ARI KIRSCHENBAUM – WRITER/DIRECTOR, “LIVE-EVIL”
Do the ‘monster mash’ this Halloween with the home entertainment premiere of horror-comedy Live-Evil, starring Vladimir Kulich (TV’s Vikings), Charlene Amoia (How I Met Your Mother), and horror icon Tony Todd (Candyman, #FromJennifer).
‘’Ghostbusters meets Dawn of the Dead caught in the Twilight Zone’’ (Nerdly) in writer-director Ari Kirschenbaum’s “unique, visually entertaining” (We Live Entertainment) horror romp, arriving on VOD this Halloween from Simian Tales.
When a small college town police station is besieged by Evil on a sleepy Halloween night, Pete, the sheriff, and Hancock, his loyal deputy, are thrown into the middle of holy chess-game that could destroy the town, and possibly the world.
Vincent M. Ward (TV’s The Walking Dead), J. Richey Nash (Bat $#*! Crazy), and Karen Wheeling Reynolds (Logan Lucky) co-star.
Live-Evil will be available on Amazon this Halloween 10/31 with other platforms to follow.
When did your film career kick off?
I was trying to get an animated project made in ’99 and then moved out to LA hoping the proximity would help. I spent about a year trying to sell scripts, get projects off the ground, and then decided to do something small in 2001. But it’s still not a career, I don’t make a living at it, films are passion projects for me.
And since then, who have you enjoyed working with the most? Anyone that has really impressed you?
Most of the people I enjoyed working with. J Richey Nash, who played Eric in Live-Evil, was in my first film and he’s so great to work with. The DP on my first film was fantastic, a hilarious spark plug named Yaron Orbach, who’s gone on to some big things like Orange is the New Black.
I love working with real people who don’t bring all that Hollywood bullshit with them.
Onto the latest project. Where were you when you decided ‘This is what I’m doing next?’
I was slogging away at a crappy day job, getting abused daily, the point where you feel like taking chances, so I quit to do Live-Evil.
And was that what you did next? Or did something else end up happening beforehand?
No, when the funding came through, or at least enough of it, I quit my job and went straight into pre-production.
And is the film on screens the same one you set out to do?
No. I don’t have any experience with a film turning out like I wrote or envisioned. You try to maintain the spirit of what you wrote, but compromises start on the first day of preproduction, little tiny ones and you hope they don’t become major ones, but they do and you have to be willing to change what you wrote or it won’t happen. Things also get in the way and you have to pivot and think of something different and maybe it can be better. It’s all compromises and that sometimes that part of the thrill – improvising and happy accidents. Those are the most exciting things. We only have this location and this amount of time, what can we do to get that scene done? We only have enough money for this, what can you do to make it look like you intended? That’s indie filmmaking. I’d love to the have the money and time to get everything that was written on the page or I envisioned, but I’m sure that has its pitfalls too, trying to wrangle a giant.
Did you have to make any compromises?
All of it was a compromise. From lenses to delivery. I don’t think a single element was exactly how it was written or envisioned, but most of it is in the spirit of it.
Was a nice team onboard? Did you produce, too?
I didn’t produce.. We had a team and some of them were awesome and let’s leave it at that.
Who has the biggest say on the filmset – lead producer, lead actor or the director?
I had the final creative say. But money is always in charge ultimately.
How tough is it shooting an indie horror film? What do people not know…?
Just getting it done is always a challenge. You can’t throw money at problems. I think also the crew and team can determine how easy it is. My first film was easy, this was hard. Making something good, now that’s really hard, which is why anyone who can do it, has earned the praise.