An Interview with Zack Parker – By Brian Morton

Last month, I got the chance to the see latest movie from Zack Parker and Along The Tracks Productions, Scalene, and, it has to be the best indie I’ve seen this year. Great acting, an amazing story and a plot that will have you wondering what’s going on until the very end, it’s definitely a movie that you need to see. Well, this isn’t the first time I’ve been impressed with Zack, his last movie, Quench, was just as good, so I thought it was time to sit back down with this talented film maker and see what’s going on, and what’s next!

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BM – Zack, thanks for taking the time.

ZP – Thank you.

BM – Where did you get the name ‘Scalene’?

ZP – Probably sixth grade. I had a hard time coming up with a title for this one. The title is such a vital part of any film. I’ve always felt that one of the most interesting aspects of SCALENE is the structure, the fact that it is told through three different points-of-view, or "angles" if you will. That got me thinking about triangles. Then, remembering that the name for a triangle with three uneven sides or angles is scalene. So, it kind of felt appropriate.

BM – How did you get the idea for the movie?

ZP – It actually came from the reactions of my past two films, INEXCHANGE and QUENCH. They both received very polarized responses from audiences, and even some critics.
It was interesting to me that the films themselves never changed, but the perceptions of the audience could be completely different. It occurred to me that I’ve never really seen a film about the differences in human perception. So that idea was really the catalyst.

BM – Both Quench and Scalene lead the audience down one path, only to pull the rug out from under their preconceived notions. Is that a trend you’ll continue?

ZP – I hope so. It is always my intention, when I set out to make something, that it is something that I haven’t seen before. I watch a lot of films. All types. As many as I can. I like to saturate myself with material and really get a sense of what people are making, and hopefully what’s working and what is not. Most films have a certain rhythm to them, and when you watch a lot, you start to get an understanding of what that rhythm is, and also how you can deviate from it. Audiences are smart these days. They know how to put a story together, and usually discover pretty quickly where the story is going. I do my best to keep them on there toes, surprise them (story-wise), and hopefully create a more engaging experience.

BM – How hard is it to make a movie that’s has a complex a plot as Scalene?

ZP – Well, it was certainly helpful to have my writing partner, Brandon Owens, to bounce ideas back and forth with. This was the first film that I didn’t write on my own, and it was exactly for the reason that I knew this story would be the most complex. It was actually quite a bit of fun, playing with structure, establishing these setups and payoffs in different areas of time. It has me very excited about challenging the ideas of structure again in the new film I’m putting together.

BM – Margo Martindale, Hanna Hall and Adam Scarimbolo are amazing in Scalene. Where did you find this amazing cast?

ZP – Without the help of my Casting Director, Rosemary Welden, I probably never would have reached them. These were all just actors that I admired. This was the first film I have made that I really had to deal with major agencies, managers, lawyers, etc., and it’s a pretty intimidating process for an indie filmmaker. But having professional performers with the kind of experience and background and talent that these actors possess is crucial to the success of any indie film, both creatively and financially. I knew I had to take it to the next level with SCALENE, and I couldn’t be more proud of the performances Margo, Hanna, and Adam gave.

BM – What’s next on the agenda for Along The Tracks?

ZP – I’m currently writing a new script with another writer, Kevin Donner. This one actually comes from an idea I’ve been working on for about ten years now. Again, we are challenging each other to keep it unique and interesting, playing with traditional structure and what people expect from films. I’m very excited about the direction it’s moving in.

BM – Well, I already can’t wait to see it. I’d ask what it’s about, but with your movies, I always enjoy the surprise…as I’m sure the audiences do too!

ZP – Thank you.

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If you haven’t seen Scalene yet, then head over to http://www.facebook.com/pages/SCALENE/186016059605?v=info and find out where it’ll be showing near you. Trust me; this is one movie that you really have to see! We here at Rogue Cinema, first, want to congratulate Zack and his team on making a tremendous movie, and we can’t wait to see what come from the creative team over at Along The Tracks next!