I suggested to Jim Mickle that perhaps we shouldn’t blow our cover at the top of the film so we focused on scoring the coming of the storm.  The storm plays such an important role in the movie and the way Darren’s playing comes out of the raindrops gives me shivers.

“The Drive to Tire Iron” is an incredibly ominous piece of music that could completely stand alone, but when placed against the scene its truly unsettling. It has this low-pitched drone juxtaposed with a high pitched squeal that feels like a siren. How did you create it? What instruments were used to make it?

That scene is a turning point in the film, where you’re starting to realize that there is something seriously wrong with this guy.  Nothing really happens but there is an incredible amount of tension.  It starts with an eerie whir that is one of those kid’s toys that you spin around your head and it changes pitch how fast you spin it.  The low drone is the OB8 in the DFA studio, which still has character even at such low frequencies.  The metallic squeals are a Waterphone which you bow and the water bends the pitch.

“Frank Chases the Kids” had an almost Tangerine Dream or John Carpenter quality that I didn’t notice until I listened to the soundtrack on its own. While I was watching the film it fit the scene perfectly and it in no way called attention to itself but it really was quite different from anything else in the score. Was this by design? 

I was definitely channeling Assault on Precinct 13 and Tangerine Dream on that cue.  Jim said go big so the challenge was to do that in an interesting way.  I was using a lot of analog synths throughout so I used the power of the MKS80 and a real TR909 to shake some seats.

I love the music in that film. Not the best Carpenter film but goddamn it has great music. The Death Waltz reissue of it is beautiful. What are you working on now?

I worked on Mike Cahill’s movie I Origins this year but right now I’m finishing up the sound treatment for the new studio.  I need to finish it this week.


You can purchase the We Are What We Are soundtrack here and you can currently stream the film on Netflix.

Interview with Itay Gross

Itay Gross

Interview conducted by Christopher Maynard

Itay Gross is a cinematographer who has worked on films like Excision and Europa. While his films are varied in genre and style, they are always stunning to look at. Itay has an approach that never feels overpowering. He creates memorable images that service the story in profound ways.

Itay lives in Israel and (if you don’t keep up with current events) he has far more important things to think about than my silly questions. It was truly an honor for him to take time for this interview. He is a generous man who is an incredibly gifted artist.

Where are you from?

I am originally from Israel, born and raised in Tel Aviv.

What did your parents do for a living?

My parents are both dentists.  In fact, no one in my family is in the arts. It’s a voyage I took on by myself.

How did you discover film?

Narratives and stories have always intrigued me and seemed like the most fascinating method of depicting desires, visions and fantasies. When I was 16, I saw Blade Runner for the first time. Looking back, I realize that film introduced me to the art of cinematography and the world of visual storytelling. I was staring at the images, mesmerized by the way Ridley Scott and the Director of Photography, Jordan Cronenweth, had managed to depict this futuristic and postmodern world in such a real and vivid way. I could smell the acidic rain flooding the streets of the mutant city of Los Angeles through the colors projected from the old CRT television set. This significant experience made me see the power and influence of films, and the role of cinematography within the process of visual storytelling. I wanted to be able to bring these kinds of images to life myself, to be able to depict a story in such a vivid and unique way that people would be able to smell it, to feel warm or cold, to feel they were practically there themselves. When I look back at this now, I realize it was a defining moment in my life.

What cinematographers inspired you to pick up a camera?

Jordan Cronenweth
Blade Runner might be Cronenweth’s only film that I like, or love I should say. It changed my life. I saw the images and was mesmerized. All I wanted was to be able, one day, to create such images.

Sacha Vierni
Vierni, who shot most of Peter Greenaway’s films, always amazed me by managing to depict colors in such a vivid and convincing way. The color red in The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover is the reddest red I’ve ever seen.

Dick Pope
Pope, who shot all of Mike Leigh’s films, has always inspired me with his innovative ways of moving the camera and lighting night exteriors. Naked is, in my opinion, a whole film school of night exterior lighting.

Harris Sevides
Elephant, shot by Sevides, was one of the films that visually influenced me the most. The way he depicted loneliness, solitude, and sadness in that film is like nothing else, and I’m still studying it. His approach to the use of available light is something I’ll always take with me in my career.

Janus Kaminsky
A Hollywood icon. Beyond the unforgettable images he keeps on creating, shooting a film like Schindler’s List at the age of 34 and working with a director like Steven Spielberg ever since, is a career path I’ll always look up to.

Blade Runner is probably the first movie that got me to notice the camera; that shot composition and lighting can be as critical to storytelling as a script. Kaminsky is one of my favorites as well. He has been doing beautiful work for years. One film of his that I think people overlook of his is Funny People. I assume people don’t notice how stunning a film is when it stars Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen but the film is simply gorgeous. What was your first camera?

At the age of 13 I got my first super 8 Sony home video camera. I was fascinated with it and its endless capabilities (at the time). I started shooting everything with it, and discovering the meaning of a “frame” without any guidance or agenda, just a kid experiencing the magic created by colors, light and optics.

I had one of those Sony High 8 cameras. Me and my friends made dozens of unwatchable zombie/post apocalypse films in my parents back yard. I have a feeling the stuff you were shooting looked much better. Where did you go to school?

Undergrad: NYU Tisch School of the arts – BFA, Major: Film & TV, Minor: Art & Public Policy.
Graduated in 2006.
Grad: AFI – MFA in Cinematography.
Graduated in 2011.

Now I’d like to ask you a few questions about Excision. The look of the film is truly stunning. How much input did you have into the visual style and what did you shoot it on?

First, thank you.
We shot the film on 2 RED MX cameras, and a RED Epic for the high speed and steadicam shots. Richard Bates Jr. (the director) and I worked for nearly a year on the visual language and the style of the film. We watched many reference films together, within the genre and beyond, including paintings and photographs. We categorized the reference films by the visual elements – framing, color, camera movement, blood look/color. I’m a big believer in prep and preproduction, and so we worked closely together on a very precise shot list for a few months, trying to depict the film’s narrative in the most colorful, efficient and radical way and making sure we were telling the story properly. We built the language of the film together. It was a wonderful, efficient and thorough process of teamwork. Richard always came in with his initial ideas for every scene, and we took it together from there. The main theme of the film was to illustrate this vast contrast within this troubled teenager, who yearns for her mother’s approval and love.

We had rules for framing – we wanted to create a world of alienation and solitude for our main character Pauline. For this reason, most of our close ups are center punched with a 50mm lens. Very rarely, we would do an over-the-shoulder type of dialogue scene. We wanted the viewers to feel how disconnected from the world Pauline is.

We had rules for colors – Pauline’s real world is a bit de-saturated and muted, just like her life, faded and lonely. This is completely set apart from her dark fantasies and everything that goes on in her mind. We decided to go with a very unique and radical color pallet for the dream  sequences. The contrast between the turquoise of the set and the redness of the blood created a very different world from Pauline’s real world; this is where she is free.

The fantasy sequences in the film are beautiful and seem to be played for comedic effect early on but grow darker as the film continues. Was this the intended effect of the sequences?

Every dream sequence scene was shot and designed in order to create some form of surprise and elicit a measure of terror from the audience. We really wanted these scenes to be very different in every aspect from the rest of the film. The evolution of the dream sequences relies mainly on the narrative progress in Pauline’s life and mind. The intention was to pull the audience out of Pauline’s real world visually, so the look of these sequences is somewhat unified, but the content of these scenes reflects the progression within the story. I think they all have elements of dark comedy mixed with terror, but as the story progresses, and the audience is exposed more and more to Pauline’s personality, the atmosphere grows a bit more grim as we understand what Pauline is capable of.

It feels to me like the juxtaposition of fantasy and reality in the film give us insight to our protagonist’s mind, but also makes the viewer somewhat complicit with her actions. Because the viewer is made to feel sympathy for her, we ignore her thoughts and possible tendencies just like everyone else in the film. Did you have specific viewer reactions in mind
when you were shooting this film?

We definitely wanted to involve the audience in Pauline’s point of view, and thus, to earn the audience’s sympathy and trust for her, in spite of her troubled thoughts and actions. From the get go, we knew we weren’t making a “horror film” per se. I personally define the film as a “coming of age” story, with dark comedy and horror elements. When we shot the film, we had an idea of when people would laugh or be scared, and we definitely tried to be specific and clear with the feelings we wanted to stimulate in the audience in different scenes. For instance, in the final scene, we knew we wanted the audience to be horrified; it was intended as a climax, and so we worked carefully on every detail in the scene in order to provoke these emotions beyond a doubt.

The scene where Pauline is praying is simple but incredibly effective. How was that shot pulled off?

This shot was quite simple, actually, as you said. We shot it on location in her bedroom. The camera was high up on sticks, at a high angle, and AnnaLynne [McCord] was on her knees on the floor. We wanted to give the notion that this is an intimate moment between Pauline and her “God”. We decided on a somewhat God-like POV angle, and had Pauline looking straight to the camera. This, combined with her very sincere acting, created the authenticity and effectiveness of the shot, I think. In terms of colors, we wanted to create the feeling of a “home”, illustrated by a dimmed warm and soft bedside lamp, juxtaposed with a bit harsher and maybe even scarier blue moonlight coming from the window. Even though it’s not “realistic”, I think this contrast of color is a visualization of the conflicted morals in Pauline’s mind.

Do you prefer to work with digital or film?

I was part of the last generation of film students who shot mostly on film. In my undergrad studies at NYU, we shot most of our films on super 16mm. We even had 16mm Steenbeck editing suits where we cut films, literally, just like they used to. It’s a whole different world, learning the basics of filmmaking and cinematography using these tools. I was lucky to have had the opportunity to be able to explore, examine, and understand its superiority and fall in love with film, just before it started to vanish. In terms of colors, latitude and contrast I think film is still superior to digital. In that sense I’m a bit of an “old school” cinematographer. Yes, of course digital will get to the level of film in every aspect, but it’s not the same. There’s something in the grain of film that is just not the same in digital. I know it might sound very romantic and cheesy, but I think there’s nothing like getting film dailies back and screening them at the end of the day.

You shot a music video for Irit Dekel & Eldad Zitrin that was simply beautiful. The use of reflected light on glass was gorgeous it gave the video a simple but elegant quality that was very impressive. Did you know the group or the director beforehand?

Thank you very much.
I did not know the group beforehand, but the director, Roy Eventov, is a good friend of mine with whom I’ve worked on many projects.
It was a very interesting and challenging project. We shot 10 music videos in 5 days – meaning 2 videos a day (!). It was all based on simplicity – that was our agenda. We tried to extract the essence of every song and depict it in the most visual and efficient way. I learned a lot on this project about the power of simplicity in the art of visual storytelling. Sometimes less is much more.

You’ve shot science fiction, horror, commercials and music videos.  Do you have a specific genre of film that you would prefer to work in?

I just love telling stories using the visual language. No matter the genre, if the story appeals to me, I’d want to tell it using colors and light.

With Secular and Europa you were dealing with special effects heavy films. What is the difference between shooting practical and digital effects for a cinematographer? Are you involved with the design of the CGI elements?

Shooting real effects (special effects or SFX) on set is very different than shooting for CGI (visual effects or VFX). SFX means dealing with the effects from A to Z. In Excision, for instance, we had many scenes that involved blood and blood effects. The director, the SFX team and I worked together on creating these effects, in terms of blood color, blood shape and thickness and amount. We did a number of tests in order to understand what we wanted the blood to look like, as it plays an important role in the movie. Then, on set, you get to the real show, where everything has to fall in place together very precisely in order for the scene and the effect to work together. It’s a very “analog” work method, almost like film vs. digital, and I love it. Another film that relied mostly on effects on set is a new feature I shot that just came out in Israel, called Marzipan Flowers. In this film we did a very unique thing – the film is written as an ordinary narrative location film, but we shot all locations on a digital high end stills camera and then printed them out on huge Xerox papers (30ft by 9ft), in real scale to the actors, and thus created all the locations on black and white backgrounds, whether they were interiors or exteriors, day or night. The sets were built in front of the locations backgrounds, all in in one studio. It became a “one location production”, featuring about 20-30 locations. It came out wonderfully. Now those were some “real” on set effects.

The VFX elements like the ones we did in Europa or Sequlr Quarter #3 were all completely different undertakings. In these films it was all about the pre-production, The director, David Gidali (who directed and supervised the VFX for both films), the production designer and I had “pre-visualization” (pre vis) for every effect and element we wanted to bring in later on, meaning that we visually illustrated the scene with all of its elements, including the actors and set elements. We had to understand all of the effect’s features in order to fit it correctly within the scene, and/or on a modified green screen or green element it was going to appear on or replace.

It’s very delicate and precise work, as any mistake can affect an entire scene on set. It’s fascinating to see all the elements come together at the end and become a magical image on the screen.

Again I want to thank Itay for doing this interview. Please check out his work at ITAY GROSS | CINEMATOGRAPHER

An Interview With Ed Guinn


Ed Guinn, everyone’s favorite cattle truck driver, was kind enough to answer some questions for Lisa. I think you will find him to be exceptionally funny and exactly the kind of guy you want to hang out with. Ed can be seen in Shawn Ewert’s upcoming film Sacrament, premiering June 7, 2014 at The Texas Theatre in Dallas, Texas.

Your role in Texas Chainsaw Massacre is small, but iconic. How did you end up as everyone’s favorite cattle truck driver?

Well let’s see. When I was a small child in the wilds of western Canada there was this old over-the-road trucker, we kids called him leather butt cause he was able they claimed to…Oh you mean how did my end (it being neither small nor particular iconic) turn up in the truck in the movie? Well, I and my brother in-law owned a truck. Bob Burns, may he rest in peace, knew that and as has been said, a small but iconic opportunity was hatched. Show up at the truck stop, hook up to this rental cattle trailer and come be a star. A small, but iconic star that is.

I always wondered where he ran off to; any ideas?

I tend to think, with the murderous sun and psycho’s in abundance, he should have been running to the nearest air conditioned police station, but alas, I suspect the poor old, sore footed fellow was done in by some neighborhood halfwit. The type that married his own grandmaw as the song goes. That part of the county was always suspect.


I love that you had a very similar cameo in Butcher Boys. Did Kim Henkel do this intentionally?

​I am willing to bet, Kim being a clever fellow, he did.

You’re also a composer. How did you get into that?

Well, before I was a movie icon and a truck driver I was a failed rock star. So it was a natural progression for me stepping down from the, more than, relative obscurity of rock star to the world of the introspective shut-in that comprises the bulk of most composers lives. It was a natural fit.

It looks as though you and Marilyn Burns have stayed good friends since Texas Chainsaw Massacre; is there something the two of you would love to do together, but haven’t yet?

I don’t know about Marilyn, but I’d like to do a big hit of some legal pot. For a change. Some from one of the dispensaries in Colorado where you just walk in, flop the coin on the counter and go out to your car and light up. Very un Texan don’t you agree? On a serious note, I would like to continue the film relationship that Marilyn and I established in Sacrament (the movie, not the Eucharist). Our loving and welcoming personalities on display in the movie deserve wider exploitation. They should stand as the model for a welcoming, Christian man and wife team who are willing to give succor to their community and who know only the grace of the almighty provides salvation and…………


How did you meet Shawn Ewert?

​Never heard of him. Shaun Whoert. Oh, you mean the auteur Mr. Shawn. At TexasFrightmare.

Can you tell us anything about your role in Sacrament?

See question 5.

Do you have any other projects that you are currently working on?

​You mean besides sophomoric nattering’s. No, not really, but once the move comes out I have instructed my agents to refuse all work unless the scripts center around myself and Scarlett Johansson as brother and stepsister (hint hint stepsister get it?) fighting to save the world from hordes of uncaring dental hygienists bent on polluting our precious bodily fluids with fluoride and other questionable products, like vaccines. Nude scenes are, of course, required for all female leads. Goes without saying right?


 Were you surprised by Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s success and subsequent staying power?

Ahhhh Yes and Yes. Truthfully, it was just a truck driving job for me. I got paid what I would have made if I had been driving the truck all day. Having spent a significant amount of time in “show business” by then I was not interested in the birds in the bush, i.e. royalties etc. I collected my check. That day I think, and didn’t give it another thought until, while shooting Butcher Boys, the talented Duane Graves and his partner said I should check out some horror conventions, I could be a contender. And as they say, the rest is history.


Henry Pao Answers Eleven Questions With Lisa


Henry is a delightful young man who’s positivity and humor is contagious. I really had such an enjoyable time speaking on the phone with him. You can see Henry in the upcoming film Sacrament.

1.How long have you been acting?

I started acting when I moved to Dallas to study acting at the K.D. Conservatory of Film and Dramatic Arts. This is my first role. Period. I got it within two weeks of moving here.

2.How did you get into acting, then?

I never really talked about it, so no one was encouraging it. I had always wanted to perform and I said to myself, “why not?”.

3.Awesome! How did this role come to you?

I saw a posting for it on the bulletin board at school. At school, they encourage us to try out for roles because auditioning is a process that you need to experience and get used to. I went to the audition and left just knowing I didn’t get the role, but someone came running after me and asked me to come back in and read again. After that second reading, they requested that I do a video audition. I felt like I had something to prove if they kept giving me chances. I got the part I wanted!


4.Tell me about your character, Alex Corbin.

Alex is the friend that almost everyone has and no one wants to deal with. He’s full of himself, cocky and thinks he can get away with anything. His friends are just thinking, “when will you shut up?” Because I have a bit of a feminine flair to me, I had to try to mask it and be more masculine.


5.What is your favorite moment from filming Sacrament?

The crew,in general, was just great. We did everything together and interacting with Sandra and her boyfriend…they were very encouraging. There was an overall feeling of, this is fun and games, but this is your job, too.


6.What did you think was the hardest day on set?

It was hard because everyone else had more experience than me. I loved it and I dedicated myself to it, but I would get nervous and I couldn’t help taking some things personally. Troy(Ford) has a certain energy; he is a very strong presence. So, Troy is channeling Shawn and we have intense moments and I would be worrying  that I would forget my lines.

7.Would you like to branch out into other areas of filmmaking?

I currently want to focus on acting. When I feel more like I have done enough and know enough, I would like to help other actors. I like helping people find more within their characters.

8.Any other projects that you’re working on?

I have been working on short films and I’m trying to work more on stage. Working on stage helps me grow because you have to think quick on your feet; you can’t shoot again.

9.What do you hope people take away from Sacrament?

Regardless of religion, you have the right to love everyone you want. This isn’t a joke; the gay character is usually the comic relief or they get killed off first. A gay couple being portrayed as more than just being flamboyant is different and it’s important. You are free too love whoever you want.

10. What other genres would you like to explore?

I would love to do something Sci-Fi related, more on the mystic side. I’ve always been a Charmed fan and I would love to play a witch. An elemental witch, who’s powers consist of elements of the earth. I would love to explore everything but, I don’t always like going to a dark place; I feel like I’m rotting inside.

11. Anything else you would like to add?

I want to thank Shawn so much for giving me the opportunity to learn. Everyone gave me hope that I can do this and I’m doing it for the right reason. Everyone was there for each other.  Working with Shawn was great; he was very flexible with all of us and told us to “go ahead, do your thing.”

You can follow Henry on Twitter @BigHaiLoBoy