Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Q&A with Director Sean Weathers about "Ace Jackson is a Dead Man"

Text (c) Richard Gary / Indie Horror Films, 2015
Images from Sean Weathers / the Internet

The review of the Sean Weathers' starring/co-directed/edited film can be found HERE.

Indie Horror Films: You shot the majority of this film 5 years ago, why so long of a delay in releasing it?Sean Weathers: My partner [Aswad Issa]and I shot principal photography of Scumbag Hustler [reviewed HERE], Mandingo Sex Addict and Ace Jackson is a Dead Man in 2010, but then I took an unintended hiatus from filmmaking for four years. Life in general got in the way; the years went by quickly before I realized they were gone. Now here I am, trying to make up for lost time.

IHF: What went into your decision-making process to make this film a high-contrast black and white with added graininess?
Sean:  The world and the characters in this are very gritty, dark and dirty, and I wanted the look of the film to match that.

IHF: Why the old time blues and folk music?Sean:  There were a lot of parallels between the songs, the people who sung them, the time they were living in, and the Ace character and the world I built around him.

IHF: Why the stills of the dead bodies throughout the film?
Sean:  When writing this I imagined someone opening up a newspaper and seeing a B&W image of a thug that was shot in the head in the hood for a drug deal that went wrong. With that seed planted in my head, once I started editing I wanted to further emphasize the inevitability of death and how it’s always there waiting on us; no matter what we do or how hard we try it’s the final chapter for all of us. In this case it’s murder, so I wanted to show people who died savagely and prematurely.

IHF: There is scrolling text throughout the film telling us certain disturbing facts about government and corporate power. Why the decision to put that in the film and how does it relate to the story?Sean:  I think it’s easy to go through life and just focus only on what you see affecting you and not think on a wider scale. I wanted to show how macroeconomics – the government, the country, the banks, large corporations, etc. – can effect microeconomics, you.

IHF: How were you able to achieve a natural feel to the dialogue in the film?
Sean:  Most of the dialogue and about half of the scenes were improvised. I had written a script called “Man Hunt” that we never shot. We took the plot and cherry-picked some of the scenes from that script and made up the rest on set as we went. We were looking to shoot something very quickly; I’d say about a third of the scenes in the film were shot with one take. [Outtakes reel can be seen HERE]

IHF: The DVD also includes three classic crime thrillers: Mr. Scarface (1976), Family Enforcer (1976) and High School Caesar (1960), plus two original short films: The Pimp Chronicles and Forgiveness
. Can you tell us a little bit about the other five films?Sean:  The three crime thrillers all have the same common theme with Ace, of a low level criminal trying to earn respect and work their way up the ladder. The Pimp Chronicles features a pimp off-screen interviewing three hoes about life in the business. Forgiveness is an award-winning short film directed by my partner that I helped co-produce.

IHF: Anything else about the film you want to mention, while we have the chance?
A - Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to talk about my film. Ace Jackson is a Dead Man, which is available for pre-order now on
www.fullcirclefilmworks.com, will be officially released on June 23, 2015.


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