An Interview witth Scott Goldberg – By Brian Morton

 Last June, we spoke with Scott Goldberg, an up and coming filmmaker from Long Island who’s film, The Day They Came Back, has won numerous awards across the country. Well, back then, Scott was working on a number of projects and we here at Rogue Cinema thought it was time to catch up with Scott about what’s going on, what’s on his agenda and exactly when he plans to slow down a little!

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BM – Back in June, you talked about the follow up to ‘All I Want For Christmas’, ‘All I Want For Halloween’. How is that going?

SG – The All I Want For Halloween idea is being combined together for a film that involves a lot of drug abuse, and kidnapping. All I Want For Christmas was a dark comedy short that was meant to be somewhat silly and dark. All I Want For Halloween is more of a grim, dark look on today’s society and the type of horrors we don’t see in our everyday life.

BM – You’ve won at a few film festivals since we last spoke too, can you tell us which ones you entered and won at, and also, how important do you think the film festival circuit is to an independent film maker?

SG – Going into festivals, you try to hope to win some awards to get more recognition as a filmmaker and person, and it’s good for publicity purposes, but that should never be your main goal. It should never be just about winning awards. Filmmaking is an art and when art is done right, there are rewards for your hard work. We won a few awards at past festivals: Best Short Screenplay at the 2006 Long Island Film Festival, Best Horror Film at the 2006 Pocono Mountains Film Festival, Best Cinematography at the 2006 Fright Night Film Festival and Best New Director at the 2006 Rhode Island International Horror Film Festival.

BM – What about for promotion? Do you think that festivals are a good place to get the word out about your movies? How do you generally build word of mouth for a film?

SG – I think film festivals are a great way to promote your work. I also think horror conventions are good as well. Your film should speak mostly for you. You can promote all you’d like at the festivals and conventions, but the main thing to focus on while shooting your projects are making your work the best that you can. What I like to do when promoting a film is make an online site for the film that people can check out. I also like to put my short films up online because I feel it’s important to get your work out to as many people as you can.

BM – You were shooting ‘The Forest Hills’ when we last talked, how is production going on that?

SG – The Forest Hills is coming along very well. We shot it in about four months and during those four months I’ve been editing the film as we went along with production. I had first wanted to make the film look very vintage with an orange type of filter, but due to the lack of light that was able to get into the camera with the filter on it, I decided to shoot in color and transfer to black and white while editing. There were many different ideas for the film, and I didn’t want to make it like the usual “killer in the woods” story, with hand held camera shots and other cliché elements. At first with The Forest Hills, back in April 2006 when we started pre-production, I wanted to make the film very much like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Unfortunately, I let people whom I thought were my friends at the time, persuade my choices and I had wanted to make the film similar to other films that I loved, with the Texas Chain Saw Massacre being one of them. As the pre-production process of the film went along, I found myself wanting to make the film more original and I didn’t want to make a film similar to everyone else’s film. This has been my mindset every since. I do, however, remember the horror films that influenced me in one way or another, and those were: The Shining, Day of the Dead and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Those were the films that I’d watch the night before shooting to get into the mood for the next day.

 BM – And I see on your MySpace page, you’re also working on a movie called ‘Kimberly’, what can you tell us about that?

SG – Kimberly is a super short horror film that we shot back in October and touches on the themes of nuclear war, prophecies, and family issues. It’s about a young girl who is having family problems and decides to get away from her problems and this ghost from the WWII era appears to mess with her mind. I was very interested at the time about “The Rapture” and about prophecies. I wanted to incorporate a lot of my fears into the film.

BM – And last time you also told us about ‘Nightmare’, what’s the status on that movie?

SG – Nightmare was completed in July 2006 and won Best Cinematography at the 2006 Fright Night Film Festival. It also played at the 2006 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in October 2006 It’s currently online for people to check out if they’d like. We will be submitting the film out to festivals again later on this year along with some other new short films that are in production.

BM – You’re also going to be featured in Chris Garetano’s sequel, ‘Son Of Horror Business’, has Chris been behind the scenes on any of these newer productions?

SG – Not necessarily behind the scenes footage, but he has shot some follow-up interviews. The thing with Son of Horror Business is that it’s a documentary and takes time and Chris likes to shoot interviews and footage when the time is right. Horror Business took Chris three years to make and it’ll actually be out on March 13th, 2007 in stores nationwide. And you have to also understand that he made Horror Business on such a small budget. I give Chris a lot of credit for making that film. When you direct, produce and edit a feature length film on your own, it takes a toll on you, both physically and mentally.

BM – I also see on your web page, that you’re working on a movie called ‘United We Sleep’, which seems to be a sort of horror/conspiracy movie. What can you tell us about that one?

SG – United We Sleep came from my personal fears of war and terrorism. We see a lot of fear mongering on the news and I wanted to make a film that exposed the lies and corruption that we hear on the news, especially when they do a news story on war and terrorism. The film follows a man, Daniel Brown, and what his family has to go through when a terrorist attack is carried out in the New York area. The title speaks for itself: “United We Sleep”, meaning we all sit together in front of our televisions and don’t explore the world and the possibilities of a corrupt government. We are asleep in a sense and the film expresses the need to open your eyes and try to find out the truth and to expose that truth that is buried between all of the lies that are force fed to us. Of course, this is all opinion and people have their own ways of living their lives, but that is the beauty of making art. You’re able get your opinions, thoughts and ideas out there and the public gets to see your art and think about what they just saw on the big screen. For United We Sleep I felt that the terrorism aspect was an interesting topic, and that is all we hear about on the news, ever since the September 11th attacks. Then you have the real possibility of nuclear war in our near future with all of the build up of hate and violence in the Middle East. I don’t think there will ever be peace in the world. Not unless a revolution happens and not unless we decide to wake up and work together towards making this world a better place. I was very much influenced by a few filmmakers, especially Chris Garetano. If it weren’t for someone like Chris, I wouldn’t have opened my eyes to the things that interest me today, especially with the films I want to make.

BM – Do you think the horror genre is the best way to get your message across?

SG – I believe that what is most important is the message itself and not so much the genre. I think that there are certain genres in where the film you make will be more successful in.

BM – Would you ever consider working in another genre?

SG – I feel that as a filmmaker, you should never just limit yourself to one genre. I love all types of films, and am always watching films for inspiration and to learn more. About a year ago, I was heavily into just making horror films, but I changed that mindset because I don’t want to limit myself to one genre of filmmaking. I love all genres, except for romantic comedies. I feel that we need films that are more artistic, and with the films I produce, I will make films that reflect the times and how I feel as a person.

 BM – What’s the status on ‘Danielle’s Revenge’? We talked about that one too last time too.

SG – We were trying to get a buzz going early last year with the film and get some investors interested, but I had decided while Luke O’Hara was writing the script that I’d make some short films to put on a demo reel to show investors. Danielle’s Revenge is a horror film that takes place at a camp, which we were planning on shooting in the fall of 2006. We put it on hold for a while. It’s still a film that I’d be interested in shooting, especially if we had the budget for to make it happen. A big production setback is insurance on locations, especially if you don’t have the money to get the insurance or money to pay the location and daily location fees.

BM – It seems like you’re very busy! What else is on Scott Goldberg’s agenda? Maybe a nap? 😉

SG – The thing is that I love creating an escape for people, or at least getting people aware of the horrors that are in the world today, such as war, terrorism, drug usage, poverty. We can make powerful films if we understand the art. I think United We Sleep will be the start of that for me. I had touched on the theme of war in my short film Kimberly a little bit, but not as much as it is touched on in United We Sleep.

BM – Do you have plans for any more ‘political horror movies’ after United We Sleep?

SG – Yes, I am currently writing some screenplays and stories for films similar to United We Sleep. We have plans to shoot some more political type films this year. I have made films in the past that aren’t as original as I’d like them to be, such as The Day They Came Back. I want to make films that are different than anyone else’s films, and I feel that type of mindset happens when you start to find your voice. I am nowhere where I want to be as a filmmaker, and I know that it will take years, but I am willing to work hard and reach that goal. As a patriotic American, I just want the truth, as does everyone else. The truth is buried in there somewhere, beneath of the lies. I will tell you this: I’d rather be remembered for making films that were original and motivational, rather than just a remake or rehash of an old idea. When I die, I want to be remembered for being someone who took chances. I will continue to fight and will not give up. Let’s make art and love, and not war.

BM – Well, let’s hope that you’re around for a long time and have time to make plenty of movies, Scott! Thanks for taking the time, we appreciate it.

SG – Thank you.

Scott is definitely a film-maker to keep your eye on. And, I’m sure that no matter which genre he decides to work in, or what movies he makes, they’ll be well worth watching! We here at Rogue Cinema wish him nothing but the best and hope that Scott keeps telling us his truth for years to come! If you’d like to check out the work of this talented film-maker, then you have a couple of options, you can check out his MySpace Page or you can drop over to the Scott Godberg Films Website you can find links at both those sites to check out Scott’s work online, how to by copies of his movies and see what’s coming soon from Scott…it’s a site that I personally have bookmarked, you should too!