David C Valdez ( Klown Kamp Massacre director) interview

1.What made you want to be a director?

I think my directing career was conceived out of boredom. Phil (Philip H.R. Gunn, co-writer/co-director) and I were neighbors growing up in Rio Rancho, NM – a suburb of Albuquerque – and we relied on our creativity to get through the tedium of suburban life. It started with us making prank calls, then evolved into recording wacky answering machine greetings, until my mom finally bought a camcorder. The first movie we directed was “Edwin: The Tragic Story of the Clown Who Couldn’t Make Anybody Laugh”. Sound familiar? Anyhow, ever since that first movie I’ve been hooked.

2.What does the term ” indie” mean to you?

“Indie” means risk taking to me. Klown Kamp Massacre is such an absurd idea to make a feature film out of, but something we felt deep down would be a rockin’ good time! Yet, it’s still a horror movie so we try to keep a somewhat uncomfortable tone throughout. If we had to have our script approved we would have been reliant on outsiders “getting” our nontraditional idea, something that would be a long shot if they were financing our project. Characters like the masturbating birthday clown would likely have been cut out.

3.Do you think the Internet gives too many people way too much freedom?

I don’t think there’s such a thing as too much freedom. Perhaps the anonymity the Internet provides encourages obnoxious behavior, but I just assume ignore it. Let’s also remember that the Internet gives us porn and you can’t have too much of that!

4.Do you think when someone blames the budget as to w­hy a film is not that well received, is fair, or that they are looking for a scapegoat? Budget is always going to be a concern, even w/ blockbuster films. It certainly hinders many technical aspects of an indie film, but there are so many things that can be compensated for by creativity and hard work. I don’t think filmmakers should ever be completely satisfied with their work. Ambition should always be pushing us beyond our capabilities.

5.Do you think females get a fair shake in indie films and the industry in general?

I know a handful of great female indie directors. The great thing about indie filmmaking is they don’t need permission to pick up a camera and shoot. As for the industry in general, women aren’t nearly represented as much as they should be. Hollywood filmmaking is such a bureaucracy that it’s going to be a long time before the gender gap disappears.

6.What was the last film beside your own, that blew you away?

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. It’s the type of movie I’d hope to make if I had a giant budget. Edgar Wright is so visually creative, his pacing is the most frenetic I’ve seen, and the film is funny as all shit.

7.Do you think indie films have too much freedom and that some films go way too far in its content and subject matter? Well, did I mention I have a masturbating birthday clown in my film? Or an accidental necrophilia scene? I’m going to say that indie films rarely go far enough. And that’s why people need to see Klown Kamp Massacre (and gift it to their friends).

8.How would you deal with an actor or actress who who was not fully behind the vision and script? Depends on the situation. This happens often enough, and it really becomes an issue of damage control. If I get a hint of this in auditions I will typically just pass on the actor, unless I think their talent is far superior to ignore. If you have a resistant actor on set, try your best to illustrate the idea, and make sure to rehearse. Rehearsal at least gives you time to see exactly what the problems are. I’m open to suggestion, but if their interpretation changes important story points, I’ll explain to them why it has to be a certain way. If they keep resisting, I’ll shoot a lot and try to manufacture their performance in post, in which case their screen time will dramatically drop.

9.Do you think youtube directors are a insult to people who went to school and learned the trade? I don’t think they’re an insult to film students/professionals, but I’m not really interested in watching badly produced video. I think you should always work hard to earn an audience’s attention.

10.Do you think the government should take more steps to stop illegal downloading? And how do you feel when you see a review of your film on a site that you know you did not send anything to and do not know how they got it?

I’m not against illegal downloading, even though I know I’m about to be a victim of it. However, I’ve discovered a lot of my favorite bands because I was willing to listen to an album for free, that I never would have paid for out of the blue. I’m excited when anyone watches my movie. That said, Troma will be streaming Klown Kamp Massacre through Hulu and Netflix on demand, so I’d hope people watch it free through the legitimate channels.

11.What is your personal goal, dream?

I want to make bigger and better movies. Always.

12.Do you think alot of blog critics and for that matter youtube and other website critics are harsh on indie films?

There will always be harsh critics, but you can’t let them have an affect on your work. I’ll skim the bad reviews and will look for legitimate critiques. Often times I’ll agree with them or at least see their vantage point, then try to improve on the next project. It’s up to filmmakers to take all criticism with a grain of salt. We make art for the public and so it’s the publics right to critique. If it’s the criticism is unnecessarily harsh, then ignore it.

13.If this never came to be, or had to end tomm. What would you do for a living?

I’m a filmmaker. I’ve gone out of my way NOT to develop marketable skills outside of the industry, because if I was rational I would never be a filmmaker.

14.If anyone wanted to get started in this biz, what advice would you give?

It’s one of the toughest and least reliable industries you can join, so be sure you can stomach frustration. Learn how to be a dedicated professional in any job you pick up, from PA to director.

15.This is your chance to promote, pimp and thanks so much.

Thanks so much for this opportunity. Troma Entertainment should be releasing the film in late spring of 2011. You can go to www.klownkampmassacre.com to learn more details or join our Facebook page!