Get to know your indie directors…Carlo Rodriguez ( Gothic Films)




1.What made you want to be a director?

I’ve just always loved the cinema.
As a boy, I would watch anything upon which I could get lay hands. I still
remember when HBO first came on to the scene. There was this rumor going around
amongst us kids about a TV channel that showed nothing but movies. WITHOUT
commercials. It became my Holy Grail… to get cable.

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

To me, that word has two meanings: A financial
one and an artistic one.

Financially, it means a project that is
financed or funded by the artists themselves in some manner – whether they paid
for it out of pocket or had the wherewithal to raise the funds via various

Artistically, it means to me a philosophy of filmmaking that
isn’t ruled by demographics, marketing trends, fads, or other films that have
been successful and thus, ripe for emulation. It’s about wanting to say
something in one’s own voice.

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

I will confess I’m not exactly sure what is
meant by this but I do think that the Internet has fundamentally changed the way
films are made and perceived. And even though it has provided wonderful tools
for filmmakers to get the word out there about their projects, it’s also a
double-edged sword that can cut both ways. It’s a forum that allows anyone to
voice their opinion, but, on the other hand… it’s a forum that allows anyone
to voice their opinion. It can be a filmmaker’s greatest ally or greatest enemy.

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

As with all things, there’s probably a bit of truth to both.
In my very limited experience, I think what some people might really mean when
they “blame” the budget is that it was ultimately an issue of time – or lack
thereof. Most people have heard the saying, “TIme is money,” but maybe they
don’t really know exactly what that means in terms of making a movie. Time is
not your friend – especially when making an indie film. It takes time to get
things right – which is not always possible if one is on an extremely tight

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

I can only speak to my own limited experience, but
when I started making the film festival rounds, I was surprised – and thoroughly
impressed – with the wide variety of female actors, directors, and producers
that were taking control of their own destinies. Sandy Kellerman, Sharon Wright,
Claire Wasmund, Amber Dawn Lee, Janet Mays, Laura Black, Kim St. Leon, Jessica
Cameron, Jen & Sylvia Soska, Kelly Burns Smith, and so many more too
numerous to mention. But it does seem that at the higher levels, it’s still a
Boy’s Club.

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

Pound-for-Pound? A short film entitled “How To Marry A Mink.” I saw
it at The Action on Film Festival and it starred an amzing Canadian actress
named Sandy Kellerman – who I discovered also produced the film. Everything
about that short film felt so “right” to me that I had to meet Sandy, who was in
the lobby of the theater after the screening. After what I am sure was some
seriously embarrassing gushing on my part, we became friends and I have been
following her career on the indie circuit ever since hoping that “MInk” will get
upgraded to a feature film. Because that would rock.

7.Do you think
indie films have too much freedom and that some films go way too far in its
content and subject matter?

No, not as a rule. One can always point to
this film or that film and say that it has “gone too far” – some folks might
hold up “The Human Centipede” and “A Serbian Film” as examples of this (neither
of which I’ve seen but have read about their respective furors.) But, if films –
or art in general – only went as far as others have gone, then it becomes
difficult to make new “discoveries.” However, just becasue a new discovery is
made doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good or will be well-liked. But, when
one travels on a “journey,” one should expect to encounter some rough terrain
that makes going forward a bit dicey. That’s what some indie films are – the
dicey territory.

8.How would you deal with an actor or actress who who
was not fully behind the vision and script?

My answer would depend on the
specific circumstances – I wouldn’t venture to give a blanket answer. Generally
speaking, re-casting, re-writing, shooting around the actor, editing around the
actor, and etc. would all be possibilities.

9.Do you think youtube
directors are a insult to people who went to school and learned the

Again, it would depend on the YouTube director. Some people can
learn on their own by studying the same material one might study in film school.
I think – in my own point of view – the ones that would generate feelings of
insult are those that don’t think that there even IS a trade to be learned.

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

I am personally against piracy, but I think the answer doesn’t lie in
stopping illegal downloading. Rather, the government – and the industry – needs
to concentrate on finding better ways to encourage legal downloading. As to the
second part of the question, thus far, that hasn’t happened.

11.What is
your personal goal, dream?

To live in hut on a beach somewhere in the
Pacific and make movies with nothing but the power of my brain. With Stephen
Colbert as my cranky neighbor whom I constantly tell to get off my lawn.

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

I think they can be harsh
on ANY film. But it can be tough to be an indie filmmaker and held to the same
production standards as a “bigger” film.

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

Probably try my hand
at being a marketer or promoter.

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

Whatever it is that you think you
need, double it. And when it comes to Assistant Directors and other such
logistic staff, stay away from artists. Get ex-military, ex-cops, ex-teachers,
and etc. – people who will make the trains run on time, not people who will try
to tell you that you need different trains.

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

We’re about to release our next feature
horror film, “Psycho Killer Bloodbath,” starring Carly Bush and Mallory Carrick,
and then we’re going to be hitting the film festival circuit. In development, we
have two more horror films, “Demon Autopsy” and “Vampire Massacre.” Our last
film, “Naked Horror,” – which has won numerous awards at various film festivals
– is currently on sale so we hope people check it out! Visit
for more info about us!