I knew I had to figure out person two for the Hall of Fame this year, and I went thru PR people left and right for people I wanted and had no luck. Then, by some weird chance I got an online screener for Junkie, which is done by one of my favorite directors Adam Mason. Adam is one of those directors that his films seem to not play by any rules, and mixes genres in a way he is not even a director, he is a mad bartender scientist. Some things happen from luck and some fate, to get to honor one of my favorite directors is such a high for me. And, I did not want to do the normal thing, I wanted to get them to talk and be interviewed like all my other Hall of Fame people. Adam had an insane schedule and he still made time for the site and you guys. This really never sucks and means so much each time I say it, welcome to the Hall of Fame Adam Fucking Mason. Read on and enjoyâ€¦
1. First off, congratulations Adam Mason for being named for our Wicked Channel Hall of Fame. What was the first film that inspired you to become a director?
The one film that I was really obsessed with as a kid was Jaws. I knew every single line off by heart by the age of nine or ten. So I guess Spielberg was the first one who inspired me, even though I had no clue what a director was or did back then.
Growing older – those early Bigalow movies made a big impact. As did John Hughes. Then Fincher. Then Von Trier.
2. What do you think is the biggest misconception about Adam Mason?
A lot of people who’ve seen my movies expect me to be a bit scary. Which I’m not. I’m really very nice.
3. After an almost 3 year absence, you are back with Junkie. Why the long gap between films?
Well I actually shot it three years ago but it took ages to finish and then a year to distribute. I got sick of directing and focused on writing big studio movies with my writing partner Simon Boyes instead, which is now what I do for a living. Directing is just as hobby for me these days, probably because I’m not successful enough at it to make what I’d consider to be a living.
4. Adam Mason, you know your films sometimes are not received by everyone. Do you still read all your press? If so, do the bad reviews bother you?
I’ll have a gander once in a while. I don’t mind the really bad ones. I’d rather get 0/10 than 5/10. Getting 0/10 is almost as good as getting 10/10 because it means you’re really having an effect. It’s like people who hate the sex pistols REALLY hate the sex pistols and I think my movies are like the sex pistols. Johnny Rotten doesn’t seem like he cares what people think so I try not to either.Reality is that of course bad reviews hurt. When I make a film, I’m making it for an audience, and deep down – I want that audience to like it. Johannes Roberts who directed F and storage 24 is a really good friend of mine, and we’re forever comparing bad reviews. It’s astonishing how venomous some of them are. Some ‘reviewers’ seem to think it’s ok to launch what’s basically a personal attack. In a sense that kind of writing is a form of bullying and I don’t have any time for it. But nevertheless, it’s hard not to be affected by them, just as it’s also hard not to let the really good ones go to your head. But I’ve been doing this for about fifteen years now, and I’m much better at handling the constant rejection that seems to go with the territory.
5. When people mention your films, controversial and offensive seem to be used at times. Do you think your films are offensive and controversial? If so, do you set out for those goals or do they just happen?
Yeah all those early films are pretty much controversial for the sake of it. I’d struggled for years to get anywhere in the British film scene, and that made me really bitter unfortunately, and quite twisted. So Broken was like a sledgehammer movie, reverse engineered to get noticed, which it did – as off the back of that I got about a million bucks to make the devils chair, which got into Toronto and got me signed to CAA and enabled Simon and I to get American visas.
So off the back of Broken we were both basically able to move to LA in 2007 and continue things over here. Which was really the first big step for us.
So in that sense being controversial really paid off. I like the stuff in Broken that’s not violent – the peculiar relationship between those two characters. It was very much influenced by a book called The Collector by John Fowles, which people should check out if they like that kind of thing. All the Saw/Hostel stuff was quite cynically show-horned in to cash in on the gore market which was big at the time.
The violent end of Devils Chair was a reaction to the rest of the movie, which was pretty daft I thought. That film was something Simon and I were hired to make, so we could never get away from the core concept, which wasn’t something we would have ever have come up with ourselves. We thought it was a weak conceit for a movie from day one, so from the onset I did everything I could to completely subvert and poke fun at it. It’s basically a movie that makes it clear it doesn’t like itself very much! Which is why it’s as mad as it is. I’m pleased with how if ended up. It’s definitely original if nothing else.
6. What was the last film you watched that you felt was controversial and offensive?
I saw a Serbian film a few years ago. That was pretty despicable I thought. I don’t really watch horror movies. I think they are largely a load of rubbish.
7. Junkie is quite the departure of sorts for you. Some may say that there is a mature underlining meaning with this film. Is Junkie your way of trying to branch out and explore other genres? Do you think you could truly move on from horror, or is this your first love?
Yeah I really wanted to make a comedy. To be honest I wish I’d taken all the blood and zombie stuff out of the script and just gone full retard with the loony tunes wackiness – but I didn’t have the balls at the time. I thought the horror would help sell it, get it into festivals and all that. Which it absolutely didn’t. In the end it’s not really violent enough for the horror herd and it’s too bloody for the indie crowd. So it just fell between the cracks. Which isn’t the end of the world. I’m lying earlier when I say I don’t like horror movies. I grew up loving them and most of my favorite movies are genre movies. But as I get older I watch less and less.
8. Your films can almost be viewed like looking thru some worm hole into the lives of some desperate people or normal people in desperate situations. I have to ask what kind of childhood did you have?
I had an idyllic childhood actually. I’ve got great parents. Everything was lovely until I went to school and realized that people can be rats.
9. When you work on a film you do almost all the jobs besides acting. What do you enjoy doing more writing, producing or directing? What is easier for you?
I really love writing and directing. Producing I only do because I have to. I’ve also edited all my movies which is the hardest and longest part of the process. I keep telling people I’ve quit directing which I don’t think is true. But I have most probably quit editing. It’s too hard and takes too long.
10. A young man comes up to you and says he is your biggest fan. He wants to know what advice you can offer him to get into the business. What advice do you give him?
Be prepared to live like a gypsy for twenty years. Forget trying to play by the rules because almost everyone you come across is going to be willing to stab you in the back to jump over your body at the soonest opportunity. And never ever ever give up.
And don’t read the bad reviews.
11. One of the film people mention when they think about you is Broken. How did Dimension Extreme find out about your film? Also, looking back at this was it a good experience or anything you want to shed light on? ( which basically means do you want to tell us any dirt)
I can’t remember how they ended up with it. I just got a call from the sales agent one day saying they wanted to buy it. Those were the days. You could make quite a bit of money back then from a movie. Heading into 2014 you’ll be lucky to buy yourself a latte from the profit you’ll see from selling a film. The low budget movie world is hovering over extinction at the moment. They say VOD is helping. We’ll see. I’m sure the whole medium needs to change in much the same way people no longer care much for albums. Attention spans are pretty low. Who says ninety minutes or two hours is where it’s at anymore? I’d much rather watch 42 mins of Breaking Bad than suffer through most movies these days and I think most people feel the same way.
Broken was the best experience I’ve had distribution wise, although I got divorced at that exact same time – so they only time I would have made a chunk of change from one of my films, I actually made nothing. Devils Chair, Blood River and Luster were all cluster fucks. Junkie has been a good experience (although I don’t yet know if the producers will get their money back or not). I liked very much what the guys at Indiecan did with it… A really solid job. And Pig I never intend to release. So that’s my experience with distribution in a paragraph.
12. What was the last film you had to rush to the movie theater to see? Also, what was the last film you had to go to the store and buy?
I rushed to see Elysium and was one of the few people I know who loved it. The Worlds End I loved. Place Beyond the Pines I loved. About Time I loved. Last movie I bought on Blu was The Strangers. Dunno about in a store. Would have been a long long time ago. I’m Amazon all the way.
13. Remakes seem to be popping up daily, have you been tempted to do a remake? If you could do one remake what would it be? And who would you cast in the leads?
I don’t mind people making remakes really. I don’t take it as some personal attack on my childhood like most seem to. Nor do I really like many of them. I thought Let Me In was a great movie, even though the original is probably one of the great genre flicks of all time. Matt reeves is a very talented man. Texas Chainsaw remake was very solid indeed.
Personally I’d like to remake The Breakfast Club with Miley Cyrus, the Bieber, Zak Effron, Ian Somerholder, Amanda Knox and Charles Manson.
14. What is on an Adam Mason iPod? Are you rocking some Pumped up Kicks?
I love Nick Cave. Deftones. I’m a big Chino fan. The new Palms is great. Crosses is amazing. The Cure. Fever Ray. I’ll always love Oasis more than anyone else on a sunny day.
15. Do you view Junkie as your comeback film? Also, what is next up on the agenda? Any detailsâ€¦.
I don’t view it as anything really. It’s just something I made for fun. Next on my agenda is to continue to get rich writing massive studio movies. Which is going really well.
If I was going to make another film I’d make a straight up ultra-commercial horror movie I think. I quite like the challenge of hiding in plain sight and pretending to be normal for a while.
16. Adam, you know some of your films fans will split. Pig is a good example; some people were not so receptive of the vision. So this is your chance..what is your favorite film you have done so far? And what is the one you wish you could take back? If there is oneâ€¦
I wish I’d never made Pig. I’m really disappointed with how Luster ended up. It’s just not very good. That annoys me as I really really tried with that one, but sometimes you have the luck and sometimes you don’t. I never set out to make a bad movie.
Junkie is my favorite. Although I’m really proud of Blood River. Prob a tie between those two.
17. If this would never have happened for you, what was the back-up plan?
I’d like to have been a guitarist in a band. Or an art teacher. Making movie posters seems like a fun thing to do for a living.
18. In your opinion Adam, do you think people truly understand what an indie film is? Also, how would you define it?
I guess an indie film is a movie that is made or distributed by a studio. I suppose a movie like Shame is an indie movie, although it was put out through a studio. Hard to say. It’s just a matter of opinion really.
19. At this point in your young career what are your goals?
I used to be obsessed with work, to the point where literally all I would do is drink and work. Then one day I realized my life was in a complete shambles. So I spent the past few years sorting myself out. I got married, had a daughter.. And now I just work to make a living, focusing mainly on the writing. It’s taken all this self-imposed pressure off… And as a result I now enjoy the work so much more. I love sitting around with Simon writing the kind of movies we grew up watching. That’s been a dream come true for the two of us, and surprisingly so as I never really thought I was that good at writing until recently. I’ve became a Hollywood screenwriter completely by mistake! I also made a documentary this year about creativity and education that I’m really proud of, and some cool music videos, but I’m only directing for fun these days. I much prefer it that way. Directing is dangerous for me. It’s an obsession if I’m not careful and it drains all my energy. I’m really enjoying actually having a life for once, and I’m incredibly proud of the career Simon and I have forged for us as screenwriters. Ambition wise, in the next ten years I’d like to write and direct a number one movie in America. I’d like to write a movie Michael Bay directed. And Iâ€™d like to win an Oscar for best documentary.
20. Adam Mason you are named the President of the United States. How do you solve our economic situation? Also what would you do to prevent piracy as well? Should we legalize weed?
I think it’s the governmentâ€™s job to nurture and protect its own industries. I don’t think that’s really happened (look at Detroit). I think people should buy American produce wherever possible, even when it’s more expensive. I think the way to prevent piracy is to publicly execute a few people doing it (I don’t really think this).
I think legalizing drugs would reduce crime, but I don’t really care on a personal level as I don’t smoke weed. Only crack. And meth. (I don’t really smoke crack or meth).
21. Well President that was not so hard and it is my honor to finally get to do this with you. Congrats on being in our Hall of Fame, this is your chance to say anything you want, promote and tell people what you need to, thanks so much.
I don’t think so. Thanks for the interview – and I’m glad you dig the movies. Really appreciate it mate. Cheers!