August 25, 2012

Q&A with 'The Aggression Scale's' Steven C. Miller

Already available in the States, and soon to hit the UK, Steven C. Miller's The Aggression Scale is violent, mean and a hell of a good movie. I reviewed the US release not so long ago, and you can read that here, and now Steven was kind enough to answer a few questions I threw his way, about The Aggression Scale, Under the Bed, the upcoming Silent Night and more!

Lair of Filth (LoF) - Steven, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for the Lair of Filth.

Steven C. Miller (SCM) --No Prob!

LoF - The Aggression Scale has been out on disc in the US for a few weeks now, and is soon to hit the UK, and I personally think it is an excellent movie. What has the response been so far to the movie.

SCM - The response has been unbelievable. I was not expecting such a positive response. Everyone really seems to get the film and that is so important.

LoF - The film certainly grabs the viewer’s attention right from the opening scene. It surprised me, that’s for sure. Was this opening scene always planned this way?

SCM - Actually no. The opening of the film was originally suppose to be the trailer scene. Travis Stevens (producer) and I really struggled with the opening because we both wanted something with more PUNCH. It was down to the wire and late one evening it hit me. I quickly cut what now is the opening and sent it over to Travis. His response was "HOLY SHIT". That was all I needed to hear and off we went. It was exactly the pacing I was hoping to start the film with.

LoF -  In The Aggression Scale you have a mini Twin Peaks reunion, with Ray Wise and Dana Ashbrook both starring. Was this purely coincidence, or are you a fan of David Lynch’s show?

SCM - Travis and I are both huge Twin Peaks fans. It wasn't completely planned but when we realized what we had done, it was a very exciting moment for us.

LoF - Your debut movie Automaton Transfusion was released on DVD in 2008, although it was made in 2006. What did you learn from making that film that you brought to the filmmaking process with The Aggression Scale?

SCM - Automaton was a huge learning experience. I think the biggest one was how to use the camera to my advantage. I love shaky cam and obviously over used it in Automaton. In Aggression, It was a conscious choice to have the film start with very steady shots and over the course of the film become more hand held. I wanted to give the audience a sense of style that was lacking in Automaton and I hope i succeeded.

LoF - Also released this year is Under the Bed, which I have yet to see. What can you tell me about this movie? I read that it is described as a suburban nightmare. Are there plans for a Blu-ray/DVD release?

SCM - The film is just now making its debut at festivals and we are really excited about it. I love 80s films like Goonies and ET. Under The Bed is a throwback to those kids films that take on adult material. I wanted to see how far and violent I could take that sort of movie. Its a fun ride with some fantastic characters.

LoF - Back to The Aggression Scale. How easy was it to find the actor to play Owen? Ryan Hartwig does an exceptional job as the unhinged youth.

SCM - Travis Stevens did a great job finding him for one of his other films and asked me if I thought he would work. I had one dinner with Ryan and his Father. It was a no brainer. The kid was smart, cool, and had his shit together. Very rare quality. He is the backbone of the film and carriers it with ease. we were extremely fortunate to work with a young actor who is clearly going to be HUGE.

LoF - The overall tone of the movie is exceptionally violent. There is always unease in the air. Did you ever hold back in any of the scenes? Or were they filmed as planned?

SCM - The scenes were always written pretty violently. I did hold back at times because I never wanted the film to fall into the typical "Home Invasion" film or even tread into the "saw" territory. I really wanted to make a film that was violent, uneasy, but yet still had a sense of fun.

LoF - Looking to the future, you are currently working on Silent Night. This is a remake of the 1984 movie, right? What can you tell us about your movie?

SCM - Yes! The film is a reboot and completely re-imagined. This is a straight Santa with an axe picture. I loved the original but never really care for the backstory. This film dives right into Santa and his disgust for the naughty. Its a violent, bloody, and visceral film that has elements of dark humor. Its made for the horror fans.

LoF - There is always uproar whenever a remake is announced, as if it is a personal affront to the viewer. Has there been any negative reaction to your film so far? I actually saw the original for the first time last week, and am excited to see what you do with the story.

SCM - There hasn't been any negative response that i have noticed. I think its a film that deserves a modern spin and the smart horror fans understand that. Its exciting!

LoF - Final question (almost), as I am sure you are busy. Do you have any movies lined up for after Silent Night? What can we expect from you in the future?

SCM - I have a few that Im in development on. Nothing I can really mention at the moment, but I can tell you they are going to be intense!

LoF -  Is there anything else  you would like to share with the readers?

SCM - Just that I hope everyone enjoys the Aggression Scale!! Thanks so much for everyones support of me and Indie filmmaking!!!

LoF - Thank you once again for taking time out to answer these questions, and good luck with Silent Night!

SCM - No prob and thanks!!!

You can pre-order the UK Blu-ray of The Aggression Scale here. Keep your eyes open for the US releases of Under the Bed and Silent Night over the coming months.

1 comment:

Maynard Morrissey said...

Cool interview! Very excited for that Silent Night remake. Hope it'll be as fun as the first 2 parts.
As long as it's better than parts 3, 4 & 5, I'm ok with it :D